©2008 David Wroblewski; (P)2008 Recorded Books LLC
"I flat-out loved The Story of Edgar Sawtelle....Wonderful, mysterious, long, and satisfying." (Stephen King)
"This stunning debut....provides a classic coming-of-age story with an ironic twist." (Publishers Weekly)
"This book is unforgettable; overwhelmingly recommended." (Library Journal)
Knowledge is knowing the way. Wisdom is looking for an alternative, more interesting road to get there. Audiobooks are that road.
Wroblewski writes incredibly, using his words to create vivid imagery and bring you right in to the story. Truly a talented writer, especially for a first book.
The Narrator eventually grew on me, but I found his long pauses between sentences extremely annoying. We could have saved a good half hour off this book if he didn't break so much.
Now for the story, good at times, slow at times, definitely not a page turner type of book. Possibly a lot of symoblisim, pitting good against evil? Although I am a dog lover and owner, I did not find the "dog connection" in this book. Sure the story revolved around the training of the Sawtelle dogs, but the warmth was missing. Eventually you got the warmth between Almondine and Edgar, but even that was weak. The whole book resembled a "Hamlet" style of storytelling. Unlike others, I did not hate the ending. I don't need a book to end happily for me to enjoy it. What I did not like were all the questions left unanswered. It is the writer's job to sew up a book neatly, not the readers job to do it for him. I know a good book should leave you thinking, but a good book should also leave you with a path of where your thoughts should go. Like the Sawtelle dogs at the end, I have no idea where this book took me. I was glad it was over.
Had this not been an Oprah pick, I would not have downloaded it. I persevered through this audiobook, and I'm not sorry I did, but I can't bring myself to recommend it to others.
The prose is wonderful - I found myself filled with the emotion of the main character & the story line - but the ending was horrible - empty - unsatisfying and without closure. Maybe I am old fashioned and want a definitive ending to the books I read - but this was ridiculous! It trailed off into a black hole. I am sorry I spent so much time absorbing this book.
What a wonderful book...right up until the last 20 minutes. Perhaps the most disappointing ending to a book that I have ever read. It was a huge betrayal that I took personally after becoming so involved with the characters and story.
I was greatly disappointed given the great reviews.
I stuck with this book all the way to the end, because I kept thinking it had to get better, why else would be so highly praised in the reviews.
Other reviews talk about how great David Wroblewski's prose is, to me it read more like a high school student's attempt at using extra words to meet a length requirement for an assignment, or a young writer showing of the fact that he knows how to use a thesaurus
I love a long intricate books but listening to this book was torture on my ears. The only part that not incredibly boring was near the end, but then that even trailed off with a final ending that made no sense with the rest of book. I really wouldn't give even one star, but the site does not allow a rating of zero stars.
I really wish audible had a means of letting users filter reviews by listeners who had reviewed other books. I would ignore any reviews written by all those that loved this book.
nothing in the book would lead you to believe the ending that wroblewski came up with.
it was as if he ran out of ideas at the end and decided to finish the book in the most abrupt manner possible just to be done with it. no matter that it was out of sync with the entire rest of the very good book. jarringingly wrong.
sadly, the ending left me NEVER wanting to spend another second with this author who entranced and seduced me for 21 hours only to suddenly drop me and walk away. i'm actually a little bitter.
i suggest that if you want to listen, then don't listen to the last hour. make up your own ending. whether it's a happy or sad one, it will be better than wroblewski's.
I consider myself well-read and can easily become absorbed in a story, but I really struggled all the way through this book. Some passages were absolutely beautiful and others were far too drawn out. I was VERY disappointed in the ending. I won't spoil the story for anyone but I felt cheated when I read the last few sentences. I stuck with the story all this time for that ending? Reminded me a bit of Cormac McCarthy in some places, but at least Mr. McCarthy gives an ending you can accept even if you don't necessarily like it. I will not recommend this book to a friend, even with its very detailed character development and often beautiful imagery.
The hero of this story is a smart, sensitive boy with no voice. Much like the dogs he and his family raises, he sees all that happens around him (and more) but cannot make himself fully understood. It neatly morphs into a murder mystery and a very different kind of ghost story.
If you believe in dreams or visions of lost loved ones then Edgar's experiences will resonate.
The prose may be a bit too lilting for some readers but the earthiness of Edgar and his family and those amazing dogs require some sort of poetry!
The antagonist is my favorite flavor of evil; friendly and ready to lend a hand.
This isn't a fast read - on a recent road trip, 'Edgar Sawtelle' was the perfect diversion.
Everything you want in a book (audio or otherwise). Great, memorable characters, perfect symmetry of plot. Lots of myth and Karma. Family, children, life, death, dogs, dogs, dogs. Not a bit of profanity (maybe one swear), and transporting language and imagery that will knock you down. I bought the hard book too.. to read along with when I could.. remarkable. The ending, while not surprising, seemed rushed and I think could have been lengthed to resolve some unanswered questions. All in all remarkable. To me this read not like a debut but like a book from a mature, polished, sublimely stylistic writer.
The narrator was perfectly pitched to each character. His pace was exactly as the book felt. No stupid-sounding women's voices. You can tell the narrator loved the book
Perhaps the most overrated book in years. The author has skill with language and character but no talent at all for storytelling. The tale drags forward: There are a few spirited chapters but more often it's bogged down in endlessly excessive descriptions of woods or dog breeding or dog training--or dog thinking--that, in the end, add up to nothing except an opportunity for the writer to show off his MFA chops. He sets up many compelling situations that cry out for confrontation and resolution, yet the confrontations and resolutions never come. The most enjoyable section, near the end, is an idyll with a man named Henry, and a ghost in a barn, and it all finally has nothing to do with anything else in the book, although at least Henry shows some growth that few other characters do. The author has borrowed the bones of a classic story but exhibits no understanding of what made that story rich and satisfying. The interactions among the characters in the original, all the catastrophic calculations and confrontations, are here thrown out. Instead of building to an anguished climax offering either tragedy or victory, the story withers slowly to a close, wrapped, as always, in purple prose that drones on and on, mesmerized by its own craftiness. The writing throughout begs to be admired for its poetic flow and descriptive sharpness, yet it musters little emotional power and no talent for narrative flow. Rather than being a story that builds from solid foundations and rises to reveal a carefully planned, absorbing structure, it meanders like an aimless creek, sometimes pooling, sometimes rushing, then suddenly simply terminating, the journey ended without a destination ever having been designated or reached. That said, if you especially love dogs, descriptions of dogs, philosophizing about dogs, pretending to think like dogs, maybe this is a book for you. If you love indulgent, faux-philosophical prose like MFA programs churn out, enjoy. For a good story, look elsewhere.
I don't know how to begin to describe this book other than to say that I could not stop listening, yet had to turn it off several times so that I could call my sister to say Oh my God.
This book is amazing, joyful, sorrowful, evil & good all roled into one. There is magic - real & ethereal. The imagery that he evokes in his reader is breath taking. I don't usually cry when I read - I sobbed many times while listening.
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