A literary debut of stark and striking brilliance - a coming-of-age story, set in the remote wilderness of northern Wisconsin. Born mute and able to communicate only by sign, the brilliant Edgar Sawtelle leads an idyllic life with his parents Gar and Trudy. For generations, the Sawtelles have raised and trained a breed of dog whose thoughtful ...
A literary debut of stark and striking brilliance - a coming-of-age story, set in the remote wilderness of northern Wisconsin. Born mute and able to communicate only by sign, the brilliant Edgar Sawtelle leads an idyllic life with his parents Gar and Trudy. For generations, the Sawtelles have raised and trained a breed of dog whose thoughtful companionship is epitomised by Almondine, Edgar's lifelong companion. But when his beloved father mysteriously dies, Edgar blames himself, if only because his muteness left him unable to summon help. Grief-stricken and bewildered by his mother's desperate affair with her dead husband's brother, Edgar's world unravels one spring night when, in the falling rain, he sees his father's ghost. After a botched attempt to prove that his uncle orchestrated Gar's death, Edgar flees into the Chequamegon wilderness leading three yearling dogs. Yet his need to face his father's murderer, and his devotion to the Sawtelle dogs, turn Edgar ever homeward. When he returns, nothing is as he expects, and Edgar must choose between revenge or preserving his family legacy...
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Kathleen S Vaccaro
Jun 7, 2010
Great story, great book in the exact condition as advertised. Shipped in a timely manner and well packaged.
Mar 6, 2010
I felt that this book had many different themes and subplots. As some of the other reviewers stated, I thought that the ending was convoluted and disappointing. I usually finish a book feeling inspired and ready to write a poem based on the literary message that I had inferred from the book. When I read Eat, Pay, and Love and The Alchemist I was filled with sentiment and was inspired to write meaningful poems. I wish the author had resolved some of the mysteries in the story and had not left us dangling in suspense after completing the last page of the book. I was looking for an epilogue to follow the final page. I would like to mention something that none of the other reviewers noticed or pointed out. Edgar was a boy who could not communicate to his fellow humans. As a special education teacher, I realize how frustrating that is to a person, especially a young boy who is entering adolesence. He was curious as to his existence and the family dynamics. His inability to communicate with his parents and receive the proper answers only added to his angst. The only relationship that I fully understood was the one that Edgar had with his friend Henry who was a bit inhibitied and had self-esteem issues also. All in all, the book was interesting and I was fuly absorbed with the last part of the book although quite disappointed when I finally reached the ending only to be led into complete oblivion.
Dec 31, 2009
Slow and dull
Someone recommended this because she had read it with her book club and I found myself with a doorstop of a Sominex tablet in the form of hundreds of pages about a fictional breed of dog and some family shenagigans very loosely based on "Hamlet." More than you've ever wanted to know about breeding dogs and building kennels.
Sep 24, 2009
Engaging but not uplifting
The story of Edgar Sawtelle has many twists and turns. Our book club had an excellent discussion of it because there is so much to talk about. If you know that it it is loosely based on Hamlet, then you won't be too surprised that the ending is not going to be a happy one.
Publishers Weekly, 2008-09-29 This sprawling epic tale clocks in at 22 hours, but is well worth the time spent. Wroblewski captivates with a story of a young boy and his dogs cast into the wilderness after his father is murdered in rural Wisconsin. Richard Poe reads with a firm voice, both gripping and personal, fitting for this particular tale. Poe brings the story to life with such ease that listeners will forget they aren't actually reading the book. Steady pacing, realistic and imaginative characters and Poe's skilled performance make this a recording that (even at its length) listeners will want to hear again. This is an instant classic that will resonate for years to come. An Ecco hardcover (Reviews, Feb. 18). (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2008-02-18 A literary thriller with commercial legs, this stunning debut is bound to be a bestseller. In the backwoods of Wisconsin, the Sawtelle family-Gar, Trudy and their young son, Edgar-carry on the family business of breeding and training dogs. Edgar, born mute, has developed a special relationship and a unique means of communicating with Almondine, one of the Sawtelle dogs, a fictional breed distinguished by personality, temperament and the dogs' ability to intuit commands and to make decisions. Raising them is an arduous life, but a satisfying one for the family until Gar's brother, Claude, a mystifying mixture of charm and menace, arrives. When Gar unexpectedly dies, mute Edgar cannot summon help via the telephone. His guilt and grief give way to the realization that his father was murdered; here, the resemblance to Hamlet resonates. After another gut-wrenching tragedy, Edgar goes on the run, accompanied by three loyal dogs. His quest for safety and succor provides a classic coming-of-age story with an ironic twist. Sustained by a momentum that has the crushing inevitability of fate, the propulsive narrative will have readers sucked in all the way through the breathtaking final scenes. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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