Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
It took me awhile to warm up to this book. It was so slow and dragging in the first 50 pages. I craved dialogue, anything to get me moving through the long paragraphs of rambling description of early 1900's Wisconsin. I hung in there, though, wondering if the dogs so lovingly described in the book would pull me in. They did.
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is really the story of the Sawtelle dogs, these miraculous dogs that have an other-worldly quality. Edgar is a young boy who can hear but cannot talk, not a word, but his dogs understand him just fine. There are even chapters written from one of the dog's points of view. I think that's a first for me - a chapter from an animal's point of view. One of the wonderful lines in the novel that is descriptive of the book as a whole is - "In the end, to create better dogs, we will have to become better people."
David Wroblewski is a slow, literary writer, whose words I enjoyed throughout the novel. Lines like this, "The memory was too dazzling, like the memory of being born - something that, if recalled in full, would destroy a person." Other critics, including superstar Stephen King, love, love, love this novel. King describes it as "wonderful, mysterious, long and satisfying: readers who pick up this novel are going to enter a richer world. I envy them the trip." I wouldn't rave quite as much, but I did find myself starting to read slower toward the end because I didn't want it to be over. I recommend the new bestseller, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle.