The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall. Published by Jonathan Cape.
Udall manages to weave together the quirky and the profound in a way that feels organic and effortless. "The Lonely Polygamist" makes you laugh-out-loud with one sentence and breaks your heart with the next. Yes, Golden does wrestle ostriches and keep a piss-bucket in his closet. But he also suffers a loss so real and crushing that all the wives and kids in Utah couldn't assuage his sorrow.Perhaps the novel's greatest achievement is that it reserves judgment. In a time of partisan extremity, when marriage is used to rally bases on both sides, Udall never preaches nor defends. These characters are not remarkable for their oddities or their quirks, but for their humanity. The men are not gun-mongering child-abusers; the women are never passive brainwashed victims. They're all complicit in an institution that does them some good and does them some harm--not so unlike monogamy.
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