The extraordinary debut novel that became a modern classic.
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 remarkable gift for companionship is epitomized by Almondine, Edgar's lifelong friend and ally.
Edgar seems poised to carry on his family's traditions, but when catastrophe strikes, he finds his once-peaceful home engulfed in turmoil.
Forced to flee into the vast wilderness lying beyond the Sawtelle farm, Edgar comes of age in the wild, fighting for his survival and that of the three yearling dogs who accompany him, until the day he is forced to choose between leaving forever or returning home to confront the mysteries he has left unsolved.
Filled with breathtaking scenes, the elemental north woods, the sweep of seasons, an iconic American barn, a fateful vision rendered in the falling rain. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is a meditation on the limits of language and what lies beyond, a brilliantly inventive retelling of an ancient story, and an epic tale of devotion, betrayal, and courage in the American heartland.
©2008 David Wroblewski (P)2013 HarperCollinsPublishers
I gave up on this one when it became clear that poor Edgar and his mama couldn't get a break. Wroblewski is a powerful writer, but his imagination is dark and mythic in a way that got just too heavy for my somewhat fragile psyche during a hugely snowy Maine winter. I got the book out of the library, power-read through what I *thought* would be the dark part, and then discovered that Wroblewski was going to make the rest of the book dark. . . . so I let myself off the hook. It's a hugely sprawling book with lots of echoes and overtones of myths, archetypes, Dante, etc. etc., but it's way too devastating for my daily commute. Wroblewski cuts no one a break in this story--no one, including any reader foolish enough to become connected to any of his characters.
This book was a great read. I absolutely loved the story, but the issue came with the ending. I thought the ending was a illogical ending. It doesn't give any closure, just ends. Very abrupt. The only positive is that you have absolutely no idea what is to come until 10 pages left in the book. All in all I would recommend this book, just expect a poor ending.
This is one of the finest pieces of modern literature I've had the honor of reading / listening. Poignant captivating mesmerizing important meaningful depressing moving enhancing painful. Astute observer of human behavior and a velvety profound understanding of canine perception and loyalty. It hurt to read it but I am a better person for it. Astounding prose. Thank you Mr Wroblewski. Don't overlook this masterpiece.
In a nutshell....this is a book you have to experience to gain a unique perspective on the trials and triumphs of a very special boy. Edgar's life was was extraordinary as was that of his furry friends, most notably Almondine, and the author did a great job of painting a verbal picture of their worlds. The narrator also gets a big shout out for bringing all of the characters to life in their own distinctive ways. Great book, great narrator....well worth the cost and time spent listening to it.
Richard Poe gives a wonderful performance of this incredibly well written tale
Edgar's journey when he leaves home
Pacing and nuanced expressions of the characters.
It will make you laugh and cry
All I can say is that if you are a reader, you MUST read this extraordinary book. Powerful and moving.
I enjoyed this book, hating to get out of the car and stop listening, until the end. The ending was the worst I have read (listened to) in decades.
I really loved the fact that it was narrated by one person, in his own voice. I dislike books with multiple narrators, or one who changes voice to represent different characters. This narrator did a fine job, and I really enjoyed the story.
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