Sunday, January 25, 2009

"The Story of Edgar Sawtelle" by David Wroblewski

Summary: A mute boy lives with his parents; they run a kennel where they train his family's special line of "Sawtelle" dogs.

Musings: A long book with distinct sections: Edgar's life in the kennel, the death of his father and discovery of his Uncle Claude's guilt, Edgar's run away from home and survival in the woods with several of his dogs, his life with a friendly farmer, and his return home. The story is very different from others I've read, and both the human and dog characters have distinct personalities. The book, in general, is more or less "realistic" (albeit far-fetched), but Wroblewski intersperses random moments of pure fantasy (Edgar is visited by a "mist-man" form of his death father who tells Edgar of Claude's murder) that I had a hard time accepting into the context of the book. The ending--a haze of different viewpoints, appearances from the dead, and lofty metaphorical sentiment--I found confusing and unsatisfying. I feel there was a greater "message" that I just didn't get (probably because I didn't put the work in). Worth reading, but discussion afterwards might help.

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