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Publisher's Summary

From the best-selling 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

Southern Living’s Beach Reads Perfect for Summer 2021

Bustle's 40 Best New Books to Read This May 

E! News' 18 Best Books to Check Out in May

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

Christian Science Monitor's Best Books of May 

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

Travel & Leisure's Most Anticipated Books of Summer

Women.com's Most Anticipated Summer Beach Reads

SheKnows’ 20 New Books You Need to Add to Your Summer Reading List

Scary Mommy’s Most Anticipated Books of Summer

Frolic's 25 Best Books of Spring 2021

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

NewNowNext's 17 Exciting Queer Books to Savor This Summer

Bibliolifestyle's Quintessential Summer 2021 Beach Reads 

LAMBDA Literary's Most Anticipated LGBTQ Literature of May 

Washington Post’s 12 Titles to Get You to the End of Summer

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

"Wise and hilarious." (People

"A laugh-out-loud heartwarmer." (Oprah Daily

What listeners say about The Guncle

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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In two words . . . Loved it!!

It was sweet, a little sappy, definitely heartwarming, a few tears, and a whole bunch of laugh out loud funny!!

The author narrates it, which I always love because you get the book the way they intended.

I highly recommend this book!

9 people found this helpful

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Cute. Not great.

The story is good, but the cliches are plentiful and the performance is insufferable. I could only listen for about 10 minutes at a time because the performance was so cutesy, sing songy, and predictable.

6 people found this helpful

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CHARMING!!!

This book had me hook, line, and sinker. Charming, funny, snarky,
and my goodness, I loved the narration. I fell in love with the
entire family.
So very sad to have this book end.
Going to read Mr. Rowley 's backlist next.

6 people found this helpful

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Loved it - worth the credit!!!!

Great story and the narration was amazing. Never heard an author read his own story before and he did a great job. A sequel or another book about the throuple would be awesome!

4 people found this helpful

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Wonderful!!

I loved the storyline. It was so real and tender and hysterical!

I would recommend this to everyone. I adored it and didn’t want it to end.

4 people found this helpful

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Quirky, funny and beautiful story!

Such a great listen. An incredibly quirky, funny and heartwarming story of Gay Uncle Patrick helping his niece Maize and nephew Grant through grief and tragedy.

3 people found this helpful

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LOVED this! Must listen!

This is a funny, sweet, beautiful book about family, grief and old v. new Hollywood. What’s not to love? My favorite listen of the summer!

3 people found this helpful

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Great read!

I loved it! Both funny and touching. I listened to it while I walked for exercise and I couldn't wait for the next day to enjoy the next installment!

3 people found this helpful

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Perfect

This wonderful book is exactly what I needed, laugh out loud funny, and touching moments that made me cry.

3 people found this helpful

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Delightful and delicious!

I’m not sure if this book was written based on some personal experience, but Steven Rowley was spot on with his description of life with children of 10 and 6. This kids were adorably kids…not unrealistically clever or mature. In my children’s young lives (they are now grown) one of my dearest friends was a gay actor who babysat often for them. He was their favorite sitter when my husband and I would travel. So many stories in this book reminded me of that sweet time and my sweet friend who adored my children. Thank you, Steven Rowley for sharing this wonderful story with your wonderful voice!

2 people found this helpful