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25 Partner Warehouse Literature- A to Z

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

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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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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.

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.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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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
smiley reader, August 11, 2013 (view all comments by smiley reader)
Hamlet with dogs.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Lauren Skye, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by Lauren Skye)
Fantastic story- I was hooked from the beginning.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
View all 21 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780061768064
Author:
Wroblewski, David
Publisher:
Ecco Press
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
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
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 Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$14.00 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.

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