An Oprah's Book Club Pick
#1 New York Times Bestseller
“A mystery, a thriller, a ghost story, and a literary tour de force . . . an authentic epic, long and lush, full of back story and observed detail . . . the author exercises a certain magic that catches and holds our attention, a magic that is undeniably his own.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review
Born mute, speaking only in sign, Edgar Sawtelle leads an idyllic life on his family’s farm in remote northern Wisconsin, where they raise and train an extraordinary breed of dog. But when tragedy mysteriously strikes, Edgar is forced to flee into the vast neighboring wilderness, accompanied by three yearling dogs. He comes of age in the wild, struggling for survival, until the day Edgar is forced to choose between leaving forever and returning home to learn the truth behind what has happened.
Filled with breathtaking scenes—the elemental north woods, the sweep of seasons, an iconic American barn, a fateful vision rendered in the falling rain—The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is a meditation on the limits of language and what lies beyond, a brilliantly inventive retelling of an ancient story, and an epic tale of devotion, betrayal, and courage in the American heartland.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Okay, stay with us: Think Hamlet as a boy, but in Wisconsin, and with a pet dog. In his debut novel, David Wroblewski gives the tragic Dane’s tale a new spin. The boy is mute, and the dog is a genetic wonder, able to communicate at a level well above the average canine. Wroblewski has an ear for tragedy and an eye for natural wonders, and despite the Shakespearian origins of his tale, Edgar feels as uniquely all-American as Huck Finn. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle packs a unique emotional wallop, from the simple opening to its devastating conclusion.
A literary thriller with commercial legs, this stunning debut is bound to be a bestseller. In the backwoods of Wisconsin, the Sawtelle family Gar, Trudy and their young son, Edgar carry on the family business of breeding and training dogs. Edgar, born mute, has developed a special relationship and a unique means of communicating with Almondine, one of the Sawtelle dogs, a fictional breed distinguished by personality, temperament and the dogs' ability to intuit commands and to make decisions. Raising them is an arduous life, but a satisfying one for the family until Gar's brother, Claude, a mystifying mixture of charm and menace, arrives. When Gar unexpectedly dies, mute Edgar cannot summon help via the telephone. His guilt and grief give way to the realization that his father was murdered; here, the resemblance to Hamlet resonates. After another gut-wrenching tragedy, Edgar goes on the run, accompanied by three loyal dogs. His quest for safety and succor provides a classic coming-of-age story with an ironic twist. Sustained by a momentum that has the crushing inevitability of fate, the propulsive narrative will have readers sucked in all the way through the breathtaking final scenes.
Too bad, so sad!
This book might’ve been one of the best I’ve read in a long while if it wasn’t so sad and eventually so depressing with possibly one of the worst conclusions I have ever read! It will stay with me for sometime, (and perhaps that is what this author is hoping for, ) but not for the right reasons. Well written but not satisfying in the end. To bad! It could’ve been great!
Edgar Sawtelle will live in your heart forever. Wonderful story. Beautifully written. Everyone should read this book.
Interesting story, quite unique. Good character development and a good plot.