The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

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 But his life is plunged into chaos as his uncle returns his father s
  • Title: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
  • Author: David Wroblewski
  • ISBN: 9780061374227
  • Page: 423
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 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 But his life is plunged into chaos as his uncle returns, his father suddenly dies, and he is forced to flee into the wilderness with only three yearling dogs for company.Born mute, speaking only in sign, Edgar Sawtelle leads an idyllic life wiBorn mute, speaking only in sign, Edgar Sawtelle leads an idyllic life with his parents on their farm in remote northern Wisconsin But his life is plunged into chaos as his uncle returns, his father suddenly dies, and he is forced to flee into the wilderness with only three yearling dogs for company.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, turmoil consumes the Sawtelles once peaceful home When Edgar s father dies suddenly, Claude insinuates himself into the life of the farm and into Edgar s mother s affections Grief stricken and bewildered, Edgar tries to prove Claude played a role in his father s death, but his plan backfires spectacularly Forced to flee into the vast wilderness lying beyond the farm, Edgar comes of age in the wild, fighting for his survival and that of the three yearling dogs who follow him But his need to face his father s murderer and his devotion to the Sawtelle dogs turn Edgar ever homeward David Wroblewski is a master storyteller, and his breathtaking scenes the elemental north woods, the sweep of seasons, an iconic American barn, a fateful vision rendered i
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    About " David Wroblewski "

  • David Wroblewski

    David Wroblewski grew up in rural Wisconsin, not far from the Chequamegon National Forest where The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is set He earned his master s degree from the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers and now lives in Colorado with his partner, the writer Kimberly McClintock, and their dog, Lola This is his first novel.

  • 197 Comments

  • I m torn I m torn between giving this book 5 stars and 1 star The book is very thought provoking It is well written, and very evocative of the time early 70 s and the place far northern Wisconsin This was a book that I had a hard time putting down, and indeed I stayed up too late several nights, and played hooky on chores an entire afternoon, so I could read it instead I would give the first 500 pages five stars and the last 66 pages one star.I went into this book thinking it was a YA type and t [...]


  • This is a very well written book with serious flaws I cannot fathom what the point of the book is or why it s getting such good press The author doesn t seem to understand the relationship between story and the flow of ideas He skips over important details such as why anyone does anything they do in the story What does all that dog training have to do with the story And someone please explain the old woman at the grocery store Great books, and even just good ones, use incident to explain motivat [...]


  • This is an extraordinary novel, Hamlet in the North Woods of Wisconsin 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 mother Tru [...]


  • Anyone can base their work on a Shakespearean tragedy Go ahead try it The goal is to make it speak for itself This novel has no voice It s stunningly inauthentic in its modesty and brazen in its ambition This poorly conceived and executed book may appeal to a shocking number of readers, but it doesn t make it worth one of the dogs that inspired it.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 people pos [...]


  • I guess I have to be the spoilsport here I did not like this book.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 thing It [...]


  • I was SOOOO disappointed in this book The only reason I gave it even one star is because of his depiction of the lovely dogs in the story I felt like the author went overboard trying to wax poetic to the point where I didn t know what he was talking about, even being unsure of what the progression of events was The entire plot builds to a very important resolution THAT NEVER HAPPENS What a sell out It felt like climbing a long flight of stairs with the anticipation of finding a beautiful room th [...]


  • Stayed up half the night finishing it and I really can t be objective about this book I said earlier how I was enjoying it purely as a reader and not a critic, but it goes deeper than that It s like Wroblewski had some kind of infrared Jungian checklist and somehow managed to find out all my childhood fantasies benevolent and wise dog companion nursemaid Check Super intelligent semi wild pack of devoted dogs that sleep with you at night Check I guess the only thing worse than being raised by wol [...]


  • I waged a personal debate for this five star rating, arguing what exactly makes a book great With every question, I returned to the story itself has the ability to lift a book above average efforts 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 to be enjoyed among these pages.There are the languid narrative passages, vast and [...]


  • I had such high hopes for this book Just read these descriptive passages This will be his earliest memory.Red light, morning light High ceiling canted overhead Lazy click of toenails on wood Between the honey colored slats of the crib a whiskery muzzle slides forward until its cheeks pull back and a row of dainty front teeth bare themselves in a ridiculous grin The nose quivers The velvet snout dimples.Fine, dark muzzle fur Black nose, leather of lacework creases, comma of nostrils flexing with [...]


  • Problems with rewriting Hamlet as a story about dog breeders in Wisconsin 1 Hamlet is already pretty good, and most writers don t profit by inviting the comparison 2 It makes the plot pretty predictable, which is a problem for what was apparently supposed to be an adventure novel Yes, Claude did it By the way, DW, why did he do it No, it s not Claude listening to your conversation with mom Sigh 3 The worst mistake you can make in an animal story, I think, is killing off a beloved pet for dramati [...]


  • I feel like I m one of the only people missing something here I just finished a book about family, loyalty, dogs, and I just didn t get it I didn t find myself connecting with the characters and as soon as I was starting to feel a connection the last two hundred pages , Wroblewski throws out a half baked ending leaving me saying, What I m not one that requires a tidy ending, but there should be some well reasoned meaning Please, Logan, no I told you so about Oprah.


