Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Book Review - The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
I never do this. I don’t recommend a book to anyone. My tastes might offend someone, so I don’t recommend books, movies or recipes.
I will make exception in this case.
If you do not read another book in your lifetime, please pick up a copy of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski.
This is where I have been for the last little while. Reading.
I was forbidden from reading at the dinner table, as my tears put a damper on polite conversation.
I was forbidden to read in the same room as my husband because my inadvertent exclamations made him uneasy.
I had to put the book down, several times, to walk away (as it were) …but it continued to call me. “Read the next page. Read the next chapter!”
When I finally exhaled at the last sentence of the final chapter, I felt as if I’d lost a friend. I wanted terribly to open it again and start rereading. (The library called and there is a long list of people that want to read it so reluctantly, I have to give it up.)
Anyone who reads this book will remember the dog they had as a child. They will look at their own dog and realize that the secret life and thoughts there are precious.
This is not just a book about dogs.
It’s about love and trust. Not simply the love and trust of an animal, although the dogs thoughts are so compelling one finds themselves in tears at the pure love. It’s about trust of family, trust of love and trust of one’s own instincts.
This book doesn’t need to strain to stand alongside Steinbeck. There are references to Rudyard Kipling, but also a general feeling of Hamlet by William Shakespeare. Toss in some Steven King or Dean Koontz and you have a book worthy of becoming the next Modern Classic.
Go to the library and get on the list. (I’m sure there is one.) Then read it. Then if you know a boy buy it for him for Christmas.
To think this is David Wroblewski’s only published piece and it took him ten years to write! This author MUST be praised. I only hope he doesn’t go into a “puppy mill” phase, forced to produce. (Pun intended)
Before you go to the library, down your dog – look into his or her eyes – praise him or her and give them a hug.