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Lost Boy: The True Story of One Man's Exile from a Polygamist Cult and His Brave Journey to Reclaim His Life
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Lost Boy: The True Story of One Man's Exile from a Polygamist Cult and His Brave Journey to Reclaim His Life

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3.84  ·  Rating details ·  2,840 Ratings  ·  273 Reviews
In the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FLDS), girls can become valuable property as plural wives, but boys are expendable, even a liability. In this powerful and heartbreaking account, former FLDS member Brent Jeffs reveals both the terror and the love he experienced growing up on his prophet’s compound—and the harsh exile existence t ...more
Paperback, 264 pages
Published July 13th 2010 by Broadway Books (first published January 1st 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mindi
Jun 25, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading Krakaur's "Under the Banner of Heaven" I was fascinated by the mormon religion and its ability to constantly adapt through its "Prophet" who can change any aspect of the religion, at any time, through divine revelation and reinterpretations of religious texts. When the Prophet rescinded polygamy, the FLDS splintered from the main church and continued to believe that polygamy was necessary to reach the highest levels of heaven.

This book is the biography of a man who grew up within a
...more
Eva Leger
Crap. I forgot to write the review when I was finished this. Those who know me well know my memory. All I can say is this is worth reading. It's a good book, tells a lot about the community where Brent W. Jeffs grew up. I'd recommend reading it in addition to some other memoirs, authors like Carolyn Jessop, Elissa Wall, etc.
What Warren Jeffs did to Brent is atrocious and the fact that this man lived through all of it, and what came afterward as a direct effect of Jeffs' actions towards Brent's
...more
LibraryCin
Brent Jeffs was born into the FLDS, the polygamous Mormon sect. His father had three wives and numerous children. Warren Jeffs, who later became the “prophet” after his father (and Brent's grandfather) died, is Brent's uncle. Brent and many of his older brothers left the FLDS, and their parents were also excommunicated. This is Brent's story.

I've read a few autobiographies of former FLDS members, so I suppose there wasn't too much shocking to me in this one. What was different about this one (f
...more
Mazola1
Raised in a polygamous FLDS household, one of the dozens of grandchildren of the FLDS prophet, son of a man who didn't always see eye to eye with his powerful father, sexually abused as a child by one of the sons of the prophet, Brent Jeffs came to understand that it wasn't going to be his destiny to be one of the few FLDS men who married multiple wives and wielded great power in the sect. Instead, he became a "lost boy," one of the expendable young males the sect didn't care about, and threw aw ...more
Colleen
Feb 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: flds
I have read many of books focusing on polygamy and the FLDS. Ridiculous situations I can barely fathom interest me, and this is no exception! I thought when I began this book that it was going to be another well written story about the FLDS cult, and it was, but it was so much more! I truly felt that I received a first person account of what it was like to live in the compound under Warren Jeffs and be subjected to, basically, mind control. Brent Jeffs also happens to be the nephew of Warren Jef ...more
Nancy
May 18, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to admit I have a bit of a morbid fascination about FLDS. I've mostly thought about it from a woman's point of view (see Escape by Carolyn Jessop for some insight). When I saw this book on the Goodreads Giveaway list, I entered the contest right away. I was eager for a opportunity to read about the group from a male perspective.

Most of Lost boy is a fast-paced engaging read. The author Brent Jeffs surely owes a lot to his collaborator, Maia Szalavitz in describing life with his family in
...more
Books, Vertigo and Tea (Danielle)
This is my first review of a nonfiction title. I am attempting to provide you with nothing more than a few thoughts and my experience during my time with this book. Please be warned that this book does include sensitive material such as sexual abuse.

Until recently, it was a very rare occasion that any autobiography or memoir would capture my attention, let alone make an appearance on the blog. But I am a mood reader, and my mood has been changing. I find myself desiring to know more. Often my ch
...more
Tony
Jan 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brent W. Jeffs- Lost Boy (Broadway Books 2009) 5 Stars

Normally I would do my own summary of the book, but in this case I think that the author is the best person to summarize this portion of his life. Jeffs is the nephew of Warren Jeffs, the imprisoned leader of the FLDS. The son of a prominent family in the church, Brent could have grown up to have multiple wives of his own and significant power in the 10,000-strong community. But he knew that behind the group’s pious public image—women in chas
...more
Deborah Ideiosepius
A fascinating book about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This group is a splinter off of the American Christian group the Mormons. While I was vaguely aware of the existence of both groups I didn’t know too much about either and in order to set the story and provide a back-history this book gives a very concise and easy to follow background of both.

