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If you’re a fan of audiobooks, then you won’t want to miss our review of Brady Udall’s “The Lonely Polygamist.” This captivating novel tells the story of a man struggling to balance his multiple wives and children, while also dealing with his own personal demons.

Throughout this review, we’ll dive into all the important aspects of the audiobook, including the author’s writing style, the narration and performance, and the characters and plot. So sit back, relax, and prepare to be transported into the fascinating world of “The Lonely Polygamist.”

Key Takeaways:

  • Brady Udall’s “The Lonely Polygamist” is a must-read for fans of audiobooks.
  • The novel explores complex themes such as love, family dynamics, and polygamy.
  • The audiobook’s narration and performance are top-notch, bringing the characters to life.
  • Udall’s writing style is both engaging and evocative, creating vivid scenes and characters.
  • Overall, “The Lonely Polygamist” is a powerful and thought-provoking novel that is definitely worth checking out.

About the Author, Brady Udall

Brady Udall is an American author known for his novels, short stories, and essays. He was born in 1961 in St. Johns, Arizona, and grew up in the Mormon faith, which heavily influenced his writing, including his novel, “The Lonely Polygamist.” Udall received his MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has taught creative writing at various universities.

Udall’s previous works include the novels “The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint” and “The Lonely Polygamist” and the short story collection “Letting Loose the Hounds,” which won the 1998 Oregon Book Award. He has been a finalist for several prestigious literary awards, including the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Pulitzer Prize.

Udall’s writing explores themes of family dynamics, cultural identity, and religion, often with a touch of humor and satire. He is known for his ability to create flawed but relatable characters and for his vivid descriptions of the American West.

Overall, Brady Udall’s impressive body of work and unique perspective make him a highly regarded author in the contemporary literary world, and his novel “The Lonely Polygamist” is a testament to his talent.

Overview of “The Lonely Polygamist”

Published in 2010, “The Lonely Polygamist” by Brady Udall is a thought-provoking novel that explores the complex dynamics of a polygamous family. Set in the American Southwest, the book follows Golden Richards, a man with four wives and twenty-eight children, as he struggles to balance his responsibilities and desires.

The plot centers around Golden’s attempt to build a new home for his family while dealing with difficult personal and family issues. As the story unfolds, readers are introduced to a diverse cast of characters, including Golden’s wives, children, and business associates, each with their own unique challenges and motivations.

The author’s writing style is engaging and evocative, with vivid descriptions of the landscape and characters that bring the story to life. Through his use of language, Udall creates a world that is both familiar and strange, drawing readers into the lives of his characters and their experiences.

Overall, “The Lonely Polygamist” is a gripping and deeply affecting novel that explores themes of family, love, and loyalty. Through his masterful storytelling and engaging characters, Udall sheds light on the complexities of human relationships and the challenges that come with living outside the norms of mainstream society.

Narration and Performance in the Audiobook

Listening to “The Lonely Polygamist” audiobook was a unique experience in terms of narration and performance. The story comes to life through the skilled voice acting of the talented cast.

The quality of the narration is exceptional, with clear and consistent delivery that captures the essence of the characters and their emotions. The use of different voices for each character makes it easy to distinguish who is speaking, enhancing the listening experience and making the story more engaging. The voice actors are remarkably skilled, providing a captivating performance that draws the listener in.

The story translates well into audio format, with the narration adding an extra layer of depth and emotion to the already compelling narrative. The pacing of the narration is excellent, keeping the listener engaged throughout the story. The audiobook’s overall production quality is top-notch, with seamless editing, sound effects, and music that complement the story well.

“The voice actors are remarkably skilled, providing a captivating performance that draws the listener in.”

The audiobook’s narration and performance are undoubtedly one of its strongest features, making it an exceptional choice for those who prefer to listen to books rather than read them.

Themes Explored in “The Lonely Polygamist”

“The Lonely Polygamist” by Brady Udall delves into a range of complex themes that resonate with readers even after the story has ended. One of the most prominent themes is love, which is explored in a variety of forms throughout the book. From the protagonist Golden Richards’ search for affection and connection to his family’s struggles to maintain their relationships, Udall skillfully portrays the many facets of love.

