Critter Alley

Critter Alley

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Art of Racing in the Rain

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

I just finished reading the book, The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein. The story is told in first person (or should I say first canine?) by Enzo, a mix breed pup adopted by race car driver wannabe, Denny. With Enzo as narrator, the tale is reminiscent of Black Beauty and Beautiful Joe, giving us a direct connection to the dog's mind and heart.

Enzo is an old dog looking forward to the end of his life. Why? Because Enzo's certain he'll get to be reborn as a man. At least he hopes so, for his lack of opposable thumbs and inability to communicate effectively (despite an addiction to educational television) have seriously hampered his activities.

He describes his life with Denny, as Denny evolves from a single man, to a man in love, to a married man and father. The future is looking fine until Eve, Denny's wife, gets sick, prompting Eve's parents to sue for custody of Denny's daughter. They'll use any means to succeed.

But they didn't reckon on Enzo.

Stein bordered on melodrama in a few scenes as he piled on obstacles for Denny, but he gave Enzo such an authentic voice, that I was able to easily forgive him.

The tale is told with humor, honesty, and heart-tugging poignancy...just what you might expect from a canine narrator. And for animal lovers in particular, it's not a story you will soon forget.

You may even find yourself asking, "Is that what my dog thinks?"

Hanky alert! You'll need a plentiful supply.


Anonymous said...

This sounds like a very fun book.

BECKY said...

Awwwwww. I'm sure I would love this book! ...sniff, sniff..

The Word Place said...

I'm convinced that animals often do more thinking than humans. Sometimes, when Lady turns those big brown eyes on me, I can almost read her mind. Bottom line--animals and their "instincts" are more to be trusted than our own "best-laid plans" on many occasions. I'll have to look for the book at the library and see just how Enzo foils the grandparents' plans--as I'm sure he did!

Donna Volkenannt said...

Sounds like a book I would like to read.