The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
Born mute, speaking only in sign, Edgar Sawtelle leads an idyllic life with his parents on their farm in remote northern Wisconsin. For generations, the Sawtelles have raised and trained a fictional breed of dog whose thoughtful companionship is epitomized by Almondine, Edgar's lifelong friend and ally. But with the unexpected return of Claude, Edgar's paternal uncle, tur...more
Popular Answered Questions
The Japanese dog saw its owner's ghost, and apparently passed that ability to the other dogs, who see the elder Edgar's ghost. This ability reaches its apex in Almondine, who is able to watch over the younger Edgar in life and death. (less) (hide spoiler)]
I went into this book thinking it was a YA t ...more
Wroblewski was very fond of the stories of Shakespeare as a kid, if not necessarily the actual text, and it is clear that he carried with him the knowledge of tragedy. Edgar opens with a mysterious transaction in the Orient in which a man seeks out a purveyor of a particularly effective poison. That will feature large later in the story.
Edgar (Hamlet) is a boy born without the power of speech to a family (father Gar and moth ...more
I feel like Joe the Plumber in Israel: I have a thousand questions in my mind yet I can't think of the right one. Well, I can: how can so many p ...more
Let me just say straight out that anthropomorphism does not sit well with me. I almost jumped ship on page 30, where the story hopped over to the POV of Almondine the dog and had her thinking and reasoning like a human being. I love dogs. I’ve had quite a few in my lifetime. I speak dog well, we relate to each other well. But I think they lose their own innate dignity when people try to turn them into people. A dog is a lovely th ...more
'The Story of Edgar Sawtelle' is just that, a great story. A modern retelling of 'Hamlet'? Certainly, the author availed himself of the plot to frame his tale of a mute boy and a remarkable group of dogs, but there is much more to be enjoyed among these pages.
There are the languid narrative pass ...more
(Please, Logan, no "I told you so" about Oprah.)
I finally finished this book! It took ages... I closed the hardcover thinking: What's the point? There were so many times I felt like the story kept going (it felt terribly strung out -- could tell the same story in fewer -- much fewer pages) and for what reason? I have been taught that every sentence should lead the reader forward and serve a purpose. I kept pulling myself out of the story and saying: 'Why?'
I am not sure why this has received so many rave r ...more
Like the Winchester mansion, the story ...more
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is a masterfully crafted tale, written in exquisite language that sets Wroblewski apart as a story teller and writer in his own right. At first I wanted to compare him to Steinbeck, but he belongs in a league of his own. If no one has ever had a dog, after finishing The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, I would venture to say you'll feel as though you've had one all your life.
David Wroblewski spent 10 years writing this bool - both a classic "boy and his dog" coming of age story and a sweeping saga of an American family set in rural northern Wisconsin in the 1950's. It's big - over 600 pages. It's ambitious and capt ...more
This book was nothing like any of that.
Instead it was magnificently worded with adjectives I loved (I'm big on adjectives) and the characters had personalities that are even now still in my head. I cheered on Edgar, lov ...more
The problem is that all th ...more
I think this is an interesting question. Why do we [occasionally:] like books even when we realize they’re deeply flawed? Now I’m not referring to books in fairly formulaic categories, such as romance fiction, where the author knows the book will be evaluated within that genre. I’m referring to fiction—such as Robert James Waller’s Bridges of Madison Country--which I hate beyond words—that aspires to be whatever serious literature actually is.
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle would fall in this categ ...more
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski is the most recent pick for Oprah's Book Club and it is a thoughtful literary masterpiece worthy of 5 stars. This is not your fast-paced thriller beach read; this is a novel you want to read carefully and allow to steep and absorb.
The characters are complexly drawn, three-dimensional and the story itself is highly emotional and inspiring. ...more
Wroblewski's premiere novel is yet another take on Shakespeare's Hamlet albeit many of the Shakespearean counterparts are tail-wagging,four-legged beasts. The story is repleat with ghosts,Oedipal notions,and,of course,tragedy but despite these compelling elements, Edgar Sawtelle just didn't thrill me. At the outset I found the first chapter captivating and was taken by the author's vivid descriptions and elegan ...more
If you are dog lover or train dogs, you would really like this book. It goes through the emotions and the discpline it takes to train a dog. (For instance, Trudy ...more