Tuesday, December 22, 2009

For months people have been asking if I've read The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski.

It looked daunting and I told myself I didn't have the time. But frankly, I didn't really have the inclination, either. The description didn't grab me in any way, shape or form. Nevertheless, I finally checked out the audio CD from the library and loaded it onto my Zen so I could listen while driving, doing housework, excercising, etc. (By the way, the reader was very good.)

I can finally say that I read it... but I can't say that I enjoyed it. The book is daunting! It is filled with detail after detail of hard work and pain and anguish. I had to make myself keep at it, although I would have preferred to listen to NPR or Christmas music while driving during these past three weeks. Yes - three weeks! It is very long.

My reactions are that a person has to be in the right frame of mind/life to be able to love this book. I was not. It was interesting, but gut-wrenching. Knowing that it was purported to have similarities to Hamlet only raised my anxiety levels as I listened.

I now know more about raising and caring for dogs than I ever wanted to know. One valuable lesson I can take from this story is that I should not own a dog until I am ready to commit the time and attention needed for a relationship with it - rather than thinking of a dog as a kind of toy to be used for amusement and put away or ignored when I am too busy or tired.

Since this book takes place in (northern) Wisconsin and I live in (southern) Wisconsin, I was hoping that the story would present our state in a favorable way. Sadly, it does not. A person who has never visited Wisconsin could get the impression that the land is forested and filled with mosquitoes. Perhaps this was a fair description a few decades ago; not quite so much today. Wisconsin really is beautiful and has fabulous lakes, hills and valleys formed by glaciers long ago.

Come and bring your Off. Your dogs will love it too!

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