The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

A Novel

Book - 2008
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A tale reminiscent of "Hamlet" that also celebrates the alliance between humans and dogs follows speech-disabled Wisconsin youth Edgar, who bonds with three yearling canines and struggles to prove that his sinister uncle is responsible for his father's death.
In a tale reminiscent of HAMLET that also celebrates the bond between dogs and humans, speech-disabled Wisconsin youth Edgar bonds with three yearling canines and struggles to prove that his uncle is responsible for his father's death.
Publisher: New York : Ecco, c2008
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780061768064
Call Number: F WROBLEWS
Characteristics: 566 p. ; 24 cm


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Jan 10, 2021

I agree with some of the other comments made by readers. The author does indeed have a great knowledge about dogs and breeding them in particular. I wish I'd read this book before buying our recent family dog! However, the story was not cohesive. There were some interesting parts but far too many sections where I found myself reading ahead to get through the story. Agreed, the ending was a total let down. Think about whether or not you want to invest the time into this book. I still seem to be one of those people that has to read to the very end, in hopes that it will be worth it. This one doesn't really make the cut in that department.

Dec 14, 2020

I really loved sections of this book. The author obviously knows and loves dogs and the parts about dog training were really interesting. As were the chapters from the dog perspective. However, the human characters were less well realized. The plot depended on the humans making really stupid mistakes or acting in ways that seemed terribly implausible. I could have forgiven these things if the book had a better ending. Unfortunately the last section was completely over the top and the totally unsatisfying Shakespearean ending was a big disappointment.

Jul 15, 2020

Are we all just okay with the fact that this book is a complete rip-off of ‘Hamlet?’ Because I’m not. I did not enjoy this book at all.

Dec 01, 2019

Oprah favorite - soulful book

Nov 13, 2016


Apr 11, 2016


Mar 11, 2016

My sister recommended this book to me. Not only did I hate it, I was miffed at the time wasted (it's long), and will never accept a book recommendation from my sister again. Actually, I don't think she even read it.

Feb 02, 2016

I have to say, this book had the worst ending to any book i've ever read. What was the point? The story was not about the mother yet she was the only one who survived. Why would you end a book this way? Edgar risks his life getting most of his fathers' files out of a burning barn yet still dies in the end leaving incomplete records of the sawtelle dog breed? What a crock! I was so dissappointed in the ending. It should have ended with Edgars mother confessing she was wrong about her husbands brother and Edgar and his mother reuniting and carring on his father's legacy. The writing was excellent, the characters unique, but the ending was horrible!

Dec 28, 2015

A beautiful piece of writing. The author certainly has chops. This is the second time I've read it; I saw him at the Harbourfront series back in '08. Super nice guy.

Unfortunately, the ending is- Well, I'll be charitable and say 'unsatisfying'. I felt cheated, I felt betrayed...I felt like I'd just read a 'shaggy-dog tale'.

As much as I appreciate his abilities, as numerous as the wonderful bits were, I would not recommend this novel. The ending is that abysmal. (The sad thing is that there was a way for him to end it where the reader isn't sufficiently incensed to throw the thing against the nearest wall.)

Jul 23, 2015

i couldn't believe i spent 5 days on and off reading this book and it ended so horribly! i did not know it was based on hamlet. if i would have known that, i never would have wasted my time on this horrid book. if you like lots of reading, and i mean lots of reading, then a tragic ending... read this book. otherwise, leave it on the shelf. i lost time reading that i'll never get back :(

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Dec 19, 2009

Born mute, speaking only in sign, Edgar Sawtelle leads an idyllic life with his parents on their farm in remote northern Wisconsin. For generations, the Sawtelles have raised and trained a fictional breed of dog whose thoughtful companionship is epitomized by Almondine, Edgar's lifelong friend and ally. But with the unexpected return of Claude, Edgar's paternal uncle, turnmoil consumes the Sawtelles' once peacefull home. When Edgar's father dies sudenly, Claude insinuates himself into the life of the farm - and into Edgar's mother's affections.
Grief-stricken and bewildered, Edgar tries to prove Claude played a role in his father's death, but his plan backfires - spectacularly. Forced to flee into the vast wilderness lying beyond the farm, Edgar comes of age in the wild, fighting for his survival and that of the three yearling dogs who follow him. But his need to face his father's murderer and his devotion to the Sawtelle dogs turn Edgar ever homeward.


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