Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Wedlocked: A Memoir” as Want to Read:
Wedlocked: A Memoir
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Wedlocked: A Memoir

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  121 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Jay Ponteri's debut memoir, Wedlocked offers readers an intimate, idiosyncratic view of his marriage. Ponteri recalls how his desire for another woman and his writing about his desire all but dissolves their marriage. Mixing memoir, essay, dream, and fabrication, the narrator carefully considers his experience of marital loneliness, of living deep inside his thoughts and d ...more
Paperback, 174 pages
Published March 12th 2013 by Hawthorne Books (first published February 18th 2013)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Wedlocked, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Wedlocked

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  121 ratings  ·  28 reviews

Sort order
Jenny (Reading Envy)
One of the podcasts I listen to, Dear Sugar Radio, brought in Jay Ponteri, the author of Wedlocked as a guest for their 2016 Valentines Day episode: Forbidden Crushes. The discussion of his book, and one of the host's memories of reading it during a rocky time in his marriage, made me want to go looking for it right away. My library had it as an eBook so I blew through it in a few hours.
"What happens inside of marriage remains unseen. A marriage’s daily mechanics, its habits and rituals, its me
Feb 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'm not sure if this is a good or bad thing to say but... I think this book is going to be polarizing, and it should be. Ponteri bluntly looks at his own marriage in a style that is both painfully dark and intelligently philosophical (after all, Ponteri is a big fan of folks like David Shields and Maggie Nelson--two self-reflectors of the highest order). It's a style so heady that Ponteri eschews regular paragraph form. Instead, he piles on deep thoughts and fantasies in long blocks of text that ...more
Mar 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
I don't typically read nonfiction, but this one I read because I know the author. Reading the synopsis, I almost hesitated to read the book, but couldn't resist. It reminded me of when I was a kid and I stumbled upon my older sister's diary. ("Stumbled upon"? Who am I kidding?) I couldn't put it down, as much for content as for the new picture it was creating in my head of the author. While this book is primarily about what goes on in the head of a married man, one major thing I am taking away f ...more
S. Aeschliman
Apr 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this book. It's an incredibly worthwhile read, especially for those who wish to write honestly and openly about their experiences as human beings, and especially about those experiences with which our culture is intensely uncomfortable to the point of deafening silence.

In a nutshell, it's a memoir about a man who suffers from depression and feels a lack of connection both with himself and his wife and ends up having emotional affairs with other women. It's incredibly sad but
Wendy Ortiz
Mar 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
FINALLY. I keep coming back to the word FINALLY because I feel like I've been wanting/waiting for something like this book for years. Phenomenal on so many levels. Yes, I loved it.
Gary Forbes
Apr 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
I've decided my ratings are going to basically be determined by two factors: 1) how frequently i pick up a book after starting/how quickly i get through the book, and 2) how often I stop while reading the book to think about what i've just read. And while this wasn't at the top of my list of in either category, it was close; close enough for 4-stars. Definitely some thought-provoking craziness in here. One of the first books i've read for fun on my kindle, and my first foray into highlighting (s ...more
Mar 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
One could probably stereotype writers as people who have rich internal lives. In his memoir, Wedlocked, Portlander Jay Ponteri reveals the marital pitfalls that result from spending to much time inside his own head. This is especially true when, in Jay's case, his head is filled with prolonged and intricate fantasies of other women. Worse still, Ponteri's wife discovers his manuscript, in which he discloses the details of his ongoing flirtations with a particular barista and the imagined world h ...more
Natalie Serber
Mar 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Jay Ponteri fearlessly exposes his own beating heart in this exploration of loneliness, marriage, and fatherhood. In his refusal to turn away from the dark corners of his thoughts and his marriage, he shines light on all of our dark corners. Sad, true an often funny this memoir will stay with you long after you have completed its complicated and beautiful pages.
Ashley Bergman Carlin
Dec 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I'm confident this is one of the most influential and important books I'll ever read in my life.
Feb 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Provocative and painfully-brutal/beautiful in its emotional honesty. More than just a few readers will find themselves nervously nodding along, perhaps for their first, uncomfortable times doing so.
Janel Brubaker
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Jun 24, 2018 added it
I have no idea how to rate this book, but would prefer to never think about it again.
Dec 14, 2014 added it
Shelves: read-in-2014
Jay Ponteri writes a memoir about how miserable he is in his marriage. He doesn’t ever remember loving his wife and wanted to break up with her back when they were first dating, but he chickened out and married her instead. He doesn’t see anything redeeming about the institution of marriage in general or his marriage in particular . . . yet he stays. Why? That is the question I kept asking myself as I read through Wedlocked.

My armchair analysis (if you wanted to know) is that he is afraid. He go
Jan 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is not a book for the faint of heart. You will not find romance here, or even laughter. It is the journey of one brutally honest man through the falling apart, denying, and dissolving of his marriage. This is not a book for people who cannot bare the weight of other's brokenness. If you want something real, raw, painful, and emotional than read this memoir. It is a book of a self in transition, a self discovering self. It is a book filled with the language of sex and desire, love and loss-- ...more
Sep 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Disclaimer: I know the author (he is also my favorite person to get book recommendations from).

