Book review: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein.
If you are a fan of the book Marley and Me or just like a really good story then this wonderful, little gem is going to be one you will love. I was told about this book by my hair stylist and at first was rather reluctant to read it; not because I don’t like dog stories, but because I knew I would probably spend most of the book crying my eyes out and I was right.
Don’t let that stop you from reading this book, though. The Art of Racing in the Rain is told from the dog’s point of view. His name is Enzo and as the story begins; he is at the end of his very interesting life, one spent with his beloved Denny, his human, his wife Eve, and their daughter, Zoe. Enzo tells his story from the beginning at the farm where he was born when Denny came to pick him out and his subsequent move to Seattle. He talks about his love of the rainy Seattle weather and how the misty rain brings out the smells and how it is so wonderful to go on walks with Denny.
He recounts how Denny and Eve meet, their courtship and marriage and the birth of little Zoe, with whom he falls in love. The story goes from the beginning of Enzo’s life to the end with much laughter and sadness in between the pages.
Denny is a semi-professional racecar driver and thus the name of the book. Enzo, being the special dog that he is, likes to watch TV, and Denny see’s this, and lets Enzo watch tapes of him racing in different races. Denny doesn’t race NASCAR races; he does the more difficult endurance racing like the 24 hours at Daytona type racing. In between races, he works for a BMW dealership.
In what is probably the most humorous part of the book, Denny take Enzo to the racetrack and actually takes him in the racecar with him. He gets an old bed sheet and straps in him really well and around the track they go at top speed. Enzo description of this event is just priceless as he gets to experience what his human loves to do the most.
I don’t want to give too much away, but I think this is a book that a man or a woman could read and like equally well. The writer manages to give Enzo a voice without making him sound too cute, if you know what I mean. Yes, I cried my eyes out in various spots, but I did end the book with a smile on my face. It is not a book for children. It has adult language and themes throughout, but I don’t mean in a pornographic way, just in an adult way. Enzo tells about the life around him like he sees it, ugliness and all. I think everyone should read this book and Garth Stein did one heck of a job with The Art of Racing in the Rain.