Sunday, November 28, 2010

Read this book. No really, read this book.

I just finished "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle" and despite having "Oprah's Book Club" stamped on the front, it has actually now become my third favorite book of all-time. In future blogs, I will be posting passages from my favorite novels. But below is why you should definitely read this book by David Wroblewski:


     Red light, morning light. High ceiling canted overhead. Lazy click of toenails on wood. Between the honey-colored slats of the crib a whiskery muzzle slides forward until its cheeks pull back and a row of dainty front teeth bare themselves in a ridiculous grin.
     The nose quivers. The velvet snout dimples.
     All the house is quiet. Be still. Stay still.
     Fine, dark muzzle fur. Black nose, leather of lacework creases, comma of nostrils flexing with each breath. A breeze shushes up the field and pillows the curtains inward. The apple tree near the kitchen window caresses the house with a tick-tickety-tick-tick. As slowly as he can, he exhales, feigning sleep, but despite himself his breath hitches. At once, the muzzle knows he is awake. It snorts. Angles right and left. With-draws. Outside the crib, Almondine's forequarters appear. Her head is reared back, her ears cocked froward.
     A cherry-brindled eye peers back at him.
     Whoosh of her tail.
     Be still. Stay still.
     The muzzle comes hunting again, tunnels beneath his blanket, below the farmers and pigs and chicks and cows dyed into that cotton world. His hand rises on fingers and spider-walks across the surprised farmyard resident to challenge the intruder. It becomes a bird, hovering before their eyes. Thumb and index finger squeeze the crinkled black nose. The pink of her tongue darts out but the bird flies away before Almondine can lick it. Her tail is switching harder now. Her body sways, her breath envelops him. He tugs the blackest whisker on her chin and this time her tongue catches the palm of his hand ever so slightly. He pitches to his side, rubs his hand across the blanket, blows a breath in her face. Her ears flick back. She stomps a foot. He blows again and she withdraws and bows and woofs, low in her chest, quiet and deep, the boom of an uncontainable heartbeat. Hearing it, he forgets and presses his face against the rails to see her, all of her, take her inside him with his eyes and before he can move, she smears her tongue across his nose and forehead! He claps his hand to his face but it's too late - she's away, spinning, biting her tail, dancing in the moted sunlight that spills through the window glass.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I read it a few years back and it's on my faves list too.