Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski

I finished reading Edgar Sawtelle quite some time ago - 2 full books ago actually. I was so mad when I finished this book, I couldn't write a review. Now I hope I still recall enough of it to do so.

I glanced at some (non-spoiler) reviews prior to reading the book and one that stuck in my head in particular referred to the book as one people either hate or love... or have a love/hate relationship with it. That definitely sums up my feelings.

I started Edgar with a lot of hope and enthusiasm. The author writes beautifully and drew such wonderful pictures in my mind. I don't have patience for a lot of detail usually, but I was drawn in by the author and could clearly see the landscape of his book. It was almost like watching a movie and thoroughly enjoyable.

Edgar Sawtelle, the main character of this book is a young mute boy growing up on a rural farm breeding dogs. The dogs they breed are extraordinary. Much of the story revolves around their history and evolution and sometimes does bog down on the details of these mystical dogs.

Edgar, although young has a maturity about him and his role on the farm. He takes his responsibilities very seriously. Tragedy strikes and we watch him deal with his father's death and his mother's subsequent depression. The events that follow kept me cheering on Edgar, worrying for him & his dogs and desperate with curiosity of how it would all be resolved. Edgar is the hero, the champion of his dogs and his mother and I knew he would expose the evil and resolve the issues.

***Spoiler Alert***

It doesn't happen that way. With all the emotion I invested into Edgar's odyssey, he loses the fight. Not only does he lose, everyone loses. There are no winners at the end of this book. Right up until the end I loved the book. Honestly, I hated the ending so much I almost wish I hadn't invested all the time in the first 500 pages.


  1. I agree totally! I was soooo disappointed at the end! I loved reading about the dogs especially and got to like Edgar too. I find Oprah's books mostly to be so dark that I've pretty much given up on her choices--especially after this one!

  2. I agree with your assessment of Oprah's book choices. She does like dark, depressing tales!

    Weren't the dogs in this story wonderful? I particularly loved Almondine, of course, who wouldn't? Her story too, became heartbreaking in the end. The only redemption there is that she waited for Edgar.

    I did like the mysticism of the life after life encounters. There was such a better ending to be had after being so pulled in by everything that lead up to it. Gah!!