First, let me say that the Hamlet overtones (and undertones) of this book make for poor reading because, generally, you already know what’s going to happen. Could he have picked names more obvious than Trudy and Claude?
Second, everyone’s right. The first hundred pages or so are a drag. Not boring or uninteresting, exactly, just not very engrossing. And the ending sucks. At least, the ending as pertains to Papineau (the son, drawing a blank as to his first name at the moment) and Trudy. That was just ridiculous. The rest of the ending was great, but that kind of ruined it.
The middle portion of the book is actually pretty good, and I was fascinated by the relationship between Edgar and Almondine. It makes me wish Sawtelle dogs were real.
On the whole, the book is beautifully written, almost poetic in places. But the plot just kind of meanders around when it wanders beyond the whole Hamlet foundation. Though making the Hamlet character, one of Shakespeare’s most garrulous, mute was an interesting twist.
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is a good book, but I don’t think it’s worth all the hype it has generated.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars