The plot of Edgar Sawtelle is loosely based on Hamlet. Edgar's dad dies mysteriously, Edgar's uncle marries Edgar's mom there are ghosts etc. etc. The end has obviously left readers upset, but if you know - thanks to Shakespeare - that all is not going to end well but it will end with a bang, you may enjoy the book more.
I recommend renting Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet and spending a few hours watching before listening to Edgar Sawtelle. Several passages in Sawtelle were riveting. I found it well worth my time.
I thought this novel was strong were it should have been understated while it was understated where it should have been strong.
The central story of the bad man who comes into the life of the protagonist sometimes seems a little thin, whereas the smallest detail of this day in the life story can be laid on a little thick.
The subplot of the Iraq War protests are very interesting seen from our current point of view.
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