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Other Hot Book Discussions > Is Anyone Reading Edgar Sawtelle?

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message 1: by Holli (new)

Holli This book is the pick for our Dec/Jan book of the month in my in person book club. I haven't rec'd it yet from the library though. Is it good Teri? Will I like it? LOL

message 2: by Jean (new)

Jean Liota (gardenlady56) | 23 comments I can't decide if I want to read it or not.I know that Oprah picked it, it seems like a re-writing of Hamlet, but longer. I'd love to know what people who read it think?

message 3: by Thauna (new)

Thauna I have this in my TBR sounds wonderful, but I'm not really a dog dogs but, not at the level of a real dog person. Would I still like the book??? Oprah says everyone who loves dogs should read it....

message 4: by Holli (new)

Holli I agree with you Thauna..I'm not a dog person (like them but not voraciously) and yes Jean I have also heard this is a re-writing of Hamlet.

message 5: by Tera, First Chick (new)

Tera | 2564 comments Mod
I want to read it. I have heard nothing but good about it. I'm not a big dog person. I have one but thats where the love fest ends. I have also heard it's Hamlet-esq in its story but the way I see it half the love stories out there are a manipulation of Romeo and Juliet. I also loved Hamlet so a new take on it could be great.

message 6: by Holli (new)

Holli That's what I was thinking Tera...I love Shakespeare so I don't mind a re-write here and there!!

message 7: by Emily (new)

Emily (ejfalke) | 576 comments I'm getting it at the end of next month with I'll be reading it sometime after that. I think it looks interesting.

message 8: by Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (last edited Dec 04, 2008 06:42PM) (new)

Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) I've started it, it's fairly interesting. I like it's descriptive-ness (if I may be so bold and gramatically incorrect!).

I love animals!

message 9: by Conni (new)

Conni (ccorn) | 3 comments I couldn't finish it. Too weird. Maybe if I kept it up it would have gotten more interesting. I was hoping for more interaction with the dogs. Someone let me know if I should have kept reading. I can't say where I stopped because that would give something away.

message 10: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments I really liked this book. It had some weird parts, some parts where you get really angry, but it just kept getting better and better. I had to talk my mother into reading it and she ended up loving it. I would recommend it even though Oprah picked it.

message 11: by Jean (new)

Jean Liota (gardenlady56) | 23 comments Good points about the re-writing of Hamlet not being the worst thing in the world. I liked A Thousand Acres, which was a re-writing of King Lear. I guess these stories are timeless.

message 12: by Kristie (new)

Kristie (spedkristie) | 385 comments I did this as an audiobook. It totally had my attention and I was loving it for the first 3 quarters of the book. I got bored the last quarter and I hated the end!

message 13: by Karey (last edited Dec 05, 2008 07:39PM) (new)

Karey (kareyshane) | 116 comments I really liked The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. Wroblewski establishes himself as a strong writer. Last week I began re-reading it at 35,000 feet in a plane--not a small book to travel with! I might as well have packed my microwave. What was I thinking?

But I gotta say, it makes me want to get a dog again. (Some day when I'm sure I can take care of one and remember to feed it, walk it, let it out . . . um, at least I think I want one.)

I'm re-reading it partly because I'm leading the discussion group on Constant Reader here at Goodreads in January, and I have no idea how to lead a discussion and I want to be prepared. Yikes.

message 14: by Marsha (new)

Marsha (earthmarsha) | 1586 comments The book is definitely a reworking of Hamlet -- the author has said as much. He follows the original plot pretty faithfully, in his own way. I am not saying that he's not a good writer, because I think he writes well and there were parts of it that I enjoyed, but they didn't make up for the parts I hated. In general, I really didn't enjoy what he chose to write about, particularly the ending.

I am a major dog person, and that's why parts of the book upset me so much. I bought the book because the author gave a good interview on the Diane Rehms show on NPR, and because a book that had dog breeding as a major theme interested me. To be honest, if Oprah had picked the book before I bought it, I would have skipped it, because I do not share her taste in books at all. She always seems to pick ones with depressing and unhappy themes.

But hey, to each his own. Like I said on another thread, I've got a copy that I'd love to send to someone in this group, because I really didn't like it enough to put it on my shelves!

message 15: by Sandy (new)

Sandy (sandila) | 75 comments I have this one and plan to read it too. I didn't buy it because of Oprah. I'm the same way Marsha, if Oprah picks a book I won't buy it. She's got terrible taste in books and it seems like everyone runs out and does whatever she says. I hope this one will be a good one even though she's tainted it with here little "O" on the front. LOL

message 16: by Jean (new)

Jean Liota (gardenlady56) | 23 comments Marsha, I'm so glad that you brought up the fact that the book upset you precisely because you're a dog lover. I'm a HUGE animal person, and I can't handle anything where animals suffer. I couldn't even go to zoos when I was a child because it made me cry to see the animals cooped up. So thank you for mentioning that. I think I'll be "re-gifting" my copy this holiday season.

message 17: by Holli (new)

Holli Is there cruelty to animals in this book? If there is I can't read that. I get way too depressed over animal cruelty.

message 18: by Marsha (new)

