Monday, November 17, 2008

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, by David Wroblewski

Here's another novel by a debut author. I read this book several months ago, before The Story of Edgar Sawtelle was chosen as a pick by Oprah's Book Club. It is a remarkable debut--how anyone could write a story this complex his first time out leaves me in awe. Quite simply, I loved this book.

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is about a boy, Edgar, who is born without the ability to speak. He learns to sign as soon as he’s old enough to communicate. Aside from being mute, Edgar is precocious in every way, and has a special bond with the dogs his family raises.

Sawtelle dogs have been bred to emphasize their ability to think and make intelligent choices. As a dog lover, I really enjoyed all the dog scenes in this book. Edgar and his parents live on a quiet farm and raise and sell their special breed of dog. In general, life is good. One day, his paternal uncle arrives at the farm and things gradually start to change. Made me think of the snake appearing in Eden, whispering his lies.

When Edgar makes a disastrous decision, things erupt into chaos for him. After an idyllic beginning, the story takes on edge-of-the-seat suspense as Edgar Sawtelle lives out the consequences of his choices.
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle has moments of almost supernatural happenings, pages of heartwarming charm, and scenes of wrenching sadness. If you’re like me, you’ll be cheering for Edgar and his dogs throughout the 562 pages of this doorstop of a novel.
In spite of the time that's elapsed since I read The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, Wroblewski's characters are still real in my mind. To me, that’s the sign of a satisfying read.
I love communicating with others who have read The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, so if you’ve read it please post a comment. (And tell me what you thought of the ending!)

Even if you haven't read it, post a comment anyway. Does this sound like a book you'd enjoy?

1 comment:

  1. I have this book, in audio form, reserved at the library, Ann. I'm looking forward to it.

    Your blog and site are gorgeous, by the way. One of the most beautiful I've yet seen.