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Extended Audio Sample The Lonely Polygamist Audiobook, 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: May 2010 ISBN: 9781449837600
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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!

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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.”

    AudioFile

  • “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 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 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 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 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katelyn | 1/3/2014

    " This book started off kind of slow. I had high expectations for it, since I knew very little of polygamy and I thought it would be scandalous and informative. Not really. Instead, Udall slowly builds his characters slowly and reveals the tensions and failures of this family. The last third of the book was really good and redeemed the entire book for me. This book wasn't what I expected it to be, but I really enjoyed what it turned out to be. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 12/31/2013

    " What an interesting book! It had humor, sadness, fun moments and a different perspective on polygamy. Rusty was my favorite character. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kate | 12/27/2013

    " It's a little drawn out, but the imagery in this book is stunning. Since Big Love and Sister Wives, polygamy has gotten a lot of attention lately, and this book still manages to offer new insights as to how polygamy affects all members of the family. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tracie | 12/24/2013

    " Lived up to all the hype. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Ryan | 12/13/2013

    " Thought provoking with creative characters. In the end, I just didn't want to read about a man having an affair. Maybe I'll come back to it, but probably not. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 11/1/2013

    " Golden Richards lives in Southern Utah and has four wives and 28 children, and is in the middle of a mid-life crisis. Unfortunately, he seems to need more female attention, or maybe just different attention. He also has problems with his construction business. It is a very witty and enjoyable read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jamie | 10/3/2013

    " There was nothing wrong with this book, I just couldn't get into it. I didn't have any particular feelings about any of the characters, so instead of being interested to find out what happens to them, I'm just happy to be finished so I can move on to another book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 8/14/2013

    " loved it! best book ive read in a long time, and even got my dad to start it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Michele | 7/8/2013

    " James Joyce still lives on. This book was not fun to read even though it had a GREAT title. Books are supposed to be enjoyable. I'm not going to read books for some other pretentious reason. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lauren | 12/27/2012

    " This book is WAY too long and it BLOWS!!!!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chrissyreads | 8/16/2012

    " I liked the first half of this book but the ending confused me a little bit as it seemed to me the motivations of the characters got a bit muddled. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chloe | 2/20/2012

    " Started out great and then tanked. I think the author didn't know how to end the story. Still glad I read it though to learn about polygamy and because it was fairly entertaining. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laurie | 1/19/2012

    " Heartbreaking. Skillful. Tangled (for better and for worse). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy | 12/23/2011

    " Best book I've read in ten years. One of my top ten all-time favorite books. I read it, immediately listened to the (fabulously produced and read) audiobook and re-read it. I want to stew in this novel. It's that good. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Paige | 12/12/2011

    " trudged through to the end.... can't recommend.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lorraine [Lorrie] | 11/30/2011

    " There were many interesting moments, especially because of normal curiosity in such a lifestyle as polygamy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Debbie | 11/16/2011

    " This is a really interesting story about a polygamist in Southern Utah in the 70's. The themes are universal, detailing the protaganist's struggles with his identity, his family, his wives and his past. It's well written, sometimes funny and sometimes sad. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rachel | 7/20/2011

    " This was a book club selection & I didn't finish it. Too tedious! Ugh. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda | 6/30/2011

    " This book had me laughing out loud a times, and other times being close to tears. A book about four wives, 28 children, and one bewildered husband. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 6/29/2011

    " Not big into polygamy but this was really fascinating.
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 6/24/2011

    " Best book I've read so far this summer. Loved it. Funny and poignant story of a polygamist who's having a mid-life crisis. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marti | 6/23/2011

    " This kept my head spinning. I was never certain where it was going and I couldn't put it down. A very interesting look at an unusual subculture.... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Caryn | 6/20/2011

    " The main character was such a whimp. I don't know how he was able to hold down a job and support all those wives. It was some lifestyle. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kenzie | 6/20/2011

    " An amazing analysis of polygamy that made me laugh and cry and sympathize with almost every single character, which can be hard to do when it comes to polygamy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lee | 6/18/2011

    " Started out strong: How can you be lonely when you have 6(?) wives and tens of kids? But it got really long in the middle. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ann | 6/16/2011

    " I got this book in a $2 grab bag from the library. I wasn't sure what to expect but actually enjoyed this one. The premise that the head of a very large polygamist family could be lonely was compelling. I think this would be a good one for a book club selection... "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lauren | 6/16/2011

    " Not a fan. Each character annoyed me.
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Adam | 6/15/2011

    " Amazing book. Gives a lot of thought to the relationships of a polygamist family. Very interesting characters. Some of the events actually made me tear up. Good stuff. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Perkimom | 6/14/2011

    " This is not your Sister Wives book. I am very intrigued by the polygamist culture and enjoyed this book but it was twice as long as it needed to be and got a bit tedious. "

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About the Author
Author Brady Udall

Brady Udall is the author of The Lonely Polygamist, a New York Times bestseller, and Letting Loose the Hounds. He teaches at Boise State University.

About the Narrator

David Aaron Baker is a voice and film actor. He is an award-winning narrator of dozens of audiobooks, including the Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz, Paradise Dogs by Man Martin, and The Bartender’s Tale by Ivan Doig. He has earned six AudioFile Earphones Awards and been a three-time finalist for the prestigious Audie Award for Best Narration.