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Priestdaddy: A Memoir

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  8,952 ratings  ·  1,398 reviews
The childhood of Patricia Lockwood, the poet dubbed "The Smutty-Metaphor Queen of Lawrence, Kansas" by The New York Times, was unusual in many respects. There was the location: an impoverished, nuclear waste-riddled area of the American Midwest. There was her mother, a woman who speaks almost entirely in strange koans and warnings of impending danger. Above all, there was ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published May 2nd 2017 by Riverhead Books
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Bells Thompson I would say it is ok if you are worried about sex or violence as that is not part of the story. She was raped at one point but it is really lightly…moreI would say it is ok if you are worried about sex or violence as that is not part of the story. She was raped at one point but it is really lightly discussed - she tells her parents it happened but there are no details. If you worry about questions on religion, I'd reconsider it as the author is a lapsed Catholic. There is also a short chapter on when the author was a young child she was part of an anti-abortion protest at a clinic. I suspect most young teens would think this is boring and wouldn't finish it. I'm 50+ adult and if I wasn't reading it for a book club I might not be so dedicated to finishing it (and I'm a lapsed Catholic).(less)

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3.84  · 
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 ·  8,952 ratings  ·  1,398 reviews

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Jan 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
*kool-aid man voice* OHHHH YEAHHHHHH
May 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
I would give this 2.5 stars and I didn't finish this book because I didn't care to. Everything felt too shiny and funny and ironic and clever and weirdly watered down. Every page felt like it had a pun or a punchline. the book also jumped around a lot and felt disjointed, more like individual essays that didn't quite fit together. I don't like memoirs to be tied up with bows. At the start this book had so much promise but now I'm not sure I could recommend to anyone.
Diane Barnes
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Oh, this book! I was not prepared to be so blown away.

The author and her husband leave their home in Savannah after a medical setback that took every cent they owned, and then some. She goes home to stay with her parents until they can get back on their feet again. This happens all the time, right? But suppose your father is a Catholic priest, with a wife and five children? Suppose your father was an atheist who found religion in a submarine, became a Lutheran minister who converted to Catholici
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Most of this memoir reads like episodes of a sitcom with the central situation being Patricia growing up with a Catholic priest as a father. Seminarians, moving around a lot, some of the strangeness of being super conservative in the 80s and 90s, it's all in there. A lot of the book could be dipped in and out of without feeling lost, because it isn't really told chronologically (this might bother some people though.) Many of the stories are just that - self-contained stories, often funny. (Peopl ...more
Jun 12, 2017 rated it did not like it
DNF. This book started off with a laugh, but by page 70 I was over it. Every sentence was so grossly exaggerated and the characters were so cartoonish that the actual story got lost and it was difficult to follow or care about what was going on.
Nicole Hibbard
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
There were times during this book that I was actually laughing out loud, I loved the authors sense of humor. Overall though I was really bored, the chapters ran on and there were some stories that just seemed random and didn't seems to fit. Honestly I'm the kind of person who has to finish a book once I start it, but towards the end I just wanted it to be over.
Book of the Month
Papa Don't Preach
By Judge Nina Sankovitch

Patricia Lockwood is the daughter of a Catholic priest—and that is actually the blandest fact about her. She is one in a million, a fresh and honest and hilarious observer of life. And Father Lockwood is one in a million as well—a priest who takes the Lord seriously, even though he’s most comfortable when half nude and jamming on his electric guitar in the living room.

