Lydia

Lydia

4.6 9
by Tim Sandlin
     
 

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Managing the Virgin Birth Home for Unwed Mothers means the women in Sam Callahan's life keep his world interesting.

Reviewers have variously compared Tim Sandlin to Jack Kerouac, Tom Robbins, Larry McMurtry, John Irving, Kurt Vonnegut, and a few other writers you've probably heard of. He has published nine novels and a book of columns. He wrote eleven

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Overview

Managing the Virgin Birth Home for Unwed Mothers means the women in Sam Callahan's life keep his world interesting.

Reviewers have variously compared Tim Sandlin to Jack Kerouac, Tom Robbins, Larry McMurtry, John Irving, Kurt Vonnegut, and a few other writers you've probably heard of. He has published nine novels and a book of columns. He wrote eleven screenplays for hire, two of which have been made into movies. He lives with his family in Jackson, Wyoming, where he is director of the Jackson Hole Writers Conference. His "Sandlinistas" follow him at www.timsandlin.com.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Picking up the characters from his GroVant trilogy, published 15 years ago, Sandlin returns to the small Wyoming town where it all began. Newbies can quickly get up to speed on the major players despite the convoluted plot: narrator Sam Callahan; his aimless adult daughter, Shannon; and his mother, Lydia, recently released from prison after a long-ago attempt to poison Ronald Reagan's dog. Lydia's parole requires writing the life story of centenarian Oly Pedersen, but then she hatches a scheme for a road trip to California (taking along Oly) so Roger, a young man unofficially adopted by Sam, might discover his origins. Meanwhile, the terrifying Leroy, who dumped Roger off on friends years ago, is hunting him now, believing Roger must die for the universe to achieve balance. The story itself fails to live up to Sandlin's quirky, colorful characters: Oly's pretend catatonia; Sam's star-worship of Roger's possible father, who wrote Yeast Infection; Lydia's conniving self-absorption; Shannon's bizarre ideas on seduction. And a dissonant tonality develops as a result of all the "zany" juxtaposed against Oly's serious narrative, whether true, or, as Lydia believes, concocted. More troubling, though, is the first-person POV that continually takes the reader out of the narrative flow. So much of the story occurs without Sam's attendance that confusion reigns; how can he possibly know what everyone's doing? (Apr.)
From the Publisher
""A wonderfully woven tapestry of stories, this gem of a novel is as audacious as it is sentimental and ends on a shocking note that no one could have predicted." - Booklist, STARRED review" - Booklist

"Sandlin's prose is sharp and witty. He writes with a depth of feeling that illustrates his love for his characters...Readers will find plenty of adventure, drama, and dark comedy, as well as wonderful turns of phrase, destined to be repeated and savored, or stolen for personal use. An excellent discovery for backlist reads." - Library Journal

""It's ultimately uplifting, adroitly chronicling the ways we seek to transcend our fears... [Lydia's epiphany is] immensely satisfying to witness. Better still, the transformation isn't rendered with a heavy hand. For a novel that shouts its drollery from the rooftops, the insights 'Lydia' offers are brilliantly understated."" - The New York Times

"It takes a while to wrangle a book out of Tim Sandlin, but it's always worth it." - The Denver Post

""Sandlin sketches his characters with a touch of the cartoonist's hyperbole. This has a nice effect. It both reveals and tempers their flaws, making Sam and his crew human and likeable."" - The Wyoming Tribune-Eagle

"If there's an author out there creating more memorable comic characters than Tim Sandlin, that author is keeping a very low profile. Sandlin is back, returning readers to his eccentric, rollicking, ribald and ultimately lovable family in "Lydia," a new installment in what had been a trilogy of books about a semifunctional family in GroVont, Wyo." - The St. Louis Post-Dispatch

""brilliantly written, with some truly delightful characters"" - Broken Teepee

"Sandlin fans have waited fifteen years for this book and they won't be disappointed. With his quirky, unpredictable writing style Sandlin once again delights readers with his warped view of the cosmos and those who live in it. Readers will love the off beat characters and zany situations they get themselves into. Sandlin's ability to take and absurd situation and make it plausible is incredible." - Debbie's Book Bag

"I honestly laughed until tears rolled down my face. This book tugs on all the emotional strings - humor, anger, regret, love, hate, forgiveness and triumph - to name a few." - Michelle's Book Blog

"Sandlin's style is wry and clever. Like Kurt Vonnegut, he writes out of a genuine desire to understand humanity; like Tom Robbins, he attempts a sincere articulation of the female plight." - New West Books & Writers"'Lydia' , like its prequels is wildly funny, bristling with kooky, unpredictable characters and boisterously celebrating that most American of all literary tropes — the dysfunctional family. For in Sandlin's GroVont, embarrassing relatives are practically a tradition. But the real surprise in this zany ensemble cast is Oly Pendersen , Lydia's geriatric fellow traveler who survives (or claims to have) a stunning array of disasters - earthquakes, exploding boilers, a World War, grizzly attacks, the odd case of clap, even a run-in with Picasso — only to be confounded by heartbreak. But rest assured, for 'Lydia' is also about closure and second chances and Sandlin, with characteristic wit and flourish, writes every one of his characters the endings he thinks they deserve." - Bookpleasures

"Sandlin is gifted. His quirky, screwball, occasionally ribald and obnoxious characters are not cut from the same mythical, maud lin and predictable cloth wrapped around most Western heroes." - The New West

"Do yourself a favour; grab a copy of Skipped Parts and start the journey to GroVont, Wyoming at the beginning. It's worth the trip!" - Eclectic Closet

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781402241819
Publisher:
Sourcebooks, Incorporated
Publication date:
04/01/2011
Series:
GroVont Series, #4
Pages:
464
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.40(d)

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