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1 Burnside Literature- A to Z

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle (Oprah's Book Club Selection #62)

by

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle (Oprah's Book Club Selection #62) Cover

 

Staff Pick

The perfect book to curl up with on a blustery afternoon, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is a not-so-simple tale of a Wisconsin boy and his dogs. An eloquent exploration of both inner and outer landscapes, this novel will wind about your psyche and will haunt you long after the last page.
Recommended by Mary Jo, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

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Publisher Comments:

The Sanctuary. High up on the mountain, the Sanctuary is a place of refuge. It is a place where humans save dogs, who, in turn, save the humans. It is a place where the past does not exist, where hopelessness is chased away, where the future hasnand#8217;t been written, where orphans and strays can begin to imagine a new meaning for and#8220;family.and#8221;

Evie is making her way to the Sanctuary. She has lied to gain entry. She has pretended to know more than she does about dogs, but she is learning fast. Once the indomitable Mrs. Auberchon lets her pass, she will find her way. Like the racing greyhound who refuses to move, the golden retriever who returns to his job as the Sanctuaryand#8217;s butler every time heand#8217;s adopted, and the Rottweiler whoand#8217;s a hopeless candidate for search-and-rescue, Evie comes from a troubled past. But as they all learn, no one should stay prisoner to a life she didnand#8217;t choose.

This is the story of two women and a whole pack of dogs who, having lost their way in the world, find a place at a training schooland#8212;and radical rescue centerand#8212;called the Sanctuary. It is a story of strays and rescues, kidnappings and homecomings, moving on and holding on and letting go. And it is, ultimately, a moving and hilarious chronicle of the ways in which humans and canines help each other find new lives, new selves, and new hope.

Review:

"The best novel I've read in a long, long, long, long time...a literary feast of a book." Oprah Winfrey

Review:

"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 Prize-winning author of Empire Falls

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

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)

Review:

"An excruciatingly captivating read... Ultimately liberating, though tragic and heart-wrenching, this book is unforgettable." Library Journal (starred review)

Review:

"Edgar Sawtelle is a boy without a voice, but his world, populated by the dogs his family breeds, is anything but silent. This is a remarkable story about the language of friendship — a language that transcends words." Dalia Sofer, bestselling author of The Septembers of Shiraz

Synopsis:

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 thoughtful companionship is epitomized by Almondine, Edgar's lifelong friend and ally. But with the unexpected return of Claude, Edgar's paternal uncle, turmoil consumes the Sawtelles' once peaceful home. When Edgar's father dies suddenly, Claude insinuates himself into the life of the farm — and into Edgar's mother's affections.

Grief-stricken and bewildered, Edgar tries to prove Claude played a role in his father's death, but his plan backfires — spectacularly. Forced to flee into the vast wilderness lying beyond the farm, Edgar comes of age in the wild, fighting for his survival and that of the three yearling dogs who follow him. But his need to face his father's murderer and his devotion to the Sawtelle dogs turn Edgar ever homeward.

David Wroblewski is a master storyteller, and his breathtaking scenes — the elemental north woods, the sweep of seasons, an iconic American barn, a fateful vision rendered in the falling rain — create a riveting family saga, a brilliant exploration of the limits of language, and a compulsively readable modern classic.

Synopsis:

A novel of a young woman who, despite knowing nothing about animals, signs herself up for dog training school at The Sanctuary, where she discovers that rescue can find even the most hopeless among us and that friends come in all shapes, sizes, and breeds

Synopsis:

An epic love story set in post-war New York, by the bestselling author of Winter's Tale.

Synopsis:

Can love and honor conquer all?

Mark Helprins enchanting and sweeping novel springs from this deceptively simple question, and from the sight of a beautiful young woman, dressed in white, on the Staten Island Ferry, at the beginning of summer, 1946.

Postwar New York glows with energy. Harry Copeland, an elite paratrooper who fought behind enemy lines in Europe, has returned home to run the family business. Yet his life is upended by a single encounter with the young singer and heiress Catherine Thomas Hale, as they each fall for the other in an instant.

Harry and Catherine pursue one another in a romance played out in Broadway theaters, Long Island mansions, the offices of financiers, and the haunts of gangsters. Catherines choice of Harry over her longtime fiancé endangers Harrys livelihood and eventually threatens his life. In the end, it is Harrys extraordinary wartime experience that gives him the character and means to fight for Catherine, and risk everything.

