July 26, 2011

This Week's Book Reviews...

I recently told you that I was going to read "Edgar Sawtelle" by David Wroblewski, and I was really looking forward to this book. It's set in the real northern Wisconsin town of Mellen in the Chequamegon National Forest (pronounced she WA me gon). It's a place I know and love. The central story revolves around dogs...another favorite topic for me.

I'm going to be brutally honest with you now. While there were so many wonderful dog stories told within the covers of this 800+ page book, I was actually angry with the author's non-treatment of the ending.

I'm not the kind of person who requires a happy ending. I can take sad endings, too. What I can't abide is an author who just decides that after having your undivided attention for that many pages, he has to wrap up the book in - oh, say...four pages - and get this book to print. In my estimation he just ran out of interest in his own writing and walked away from it. (Imagine rolling a bowling ball across a kitchen table and just letting it fall when it gets to the edge.)

There were so many loose ends, unresolved issues and wonderful, full characters just left hanging at the end. He apparently just decided, "Well, enough is enough. I'll just kill 'em all off." Really! I was more than mildly peeved. I was throughly incensed.

Here's my advice. If you want to read the book for it's amusing and interesting dog stories, go ahead and borrow the book from the library - or a friend who already laid out their hard-earned cash - but (here's the important part), stop reading the book before the final chapter and make up your own ending. Anything you can imagine is going to be 1000 times better than what the author wrote.

Barring that, steer clear of "Edgar Sawtelle" and read something anything else. Eight hundred pages is a lot of wasted time to get to this author's pathetic attempt to wrap up his storyline.
On a happier note, I also finished reading "Water For Elephants" by Sara Gruen last night. Filled with flashbacks that only enhance the storyline, this book is a great way to spend a few summer afternoons. (Don't forget to pour yourself a tall glass of lemonade. You'll understand why later in the book!)

I'm much more apt to read the book than see the movie any day, so pick up a copy of "Water For Elephants" and sit back and enjoy the vivid images that the author helps conjure through her writing.
Next up is "The Art of Racing In The Rain" by Garth Stein. Another book involving dogs (I'm told). I'll let you know what I think of this one as soon as I'm finished reading it.
Photobucket

11 friends clicked here to leave a note for me:

Kris said...

Thanks for the honest review, Donna!!! My Dad loved Water for Elephants and its here in the house for me to pick up!! With your comments, it will be sooner than later!!! Kris

Carol said...

I only heard about water for elephants when the movie came out. The newspaper details of the movie scared me off because it talked about cruelty to elephants. I guess there must not have been vivid images of that in the book if you liked it.
xx, Carol

Deb said...

I will approach Edgar Sawtelle guardedly. I picked it up a while ago at a used book sale, but haven't even started it. Loved Water for Elephants, and have read Art of Racing in the Rain. I loved the book and hope you do too.

Patty said...

I just finished water for elephants the audio version. I listen to books while I'm sewing, it was a wonderful book. I've looked I've looked at Edward Sawtelle several times but never took the plunge now after your review I'm wondering if I ever will.

Createology said...

How very disappointing to read that many pages and then not have an appropriate ending. Thank you for the heads up. I have been reading but nothing as interesting as these books you read. Happy lazy days of summer...

Kathy said...

Thanks for the book review! I haven't read Edgar Sawtelle, and don't think I will bother now! I really liked both Water for Elephants and The Art of Racing in the Rain. Get a big hankie before you start reading it, though! It has some sad spots, but is worth it.

Sharon said...

I enjoyed the Art of Racing in the Rain and I think you will too, Donna.

Jillayne said...

I have looked at the Edgar Sawtelle book so many times, picked it up and then put it back. Now I am so glad I didn't bother! I am with you on endings - they are as important as the rest of the book and there have been a few lately that have finished off that way - as if the writer said to themselves "Okay, I'm tired of this one and don't want to keep writing so how quickly can I say "The End"?"
Thanks for the great review!

Quiltin' Sandy said...

Hi Donna! I had ordered Water for Elephants from my library, but the movie came along first. I decided I wouldn't read the book after seeing the movie, but I really LOVED the movie.
There is an Aussie movie coming out, based on a book " Red Dog" a true story and there have been rave reviews. I can't wait to see this movie, I have seen the trailer, it is set in the Outback. The book was written by Louis De Bernieres. :)

Michelle May (Shell) said...

Water for Elephants was so good!

T.@WhatWeKeep said...

Hi Donna,
So glad I didn't buy this! I'm sorry you felt so let down after such a large investment...I get mad too when I'm disappointed in a book. Thanks for the heads up. : )
Kisses to the pups,
Tina

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails