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Extended Audio Sample The Lonely Polygamist, by Brady Udall Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (9,047 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Brady Udall Narrator: David Aaron Baker Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Brady Udall is the acclaimed author of the internationally bestselling The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint. In The Lonely Polygamist, Udall pens a tragicomic tale starring Golden Richards—who despite having four wives and 28 children, hasn’t quite found fulfillment in life. Like other men in the midst of a mid-life crisis, Golden feels as though he’s drowning. His wives squabble amongst themselves, and he hardly has time for all his children—least of all the 11-year-old who’s taken a keen interest in explosives. And now his construction business is struggling. Yet even after Golden falls in love again and takes a mistress to alleviate his pain, life continues to fall short of expectations. Udall’s skillfully observed tale is “as comic as it is sublimely catastrophic” (Publishers Weekly). Narrator David Aaron Baker’s performance deftly portrays the complexity of Udall’s title character. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “It is funny, it can be moving, it is ambitious, and it is tender about man’s endless absurdities and failings…As in good science fiction, this world is no less recognizable for the strangeness of its people.”

    New York Times

  • “Udall is…given to virtuosic description, but he uses the backdrop of Cold War atomic testing to fine effect, capturing the paranoia and nihilism engendered by the prospect of vast destruction, and has produced a wry, sympathetic portrait of a spectacularly dysfunctional family.”

    New Yorker

  • “Audacious, frequently funny…Udall’s blunt, empathetic portrait paints…a story that perpetually unsettles our expectations…Udall [is] a contemporary successor to the black humorists of the 1960s…yet the closing scenes resonate with extraordinary tenderness, even as the author continues to take big risks.”

    Washington Post

  • “A superb performance and as comic as it is sublimely catastrophic…Udall’s polished storytelling and sterling cast of perfectly realized and flawed characters make this a serious contender for Great American Novel status.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
  • “Comedy and pathos prevail…It’s impressive enough that David Baker easily slips from companionable raconteur to bearer of tragic tales. But most arresting of all is when he deadens his voice to become the merciless, omniscient narrator that Udall occasionally uses to observe Golden’s unhappy clan. Devoid of all the warmth normally in Baker’s voice, the transformation is truly frightening and sinister. That voice itself underscores what is the most salient characteristic of poor Golden and his brood: vulnerability.”


  • “Lively, humorous, and sometimes tragic…Udall observes with a keen eye for the ridiculous while showing compassion. Think of the zany theatrics of Carl Hiaasen paired with the family drama of Elizabeth Berg. Enthusiastically recommended.”

    Library Journal

  • “Udall’s story has some of the whimsy of John Nichol’s The Milagro Beanfield War but all the complexity of a Tolstoyan or even Faulknerian production—and one of the most satisfying closing lines in modern literature, too. Fans of the HBO series Big Love will be pleased to see an alternate take on the multihousehold problem, and lovers of good writing will find this a pleasure, period.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A Los Angeles Times Bestseller
  • A 2010 Kirkus Reviews Top 25 Book for Fiction
  • Selected for the May 2010 Indie Next List
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month, May 2010
  • A 2010 ALA Notable Book
  • A 2010 Publishers Weekly Top 10 Book for Fiction
  • A 2010 Washington Post Best Book for Fiction
  • A 2011 Audie Award Finalist

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Janis | 2/8/2014

    " Borrowed from a friend. Fascinating story about polygamist family set in the 1970's. Sometimes sad, many times funny. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Peter | 2/5/2014

    " I got bored with the characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jessica | 1/18/2014

    " This book was so many things wrapped into one. Hilarious, sad, interesting, insightful, irreverent...you name it, you will probably find it in there. It tells the story of a polygamist family in St. George and the evolution of their family, mostly the father, Golden. It made polygamy sound just like I pictured it - an noisy, crazy mess of kids and family all the time. I thought the author did a good job of referencing religious things and taking about polygamy without an obvious bias. Sure, this book is humorous...but it feels real to me, like how a real family would be. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Colin Wilkins | 1/17/2014

    " This book made me cry on the T, and Rusty is one of the best characters I've encountered in some time. "

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