This book is the autobiography of a young man who grew up as a boy in the system of the ‘FLDS’ as it is acronymed throughout the boo
...more
Katie
May 23, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
The topic of the book instantly drew me in as I was cataloging it; a boy who had grown up FDLS divulges secrets about life on the compound, polygamy, and the sexual abuse he experienced at the hands of the prophet. The writers/creators of the television show Big Love based some of the traits of Juniper Creek on FDLS and, in general, I find these closed communities to be very interesting. I expected that this book would be right up my alley.

The writing is fairly poor - choppy and often disorienti
...more
Lain
Aug 29, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I sincerely regret the pain and suffering that Brent Jeffs went through as a child in the FLDS polygamist group. I read this book in hopes of understanding more about what it was like to be raised in such an environment. I got a clear picture of the brainwashing that can occur, and how absolute power can and probably will corrupt absolutely.

The story is a harrowing one, and the life he lived is something no child should ever have to endure.

The book itself was not that interesting, I hate to say
...more
Christine
Another book written by a child growing up in the Fundamentalist Mormon church under the rule of the "Jeff's" Family.
Some of the abuse was rather vivid and made me uncomfortable to read so I passed over it. Again, as I did when reading Elissa's story, I felt the author needed to beg the reader to believe his story. Not that it is unbelieveable, considering how many people have come foreward, but because so many of the people who stay in the faith are denying any negative stories.
I felt his p
...more
Kristen
Jun 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! This novel is an all-consuming experience. Brent Jeffs has such courage and strength for attending therapy to deal with his traumatic past, sharing his story, prosecuting the man of his nightmares, Warren Jeffs and for surviving life in the FLDS and now thriving in the 'outside world'.
A fascinating, fast-paced, disturbing read. I highly reccomend it to everyone. It is particularly interesting to hear the perspective of one of the young men from the FLDS as I find myself well-informed on th
...more
Paula
May 29, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am becoming fascinated with this topic so I enjoyed reading this book. However, the way it was written was just a little too factual for me and not a kind of "kept me on the seat of pants" type read.

I do recommend it though if you are interested in learning more about the lives of the people affected by the the FLDS. Such a sad cycle of abuse and lack of freedom that these people have. It is so very sad to me that they simply don't know any different or realize that they do have the choice in
...more
Carmen
3.5 Stars

While not quite as elegantly written as other FLDS memoirs that I have read, Lost Boy offers a unique perspective as Brent Jeffs recounts his experiences of growing up under the claustrophobic rule of the self-proclaimed prophet, Warren Jeffs. Brent Jeffs grew up in a chaotic household living with countless siblings while his exhausted father juggled un-diagnosed PTSD and three constantly bickering sister wives. Even at a young age, Brent began to question his religion, but he didn't kn
...more
Jen
May 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent read from the perspective of a boy who left the FLDS. The other books I've read were from women's perspectives. I enjoyed reading about it from another point of view!
Andi
Aug 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On my last airplane trip leaving Utah, I sat next to this author. We began talking about the area in which we both grew up and how we had both recently just hiked up Little Cottonwood canyon. He was very open and shared with me that he grew up in the polygamist compound and I was familiar with the group and have many memories of seeing members of his group at the local Fred Meyers. As a child, it was always a bit of a mystery to me as to who these polygamist people were, but as I've gotten older ...more
Anne Hawn Smith
This is the forth book on this subject which I have read recently. It covers a different perspective than the others. It concerns the boys who were raised in the Fundamentalist Church of the Latter Day Saints (FLDS)and were either forced out by the prophet, Warren Jeffs, or who ran away. Boys were undervalued in this society because the church leaders often had 40, 60 or more wives and they married girls as young as 12. There was always a need for more young girls, but that left scores of boys f ...more
Tina Smith
This was a fascinating book that I felt I learned a lot from. The abuse of the children in the FLDS is difficult to read but I found the culture of this polygamous sect fascinating. After reading this book, I had to immediately jump into another book by another former FLDS member, Elissa Walks (Stolen Innocence). Another fascinating read, but from a girl's perspective.

One troubling thing, however...and I Googled to find any mention of this and so far have found none. So I wonder if I'm the only
...more
Eden
Brent Jeffs grew up in the FLDS - Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He is the grandson of Rulon Jeffs, who was the prophet up until he passed, and the nephew of Warren Jeffs, the current prophet.