In her memoir Priestdaddy, Lockwood explains not only how her father entered the priesth
Dec 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Patricia Lockwood is some kind of word-witch, and I cannot emphasize enough how lucky we all are to live in this era with her.
Sep 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One reads Lockwood's memoir and can't help but think, "oh man, the Catholics are going to have a field day with this." I mean that is the most literal sense - they will race through it, they will kick it about, they will pick teams, some will over analyze, some will out right reject it, some will feel they have triumphed and some will be bitter with defeat. And they will all go home weary, not knowing precisely why anyone does field days anymore. Except that perhaps they will look back on Priest ...more
Peter Boyle
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
I identified with quite a lot of this dazzling memoir, much more than I had expected. Sure it addresses universal themes like family and identity, but it is Patricia Lockwood's memories of her Catholic upbringing that really struck a chord with me. Like her, the major milestones of my formative years often revolved around the Church, First Communion and Confirmation being the big ones. I rose blearily on Sunday mornings to carry out altar boy duties at First Mass, and because I could kind of pla ...more
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
I kind of suffered through this book. It was too...smug? At times, I felt like I was watching a stand up comic stumble through a bit and it made me want to turn away. Other times, it was genuinely funny and charming. I think it was just too much of one person for me.
Sep 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Funny, melancholy, moving. This was a treat from start to finish.
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
My review from the Chicago Tribune:

Last summer, the Pew Research Center released a study showing that for the first time, more 18- to 34-year-olds live at home with their parents than in any other arrangement.

So Patricia Lockwood's decision to move with her husband, in the face of medical and financial hardship, back in with her parents in Kansas City "after twelve long years away" is hardly exceptional unto itself. No, what makes it exceptional is that t
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: best-of-2017, 2018
I'm kicking off 2018 by reading some of the best of 2017. Here are the maybes; here's Digg's aggregate top ten list.

"I emerged from my own mother in the form of a tiny psychic covered with tits," says Patricia Lockwood, so you know it's going to be that kind of a memoir. Lockwood comes off as some unholy bastard child of bloggers and poets; she carries the Wonder Woman bracelets of sarcasm and the invisible jet of metaphor. She describes her cat's inexplicable love for her father's horrendous gu
Hank Stuever
Sep 16, 2017 rated it did not like it
I really liked Patricia Lockwood's second book of poetry ("Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals), but this memoir was a big disappointment -- sloppily and perhaps hastily written (a 1990s computer monitor is described as "capacious" on page 18; five pages later, a living room in a rectory is also "capacious"). The book is disorganized and immature in an off-putting way that made me wonder if the author is 15 or 35.

You say your dad's a Catholic priest? Do tell. (My mother became a Catholic nun
Richard Noggle
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Lockwood's examination of her family is exceptionally funny (no surprise) but its final third works toward a really nuanced and powerful look at the power of writing and the effects of her religious upbringing (and the way these two things are surprisingly intertwined). A good book, Lockwood writes at one point, leaves you with the "conviction" that "life can be holdable in the hand, examined down to the dog hairs, eaten with the eyes and understood." This is a good book.
Warning: this book will blow your mind. (It did mine, anyway.) When you’re not snorting, sniggering or guffawing, you’ll be marveling at how Patricia Lockwood is incapable of producing a dull sentence. Every paragraph, if not every line, of Priestdaddy contains a turn of phrase so fresh and surprising that wouldn’t have occurred to the average reader in years of pondering. Yet it reads as utterly natural, even effortless. This is evidence of a poet’s mind sparking at high voltage and taking an i ...more
Charles Finch
Jul 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Abandoned; I love her poetry, but this had no narrative momentum. Wouldn't grade if I hadn't made it fairly far in.
Sara Klem
May 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"My dad despises cats. He believes them to be Democrats. He considers them to be little mean hillary clintons covered all over with feminist legfur. Cats would have abortions, if given half a chance. Cats would have abortions for fun."

