The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

by David Wroblewski
3.6 914


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The Story of Edgar Sawtelle 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 914 reviews.
adambomb314 More than 1 year ago
Please do not read this book. I just finished it and have never felt more betrayed and letdown by a book before. If you would have asked me yesterday what I thought of the book, I would have told you I loved it. The characters were engrossing, the language was at once a combination of being sparse and detailed. There was just the right amounts of mystery and beauty, and a touch of the otherworldly. In fact, I felt that anything was possible and plausible in the world of the book. I just don't see the point after finishing it. Why did I go through all of Edgar's struggles only to be stabbed in the back by the author. To me, a story should have a reason, a lesson, a moral objective. But where was it? If it was in there it was overshadowed by the ending, which is all I can think about now. Ripping the readers guts out over the course of a book is good, if there is some kind of satisfaction in the outcome of the story. I think the books objective could have been achieved with a different ending, while still being true to the story. I don't even need a full on happy ending, thats not my point. My point is that misery for misery's sake is just pointless. I lived in Wisconsin, and I love dogs, so maybe I fell a little too hard for this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You have to have an open mind when reading this book or you definitely won't "get it." If you like everything tied up in a neat little package and don't like difficult words (you might even have to look some up), this is probably not the book for you. But if you enjoy feeling like you're living right there with the characters and seeing right through their eyes, this author can take you there. I especially liked seeing the world through Almondine's eyes. It made me understand how my own dogs probably see the world. A terrible sadness gripped me right in the pit of my stomach at the end, but I also felt joy that Almondine's spirit was there for Edgar and I was glad Claude suffered too. I think the ending is open to interpretation, which is good because it gets people talking about the book. I felt somehow that Forte would join the dogs and become their leader, perhaps even take them to Henry. I felt like the dogs were able to almost communicate telepathically with each other. Towards the end of the book I felt excitement and fear and dread for Edgar, disgust and loathing for Claude and pity for Trudy - and I just couldn't put the book down. I actually went back and read the last three chapters one more time after I had finished. I can't wait for him to write another book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'll keep it short and sweet. It was a wonderful book until the end. I hated the ending so much that it ruined the whole book and made me wonder what the whole thing was about.
jgAZ More than 1 year ago
I have never felt the compulsion to write a review - until now. I have NEVER been so disappointed and upset with a book, and I literally HATED the author when I finished. I was upset for days. The book is beautifully written and the author extremely talented. One is completely drawn into the life of Edgar. One knows, though, as the ending approaches that it will not be a good one. There are numerous possibilities as to how to end the story, even negatively. However, this author seems to take an almost sadistic pleasure in leaving the reader completely anguished and distraught! I will never read another book of his.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't wait to read this book. I expected to absolutely love it. With so many critics, readers and even Oprah, for gosh sakes, praising it to the heavens, I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I ... well, I actually hated it (and there are very few books that I would say that about). I thought it was over-blown and self-indulgent. Of the 576 pages, it felt like about 400 were about dog training, a subject I never really cared much about and now, care about even less. And I have a beautiful dog that I love and I'm pretty sure we've done some "shared gazing" without having to make such a big deal about it. Every scene went on and on and on, to the point of sheer torture. By the end of the book, I was irritated with every character, even the beloved Almondine ... I mean, c'mon, who names a dog Almondine? And the ending was truly lame ... if I had any degree of attachment to any of the characters, I would have been yelling, "Get up, Trudy! Save your son!" As it was, I said, "Stay down, Trudy, not worth it." I need to sink my teeth into another book right now, to try to erase the bad taste that Edgar Sawtelle left.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The main reason I ordered this book was because it was highly rated on Oprah's show, and I must confess that I will never read another book that Oprah reccommends.

To me, this book had some very good story lines about the training and caring of the dogs, along with their breeding history, and how Edgar communicated and related to them. I am a dog lover so I think that part was very well done, but that was the only essence of the book. Nothing else flowed well.

Parts of the book went on far too long while describing the forest, the sunset, the lake, etc., so I actually skipped those parts which were several pages long; and wanted to see what happened between Edgar and Claude. Would justice be served????

