Title: The Art Of Racing In The Rain
Author: Garth Stein
Page Count: 321
Read from August 20th to 25th
Description: Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver.
Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn’t simply about going fast. Using the techniques needed on the race track, one can successfully navigate all of life’s ordeals.
On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through: the sacrifices Denny has made to succeed professionally; the unexpected loss of Eve, Denny’s wife; the three-year battle over their daughter, Zoë, whose maternal grandparents pulled every string to gain custody. In the end, despite what he sees as his own limitations, Enzo comes through heroically to preserve the Swift family, holding in his heart the dream that Denny will become a racing champion with Zoë at his side. Having learned what it takes to be a compassionate and successful person, the wise canine can barely wait until his next lifetime, when he is sure he will return as a man.
A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a beautifully crafted and captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life . . . as only a dog could tell it.
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars
My Review: First of all, the initial description of the book that I read (which I can’t find now) said NOTHING about this being heart-wrenching or a tear-jerker. If it had, I would have better prepared myself for this book.
It was a beautiful story that made me happy, sad, angry. I laughed at a few parts, but mostly, this was a very melancholy tale. Enzo was an amazingly smart dog and living life through his eyes made me wonder (not for the first time) what goes through my dog’s head most days.
I loved and hated Enzo’s family. It was so sweet and very believable how much Denny loved his dog, because I love my dog that much and I’m not even a ‘dog’ person! And the things Denny went through… Ugh there were a few times when I wanted to punch Denny, but mostly I wanted to do bodily harm to his wife and in-laws. And somehow, even though he was only a dog, Enzo usually ended up saving the day.
As mad as I was to read the opening paragraphs and find out that this was not a whimsical tale of life through a dog’s eyes, but the flash back of his life during his last days (which they warn you about in the description on the back of the book so this is NOT technically a spoiler) I could not put this book down. I ended up taking it to the beach and sitting under an umbrella next to my hubby, I finished it. I was bawling. If you read this, keep tissues or a hanky with you! But you should read this.