Marsha (earthmarsha) | 1586 comments No, no cruelty to animals. Don't worry about that. One particular storyline involving the boy's dog resolved itself in a way that upset me, and if I say anything more, I'm afraid it'll be a spoiler. I'm just more sentimental about animals in fiction than I am about humans, I guess.

message 19: by Cindy (new)

Cindy (cyndil62) | 1774 comments Well, I'm relieved to hear that there is no 'cruelty' to dogs in the book because like you Jean, I couldn't read it if there was! Marsha, I would love to have a copy of Edgar, there is a long waiting list at my library for it. Maybe then, I could pass it on to someone else!

message 20: by Marsha (new)

Marsha (earthmarsha) | 1586 comments Cindy, you won the Edgar lottery!

message 21: by Jean (new)

Jean Liota (gardenlady56) | 23 comments Sorry to have started a rumor about animal cruelty in the book. And thanks, Marsha, for setting the record straight. I hope I didn't scare anyone away.

message 22: by Holli (new)

Holli OK good...I'm glad that's not what goes on. I'm ok then!! lol

message 23: by JL (new)

JL Smither (jlsmither) Starting it on the plane tomorrow... I only skimmed your comments here so I didn't learn anything I didn't want to know, but I'll join in as soon as I finish!

message 24: by Someone (new)

Someone  Youmayknow (momar13) Unfortunately, I tortured myself with Edgar Sawtelle. A written review of it is here in my books. If anyone wants to read that it's probably accessible by looking up the book.
I started out enjoying it but quickly lost the fervor. It was too all over the place. I bought it before Oprah recommended it. It was highly praised in a book review magazine I was perusing at the bookstore and the book itself was marked down, in hard back to 40% off, so I grabbed.
The dog parts are fascinating but call me stupid I just don't get what they really have to do with a lot of the other parts. The best thing, I personally feel I could have done was to read this with an in person book club like Holli said she was doing.
As for the Hamlet angle, it's there but it didn't work for me.

Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) Karey, just take a look at our past book club discussions here at CoL and those should help you prepare!

message 26: by Rachelle (new)

Rachelle I, personally, loved the book. Once I started I couldn't wait to find out the ending. Maybe I'm just nosy but once I start something I like I NEED to know how it ends!

message 27: by Brandie (new)

Brandie (brandiemichelle) I've been dying to read it just from seeing what others have said about it. I wish now I'd have bought it when I was at Barnes & Nobles last night. I can't handle anything with animal cruelty so I'm glad that's not part of it!

message 28: by Susan (new)

Susan | 1 comments As soon as I finished this book, I immediately began reading it again, wanting the experience to continue. I first started reading it for a book discussion group. I told my friend there was a little bit of Hamlet, a little bit of East of Eden, and a little bit of Koontz's The Watchers. TSoES is not a book about dogs as much as it is a book about how "the unexpected" can surprise, instruct, crush, demand, enlighten, destroy and so much more. Loved it!

message 29: by Cindy (new)

Cindy (cyndil62) | 1774 comments Brandie, Marsha is sending me the book to read and I'll be glad to send it to you when I'm finished. Hope to read it during our loooong drive to IL from AZ for Xmas! So if you can wait till after Xmas...

message 30: by Rachelle (new)

Rachelle Either that, Brandie, or I own it so you can have it when you're ready

message 31: by Brandie (new)

Brandie (brandiemichelle) Thank you both!! Cindy - Rachelle is my sister-in-law and I will borrow it from her when I see her next, I didn't realize she owned it. We swap books all the time :) But thank you!

message 32: by Cindy (new)

Cindy (cyndil62) | 1774 comments Brandie, that's great that you two can swap books like that! I swap with an older lady that works part time at our office; but most of the time I'm the one giving her books to read! It's fun though. She has library requests that I get for her as the library is one of my lunch hour 'get-a-way' places. She gave me Pillars of the Earth to read which was a great book and I recently gave her 'Fieldwork' to read. She says that it is very hard to follow and doesn't really recommend it. She helps by cutting down on my to be read books, cause if she doesn't like it then I don't spend my time on it!

message 33: by Brandie (new)

Brandie (brandiemichelle) It's nice to have someone to bounce book ideas off of. I love swapping books back and forth with Rachelle. She always has the newest stuff before I know what it even is! :) Her book collection is always impressive. And I love my lunch trips to the library too! Except the last time I went I walked out with way too many books that I couldn't resist and now I'm trying to get through them all.

message 34: by Cindy (new)

Cindy (cyndil62) | 1774 comments I know exactly what you mean! My bookshelf at home is full enough; don't really need to get more but I can't resist either. It's a small library though thankfully and they still have books on cassette
which is what I still have in my car! It's a pain because I've always got a book going & it's kind of hard to find cassettes anymore. Just tried Sense & Sensibility but could so not get into it!

message 35: by Holli (new)

Holli Now that you have said that Teri i feel better about starting it. If you liked it there's a pretty good chance I will too!! :)

message 36: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments Like I said before, it kept getting better and better. I am glad you liked it.

message 37: by Marsha (new)

Marsha (earthmarsha) | 1586 comments The chapter about Almondine broke my heart.

message 38: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments So how do you think this book would be as a movie? and, who do you think should play the roles?

message 39: by Meg (last edited Dec 17, 2008 04:27AM) (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments well I am glad that you didn't give up! I am still thinking of the movie angle.

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