Customer Reviews for

The Lonely Polygamist

Average Rating 3.5
( 153 )
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5 Star

(44)

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(39)

2 Star

(15)

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(9)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

A big family story, and I mean big!

Golden Richards is a big family man, a very big family man. A polygamist Mormon with four wives and 28 children it is a wondered how he has any time for his floundering construction company (maybe this is why it is struggling?). In spite of his large family, Richard's...
Golden Richards is a big family man, a very big family man. A polygamist Mormon with four wives and 28 children it is a wondered how he has any time for his floundering construction company (maybe this is why it is struggling?). In spite of his large family, Richard's increasing finds himself on the outside, detached from his loved ones. With this situation the author masterfully weaves together a dark comedy that made me laugh and cry. Golden has his secrets, a terrible crush on a woman he sees passing his job site: oh yeah, the job site itself is a Nevada cathouse but he tells the family it is a senior center! The family itself is tearing at the seams and Richard's is lost as to what to do. This is some of the best writing of 2010.

posted by RichardHead on June 5, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Too much for one book

I am a fan of Udall's writing, but was disappointed in this book. It is called a "dark comedy," but the tragic parts didn't seem so tragic juxtaposed with the comedy. Also, the horrific parts about the government's bomb testing were also diluted with the humor.
After r...
I am a fan of Udall's writing, but was disappointed in this book. It is called a "dark comedy," but the tragic parts didn't seem so tragic juxtaposed with the comedy. Also, the horrific parts about the government's bomb testing were also diluted with the humor.
After reading much literature about polygamy, I was not prepared to be sympathetic to this family, but I was. . . a testament to Udall's writing. Alas, the book seemed to take on too much.

posted by bookaholicNC on May 18, 2010

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  • Posted July 5, 2011

    Disappointing

    I was drawn to the subject of polygamy by the fictional family in Big Love and by the real-life sister wives on the TV show of the same name. The idea of having a supportive group of sister-wives to help with child-rearing and house care is attractive to me, even if the idea of sharing a husband is not. This book drew me in because I wanted to read more about a polygamist family - husband, wives, children - and how they interacted. Unfortunately, that's not what The Lonely Polygamist provided. The focus was on the husband, Golden Richards, and his midlife crisis. The children existed in the background, as a blur running around the "racetrack" in Big House, where two of his wives lived. Except for Rusty and Glory, I never got a feel for how old they were or what made them unique. Why would a kid be named Fig Newton or Boo or Pet? I wanted explanations, which I didn't get. The wives were not well drawn out, either. Beverly and Trish had more of a presence than the other two, sisters Nola and Rose-of-Sharon, did. Kids were thrown into the story without explaining who they belonged to or how old they were. There was a chart explaining all of this at the front of the book, but since I was reading it on my Nook, flipping back and forth was awkward. I felt it could have been woven into the story easily. There was a lot more detail about the extracurricular love interest, his boss's wife. The offhand comments about the nuclear testing going on nearby were frightening, and I felt that Udall dealt with them flippantly. Radiation and fallout caused all sorts of problems for the people in the story, but they were dismissed in a couple of sentences. There was a brief reference to the number of children being born with birth defects, but the subject remained in the background. In short, I was disappointed by this book. I didn't like Golden; he was too detached from his wives and children. I didn't like the setting, which seemed to me like a radioactive desert. I wish I'd gotten to know the children better. I wouldn't recommend this book for anybody looking for a read in which a polygamist family is central. I suppose the title should have tipped me off.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2010

    sounded promising in the description

    Didn't really like this book. Thought I would from the description, but it bored me. Can't say exactly why, it just didn't grab me.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted June 6, 2010

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