The Lonely Polygamist: A Novel
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A New York Times bestseller: from a luminous storyteller, a highly anticipated new novel about the American family writ large. “Udall masterfully portrays the hapless foibles and tragic yearnings of our fellow humans.”―San Francisco Chronicle
Golden Richards, husband to four wives, father to twenty-eight children, is having the mother of all midlife crises. His construction business is failing, his family has grown into an overpopulated mini-dukedom beset with insurrection and rivalry, and he is done in with grief: due to the accidental death of a daughter and the stillbirth of a son, he has come to doubt the capacity of his own heart. Brady Udall, one of our finest American fiction writers, tells a tragicomic story of a deeply faithful man who, crippled by grief and the demands of work and family, becomes entangled in an affair that threatens to destroy his family’s future. Like John Irving and Richard Yates, Udall creates characters that engage us to the fullest as they grapple with the nature of need, love, and belonging.
Beautifully written, keenly observed, and ultimately redemptive, The Lonely Polygamist is an unforgettable story of an American family―with its inevitable dysfunctionality, heartbreak, and comedy―pushed to its outer limits.
quick spins that brought you right up next to your dance partner so you could reach out at the last second and squeeze her boobs with both hands. “This is probably the most dangerous move there is,” Royce warned. Royce was an eighth-grader but because of his mossy teeth and B.O. complications hung out mostly with sixth-graders. They were behind the dusty curtains in the auditorium that doubled as the school cafeteria. “Seriously, man. You do it wrong, it’s gonna be a real problem. You execute it
hated nakedness so much she duct-taped Ferris’s clothes to keep him from streaking, who clapped her hands over her eyes and screamed homicidal murder when she saw Cooter trying to impregnate the neighbor’s old blind cat, Mr. Sugar? Though Rusty was feeling weak from looking at all these ladies and their gigantic bosoms, it made him a little sick to think about his mother looking at them too. But after reading To Love a Scoundrel he thought maybe he understood. His mother read these books because
Sinkfoyle,” Nola said. “I did,” Trish said. “And he told me there was nothing to it. He said I was his last.” Though she tried to disguise it as another laugh, Nola let out a sigh of relief. Then she and her sister-wife shared a look, shaking their heads a little as if to say, How did we ever get ourselves into something like this? “Come on,” Nola said. “Right now. Come give this fat old lady a hug.” Trish leaned in, allowed herself to be taken in by Nola’s immense softness, and immediately
until he begged for mercy through a mouthful of foam. She dragged him to the bed, yanked off his boots, peeled his clothes from his body as if in preparation for emergency surgery…but by then he was gone, a huge loaf of dead weight sinking into the mattress, smacking his lips and snoring even before she could get to his socks. She dumped a comforter over his head and went out onto the porch to cry. Tonight she would show him no such mercy. Already she had spent two hours tucked into what
directly at him now, offered a lopsided smile. She said, “Uhhngg.” The children laughed again—even Beverly grinned—and Alvin grabbed his belly in a pantomime of hilarity and fell backward into the grass. Raymond himself seemed to shake his head in disbelief and Josephine shouted, “I think she just said, ‘Uhhngg’!” At that moment, the object of high ridicule by an ostrich and nine of the people he loved most in the world, he felt the hot wash of disappointment at the back of his throat, along