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The Story of Edgar Sawtelle|David Wroblewski
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
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Overview

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.

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061374234
  • ISBN-10: 0061374237
  • Publisher: Ecco Press
  • Publish Date: September 2009
  • Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 1.07 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Page Count: 584

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The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

By David Wroblewski

Shakespeare’s Hamlet provides the foundation for Wroblewski’s debut—a compelling coming-of-age-tale set in 1970s Wisconsin. Edgar, a mute boy who helps his parents run their dog-breeding business, has a remarkable ability to bond with and train canines. He comes from a family of dog lovers that includes his grandfather, who started the breeding business, his father, Gar, and his paternal uncle, Claude, who left town years ago. When Claude returns unexpectedly, things turn sour for the Sawtelles. Gar and Claude quarrel bitterly, and a few weeks later, Gar dies under mysterious circumstances. Edgar feels certain that his uncle is somehow responsible. To make matters worse, Claude’s concern for Edgar’s mother, Trudy, seems inappropriate, and it soon becomes clear that he’s trying to seduce her. Determined to show that Claude had a hand in his father’s death, Edgar comes up with a plan that goes horribly awry. Forced to run away, he escapes into the woods of Wisconsin along with three young dogs. Yet the mystery of his father’s death proves an irresistible draw, and, hoping for answers, Edgar goes home—a decision that has fateful consequences. Wroblewski writes wonderfully poetic prose, and he uses it effectively to probe the themes of language and communication, both verbal and non-verbal. An Oprah’s Book Club pick and a bestseller, this is an inventive, original narrative from a gifted new writer. A reading group guide is included in the book.

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