This book was fucking ridiculous, in the best way. I've never read anything like it. It would have been a wild ride of a (true!) story had it not been told by Patricia Lockwood -- I mean, it's about having a priest for a dad who plays sick guitar riffs, and growing
David Yoon
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Father Lockwood has snuck into the Catholic priesthood despite being married and having kids. His road to Damascus moment was leagues under the sea in a nuclear submarine after watching The Exorcist which turned a once staunch atheist into a man of the cloth. He’s still staunchly Republican, prone to farting, loves pork rinds, and lounging around in his underwear when he’s not shredding on his collection of electric guitars he’s decided to purchase instead of funding college for his kids. He’s k ...more
Jun 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017-to-read
Lockwood's writing just seems to be too tangential to the story at hand (wait...what EXACTLY is the story?). I don't really care enough for Lockwood's story, neither do I care for her writing style to warrant a recommendation. Lockwood seems to be another one of those early 21st century writers who, through the onslaught of social media, believes themself the handler of a captive audience. In the end, I don't think any reader is going to love Lockwood's writing as much as she loves it.
Jerrie (redwritinghood)
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
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.
May 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
There were definitely parts that I laughed out loud. But it was just so slow and it bounced around a lot. Each page was begging to be a funny/punny metaphor and it made everything so watered down. I think the best part was the description and history of the rap van.

Wasted potential, some funny parts, just not for me.
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a story about a poet (whose father is a priest), who as an adult, walked away from the Catholic Church. Her family doesn't disown her and she doesn't disown them. And this story isn't really about church, prodigals, priests or family dysfunction - but instead is about a poet trying to figure out where she fits into her family and where she fits into the world at large (although the church, prodigals, priests and family dysfunction are the combined elements that have displaced her). It's ...more
Ross Blocher
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Priestdaddy is fantastic, and I recommend it to everyone. Patricia Lockwood writes beautiful, poetic descriptions of the world around her: lush, detailed images and brilliant metaphors that effectively match unexpected sensations. It usually takes me a while to warm up to such flowery language, but Lockwood earns it. At the same time, she is mordantly funny. Her storytelling and descriptions of her family are riotous. Her dad, the eponymous priest, managed to beat the system by transitioning fro ...more
Jun 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
I honestly can't decide how I feel about this book. On the one hand there is no doubt that the writing is extremely unique, beautiful at times, in a voice that uses language that is quite unlike anyone else. It's a unique premise, (her father is a Catholic priest) although we never find out exactly how that was permitted, only that there was some kind of cross-denominational loophole. It definitely has some very funny moments, but I feel that many avenues and levels were left totally unexplored. ...more
Jan 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I am in the middle of a cross-country move and this book was perfect for the down time between stuffing all my worldly belongings into boxes and calling those various companies that are always a chore to deal with. A line at the DMV that stretches to Saturn and back? No problem, because I had Lockwood with me to make it infinitely more tolerable. I think the Goodreads summary of this book is really good - you can probably accurately gauge your interest in this book on it alone.

I will add that I
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am generally a big fan of memoirs anyway, but this one I absolutely devoured.

Patricia Lockwood's style of writing may not be for everyone - it is quite poetic, full of imagery - but I loved it. She is also really funny, one of those authors who can make any story really engaging purely based on her writing and the humour used. Like laugh out loud, snorting every other page kind of funny. Just a little side note, I did notice that the book took a change in tone - mainly that there was a lot les
Jessica Woodbury
Jul 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, religion, library
I spent a few weeks watching people fawn over this book, but most of what they were saying made me think it wasn't for me. I tend to be really specific in my tastes with memoir and hearing this one was by a poet but it was funny and about her crazy family just seemed not quite my cup of tea. But eventually I caved when I saw it on the shelf and it turns out I liked it very much.

Lockwood has a singular voice and even though it doesn't always work for me, getting to know that voice and see how she
“Part of what you have to figure out in this life is, Who would I be if I hadn’t been frightened? What hurt me, and what would I be if it hadn’t?”

Still being a relative audiobook newbie, I’ve come to realize that some memoirs have so much more impact when heard rather than read. This is one of them. This book surprised me so much. If far exceeds the catchy title and cover. And, damn, it’s really funny! I’m a fan.
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Around the Year i...: Priestdaddy, by Patricia Lockwood 1 13 Feb 28, 2018 04:30PM  

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