The Story of Edgar Sawtelle: A Novel
I’m Kim Alexander and this is Fiction Nation, with smart reviews for modern readers on Sirius XM Book Radio. The book is The Story of Edgar Sawtelle: A Novel by David Wroblewski
Here’s something I don’t think I’ve talked about too much dogs. I’ve never had a dog, don’t know too much about them in fact, I’m highly allergic to them and can’t touch them even if I want to something that a dog, I am told, will take kind of personally. But even I, cat person that I am, am not immune to the way they look at the people they love and I wonder if humans can even come close to that unwavering devotion. (Excepting Twilight fans of course.)
I think my cat Leeloo looks at me like that sometimes but then I realize she’s actually looking at the treat jar behind my head on the shelf.
David Wroblewski knows about dogs, and he knows about telling a story. Edgar Sawtelle is a voiceless young boy raised among highly trained dogs on his family farm. The story spins off in Shakespearian directions with the sudden removal of a father and the abrupt insertion of a stepfather/uncle. Edgar and his beloved dog friends are forced to flee and we, along with this small tribe, are left to make our way in an American forest as full of magic and adventure as is it of loneliness, mosquitoes and hunger. There are scenes of great beauty, Shakespearian (again) tragedy, and a few jewel-like chapters told from the viewpoint of Edgar’s first love, the elderly dog Almodine. (Old dog, missing boy, cue the tears!)
There’s a lot more about dog training than I’ll probably ever need to know, but on the other hand I’ll probably never get lost in the Wisconsin woods either. I was only too happy to follow wherever Edgar led his pack.
To see pets being just as emotional as their owners, I direct you to this collection of YouTube clips of dogs greeting their owners, soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Have a tissue standing by. The Late Movies: Dogs Welcoming Home Soldiers