  • Onvan The Story of Edgar Sawtelle Nevisande David Wroblewski ISBN 61374229 ISBN13 9780061374227 Dar 566 Safhe Saal e Chap 2008


  • After reading so many reviews of this book I was excited to start it It is very detailed and although I had some chapters I did enjoy reading very much I thought the story was much longer then it needed to be and was frustrated by the fact that Edgar did not confront his mother when he first suspected his uncle since he and his mother had such a close relationship It s hard for me to understand how they could be so close then he hides so much from her I know Trudy would of believed in him before [...]


  • Like so many movie previews these days, the book jacket on this one gave away pretty much the entire story Jake s The book has received an incredible amount of hype including here on , and I would not be surprised to see it on the short list for the Pulitzer But, alas, this is not because I found the book to be particularly enjoyable Edgar Sawtelle is a mute boy living on a farm with his mother and father They breed an imaginary species of dog that has somehow been created by happenstance and in [...]


  • The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is the type of book that seems to come along only once and a while A book that provokes such varied reactions both mentally and emotionally within me is a rare book indeed Yet somehow I both love the story of Edgar Sawtelle and hate it with a passion Very few books disappoint me so completely as the story of Edger Sawtelle Yet there are few books I admire The Story Of Edgar Sawtelle was an immensely annoying and irritating in it s vagueness, the disconnected series o [...]


  • Warning this has a spoiler or twoI 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 reviews The ending is ter [...]


  • The Story of Edgar Sawtelle received a lot of advanced hype The writer was mentored by Richard Russo and Stephen King wrote the mother of all blurbs for the book While I didn t love it as much as he did, I did like the book very much I wouldn t call it a classic piece of American literature, but it s probably one of the best books of the year The story is a retelling of Hamlet, but focuses on an american boy who is mute He works at his family s farm where they train the finest dogs in the countr [...]


  • Don t be sucked in by the hype it just isn t that good The story really wanted to be a tragic work of art, but it ended up being a disjointed collection of thoughts The writing was excellent There were great descriptions of the dogs and the landscape, but the characters missed the mark entirely The story of Henry was promising, however after all the build up we find out that inciting turmoil of the character is that he is ordinary How heartbreaking Like the Winchester mansion, the story was fill [...]


  • I was ready to love The Story of Edgar Sawtelle It was one of the biggest publishing hits in 2008 it captured the attention of writers such as Richard Russo and Stephen King and was picked up by Oprah for her book club Quite a feat for a debut novel 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 captivating, becom [...]


  • I m re reading Edgar Sawtelle for a book discussion next month on Constant Reader.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.


  • Where to begin with this oneI honestly would never have read this book if I had not had other s trusted opinions egging me on I don t normally read animal books, or books about nature and people in the wild, or extremely wordy novels that go on and on about trees and such 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, loved Almondin [...]


  • I know many people adore this book and it had lots of hype some years ago via Oprah, but I m afraid I didn t love it It reads easily enough and flows well The story is straight forward as well Edgar Sawtelle is born mute and is the only child of Edgar and Trudy Sawtelle They own a farm and breed dogs, very special dogs known as Sawtelle dogs , which they then sell It s all very idyllic until Edgar s uncle turns up from abroad bringing family tensions and history The problem is that all the hype [...]


  • This book is getting a lot of advance praise and will most certainly be a critical hit I m sure many people will adore this book, I am unfortunately not one of those people The writing is beautiful, the story is ambitious, but I found the book utterly monotonous I kept reading because I felt I should finish the book, not because I wanted to.


  • 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 category Clea [...]


  • The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is a spellbinding tale of love and loss, and the ultimate search of finding oneself.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 Ed [...]


  • Let Hercules himself do what he may, The cat will mew, and dog will have his day 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 elegant prose [...]


  • This epic story of a lonely boy, his loyal dog, and his family s betrayal at the hands of his bitter uncle will not only haunt me for the rest of the summer, but will cause all the other books I pick up this fall to pale in comparison, I suspect Set in a rural 1970 s Wisconsin and gracefully hung on the bones of Hamlet, the story explores the inner life of mute boy Edgar Sawtelle and his amazing invented breed of near mind reading dog, simply called the Sawtelle dogs Edgar s life raising and tra [...]


  • I lost sleep reading and thinking about this book It s so descriptive I literally felt like a movie was playing out in my head The storyline is multifaceted and complex I kept thinking I should pay close attention to all the details because I was sure the author was weaving a complex tapestry that would unfold in a satisfying way Instead I was left feeling absolutely devastated There was no justice for Edgar and things literally burn up in the end.I enjoyed many aspects of this book but I m left [...]


  • I m sorry to give this book such a low score since so many are raving about it I think that simply re writing Hamlet and placing the location in Wisconsin and throwing in some dogs doesn t really make for a compelling story The pacing of the book is very slow and it runs back and forth from each characters perspective, even the dogs 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 not re [...]


  • The Oprah sticker on the front tells you everything you need to know That the book is deeply aspirational, acutely maudlin, hideously middlebrow That in many sentences the author seems to be trying to channel Gerard Manley Hopkins in others, despite his efforts, he channels Nicholas Sparks Attempts at magical realism result in execrable whimsy Oracles advise, bread loaves jump, ghosts speak in both English and sign language , dogs have complex thoughts and can hold conversations Of course Oprah [...]


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