Challenging, beautifully written prose that flows rhythmically and is intuitive and emotional. I find myself reacting to (how could you be so cruel?!) and also relating to the author throughout the book. We are complicated and it is refreshing to hear brash honesty even if I feel pained at times reading this.
May 02, 2013 rated it did not like it
The only thing I took from this was that the author doesn't see his therapist nearly enough and his wife is a saint for staying in the marriage.
Sep 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Disclosure: Like some others here, I know the author. I admire and like him, and he has been influential in my own writing journey.

More Disclosure: I only give out 5 stars to the most seminal, earth-shattering works that somehow change my life, this came very, very close.

That all noted, I read Wedlocked because it sounded intriguing, and I know what a skillful and honest writer Jay is. This is an extraordinary read. It is an essayistic, existential foray into the aspects of our “selves” that are
Andrew Brown
Jun 18, 2014 rated it liked it
A very challenging read, and not just because of its subject matter. In this book, at least, Ponteri's style has the freewheeling babble of Hunter S. Thompson and the invented grammar of Cormac McCarthy. Every parenthetical tangent is indulged. Sentences can go on for entire paragraphs, which is nothing to sniff at, since Ponteri seems to have something against them—entire sections of the book are one long, unbroken paragraph. That the book is one of the worst designed I've ever seen doesn't hel ...more
Darwin Força
Apr 21, 2016 rated it liked it
This work is deeply emotional and simultaneously it is clear that the author is using it as a way to experiment with different writing techniques. So there is the raw and visceral explorations of experience balanced with the technical and pedagogical applications of craft.

At times the story can feel a little too fragmented and there are places where the transitions from the heady narrative into the more personal narrative are sudden and jarring.

Ponteri's writing in this work consistently follo
Dec 19, 2013 added it
The most interesting parts of this slim book are the essays called "The Manuscript, I-IV," in which Ponteri, a creative writing instructor, describes the fallout after his wife finds his manuscript painstakingly obsessing over an angsty, post-collegiate barista at the cafe where Ponteri regularly writes. The would-be-love-interest, Frannie, doesn't have much to recommend her-- aren't poetry-writing, depressive baristas a dime a dozen in Portland?-- but Ponteri is no less consumed. The Frannie-Po ...more
Kimberly Crist
Jul 07, 2013 rated it did not like it
I won this book and really looked forward to reading it. When I finally did though I wished I never had. I found it to be annoying, self pitying and felt the author thought that his sweet, long suffering wife owed him somehow for the pleasure of marrying him. I found the book to be a waste of a good read and depressing as well. I felt terrible for his wife and found myself hoping she would write a book from her perspective and that I would gladly read.
Mar 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Crazy book. Insightful, painfully honest, disturbing, fascinating. I should say that I know the author, so I may have read it differently if I didn't know him. I might have been really angry with him at times, but I wasn't. I appreciated the openness of it. And I feel naive for saying this, but do men really think about sex that often?
Apr 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A beautifully written, honest look at the interior of a person navigating a complex relationship. I couldn't put it down. Even as a female I identified with the narrator. This book spoke to me for the reason I read, this is to feel less alone in the world. I highly recommend it.
Nov 28, 2014 rated it liked it
This book is kind of a mess.
Jul 19, 2015 rated it liked it
An exploration of the trappings of marriage and also of one's mind.
Austin Beaton
Mar 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Jay's ruminations and fantasies are hauntingly relatable.
Jan 07, 2015 rated it liked it
My husband had more issues with the idea of this book than I did. Kudos to Jay, for writing his truth.
Bruce Greene
rated it really liked it
Jan 14, 2014
Darla Mottram
rated it it was amazing
May 08, 2015
Katie Sapienza
rated it liked it
Jan 02, 2017
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Breakup: The End of a Love Story
  • This Must Be the Place
  • Projection: Encounters with My Runaway Mother
  • You Saved Me, Too: What a Holocaust Survivor Taught Me about Living, Dying, Fighting, Loving, and Swearing in Yiddish
  • The Way of Transition: Embracing Life's Most Difficult Moments
  • A Cat Named Darwin: Embracing the Bond Between Man and Pet
  • The Narrow Door: A Memoir of Friendship
  • The Telling: A Memoir
  • Legs Get Led Astray
  • A Common Pornography
  • Know the Night: A Memoir of Survival in the Small Hours
  • Reflections of Mamie - A Story of Survival
  • Stations of the Heart: Parting with a Son
  • Hollywood Notebook
  • Gaming: Essays On Algorithmic Culture
  • Bird Songs: Of North America
  • The Mind-Body Code: How the Mind Wounds and Heals the Body
  • Boy with Loaded Gun: A Memoir
Jay Ponteri earned an MFA from Warren Wilson College and an MA in English from New Mexico State University -- both degrees in fiction writing. He directs the undergraduate creative writing program at Marylhurst University and Show:Tell, The Workshop for Teen Writers & Artists. He is the founding editor of both the online literary magazine M Review and HABIT Books, a publisher of prose and poet ...more