The Great American Road Trip
Book: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle (2008) by David Wroblewski
It turns out that one of my favorite novels of the past five years was sitting on my table while I was trying to figure out who should represent Wisconsin. The fact that I did not immediately think of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle: A Novel (P.S.) has nothing to do with quality. I think it has to do with the universality of the novel, which led me away from thinking of it as a specific locale.
That David Wroblewski could write such an amazing book as a first novel fills me with awe.
If you have not seen it yet, it has an unusual premise,telling the story of a young boy who is mute and his family who breed dogs–obsessively. The dogs are major characters in this story–and we even hear what they are thinking about things from time to time.
As far as Wisconsin is concerned, Wroblewski paints the best picture of far northern Wisconsin when the boy runs away and makes his way across some beautiful country. Since I generally think of Wisconsin in terms of the tame miles and miles of green pastureland filled with black and white milk machines (otherwise known as cows) to be taken to a farm that raises dogs and then to a wild wilderness back country was a totally new world for me.
I don’t want to give anything away to those who have not read it, but I will say that this is one of those books that I did not want to end. I was very sad to say goodbye to the characters–including the dogs.
Wroblewski’s web site shows his personal dedication to dogs. And dog-gone it, does not hint at another book coming out soon. We’re waiting!!
As I mentioned above, my vision of Wisconsin is green, the smell of new-mown hay, the blue and white skies palely imitating the black or brown and white cows below. Signs along the tidy farm roads edged with white fences advertise fudge for sale. Some farms sell cheese. So Scandinavian that you can see why the early settlers tended to be from those green northland countries. Of course we have also talked about Wisconsin being a preferred hideout for some gangsters. And sometimes the grass is not green. Some times it is WINTER.
Do you have memories of a road trip in Wisconsin? Share here and get a chance at one of the five prizes in the Bella Italia contest.
Want to listen to something besides “Mooo” as you take a road trip to Wisconsin? Click over to Music Road and see what Kerry Dexter recommends for playing on the CD or IPOD as we drive.
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Next up we have a very funny movie that taught an expert on Road Trips everything she knows! Then guests deliver us to France, Italy (another doggie book), Maine, and next week on the road trip interview with a mystery author from Minnesota who loves road trips.
It’s my OWN book and you can’t have it! The pictures of Wisconsin comes from Flickr by way of Creative Commons and you can click on the picture to learn more about the photographers.