The biggest disappointment was the ending of the story. What happens to the dogs? Do they become wild, or are they on their way to Henry's home to join Tinder and Baboo??
twist More than 1 year ago
While author Wroblewski has a deft paintbrush in detailing the nuanced lives of his human and canine characters, I was left with the nagging feeling that he was simply trying too hard. You could almost hear him as author attempting to get that "just right" description of sunlight through a barn roof, the heavy pant of a loving dog, or the breaking pane of a vandalized window. Nevertheless, I did care deeply for his protaganist -- Edgar. And, I did root for him to triumph. But, where was the "evil"? Claude was enveloped in such mystery that it was difficult to discern what drove him to act with such callous calculation. Where was his passion? The unsatisfying answers in the climax simply left an ache. Was that the point?
ShepherdLady More than 1 year ago
I have to agree with Anonymous and 24girl. I absolutely loved this book, the characters and of course the main characters, the Sawtelle dogs. Henry was also an integral part of this story. I found I couldn't wait to get back to it and stayed up many nights until 1 or 1:30 in the morning saying "just one more chapter".
The ending was such a disapointment...I truly felt cheated of a great read. Many questions were left unanswered. Why did he do it? Where did they go? What about Trudy and Glen? What was in their individual futures?
And we never really know Almondine's final story.
This could have been a perfect novel had certain things been somewhat clear at the end. But it was a bit chaotic for me.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In a remote part of Wisconsin, Gar Sawtelle, his wife Trudy and their young son, mute Edgar makes a living breeding and training dogs. Edgar has developed a unique special relationship with Almondine, one of the family dogs the pair communicate in a way that his parents are unable to do with their son.============== The family is contented although the work with the canines is hard. When Gar's brother charming brother Claude comes home the family dynamics change but not in a positive manner. Soon after his arrival Gar dies and the silent Edgar is unable to call for help. He is filled with remorse and guilt making his grief even more difficult. However, he soon believes his father was murdered by his uncle who has spent an exorbitant amount of time with his mom. Fearing he may be next, Edgar flees accompanied by his best friends Almondine and two other dogs.============= Hamlet is brought into modern day Wisconsin as readers feel the destiny of tragedy will occur from the moment Claude arrives and after that happens, a sense of a second calamity once Edgar concludes his uncle killed his father to eliminate the sole barrier to his mother. Readers will be spellbound by David Wrobleweski¿s retelling of the classic as the key cast comes alive especially the mute Edgar who readers get to know by his thoughts and his communication with Almondine (sort of in some ways like the Ghost). This is a fascinating winner, but at 566 pages set aside some time.========== Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Why do I listen to critics who praise books? Why do I continue to plod throught a book, which page after page I keep thinking "it must get better soon"? This book has so much detail to skim over, with a possibly interesting plot, yet it goes nowhere. I usually stick to my gut instinct, that after 50 or so pages, if the book doesn't grab my attenion, just stop it. But no, I kept out for hope (it is the Christmas season, after all...) of it getting better. And the ending? It almost seemed as if the author didn't know how to end it, so just slapped a conclusion in it. I actually was mad that I wasted a day reading it. Maybe a talented writer, if he edits more, and adds a bit more climax?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I has high hopes for this book the way Oprah talked about it. It took me 3 mos. to read it and the first 150-200 pages were very slow. It did get better but not much. The ending was not good at all. Overall not a great book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book was interesting and a great read up until the end. I stayed up until 3 in the morning to finish this book and was so mad with the ending that I could not go to sleep. I will never read any other books by this author. What was Oprah thinking when she was raving about this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is, perhaps, the best book I have read all year. There are so many pleasures to be found in this book. It can be read for it's thrilling plot, it's subtle and psychologically nuanced portrait of a family caught in the cross currents of profound grief and corrosive envy, it's rich, beautiful language, or it's tender delineation of the relationship between man and dog. While nodding to Hamlet and The Jungle Book, among other classics, this novel is much more than a recasting of familar themes and story lines. It is a singular work of art unto itself (that also happens to be a terrific, propulsive page-turner). This book is as satisfying and entertaining as popular fiction gets.
melaniehaber More than 1 year ago
This was a crappy book. I'm serious. I'm no writer (and I don't claim to be) and I'm not the most articulate, but I just want to say that I really have to disagree with Oprah on this. Which I hate to do because I truly love her. I finished this book several months ago. I thought I'd never finish. The beginning of the book is great; you think the thing is truly going to be an epic, especially after all the hype. And then it just drags on and on and on. There were no heroes, except for maybe the ghost. I wanted to strangle the boy's mother. The end was really pointless....don't care what anyone says; it's not just sad, it's sadly annoying. I hated this book!
