The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

by David Wroblewski | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 9780385664783 Global Overview for this book
Registered by HoserLauren of Burlington, Ontario Canada on 11/12/2008
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This book is in a Controlled Release! This book is in a Controlled Release!
4 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by HoserLauren from Burlington, Ontario Canada on Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I got this as a birthday present!

From Chapters:
A riveting family saga, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle explores the deep and ancient alliance between humans and dogs, and the power of fate through one boy’s epic journey into the wild.

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 companion. But with the unexpected return of Claude, Edgar''s uncle, turmoil consumes the Sawtelle''s 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. Edgar flees into the vast wilderness lying beyond the farm. He 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.

Wroblewski is a master storyteller, and his breathtaking scenes – the elemental north woods, the sweep of seasons, an iconic American barn, a ghost made of falling rain – create a family saga that is at once a brilliantly inventive retelling of Hamlet, an exploration of the limits of language, and a compulsively readable modern classic.

Journal Entry 2 by HoserLauren from Burlington, Ontario Canada on Sunday, October 18, 2009
Edgar Sawtelle lives with his parents in Wisconsin on a farm that sells Sawtelle dogs. Between Edgar, his dad Gar, and his mom Trudy, they manage to train the pups until they are ready for placement with families. Each one of the is responsible for a different part of the process. Edgar is a mute who communicates through his own form of sign language. The only one who seems to really understand Edgar is his dog Almondine. She has been his friend since birth and is always by his side.

When Gar brings his brother Claude back to the farm after being released from jail, the dynamics change. Claude and Gar argue a lot and Edgar doesn't quite understand why. When Gar dies, it's up to Edgar to help keep the business alive and learn everything he can about his grandther's vision for the Sawtelle dogs. Claude starts moving in and taking Gar's place in the family which pushes Edgar to his limits. What results is a story of finding oneself in adversity and the journey required to get there.

This book is divided in to different sections and within each you get the perspective of different characters. I really enjoyed Almondine's perspective. She is such a wise and loyal dog and it was amazing how she understood that Edgar couldn't communicate as soon as he was brought home. These chapters seemed like some of the most important ones in the novel.

This novel was definitely a page-turner. Yet there were some passages that I didn't quite understand. At first I wasn't sure if it was because I was reading the book too quickly but I went back and re-read and still couldn't get a clear picture of things. Maybe the author left some of these items partially explained because he wanted the reader to use their imagination?

I really enjoyed this book even though I hated some of the characters and didn't feel too good about where the book was going. But that's part of what makes a book so good I guess!

Journal Entry 3 by HoserLauren from Burlington, Ontario Canada on Sunday, October 18, 2009
After reading the book, I enjoyed watching these clips from Oprah's interview with the author and found that it shed light on some things that were left unclear:

Journal Entry 4 by wingAceofHeartswing from Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Friday, October 23, 2009
This book is with me now!

Journal Entry 5 by wingAceofHeartswing from Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Friday, November 13, 2009
This book is a saga about the Sawtelles and their exceptional dogs. Dogs not of a particular breed but bred for their qualities of obedience, loyalty and intelligence. Edgar was born to Trudy and Gar,as a mute. He learned sign language to communicate but he has grown up with the dogs and little outside contact. His father gives him his own litter to raise and train.

When Gar brings his brother, Claude into his home after his release from prison, the family is changed. Gar and Claude start to argue a lot and Edgar doesn't understand why. When Gar dies, Edgar knows he must learn everything that his grandfather and father knew about the dogs. But Claude is insinuating himself more and more into Edgar's and Trudy's lives. When Edgar tries to prove that Claude killed his father everything backfires and Edgar runs away.

This is a coming-of-age, a mystery, an animal and family story. The scenes from the wilderness that the author portrays are so very real. By far my favourite part of the book is the narration by Almondine, Edgar's faithful companion dog. These chapters are poignant and beautifully written.

Journal Entry 6 by HoserLauren from Burlington, Ontario Canada on Saturday, November 21, 2009
Mailed off to my boxing day partner!

Journal Entry 7 by dancing-dog from Cordova, Tennessee USA on Saturday, December 26, 2009
Woo-hoo, a wishlist book! And I see it's gotten some good reviews - looking forward to reading this. Thanks so much Lauren - Happy Boxing Day!

Journal Entry 8 by dancing-dog at Cordova, Tennessee USA on Saturday, July 10, 2010
I found this story very haunting - not due to a few ghostly parts but it was the kind of story that I woud find myself thinking about at odd moments - it stayed on my mind ... especially while Edgar was on his "trek". I found the ending very sad - it made me cry! I thought the characters were very well done - Claude was a truly evil villain that I hated. After reading it , it dawned on me that the author used the names Gar and Edgar because they were so much alike. I really loved the parts with the dogs, particularly Almondine (I didn't like her name at first but it grew on me) and Essay. A great read!

Journal Entry 9 by dancing-dog at Cordova, Tennessee USA on Sunday, July 11, 2010
was going to release this at the Meet-Up but everyone had a copy so will be looking for a new home for it somewhere else.

Journal Entry 10 by dancing-dog at Cordova, Tennessee USA on Friday, August 06, 2010

Released 9 yrs ago (8/6/2010 UTC) at Cordova, Tennessee USA


sending this on to bookpatch - I think she'll enjoy it :)

Journal Entry 11 by bookpatch at Lakewood, California USA on Sunday, August 15, 2010
Thank you--I had heard reviews of this book and definitely thought it was a dancing-dog kind of book--and I was right apparently! Will look forward to reading it.

Journal Entry 12 by bookpatch at Lakewood, California USA on Wednesday, November 28, 2012
This story seemed to want to linger on my literal bookshelf for some reason, but I finally coaxed it down and persuaded it to tell its tale. There were many things about this book that were simply wonderful--the way the author describes the relationship between people and dogs was especially insightful and in its way profound; and there were a lot of interesting details --like Edgar's dog-naming routine--that added color and substance to the story. The characters were distinct and well-written, the manipulative Claude in particular, and rescuer Henry. I even liked the way the scenery was described!--and my favorite part is Edgar's journey though the woods. But--and I should have known--as with all dog stories, there's tragedy bound to happen, and sure enough, this one makes no exception. All through the last part of the book I kept wondering how Edgar was going to be able to resolve his situation, and when the ending came I really felt like I had missed the point of the whole thing somewhere. It left me feeling quite ambivalent. Some excellent writing here, just not sure I loved the plot.

Journal Entry 13 by bookpatch at Lakewood, California USA on Saturday, January 12, 2013

Released 6 yrs ago (1/12/2013 UTC) at Lakewood, California USA


Releasing to a well-read friend. Happy Reading!

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