Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Book Review: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by D. Wroblewski

I just finished reading The Story of Edgar Sawtelle for my book club. What a great book!

This is the story of a mute boy who lives on a farm in Wisconsin with his parents. The family breeds, raises and trains very special dogs. I won't reveal too many details, because I don't want to spoil it for you, but it is a dog story, a story of growing up and friendship, a mystery, a ghost story. The characters are all very believable and real, although not all are likeable. It also is a parallel to Hamlet, according to the segment I heard on NPR, and for the whole month it took to read the book I was regretting that I had not paid more attention to Hamlet in High School and College. I expect this will turn out to be a book that is studied by High School Honors English classes in the future, which was my justification for purchasing a hardcover copy.

I enjoyed this book because the story had many layers, and it was very thought-provoking to read. It was not what I'd call "light reading", and required a lot of attention, but I never found it boring. (Well, there was some of the middle that I felt bogged down in, but by the end, many of those details turned out to be very important, and I found that it really wasn't boring after all.) The author is extremely skilled at creating visual images with his words, and conveying non-verbal communication. It is a very impressive work of literature.

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