Story of Edgar Sawtelle LP, The Paperback – Large Print, September 2, 2008
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“…a stunningly well-written novel…” (Pittsburgh Tribune)
“The author’s spellbinding first novel…is nearly impossible to put down.” (Kirkus Reviews, First Fiction Special)
The Great American Novel is something like a unicornrare and wonderful, and maybe no more than just a notion. Yet every few years or so, we trip across some semblance of one.... [an] extraordinary debut. (Elle)
“A literary thriller with commercial legs, this stunning debut is bound to be a bestseller.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“A stately, wonderfully written debut novel…[Wroblewski] takes an intense interest in his characters; takes pains to invest emotion and rough understanding in them; and sets them in motion with graceful language… a boon for dog lovers, and for fans of storytelling that eschews flash. Highly recommended.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
“An excruciatingly captivating read…Ultimately liberating, though tragic and heart-wrenching, this book is unforgettable.” (Library Journal (starred review))
“I flat-out loved The Story of Edgar Sawtelle.... Wonderful, mysterious, long and satisfying….I don’t re-read many books, because life is too short. I will be re-reading this one.” (Stephen King)
“I doubt we’ll see a finer literary debut this year than The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. David Wroblewski’s got storytelling talent to burn and a big, generous heart to go with it.” (Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prizewinning author of Empire Falls)
“The most enchanting debut novel of the summer....a great, big, mesmerizing read, audaciously envisioned as classic Americana...One of the great pleasures of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is its free-roaming, unhurried progress, enlivened by the author’s inability to write anything but guilelessly captivating prose. (New York Times)
About the Author
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.
- Publisher : HarpLPLuxe (September 2, 2008)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 904 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0061691623
- ISBN-13 : 978-0061691621
- Item Weight : 2.2 pounds
- Dimensions : 6 x 1.75 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #7,354,257 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I was drawn into the characters and the routines that kept them all together. Yet just as in any life, routines are broken. The unexpected disrupts the ordinary and choices are made. It's not always pretty. It's certainly not easy. All you can hope for is the best possible, which is seldom the best.
This was a great story. It was written with simple prose but rich in detail and feeling. It had realism, action, mystery, heartache and healing. It was satisfying in the truest sense and I believe this story will stay with me. I believe I will continue to wonder what the secret was, if it's what I think it is, if the right words were spoken.
Top reviews from other countries
Edgar is a mute boy being brought up on a farm in Wisconsin where his parents breed and train dogs. His father dies and his uncle Claude gradually moves in takes his place. The Hamlet references are fairly easy to spot: Trudy/Gertrude, Claude/Claudius Papineau/Polonius. There is even an Ophelia but I won't spoil that for any future reader. The Hamlet references work well, especially the way in which Claude insinuates himself into the family.
Unfortunately I did not love this book. After a concert Emperor Joseph II is supposed to have said "Too many notes, Mozart, too many notes." I felt the same about Edgar Sawtelle - too many words. - 550 pages of small print. The story just took much too long to tell and there were several sections that could easily have been omitted (such as the time Edgar stays with Henry). The physical landscape is very well portrayed and Edgar is a likeable central character. But the story as a whole just did not grip me.
I am writing this review because I thought The Story of Edgar Sawtelle was such a fantastic book. It was a real roller coaster which left me emotionally drained at the end. Anyone who loves, understands and has a close relationship with dogs should read this book.
I read it twice (with at least ten years in between) and love it both times.