Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

I’ve been holding off reading The Story of Edgar Sawtelle for the longest time. I think it was the size and the weight of the book that scared me. I also knew that it would be a heavy read and that I needed quality time to absorb the details, so I waited for the long holidays to convince myself to start reading the book.

The first debut novel from David Wroblewski garnered rave reviews from readers as well as from Oprah’s Book Club. With all books that receive such high praises, I am always doubtful and weary of the reviews which can sometimes be overrated.

The story revolves around Edgar Sawtelle who lives an idyllic life with his parents on their farm in Wisconsin, raising and training a fictional breed of dogs that are unique in every way. Edgar is born mute and uses sign language to communicate to his parents and the dogs.
With the unexpected return of Claude, Edgar’s uncle and the sudden death of his father, Edgar’s peaceful life is destroyed. With the loss of Edgar’s father, Claude assumes control of the farm and also the affection of Edgar’s mother, Trudy.
Certain that Claude is responsible for the death of his father, the grief stricken Edgar tries to prove Claude’s guilt but his plan unfortunately backfires. Edgar is force to run away into the wild with three other Sawtelle dogs; Essay, Tinder and Baboo, where he learns the value of the dogs as companions.

The story of Edgar Sawtelle is a book filled with great characters that you can’t help but really feel for them be it human or dog. Due to the depth provided on Edgar’s thought and emotion, you can’t help but feel his grief, loss and frustrations. Edgar became a character that I can’t help but love. Although there were short chapters on the dogs, there was also a clear understanding on Almondine’s feelings and fierce loyalty to Edgar.
It was mostly an interesting read but there were some parts of the book that provided way to much detail and took too long to end. However the storyline will pick up again with an introduction of a new character or an event that will keep your nose glued to the book which more that makes up for those unnecessary pages.
I wasn’t too wrapped up with the book especially when it went on too long on the details but when the story picked up again I just COULD NOT PUT THE BOOK DOWN. I’m glad I didn’t give myself 1001 excuses not to read this book especially not letting the size and weight of the book get to me (although my handbag looked liked I was carrying a Christmas turkey in it when I brought the book around with me). Overall, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is a good read and worth taking the time to absorb.


Marie said...

thanks for the great review! i'm looking forward to reading edgar sawtelle soon :-)

Ms Ulat Buku said...

Hi Marie. Hope all is well in the States! Thanks for visiting my blog. Really looking forward to your review on the book.

Alice Teh said...

This book is in my personal challenge (20 must-read books) for 2009. I'm glad to know you enjoyed it. Thanks for the review! :)

Ms Ulat Buku said...

I did but I think it was because I took time during the holidays to absorb the book.I think I would have abandoned the book halfway if it was not the holiday!

Betty said...

Well, I wasn't planning to read this book for a while, but your review makes me want to read it soon!

I've been having a lot less time to read since starting work, so I can't read as many books as I want and I have to be picky about the books I read now. =(

So many good books! How to choose?! Thanks for the great review!

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