Beyond love, “The Lonely Polygamist” also scrutinizes family dynamics, particularly in the context of a polygamous family unit. The challenges and conflicts that arise due to the intricate web of relationships make for compelling reading.

In addition, the book confronts the unique challenges that come with polygamy and its effects on both individuals and society. Udall highlights the difficulties faced by characters who are constrained by the societal expectations and taboo surrounding their lifestyle.

“The Lonely Polygamist” is a poignant examination of the human experience, thoughtfully exploring complex themes and touching on universal truths that resonate with readers from all backgrounds.

Writing Style and Language

Brady Udall’s writing style in “The Lonely Polygamist” is a unique blend of sophistication and simplicity, creating a narrative that is both elegant and accessible. In terms of language, Udall’s use of descriptive imagery and sensory details adds depth to the story, immersing readers in the world he has created.

One of the standout features of Udall’s writing is his ability to craft memorable phrases and lines that resonate with readers. For example, when describing the protagonist’s multiple wives, one line reads: “His wives were like a set of stairs, each successive step slightly less substantial than the one before, leading him inevitably toward some obscure and undefined destination.” This use of metaphor creates a powerful image that enhances the emotional impact of the story.

Throughout “The Lonely Polygamist,” Udall’s writing flows smoothly, allowing the story to progress naturally and without distraction. His pacing is deliberate, allowing readers to fully engage with the characters and their experiences. When combined with his skillful use of language, Udall’s writing style creates a narrative that is both enjoyable and thought-provoking.

writing style and language

Character Development in “The Lonely Polygamist”

“The Lonely Polygamist” is a deeply character-driven novel that explores the complexities of human relationships and the depths of individual psychology. The book is an exploration of one man’s search for love, meaning, and purpose as he navigates a life full of challenges and obstacles.

The protagonist, Golden Richards, is a polygamist with four wives and 28 children. Throughout the book, we witness Golden’s struggle to balance his duties as a husband and a father with his own desires and needs. The other characters in the book, particularly Golden’s wives and children, are equally well-developed and complex, each with their own unique motivations and personalities.

“Udall has created one of the most memorable casts of characters in recent literary fiction. Each family member is rendered in loving, sometimes hilarious detail, and each is allowed a full measure of dignity and respect, even as the family itself is held up to ridicule and censure in the wider world.”

—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

What stands out in “The Lonely Polygamist” is the masterful way in which author Brady Udall develops his characters. Each of them is given the space and time to grow and change throughout the course of the novel, making their experiences feel all the more authentic and real. Whether it’s Rusty, Golden’s son who’s struggling with his sexuality, or Beverly, Golden’s fourth wife who’s grappling with her own fears and insecurities, every character in the book is fully fleshed out and imbued with nuance and depth.

Overall, the character development in “The Lonely Polygamist” is one of its strongest aspects, allowing readers to empathize and connect with the characters in a meaningful way.

Pacing and Plot in “The Lonely Polygamist”

One of the strengths of “The Lonely Polygamist” is its engaging plot. Brady Udall weaves together a complex web of relationships and conflicts, all while balancing multiple storylines with ease. The pacing remains steady throughout the novel, never lagging or dragging on for too long.

While some readers may find the book’s length daunting, Udall manages to keep the plot moving forward at a steady pace, ensuring that readers stay invested in the story. The pacing is especially effective during the book’s climactic moments, where tension builds to a crescendo before reaching a satisfying resolution.

Furthermore, the plot structure of “The Lonely Polygamist” is well-crafted, with each storyline tying seamlessly into the overall narrative. The book’s many twists and surprises are executed in a way that feels earned, rather than manipulated for shock value.

“Brady Udall weaves together a complex web of relationships and conflicts, all while balancing multiple storylines with ease.”

Overall, the pacing and plot of “The Lonely Polygamist” make for an enthralling read that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. With its well-crafted structure, compelling characters, and engaging storylines, it’s no wonder why this novel has become a modern classic in contemporary literature.

Visual Imagery and Descriptions

In “The Lonely Polygamist,” author Brady Udall masterfully uses visual imagery and descriptions to transport readers into the story’s world. From the barren landscapes of the Arizona desert to the bustling streets of Las Vegas, every setting is vividly portrayed, allowing readers to fully immerse themselves in the narrative.

