Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

David Wroblewski took 10 years and 12 drafts to see his story through to publication.  In 2008 it became a New York Times best seller and later that year, an Oprah Book Club Selection.

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle made me wonder about the nature of animals, both human and dog.  And things supernatural.  There is definitely an eerie presence:  characters with the ability to see into the future and to hasten fate; ghosts that demand justice; the element of chance in science; the question of life's purpose.

Edgar is mute and compensates by developing acute powers of observation, which means there are beautifully rendered passages.  But the author also tells the story from a few dogs' points of view, and manages to carry it off with empathy, respect and imagination.

Rich and multi-layered.  Filled with suspense.  Technically brilliant.  Lots of great details about dog breeding and training and the dynamics of some very complicated relationships.

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