bluejens234 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book until I finished it. I felt like the author left too many unfinished details. What became of the dogs? They started to "change"... what is that supposed to mean? A lot of time is spent developing a relationship with these dogs, and then the ending for them is unclear. Sad endings are ok, but there needs to be some finality to the entire story. I did not get any sense of finality from this book. The story was about Edgar, but readers also develop a relationship with the dogs. It would be nice to know what happens with them too.
not-so-tiny-tim More than 1 year ago
This book had just about everything for me....great writting, family drama, the bond between a boy and his dog and some truly amazing characters. Alas....I HATED THE ENDING!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I too am one of those dog people and that's why I picked up the book this summer. It was just too 'too'. From the opening scene with Claude, I knew I had picked the wrong book. I agree with another poster about the end, it seemed as if the author rushed to finish the book and just said 'the end'. And now I see this book featured in all of the book stores, #1 position on the best seller list and I am shaking my head, wandering if I am that thick to have not gotten it. The only one in the family who actually liked the book was our lone male dog, he tore up the dust jacket and chewed the front corners and pronounced it a fun chew due to the size.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The body of the story was well developed but the author ran out of steam at the end. I actually hated the ending. It wasn't deep. It gave no hope. It just ended. Dead, heartbroken, blind: there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Even the dogs drift at the end.
TRAD405 More than 1 year ago
I don't understand why some people don't like this book. I'm assuming they've never had a relationship with a pet before. I was so touched by Edgar's relationship with the dogs - especially when he ran away. Edgar and Henry are extremely lovable and deep characters and the storyline kept me turning the pages as quickly as I could. I cried at the end - not for the death of the protagonist, but for the beauty in which the end was written. The author put to life a human-animal connection that left a lasting impression for me. I've recommended this book to all of my friends.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Am I the only one who had a problem with the ending? It seems to me that an ending should either resolve the thesis of the book or have a logical reason to ponder the unknown outcome. Did this book do either?
zmm More than 1 year ago
I slowed down while reading, just to make the book last longer, what a wonderful, heartfelt book!!! I cried alot!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was intimidated by the size of the book and the "boy and his dog" reviews I had heard. Once I actually opened the book and started reading, I was immediately taken on a spiritual journey through myriad emotions. His descriptions of the scenery, the weather, the people, and the animals heightened all my senses. I could see, feel and smell every sentence.
I confess that I am a reader who likes to have everything tied up neatly in a bow at the end of my stories. This book ended as it should. It will not leave me for a long time. I am greatly impressed by this author. I heard it took a long time for him to write this book. It was well worth the wait. Well done! Animal lovers and bibliophiles will not be disappointed.
24girl More than 1 year ago
It's a little hard to put a finger on my feelings on this book. In one way I loved it and in another I was disappointed. As proven true with Stephenie Meyer'sr Breaking Dawn and other over hyped books, there's a kind of a let down even though the book is great and I think that's my problem with this one. If I had read it without all the hype from it becoming an Oprah Book Club selection I think I may have loved it more.

To me the greatest thing about the book is the character development. Edgar quickly becomes a cherished character so much so that I felt a strong maternal tug when he makes decisions that I didn't agree with. The dogs are written about in such a way you can picture them, with each of their unique traits, just as if they are sitting in front of you.

For the most part the storyline is told incredibly well but in some areas the detail drags on way too long with no clear benefit to writing it that way. Without giving away any spoilers there were also a couple of points that never led anywhere when the anticipation is that it would be an integral part of the story. Furthermore, the ending just wasn't what I imagined and I was left greatly disappointed by it.

All that being said; I do still recommend this read. It¿s a huge book but overall worth the time to read.
redheadbooklover More than 1 year ago
I am an avid reader and enjoy reading other people review books. I just finished this book and I was eager to tell folks that this is the best book I believe I have ever read. I just purchased two more copies for my friends for Christmas. The prose is so moving, I cannot fully explain. I am NOT a dog person, but was deeply touched by the characters. I will recommend this to everyone! Definitely an addition to my permanent library.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was a great read until I got to the ending. I was very angry and disappointed in how the author choose to end this book. I felt as if the characters did not deserve what happened in the end and it made me wish I had not read the book in some ways. I was excited to recommend the book to others but the ending took away my enthusiasm.