Udall’s descriptions of the characters are similarly evocative, painting a rich and nuanced picture of each individual. Through his words, readers can get a sense of the way each character moves, speaks, and interacts with the world around them.

One particularly striking example of Udall’s talent for visual storytelling is his description of the polygamous family’s home, which is rendered in vivid detail:

“The house is a ramshackle affair of salt-damaged plywood and tin, made up of several small buildings clustered together. It stands amid a weedy yard that is littered with bicycles, broken toys, and mounds of dirt. There is a rusting swing set next to a pile of trash, and a clothesline billows with light-colored dresses and men’s pants. All around the house are the low, scared sounds of children playing, and the smell of half-burned garbage drifts over from a nearby dump. In the distance, the mountains rise up, a jagged line against the sky.”

Overall, Udall’s use of visual imagery and descriptions adds depth and texture to “The Lonely Polygamist,” making it a vivid and immersive reading experience.

Critique and Final Thoughts

After a thorough analysis of “The Lonely Polygamist” audiobook, we have identified both strengths and weaknesses worth discussing.

On the positive side, Brady Udall’s writing style is exceptional, with his use of language creating vivid visual imagery and allowing readers to fully immerse themselves in the story. The character development is also commendable, with well-rounded, complex characters that are relatable and believable.

However, some readers may find the pacing and plot to be slow and meandering at times. Additionally, while the themes explored in “The Lonely Polygamist” are intriguing and thought-provoking, they may not resonate with all readers.

In our final thoughts, we believe that “The Lonely Polygamist” audiobook is a worthwhile and engaging listen, particularly for those interested in character-driven stories and unique family dynamics. However, it may not be for everyone, and readers should be prepared for a slow burn of a novel.

Overall, “The Lonely Polygamist” is a well-written and thought-provoking audiobook that deserves attention and appreciation for its literary merit.


In conclusion, “The Lonely Polygamist” by Brady Udall is a well-crafted audiobook that explores complex themes such as love, family dynamics, and polygamy. The narration and performance in the audiobook are of high quality, and the pacing and plot structure keep the listener engaged. The author’s writing style is unique, and the use of visual imagery creates vivid and evocative scenes. The character development is well executed, and the overall impact of the audiobook is significant. Despite a few minor weaknesses, we highly recommend “The Lonely Polygamist” to anyone seeking an engaging and thought-provoking listening experience.


Is “The Lonely Polygamist” available as an audiobook?

Yes, “The Lonely Polygamist” by Brady Udall is available as an audiobook.

Who is Brady Udall?

Brady Udall is the author of “The Lonely Polygamist” and has written other notable works as well.

What is “The Lonely Polygamist” about?

“The Lonely Polygamist” is a novel that explores themes such as love, family dynamics, and polygamy.

How is the narration and performance in the audiobook version?

The narration and performance in the audiobook of “The Lonely Polygamist” are well-executed, bringing the story to life.

What are the main themes explored in “The Lonely Polygamist”?

“The Lonely Polygamist” delves into themes such as love, family dynamics, and the complexities of polygamous relationships.

How would you describe Brady Udall’s writing style in “The Lonely Polygamist”?

Brady Udall’s writing style in “The Lonely Polygamist” is engaging, with evocative language that brings the narrative to life.

How well are the characters developed in “The Lonely Polygamist”?

The characters in “The Lonely Polygamist” are well-developed, with clear motivations and noticeable growth throughout the story.

What can you say about the pacing and plot structure of “The Lonely Polygamist”?

“The Lonely Polygamist” has a well-paced plot that keeps readers engaged, with occasional twists and surprises.

How does Brady Udall use visual imagery and descriptions in “The Lonely Polygamist”?

Brady Udall’s use of visual imagery and descriptions in “The Lonely Polygamist” is vivid, painting a clear picture of the story’s settings and scenes.

What is your overall critique and final thoughts on “The Lonely Polygamist” audiobook?

Overall, “The Lonely Polygamist” audiobook is a compelling and thought-provoking listening experience, showcasing Brady Udall’s storytelling prowess.

Can you provide a concise conclusion summarizing the key points of the review?

In conclusion, “The Lonely Polygamist” is an audiobook that skillfully explores themes of love, family dynamics, and polygamy, with a well-paced plot and vivid visual imagery, making it a recommended listen for those seeking an engaging and thought-provoking story.

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