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Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood


by Patricia Lockwood

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3231951,184 (3.86)23
  1. 00
    The World's Largest Man: A Memoir by Harrison Scott Key (RidgewayGirl)
    RidgewayGirl: The fathers in these two books are very similar, although Lockwood tempers her humor with a lot of honesty and introspection, while Key keeps things humorous (and more shallow).

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» See also 23 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
Although I follow Patricia Lockwoood on Twitter, I didn't really know anything about her before reading this. I didn't know she was a poet. I'd just heard this book was really funny, which it is, but it's more serious than I expected. I didn't expect it to be so philosophical and introspective. And I didn't have any idea it would be so well-written. She is so talented! ( )
  xiaomarlo | Apr 17, 2019 |
Ooooh I'm so glad I bought this. I will read it again and again. It was funny and charming and weird and poetic and everything I want a memoir to be. Just beautiful. ( )
  Katie_Roscher | Jan 18, 2019 |
You can read my full review on my blog.

I didn't know what to expect in picking up this book, but Patricia Lockwood's writing blew me away from the start. She manages to tackle a variety of difficult topics with grace and humor. As an aspiring writer, I found myself inspired by Lockwood and her inability to give up when it came to, well, pretty much everything. She carries a notebook with her everywhere she goes, jotting down the oddities that escape from her parents' mouths. Definitely a good read, I'm glad I got my hands on it! ( )
  samesfoley | Dec 26, 2018 |
This book proclaims to be about her father, but it's really about how growing up in a religious family affected her life. She has a way with words - I enjoyed the beautiful writing. ( )
  redwritinghood38 | Nov 6, 2018 |
Have you ever been so disappointed because of your expectations of a book that you can hardly bear it? The back cover (and to be fair, people I know in person too) promised this was hilarious and wonderful. So I decided to let my other book reading obligations go hang and enjoy this one as an interlude. Except I didn't enjoy it. From the title you'd think this was about Lockwood's Catholic priest father. (Yes, it gets explained and no, it's not like the Borgias and the Medicis who had children willy nilly despite their vow of chastity.) A memoir, sure, but strongly focused on her life growing up in Catholic parsonages with such an unconventional father. Except it's not. Lockwood's family are drawn as caricatures; even more disappointingly, she comes across as loving them despite the fact that she is superior to them, eccentrics that they are. Did she write this during an extended period of time when she was annoyed with them? Perhaps. Because there's some evidence of fondness for her parents but mostly a sense that she is far more evolved than they are. If this isn't the tone she was going for, well, it's what she achieved.

The writing is scattered, disjointed, and episodic rather than hanging together cleanly despite it being about a clearly defined part of her life: adult Lockwood and her husband move back in with her parents for nine months because they are broke. Now that's not entirely true. The memoir is also about her growing up but those portions are framed and wholly contained within the time period her moving back home as an adult. The structure feels as if it isn't a coherent whole. In fact, Lockwood herself writes in the chapter titled Voices, "You know it took me so long to write this piece because I kept trying to make it beautiful and finally I just had to shake myself by the scruff of the neck until a more natural sort of grunting came out. You can't make something sound beautiful. It's either beautiful or it's not," suggesting that this was written in various pieces not necessarily meant to be cobbled together. As for the last bit of that quote, I will concede she's correct, but unfortunately correct. The memoir is so full of metaphors, even occurring within sentences of one another, that the actual story of this time in her life cannot shine through. Is this because she's a poet? No telling. Is this considered poetic? No, it's just overloaded and overdone. If you stripped the text of metaphors, there would be almost nothing left. I failed to see the promised humor in this was well. The pieces that I suspect others think were laugh out loud funny were just wince-inducing and sometimes crossed the line into mean-spirited. I wasn't bothered by the off-color jokes or the bodily humor (although it was rarely even marginally funny) but the superior tone and the mocking wore on me. Over all, I ended up finding myself bored with the book, sad I missed out on the experience so many others seem to have had reading it. ( )
1 vote whitreidtan | Sep 1, 2018 |
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Father Greg Lockwood is unlike any Catholic priest you have ever met, a man who lounges in boxer shorts, loves action movies, and whose constant jamming on the guitar reverberates "like a whole band dying in a plane crash in 1972." His daughter is an irreverent poet who long ago left the Church's country. When an unexpected crisis leads her and her husband to move back into her parents' rectory, their two worlds collide. In Priestdaddy, Lockwood interweaves emblematic moments from her childhood and adolescence, from an ill-fated family hunting trip and an abortion clinic sit-in where her father was arrested to her involvement in a cultlike Catholic youth group, with scenes that chronicle the eight-month adventure she and her husband had in her parents' household after a decade of living on their own. Lockwood details her education of a seminarian who is also living at the rectory, tries to explain Catholicism to her husband, who is mystified by its bloodthirstiness and arcane laws, and encounters a mysterious substance on a hotel bed with her mother. Lockwood pivots from the raunchy to the sublime, from the comic to the deeply serious, exploring issues of belief, belonging, and personhood. Priestdaddy is an entertaining, unforgettable portrait of a deeply odd religious upbringing, and how one balances a hard-won identity with the weight of family and tradition.… (more)

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