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Lydia
     

Lydia

4.7 9
by Tim Sandlin
 

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"Sandlin understands that the best black comedy is only a tiny slip away from despair, and he handles this walk without a misstep."
-Dallas Morning News

Managing the Virgin Birth Home for Unwed Mothers means the women in Sam Callahan's life keep his world interesting. But it's his family members that really take the cake. His daughter may be having a nervous

Overview

"Sandlin understands that the best black comedy is only a tiny slip away from despair, and he handles this walk without a misstep."
-Dallas Morning News

Managing the Virgin Birth Home for Unwed Mothers means the women in Sam Callahan's life keep his world interesting. But it's his family members that really take the cake. His daughter may be having a nervous breakdown, and his mother's just out of prison for attempting to poison the president's dog. And when they hit the road with a geriatric, an adoptive son trying to discover his parentage, and an enraged psychopath on their tails, all hell may break loose.

Fifteen years ago, Tim Sandlin concluded his "Gro-Vont" trilogy, a string of books that included a New York Times Notable Book and earned such accolades as "funny and compelling" (LA Times), "zany" (Cosmo), and "dazzling and moving" (New York Times). But some characters call a writer back.

Welcome to the ribald, rollicking, and sometimes peculiar world of Tim Sandlin's GroVont, Wyoming, where family is always paramount, no matter how strange.

"I don't understand why your mother was in prison in the first place," Eden said. "I heard she was a feminist force for justice in America."

I glanced in the rearview mirror at Gilia, staring out the window at the red cliffs along the river, pretending not to listen. It would be just like her to feed Eden that feminist force for justice in America line. Although we'd been together almost ten years, I still had no clue as to when Gilia was being sarcastic. It seemed like an important thing to know.

I said, "Mom FedExed a poison chew toy to Ronald Reagan's dog."

After a moment of semi-stunned silence, Eden said, "Now I see why you're so squirrelly."

Praise for Tim Sandlin

"Dazzling...moving...Sam's carapace is humor... He thinks like Holden Caulfield and has Joseph Heller's take on despair. His Walter Mitty-like fantasies are tiny comic gems...In the end you'll find yourself rooting for Sam."
-New York Times Book Review

"Funny, shocking, downright revolting, and occasionally sad. Sandlin is a compelling storyteller."
-Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Able storytelling and an engaging cast of dysfunctional modern American pilgrims animate this winning tale of the road...Sandlin fashions a convincing tale of redemption."
-Publishers Weekly

"Sparkles with intelligence."
-Booklist

"Wild, wonderful, and wickedly funny...Highly recommended."
-Library Journal

"Thoughtful, surprising, and delightful entertainment."
-St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"Tim Sandlin's fiction packs a punch. The writer's fictional Wyoming town is a grungier version of Garrison Keillor's Lake Wobegon, a community where people ponder the difference between depression and despair."
-St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Reviewers have variously compared Tim Sandlin to Jack Kerouac, Tom Robbins, Larry McMurtry, Joseph Heller, John Irving, Kurt Vonnegut, Carl Hiaasen, 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 used to write reviews for the New York Times Book Review but was fired for excessive niceness. 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

Product Details

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

Meet the Author

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.

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Lydia 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Michelle13 More than 1 year ago
I finally finished LYDIA and encourage everyone to read it, even if you fast forward through some pages. As a double decade fan, I pre-ordered Lydia on my Kindle figuring I'd read it in a few hours like I had Tim's previous novels. Lydia is not meant to be a swift read. You actually have to use your noggin on this somewhat complicated novel involving dysfunctional folks from previous TS novels. In Lydia, Oly Pedersen is more dominant than other characters, for good reason. I initially scanned through Oly's tales, but went back and savored these chronicles, filled with Sandlin's distinct voice and wacked-out humor. A magical transition occurs as Sandlin brilliantly understates insights through his character voices---insights that may cause readers to face their own fears, weaknesses, and strengths. My epiphany was that worthwhile novels should NEVER be read quickly. I was thrilled with this magnificent, humorous, sentimental and bittersweet novel that neatly ties the final ribbons across Sandlin's wonderful gift to readers. Despite its gratifying ending, I'm once again champing at the bit for more GroVont stories to spring to life.
NikilovesTim More than 1 year ago
Reading a new Tim Sandlin novel is like having your boyfriend return home from war for a weekend. You may not see him again for years, and there may be others to bide the time, but when he returns you are his, and the rest of the world vanishes. Lydia was more than I could have dreamed it would be. It had everything Tim has to offer in a book. I felt excited, sad, and in love all at once. I went from laughter to tears in one page, and that is still not saying enough about what a ride this book will take you on. I was truly sad to finish it, and can't wait for his next one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name-- Lydia Arabella. Age-- 17 i just turnd 17 yesterday 12/28. Looks-- Red curly hair blue eyes with a silver tint 4'10 my skin is a creamy milk color i have a flat tummy a small button nose and baby soft lips. Likes-- CHRIS CHRIS CHRIS CHRIS CHRIS CHRIS!!! country music rodeos horses. Dislikes-- the dark!!! :/ status-- in a relatiobship with Chris ;)
sandiek More than 1 year ago
How to explain this book, Tim Sandlin's latest novel in his GroVont series. There's Sam, living his life in Wyoming running a home for unwed mothers with his second wife. His first wife Maurey lives right down the road where she runs a horse farm. His daughter, Shannon has lived her life moving from man to man and now wants more and has returned to Wyoming to search for her life's meaning. Roger is the organization's handyman; he was raised by Maurey and her husband after a friend showed up and left him there as a young boy of five. Roger didn't talk for two years and still doesn't know his history. There is Oly, the oldest man in town, about to turn one hundred. Then there is Lydia. Lydia is Sam's mother but you wouldn't really call her a maternal figure. She is a force of nature, a woman who doesn't care what you think of her as long as you do what she wants and don't ignore her. Lydia has just returned to town after a ten year stint in federal prison. The government doesn't take kindly to women who send poisoned chew toys to the President's dog. All these lives tangle together and lead towards a fateful journey. Lydia believes she knows the truth about Roger's past and talks him into driving her to California to look for what happened to him so many years ago. Since her parole involves her getting the oral history of Oly's life, she brings him along. In California they will encounter Leroy, a felon who kidnapped Roger back when he was five to hurt his mother, and who is now on the loose and wants nothing more than to finish the job by killing him. Sandlin writes a rollicking tale, full of coincidences that somehow work. The tale swoops and soars, twisting back on itself periodically to drop another piece into the puzzle of how these lives are intertwined. Sandlin's writing is rambling and in the genre of Tom Robbins or T.R. Pearson; reminiscent of an Americanized Salman Rushdie, a gushing torrent of words that is unstoppable in its force and that entertains as it sweeps the reader along. This book is recommended for readers interested in an entertaining story that shows the importance of being true to those we love.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wats goin on lydia
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lays her head on his shoulder. I wish i could stay like this forever. She leans her head back and french kisses him dragging him down onto the bed
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ur the imposter