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Book Review: 'The Story of Edgar Sawtelle'

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Book Review: 'The Story of Edgar Sawtelle'

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

HarperCollins Publishers

The Bottom Line

Edgar Sawtelle was born mute, though he sees and hears the world around him well beyond his years. Living with his parents on their farm in Wisconsin, the Sawtelle's raise and sell their own breed of dog that has been carefully designed for decades; epitomized by Edgar's constant companion, Almondine. After a mysterious death, the family ties are tested, and Edgar plays out his coming of age story amid a forest of drama.

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  • 'The Story of Edgar Sawtelle' is an instant modern American classic novel.
  • All the components of great fiction: suspense, family drama, revenge and unbreakable friendship.
  • Spectacular imagery through the woods of Wisconsin.
  • A book for dog-lovers - you will be one when you finish this novel.


  • The 562 page novel is slow-moving in parts.


  • Premiere novel by David Wroblewski.
  • Oprah's 62nd Book Club Selection, chosen in September of 2008.
  • Published in June of 2008 by HarperCollins.
  • New York Times bestselling novel.
  • 562 pages in length, with a prologue and 5 parts.

Guide Review - Book Review: 'The Story of Edgar Sawtelle'

Before beginning The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, I had my doubts. I consider myself a dog person, but more than 500 pages about dogs? I was unsure that I was that much of a dog person.

When Oprah introduced the book as her 62nd book club selection in September of 2008, she warned viewers against reading the inside flap of the book which, Oprah felt, revealed too much about the plot, which it did. Knowing so much about what was to come, I found myself waiting for the suspense and the drama during the parts of the novel that, while slower in plot movement, provided a stunning landscape and story of human discovery. As I read the book, I was surprised at how Wroblewski's writing created a web of family and dog and loyalty and love and revenge - it was so much more than a book about dogs, but a novel that questioned everything that matters in life.

When Oprah first introduced the selection on the show, she welcomed Wroblewski via Skype to share a bit about his writing experience and feelings about the success. Expressing his surprise at how well his work was received, he shared that the book was written over 10 years while he continued with his day job as a software developer.

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is a novel best consumed with time and care, much like it was written - it will be well worth it.

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