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The Lonely Polygamist Udall, Brady ( Author ) May-03-2010 Hardcover Hardcover – 3 May 2010

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (3 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AZ9DTKY
  • Product Dimensions: 1.7 x 0.4 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ripple TOP 500 REVIEWER on 20 May 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Lonely Polygamist is quite simply a very good story. For all of its 600 pages, it kept me engrossed and entertained - one minute inducing laughter and the next sadness and heartache. Several people have compared the writing to John Irving and that seems a fairly apt comparison for me - it has a similar feel for humanity, strange situations and wry humour. I'd venture to suggest that if you are a fan of Irving, then you will absolutely love this book. I am, and I did.

The story involves a Mormon polygamist - Golden Richards - and his four wives and 28 children. For some reason, polygamy seems to be an "in" subject at the moment - either in the Orange long listed Baba Segi's Wives or on TV with the US series Big Love. It's easy to see why this appeals to writers because of the complexities of human relationships it entails.

At first the character list can seem a daunting prospect and indeed there is a useful orienting family structure diagram at the start of the book. For the first 50 or so pages, I was often referring to it, but what Udall does cleverly is to focus his attentions on three of the main family members - Golden, his fourth wife Trish and one of the children of his third wife Rusty. Although the others feature throughout, along with a grumpy ostrich, a violent brothel owner and an outcast whose hobby is making fireworks while building a bomb shelter, this helps to simplify the reader's experience.

The nub of the story is that Golden is pressured by the demands on him and while away on a construction project, gets dangerously drawn to the wife of his boss.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By perkster on 5 Dec. 2012
Format: Paperback
This book puts you through the wringer in the nicest possible way. I never thought that I could consider emapthy with a lifestyle so far from my own but by the end of this book you feel that you have traveled a great distance with the main protagonist Golden Richards. The book is hardly a glowing indictment for Pologomy but that is not the point and it feels that it is just a very small part of the story. The huge family acts as a device to bring to the fore a host of situations, feelings and events that study the human condition beautifully. It highlights issues that this lifestyle can bring, normalises to a degree the situation in a sympathetic way, leaving the reader to make up their own mind. You can (and most likely will) totally disagree with the life choices made by this family but you would have a heart of stone not to be moved by the events that happen to them. It is a lovely book that has many plots and relationships, it skips along and I have to say I totally disagree with the reviews that say it is slow and too long. I found no disappointment in the ending either, there is a lot of excitement in this novel and a great deal of pain and love, not everything has to have a massive twist or huge Tsunami at the end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gogrygbi on 4 Jan. 2013
Format: Paperback
You know how sometimes you read a book you REALLY enjoy, and then you recommend it to everybody and anybody? This is why I'm writing this review.

'The Lonely Polygamist' is original, funny, interesting, sad and has a twist in the middle that is one of those rare ones that you don't see coming or guess part-way through. The book has some fantastic characters in it (as another reviewer mentions, there are numerous characters but there is a handy family tree reference at the beginning of the book, and for the most part, I did remember who was who as the book progressed as obviously some characters feature more than others.) Everyone I've lent my copy to has also thoroughly enjoyed reading it and I wouldn't be surprised if they adapted the book into a film.

Buy it or borrow it but definitely read it!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. J. Jones on 5 May 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a stunning book, with sadness running through it alongside biting insight and black humour. Golden Richards is none too bright, yet appropriately he has a heart of gold. After a sad childhood he finds himself married to four wives and doing his best to 'live the Principle' in his local Mormon church. He tries hard to be a good husband and father to 27 children and fails miserably. We follow him through his valiant efforts to keep everything together, financially, practically and emotionally, while seeming to have none of his own needs met. He almost succumbs to temptation and suffers much grief and even violence as he attempts to keep all the balls in the air.

This book is crammed with unforgettable characters and Brady Udall has cleverly homed in on just one of the children and one of the wives. We see the lives of the others mirrored in the unhappy experiences of the unfortunate Rusty, an adolescent misfit, and Trish - last and youngest of the wives, as well as Golden himself. Full of philosophical musings and breathtaking insight, this book is one that stays in the memory for a long time. It is a laugh out loud one minute and cry the next kind of novel, which plunges the depths while ending in a way that feels just right. This book, and this writer, will go far.
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