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Familiaris (Oprah's Book Club) by David Wroblewski
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Familiaris (Oprah's Book Club)

$36.74

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Narrator Richard Poe

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Length 37 hours 11 minutes
Language English
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Oprah’s Book Club Pick for Summer 2024

“An extraordinary journey that brilliantly interweaves history, philosophy, adventure, and mysticism to explore the meaning of love, friendship, and living your life’s true purpose.”—Oprah Winfrey

The follow-up to the beloved #1 New York Times bestselling modern classic The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, Familiaris is the stirring origin story of the Sawtelle family and the remarkable dogs that carry the Sawtelle name.

It is spring 1919, and John Sawtelle’s imagination has gotten him into trouble … again. Now John and his newlywed wife, Mary, along with their two best friends and their three dogs, are setting off for Wisconsin’s northwoods, where they hope to make a fresh start—and, with a little luck, discover what it takes to live a life of meaning, purpose, and adventure. But the place they are headed for is far stranger and more perilous than they realize, and it will take all their ingenuity, along with a few new friends—human, animal, and otherworldly—to realize their dreams.

By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, mysterious and enchanting, Familiaris takes readers on an unforgettable journey from the halls of a small-town automobile factory, through an epic midwestern firestorm and an ambitious WWII dog-training program, and far back into mankind’s ancient past, examining the dynamics of love and friendship, the vexing nature of families, the universal desire to create something lasting and beautiful, and of course, the species-long partnership between Homo sapiens and Canis familiaris.

David Wroblewski grew up in rural Wisconsin, not far from the Chequamegon National Forest where The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is set. He earned his master’s degree from the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers and now lives in Colorado with his partner, the writer Kimberly McClintock, and their dog, Lola. This is his first novel.

Read by Malcolm Hillgartner, Richard Poe, Kate Reading, Dawn Harvey, Robert Fass, Grover Gardner, Arthur Morey, Suzanne Toren, Donald Corren, Elisabeth Rodgers, Sean Runnette, and Joe Barrett

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Reviews

“‘Suppose you could do one impossible thing,’ John Sawtelle says in David Wroblewski’s stunning new novel Familiaris. What would you do? Clearly, what the author would do and has done is write this impossibly wise, impossibly ambitious, impossibly beautiful book.”

“Tender, ambitious, fierce, deeply human, and of course wonderfully canine, David Wroblewski’s second novel is an American tour de force. There were moments when reading that I thought of Russo, Irving, Strout, McCarthy, Gilbert, and then just Wroblewski himself. A story spun out over generations, to be read for generations, this is a big brave book that is old fashioned in the very best sense of the word."

“Spellbinding…This warm, big-hearted novel pays tribute to the joys of curiosity and creation and turns out to be surprisingly funny, even as storm clouds gather on the family’s horizon.”

“If you’ve read The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, you know that no one writes about dogs with more insight than Wroblewski…This great American novel bustles with life, and if it takes all summer to read it, who cares.”

“An extraordinary journey that brilliantly interweaves history, philosophy, adventure, and mysticism to explore the meaning of love, friendship, and living your life’s true purpose.”

“Moving, funny, heartbreaking, mysterious, and magical…[an] unforgettable journey.”

“At the center of the book is a huge barn; a cozy, warm home; and two characters whose hearts are filled with love, courage, a sense of humor, and a bright burning desire to bring something beautiful into the world. Dogs.”

“There are beautiful passages on the bonds between humans and animals and plenty of folksy charm. Fans of the first book will be satisfied.”

“Like many readers, I adored The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, with its gripping tale of treachery and the magnificent Sawtelle dogs. Now I adore Familiaris. David Wroblewski is a wonderfully inventive writer; he knows so much—how to test a tractor, how to make a table, how to borrow money, how to see the future—but best of all he is a writer of extraordinary characters, human and canine, who will take up residence in your mind and heart. A dazzling and irresistible novel.”

“David Wroblewski is one of the few contemporary authors who can create a world that the reader doesn’t merely visit but fully inhabits. And what a world it is, rich with love and joy and heartbreak. And wonder, especially in the way human and canine form inseparable bonds. It has been a long wait for a new Wroblewski novel. The wait is worth it.”

“Already having drawn comparisons to Russo, Irving, Strout, McCarthy, and Gilbert, with García Márquez added here, Wroblewski earns them all, amply rewarding readers who have been waiting impatiently for fifteen years…This colossus of a book will own you, and you will weep to be freed.”

“No writer understands the depths of dogs’ natures the way David Wroblewski does, and once again we have a vital, absorbing, and remarkable fiction fueled by this understanding. Familiaris is a rare novel, modest and epic.”

“By taking us back to the origins of the Sawtelle family, Wroblewski has set a storytelling bonfire as enthralling in its pages as it is illuminating of our fragile and complicated humanity. Familiaris is as expansive and enlightening a saga as has ever been written.”

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