In The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein, Enzo isn’t like other dogs and he knows it. With a deep philosophical soul, Enzo could be almost human if only he had opposable thumbs. Unfortunately, Enzo doesn’t so he spends his life with his human, race car driver, Denny Swift. Together the two of them celebrate Denny’s successes on and off the track and comfort each other when Denny’s life takes a turn for the worst.
I read this book for my book club back in March 2014. I was highly skeptical when I heard the narrator was a dog. How good could an adult fiction book be good with this quirk? The answer: AMAZING!
Enzo has wonderful insights into human nature. He feels the same emotions his human family does. Enzo feels the pangs of jealousy when Denny meets his future wife, the heart bursting feeling of love when Denny’s daughter, Zoe is born, and the adrenaline rush of watching racing. Enzo picks up much quicker than his human family on the pitfalls they are facing and feels overwhelming frustration at not being able to communicate what he knows will happen.
This book is perfect for all readers, especially animal lovers and fans of racing. Enzo’s take on Formula One racing is spot on. One of the best scenes in the book is when Denny takes Enzo for a ride around a race track. Readers will honestly forget the narrator is a dog until Enzo reminds the readers that he is not.
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About the Book:
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. On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through.
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.