After suffering much abuse and his family being excommunicated, Brent eventually left the FLDS. After some time out of the FLDS and finally remembering what happened to him, as what happened to his brothers, he decided he needed to do something to stop Warren Jeffs once and for
...more
Tlingit
This was an interesting read. I think the author is more damaged than he thinks. He believes that the "lost boys" are worse off because they typically have no connection with their families after they leave or are kicked out by this church. While reading though I felt worse for the women and girls raised to believe they were "second class citizens" in this society. Used for their bodies and trapped in a church that treated them as chattle their decisions to leave became more and more directed by ...more
Libby Gordon
This is the third book I've read about this particular polygamist group that splintered off from the Mormon church and although it contained more history of the foundations of this group and more about the "lost boys" than I've ever read ( I've read Stolen Innocence: My Story of Growing Up in a Polygamous Sect, Becoming a Teenage Bride, and Breaking Free of Warren Jeffs by Elissa Wall and The Witness Wore Red: The 19th Wife Who Brought Polygamous Cult Leaders to Justice by Rebecca Musser); this ...more
Carye Bye
The third book I've read now on the topic of FLDS (Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints). This time from the perspective a young boy who along with many others is forced out and have been named the Lost Boys. Brent W. Jeffs story engaged me more than Elissa Walls'memoir -- the writing is more interesting and the story well put together -- weaving pieces of his story: abuse, flight, and recovery--- shared in a very humble and personal voice and deeper analysis and big view p ...more
Sarah Stevens
Oct 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
When people think about polygamy, the focus is almost always on the women.
But in a culture where multiple women are to be married to one man but 50% of babies born are male, what happens to all those extra boys?

This is a story about just that, there are so many of these boys that they even have a name- lost boys.

This is the story of a boy who was raised to believe that the world outside his compound was an evil world full of people who were going to hell and wanted to hurt him and then was c
...more
Suzanne
Not the type of book I would usually pick, I do not read about the religions of this type. But this book was hard to put down, read in two days. The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FLDS) has an interesting history and Brent Jeffs was born and raised in the church. He was related to the prophet and tells tales of horror and unbelievable followings. Many do not consider this religion a cult, but to hear the story from Brent's point of view, there is no other way to look ...more
Barbm1020
Jan 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a horrifying story of child abuse, alienation, loss, addiction, dysfunction and the ultimate triumph of human decency, told in a simple, direct and well-organized way by a survivor of the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints under Warren Jeffs' regime. The book tells of Brent's escape from the bizarre polygamist cult, his troubled road in the everyday world, and his eventual reunion with what's left of his family to help his Dad, who also suffered. Now married and raising a child with his no ...more
Nicole
Jul 27, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My opinion on this book is colored by the fact that I already know a fair bit about the FLDS groups and what goes on there, so much of this book just repeated things I was already aware of.
However, it was very interesting to read a personal account of what it was like to grow up in this community in the not so distant past. The author is about my age and I could really imagine what it was like to go through such a difficult situation.
The book was a little rough, I will give it that. But the au
...more
Jenn
Jan 13, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
an interesting look into the life of a child raised in a polygamist family. I thought it was a very fair account of the trials of family where the husband has to maneuver the mine field of wives rivalries and try to show attention to dozens of children all fighting for a wisp of his attention. It makes one wonder what man would be crazy enough to attempt this. That said, Brent Jeffs appears to have been blessed with a good father and mother who were a support to him as the horrors he suffered as ...more
Jill Hughes
May 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cults
I had to plow through this for a class, but it helped that the book was really interesting. I didn't know anything much about the FLDS (going in, I only knew basic things about the history and practices of the mainstream Mormon church) but Lost Boy did an amazing job of detailing what life was like in the FLDS, from an extremely personal viewpoint, and I had a hard time reading certain parts because of that, but I think it worked in the book's favor. It had the right balance between informative ...more
Brittstrr
I enjoyed an inside perspective into this faith/cult. However there was some clear bias in his personal story that made the bigger details suspect as well. He very positively portrayed his mom and dad but negatively portrayed the other two wives and their children. He talked about how popular he was and though mentioned a struggle with rebellion and drugs, seemed to not have a lot of regret or introspection about these behaviours. Despite this, it was still a very brave story to tell and the mor ...more
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Play Book Tag: Lost Boy / Brent W. Jeffs. 4 stars 3 14 Mar 07, 2016 04:42PM  
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