Wednesday, May 13, 2009
THE STORY OF EDGAR SAWTELLE by David Wrobelewski (2008)
Based on the structure of Shakespeare's Hamlet, this first novel is a revelation.
Edgar is a mute whose family breeds a special kind of dog that has been refined over generations and bred for temperment and intelligence. Edgar's earliest memory, indeed, is meeting Almondine, his first canine companion, as she licks his hand and does a little dance of joy outside his crib.
When Edgar's father dies unexpectedly when Edgar is approaching adolescence, the appearance of Edgar's Uncle Claude (his father's long lost brother) complicates life on the farm. Edgar receives guidance from his father's ghostly presence in scenes that are both wonderous and terrifying.
David Wrobelewski is not only a storyteller for our time, but like the bard himself, for all time.