He could see the framed needlepoint above the mantel, Families Are Forever, and wondered if the slogan was meant as a promise or a threat.
I picked up The Lonely Polygamist after I saw it on many “best of” lists and read a few favorable reviews from bloggers whose opinions I trust. I should tell you that after reading the first 300 pages I put the book down for a week or so and started a new book because I needed a break. Not in the "this book is so overwhelming I need a break" sense but in the "this book is never ending" sense. In the end I’m glad I went back and finished it – it was enjoyable – but it felt a little too dragged out and meandering. In its entirety, the novel could have easily been condensed to 400 pages or so, as opposed to a little over 600.
This book is entertaining and has flashes of comedy but while reading, there was a part of me that felt like an outsider looking in. I knew it was funny but I didn’t laugh. It was almost like I felt removed from the humor somehow. Even though it was long and drawn out, there were characters and instances that kept me interested. I mean, I wouldn’t have read 600 pages worth if there weren’t. Rusty was by far my favorite. I found him to be the most compelling of all the characters and mostly, I can’t help but cheer for the underdog.
Was it a fun, smart read? Yes. Maybe that’s what matters most at the end of the day. It’s chock full of fighting family members, awkward relationships, and sexually frustrated women. The book is also quite literary, as Udall throws in all sorts of tropes and metaphors. As the title implies, the novel ultimately explores one man’s loneliness and the loneliness of those close to him. I found the majority of it to be kind of endearing. It was just altogether too long.
Publisher: W. W. Norton and Company, 2010