Not since Winters Tale has Mark Helprin written such a magically inspiring saga. Entrancing in its lyricism, In Sunlight and in Shadow so powerfully draws you into New York at the dawn of the modern age that, as in a vivid dream, you will not want to leave.

Synopsis:

In the summer of 1946, New York City pulses with energy. Harry Copeland, a World War II veteran, has returned home to run the family business. Yet his life is upended by a single encounter with the young singer and heiress Catherine Thomas Hale, as each falls for the other in an instant. They pursue one another in a romance played out in Broadway theaters, Long Island mansions, the offices of financiers, and the haunts of gangsters. Catherine’s choice of Harry over her longtime fiancé endangers Harry’s livelihood and threatens his life. In the end, Harry must summon the strength of his wartime experience to fight for Catherine, and risk everything.

“In its storytelling heft, its moral rectitude, the solemn magnificence of its writing and the splendor of its hymns to New York City, [In Sunlight and in Shadow] is a spiritual pendant to Winter’s Tale and every bit as extraordinary . . . Even the most stubbornly resistant readers will soon be disarmed by the nobility of the novel’s sentiments and seduced by the pure music of its prose.” — Wall Street Journal

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.

Table of Contents

Prologue vii

Boat to St. George: May, 1946 1

Overlooking the Sea 12

Her Hands and the Way She Held Them 24

The Moon Rising over the East River 30

Catherines Song 45

In Production 55

And There She Was 68

What Youre Trained to Do 92

Georgica 102

Distant Lights and Summer Wind 119

Overcoats 135

Changing Light 145

Billy and Evelyn 152

Conversation by the Sea 174

Gray and Green 188

The Abacus 196

The Glare of July 201

The Whole World 213

Spectacles 220

The Gift of a Clear Day 232

The Beach Road 241

Young Townsend Coombs 248

The Settee 261

The Economics of Hot Water 272

The Wake of the Crispin 284

Speechless and Adrift 310

The Evening Transcript 316

Lost Souls 333

James George Vanderlyn 353

Baucis and Philemon 360

Crossing the River 375

The Highlands 405

Pathfinder 412

Glorious Summer 436

Vierville 468

Snow 480

Catherine 520

Counsel and Arms 536

Office in Madison Square 574

The Train from Milwaukee 585

Red Steel 597

A Passion of Kindness 603

The Letter 623

In the Arcade 652

Catherine Rising 670

The Horse and His Rider He Hath

Thrown into the Sea 694

In the Arms of an Angel 712

Epilogue

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 21 comments:

Carolyn, October 22, 2014 (view all comments by Carolyn)
Borrowing its basic plot structure from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle tells the story of a mute boy’s coming of age, and his attempt to find justice for his father’s murder.

His parents are breeders of “Sawtelle dogs,” a particular canine breed that is the result of his father’s long endeavor to make a special type of dog with desirable traits and a high intelligence. After his father’s death, Edgar is forced to take on more responsibility to try to keep the family business afloat.

Because Edgar is mute, his communication with the dogs is as meaningful as the sign language he uses with his parents. Some of the dogs end up being his companions as he journeys in exile after an unfortunate incident; when he returns to the farm, the dogs that remain with him end up bearing witness to the tragedy that unfolds.

Well written, this novel reimagines Shakespeare’s classic tale with an exploration of the human-animal connection.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
smiley reader, August 11, 2013 (view all comments by smiley reader)
Hamlet with dogs.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
Lauren Skye, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by Lauren Skye)
Fantastic story- I was hooked from the beginning.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 21 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780061768064
Author:
Wroblewski, David
Publisher:
Ecco Press
Author:
Cooney, Ellen
Author:
Helprin, Mark
Author:
by None
Author:
by David Wroblewski
Subject:
General
Subject:
Human-animal relationships
Subject:
Speech disorders
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Coming of age
Subject:
Family life
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
novel;fiction;dogs;pets;animal rescue;rehabilitation;animals;training;book clubs
Copyright:
Edition Number:
Oprah's Book Club ed
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series:
Oprah's Book Club
Publication Date:
20080931
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
A
Language:
English
Illustrations:
none
Pages:
576
Dimensions:
9.875 x 8 in 4.56 oz

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Coming of Age
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Family Life
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Featured Titles
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle (Oprah's Book Club Selection #62) Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 576 pages HarperCollins - English 9780061768064 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

The perfect book to curl up with on a blustery afternoon, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is a not-so-simple tale of a Wisconsin boy and his dogs. An eloquent exploration of both inner and outer landscapes, this novel will wind about your psyche and will haunt you long after the last page.

