One-Minute Book Reviews

September 20, 2008

Late Night With Jan Harayda – Oprah Picks a Mixed Doggie Bag for Her Club — A Sentimental ‘Hamlet’-Influenced First Novel Told Partly from the Point of View of Dogs

Oprah’s latest book-club pick is a mixed doggie bag – one part well-told yarn and one part sentimental twaddle with a dash of the paranormal and forced parallels with Hamlet. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is the tale of a mute Wisconsin farm boy who goes on the lam after he becomes convinced that his uncle murdered his father, a suspicion that sets another tragedy in motion. And this first novel by David Wroblewski has more to offer than the cosmic gibberish of Oprah’s most recent pick, Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth, the grand prize winner in the 2008 Delete Key Awards for the year’s worst writing in books www.oneminutebookreviews.wordpress.com/?s=%22A+New+Earth%22. But The Story of Edgar Sawtelle also suffers from mawkish scenes told from the point of view of dogs and from its implicit attribution of moral virtues to them. With its mix of family secrets and childhood pain — and other-worldly conversations with the dead — this novel was such a predictable choice for Oprah that the publishing news blog Galley Cat did predict it days ago www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/?c=rss.

© 2008 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.
www.janiceharayda.com

2 Comments »

  1. [...] The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, William Faulkner, Clyde Edgerton, Narrators Some people who liked The Story of Edgar Sawtelle were nonetheless put off by its mix of human and canine narrators, including a four-footed stand-in [...]

    Pingback by A Dog, a Corpse and a Wisteria Vine – The Most Bizarre Narrators in Fiction? « One-Minute Book Reviews — May 7, 2009 @ 12:49 am | Reply

  2. [...] a happy ending,” William Dean Howells said. Do people want this in novels, too? I gave a talk on The Story of Edgar Sawtelle at a library not long ago, and some members of the audience who loved the novel nonetheless [...]

    Pingback by Do Readers Want ‘A Tragedy With a Happy Ending’? « One-Minute Book Reviews — May 18, 2009 @ 2:39 am | Reply


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