Tuesday, October 7, 2008

book review: the story of edgar sawtelle by david wroblewski

sentence(s) worth remembering:
"Life was a swarm of accidents waiting in the treetops, descending upon any living thing that passed, ready to eat them alive. You swam in a river of chance and coincidence. You clung to the happiest accidents--the rest you let float by" (p. 457).

I didn't expect to love this book, even though everywhere I turned, publications were raving. It's nearly 600 pages, and it's about dogs and a mute boy.

As all great novels are not truly about the characters or the plot, so too this book is a timeless tale of life and humanity. Each time I sat down to read it, I would not be able to tear myself away. Hours would pass while I read, enraptured by Wroblewski's prose. Wroblewski reportedly spent ten years on this book, and after reading each perfect moment as they fit into one another, I'm amazed it only took ten years. I will try to patiently wait ten more for his next novel.

Additionally, he seems to be an amazing human being as well. He closes his acknowledgments with this tribute: "Above all, this book owes its existence to Kimberly McClintock, an extraordinary artist, a loving and generous partner, my most ferocious advocate, my first, last, and most exacting reader. Her encouragement and wisdom suffuse every page of this book." Admittedly, I have soft spot for couples in the arts, especially writer couples, but his words about his wife say as much about him as they do her. I'll be happy to stand in line to read anything either one of them writes.

Rating: 5 stars (life-changingly good)/highly recommended

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