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The Guncle  By  cover art

The Guncle

By: Steven Rowley
Narrated by: Steven Rowley
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Publisher's summary

Winner of the Thurber Prize for American Humor

National Bestseller • Wall Street Journal Bestseller • USA Today Bestseller

An NPR Book of the Year

Finalist for the 2021 Goodreads Choice Awards

From the bestselling author of Lily and the Octopus and The Editor comes a warm and deeply funny novel about a once-famous gay sitcom star whose unexpected family tragedy leaves him with his niece and nephew for the summer.

Patrick, or Gay Uncle Patrick (GUP, for short), has always loved his niece, Maisie, and nephew, Grant. That is, he loves spending time with them when they come out to Palm Springs for weeklong visits, or when he heads home to Connecticut for the holidays. But in terms of caretaking and relating to two children, no matter how adorable, Patrick is, honestly, overwhelmed.

So when tragedy strikes and Maisie and Grant lose their mother and Patrick's brother has a health crisis of his own, Patrick finds himself suddenly taking on the role of primary guardian. Despite having a set of "Guncle Rules" ready to go, Patrick has no idea what to expect, having spent years barely holding on after the loss of his great love, a somewhat-stalled acting career, and a lifestyle not-so-suited to a six- and a nine-year-old. Quickly realizing that parenting—even if temporary—isn't solved with treats and jokes, Patrick's eyes are opened to a new sense of responsibility, and the realization that, sometimes, even being larger than life means you're unfailingly human.

With the humor and heart we've come to expect from bestselling author Steven Rowley, The Guncle is a moving tribute to the power of love, patience, and family in even the most trying of times.

©2020 Steven Rowley (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

One of:

Oprah Daily's Best Beach Reads to Help You Escape

Washington Post’s Feel-Good Books to Brighten Your Summer

CBS' 12 Perfect Summer Beach Reads for 2021

Vogue's 12 Beach Reads to Get Lost in This Summer

Real Simple’s Blockbuster Beach Reads

Country Living’s 32 Can’t-Miss Beach Reads for This Summer

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Bustle's 40 Best New Books to Read This May

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PopSugar’s 45 Best Summer Reads of 2021

USA Today’s 5 Books Not to Miss

CNN’s 20 Books That Are Essential Reading This Pride Month

Reader's Digest's 75 Best Summer Reads of All Time

Parade’s 15 New LGBTQ+ Books to Pick Up This Summer

New York Post’s 30 Best Books on Our Summer Reading List

iHeart Radio’s 15 Best Beach Reads for Summer 2021

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PureWow’s 10 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in May

Travel & Leisure's Most Anticipated Books of Summer's Most Anticipated Summer Beach Reads

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Brit + Co’s 17 Beach Reads That Make the Perfect Summer Escape

NewNowNext's 17 Exciting Queer Books to Savor This Summer

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LAMBDA Literary's Most Anticipated LGBTQ Literature of May

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“Rowley delivers the perfect summer read: The Guncle is relentlessly witty, sweet and heartbreaking.” (Elin Hilderbrand)

“Patrick is a memorable character, and it’s genuinely thrilling to read screenwriter-turned-novelist Rowley’s take on the mechanics of stardom.... There’s true insight here into the psychology of gay men, Hollywood, and parenting. A novel with some real depth beneath all its witty froth.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“In his heartwarming, humorous new novel, Steven Rowley shows readers the true meaning of family, reminding us that everyone—even parents—is only human.” (Travel & Leisure)