"Review" by , "The best novel I've read in a long, long, long, long time...a literary feast of a book."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "An excruciatingly captivating read... Ultimately liberating, though tragic and heart-wrenching, this book is unforgettable."
"Review" by , "Edgar Sawtelle is a boy without a voice, but his world, populated by the dogs his family breeds, is anything but silent. This is a remarkable story about the language of friendship — a language that transcends words."
"Synopsis" by , 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 thoughtful companionship is epitomized by Almondine, Edgar's lifelong friend and ally. But with the unexpected return of Claude, Edgar's paternal uncle, turmoil consumes the Sawtelles' once peaceful home. When Edgar's father dies suddenly, Claude insinuates himself into the life of the farm — and into Edgar's mother's affections.

Grief-stricken and bewildered, Edgar tries to prove Claude played a role in his father's death, but his plan backfires — spectacularly. Forced to flee into the vast wilderness lying beyond the farm, Edgar comes of age in the wild, fighting for his survival and that of the three yearling dogs who follow him. But his need to face his father's murderer and his devotion to the Sawtelle dogs turn Edgar ever homeward.

David Wroblewski is a master storyteller, and his breathtaking scenes — the elemental north woods, the sweep of seasons, an iconic American barn, a fateful vision rendered in the falling rain — create a riveting family saga, a brilliant exploration of the limits of language, and a compulsively readable modern classic.

"Synopsis" by , A novel of a young woman who, despite knowing nothing about animals, signs herself up for dog training school at The Sanctuary, where she discovers that rescue can find even the most hopeless among us and that friends come in all shapes, sizes, and breeds
"Synopsis" by , An epic love story set in post-war New York, by the bestselling author of Winter's Tale.
"Synopsis" by ,
Can love and honor conquer all?

Mark Helprins enchanting and sweeping novel springs from this deceptively simple question, and from the sight of a beautiful young woman, dressed in white, on the Staten Island Ferry, at the beginning of summer, 1946.

Postwar New York glows with energy. Harry Copeland, an elite paratrooper who fought behind enemy lines in Europe, has returned home to run the family business. Yet his life is upended by a single encounter with the young singer and heiress Catherine Thomas Hale, as they each fall for the other in an instant.

Harry and Catherine pursue one another in a romance played out in Broadway theaters, Long Island mansions, the offices of financiers, and the haunts of gangsters. Catherines choice of Harry over her longtime fiancé endangers Harrys livelihood and eventually threatens his life. In the end, it is Harrys extraordinary wartime experience that gives him the character and means to fight for Catherine, and risk everything.

Not since Winters Tale has Mark Helprin written such a magically inspiring saga. Entrancing in its lyricism, In Sunlight and in Shadow so powerfully draws you into New York at the dawn of the modern age that, as in a vivid dream, you will not want to leave.

"Synopsis" by ,
In the summer of 1946, New York City pulses with energy. Harry Copeland, a World War II veteran, has returned home to run the family business. Yet his life is upended by a single encounter with the young singer and heiress Catherine Thomas Hale, as each falls for the other in an instant. They pursue one another in a romance played out in Broadway theaters, Long Island mansions, the offices of financiers, and the haunts of gangsters. Catherine’s choice of Harry over her longtime fiancé endangers Harry’s livelihood and threatens his life. In the end, Harry must summon the strength of his wartime experience to fight for Catherine, and risk everything.

“In its storytelling heft, its moral rectitude, the solemn magnificence of its writing and the splendor of its hymns to New York City, [In Sunlight and in Shadow] is a spiritual pendant to Winter’s Tale and every bit as extraordinary . . . Even the most stubbornly resistant readers will soon be disarmed by the nobility of the novel’s sentiments and seduced by the pure music of its prose.” — Wall Street Journal

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