Thursday, July 30, 2009

Book Review: The Art of Racing in the Rain

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

I am still floating on the high that comes from reading and finishing this book. The Art of Racing in the Rain has instantly become one of my new favorite novels and I look forward to the time that I will return to read it again. This novel is narrated by a very unique character, a dog named Enzo. Enzo is not just any dog, however. He is a dog who understands humans, perhaps better than they understand themselves, because of his exceptional observation skills and his addiction to watching TV when his master is gone. Enzo longs for thumbs, a tongue, a voice with which to speak, and he looks forward to the day he will be reincarnated as a man and can live the life he feels he was truly meant for. Enzo's narration is what makes this book truly special and unique, but it is the heart-wrenching storyline that keeps the reader emotionally invested.


Enzo tells us the story of his master, Denny, a semiprofessional race car driver who goes through an absolutely harrowing ordeal with his family. Enzo learns all about racing through watching Denny drive, listening to him speak, and watching the Speed Channel. He teaches the reader about how life is really a lot like racing. In particular, Denny is very good at racing in the rain, when the track is slick and other drivers might falter. The key, Enzo tells us, is to know what's coming ahead: "The car goes where the eyes go." Ironically, it is being unable to see the events unfolding right in front of his eyes that leads Denny into the horrible drama he must deal with in this novel.


This book is believable, relatable, heart-warming, and gut-wrenching....all at the same time. I found myself yelling at The Evil Twins (oh, you'll love them), laughing out loud at Enzo, and crying my eyes out at the book's conclusion. Love it, love it, love it. 5 Stars!

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