"Story of Edgar Sawtelle" is Oprah pick!

by MediaPhile@evpl on Friday, September 19 2008, 5:10pm. Viewed 1,115 times.

edgar sawtelle

And the winner is.................

I am going to play the Devil's Advocate here and ask why this is such a sensation!  There was alot of buzz about it at the American Library Association conference earlier this year.  The reviewers have been ecstatic and several friends after reading it have spoken its title in awe.

To fill you in a little, it is a novel about a mute boy named Edgar Sawtelle growing up surrounded by dogs on a homestead in Wisconsin.  His parents are continuing the family legacy by breeding dogs.  Not any dogs -- mind you -- but a new breed of dogs named after them.  This breed, the product of careful selection to produce a perfect specmen, is highly intelligent (perhaps even approaching human capabilities).   Edgar's best friend is his absolutely wonderful dog, Almondine. 

I really enjoyed Edgar's interactions with Almondine and the other Sawtelle dogs.  But I grew weary of the various trials and tribulations of the extended family.  And I won't even mention my disappointment with the end.

So help me out here.  Read it first, then tell me what is so great about it -- in your own words!  Am I just not literary enough?

Comments (2)

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on Thursday, September 25 2008, 10:55am

SPOILER ALERT:  I forgot to say that the "Edgar" plot has many similarities to Shakespeare's "Hamlet."  

According to Wikipedia, "Hamlet..., set in Denmark, recounts how Prince Hamlet exacts revenge on his uncle Claudius, who has murdered Hamlet's father, the King, and then taken the throne and married Hamlet's mother. The play vividly charts the course of real and feigned madness—from overwhelming grief to seething rage—and explores themes of treachery, revenge, incest, and moral corruption."

on Monday, October 20 2008, 8:47am

I just finished Edgar.  Liked the style of writing, though I thought there was a lot that could have been edited out and yet a lot of missed opportunities with characters that were not fully developed.  I thought the character of Edgar himself was uneven, with childish behavior that was so childish it denigrated the maturity of the character.  Maybe that was intentional to remind the reader of his age, however it was too extreme.  Disliked the ending in so many ways that I cannot list without spoiling the read.