02/24/09

Gee Gee's Review of “The Story of Edgar Sawtelle” by David Wroblewski.

If you haven’t yet read “The Story of Edgar Sawtelle” go do that right now. Then come back and be overjoyed that author Wroblewski has announced the book will be part of a trilogy.

“Edgar” is a deeply affecting story of a family in Wisconsin farm country that breeds dogs. The Sawtelles are dogs bred for personality, not conformation or hunting talent or show. They are extraordinary in the way in which they relate to their human companions and by the middle of the book I was totally and head-over-heels in love with one of them. The fictional dog-human alliance jumped right off the page and into my heart. And I’m a cat person.

While “Edgar” is heartwarming it is also dark and heart-rending in many ways. It’s also Wroblewski’s first book. Wow. So the next will be a prequel he says. It will tell the story of the middle generation: Edgar’s father, Gar, and Uncle Claude. It was Edgar’s grandfather who started the Sawtelle breed you see.

Some reviewers have invoked Hamlet in their comparisons. I say, well, maybe. There is some twisted family stuff that is integral to the story. Shakespeare aside, the book is destined to be on the “literature” shelves even though it’s a best seller right now and many of those best seller titles will disappear from print once new titles knock them off the list. I’m hearing chatter from book club folks that they want the story of “Edgar” to continue to live on and will happily recommend it to their church groups and their knitting pals alike. Do not wait for the paperback version.

I, at least, want to own a copy of this book that can stand up to being pulled off the shelf repeatedly. And for heaven’s sake get it read before the second in the trilogy comes out. You will most certainly want to know the formative influences in Claude’s life and the why of that is contained in “Edgar”.

Bye for now, Gee Gee

Buxton Village Books is the only book store on Hatteras Island, and is quietly celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2009. The store is home to an eclectic mix of local authors and guide books, kids’ books, it offers the newest in ficton and non-fiction best sellers, blank journals, and lots of unusual greeting cards. The store also offers used paperback bestsellers in a side room. Gee Gee Rosell, who started and has operated the bookstore for all of its 25 years, is an avid reader and expert on local authors, and hopes that the store will be a treasured local book shop for 25 years to come.

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