Aug 26, 2009

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

Garth Stein's The Art of Racing in the Rain narrated by Enzo the dog shows us just how similar sentient beings can be in their emotions, connections, and reactions.

"I've always felt almost human. I've always known that there's something about me that's different than other dogs. Sure. I'm stuffed into a dog's body, but that's just the shell. It's what's inside that's important. The soul. And my soul is very human." (Page 3)

Enzo is just a pup when he meets his new owner and friend Denny, and his life is all about racing and being a companion. When Denny meets Eve, Enzo must make adjustments and learn to fit new people into his life. Denny and Eve have a daughter Zoe, and Denny makes his way in the racing world until things start to go awry.

Stein has a way with words that captures the essence of Enzo and his devotion to his family. Readers will enjoy Enzo's theories about reincarnation, family life, human communication, and more. Enzo's examination of why dogs do not have thumbs and how humans have bred them that way and why is humorous.

"George Clooney is my fourth favorite actor because he's exceptionally clever at helping cure children of diseases on reruns of ER, and because he looks a little like me around the eyes." (Page 125)

There is a great deal of racing jargon and discussion in the book, but readers will find these serve more to help Enzo explain his feelings about the events of his life and how his family dynamics work. Overall, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a fast-paced, enjoyable read, but be prepared for some tugging of the heart strings.


The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein was my selection for the Dog Days of Summer 2009, sponsored by The Literate Housewife.

DON'T FORGET:

You have until Aug. 28 to vote for Charlee in the Dog Days of Summer Photo Contest. Help a Hot Dog out!

Also Reviewed By:
Carolina Gal's Literary Cafe
Books on the Brain
Jen's Book Thoughts
The Literate Housewife
Fyrefly's Blog

24 comments:

Veens said...

Sounds like a lovely read ...

I hope to read it soon ... if I can get my hands on it soon that is :)

They are some lovely reviews up on Dog Day's of Summer!

Melody said...

I've read several good reviews on this book! So what does that mean? Onto the wishlist it goes! ;P

Wrighty said...

I LOVED this book! I read it with an online book club and Garth and his wife joined us for the whole month. They were wonderful! It is a tear jerker but a good one.

Blodeuedd said...

I have this one and I am happy to see you enjoyed it, but yes have heard that it will be sad :(

Sandy Nawrot said...

I'm not going to be able to walk away from this one. I saw where my Book Fair, coming up in a few weeks, is featuring it as one of the adult books. I'll be buying it there!

Anna said...

You might have sold me on this one. Still not sure about animal stories, though. All that bawling I did after Marley ruined me. LOL

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

Serena said...

Veens: Check out my affiliate links and order it. You won't be sorry.

Melody: This book is a must buy. I enjoyed it.

Wrighty: wow, that's great...you got to meet the author and his wife...wow.

Blodeuedd: it was sad.

Sandy: I hope you get your hands on it...its really good.

Literate Housewife said...

Great review, Serena! What is your opinion on the last chapter of the book. I loved it so much, but that last chapter didn't work for me at all. I'm curious as to what other people think. It will definitely be something I discuss in my review.

Thank you so much for participating in Dog Days of Summer. It's been a lot of fun so far. I'll be prompting people to head your way later this afternoon.

Serena said...

Anna: I hope I sold you! Its really a fun and emotional book.

bermudaonion said...

I loved Enzo and this book. You're right about the heartstrings - I cried at the end of this one!

Serena said...

LitHousewife: I will send you an email later about the last chapter. I had fun participating...though I had to cram in another book this week. LOL

Serena said...

Bermudaonion: I just love Enzo too.

Wanda said...

tee hee, George does have those big 'ol puppy dog eyes!

Serena said...

Wanda: That part made me giggle thinking about it.

naida said...

this sounds good, and thats a great cover.
nice review!
http://thebookworm07.blogspot.com/

Serena said...

Naida: The soft cover is even cuter.

Julie P. said...

I'm not even a big dog person and I fell in love with Enzo! I loved this book as did everyone in my book club.

lisamm said...

Great review, Serena! I also thought that George Clooney quote was funny.

I'd also like to know what you thought of the ending. Like Jen, it didn't work for me either, but neither did it ruin the book for me.

Serena said...

Julie: I love dogs and I can totally see myself balling when my dog passes. He's an older dog and has hip dysplasia, which made me identify more with Enzo.

Carolina Gal's Literary Cafe said...

I too read Racing in the Rain. you can read my review at http://susansliterarycafe.blogspot.com. I enjoyed reading it. I identified especially when he is talking about how he swishes he's food around in his mouth. It made me wonder what my dog was thinking.

♥Jen♥ said...

My sister initially recommended this book to me. I was apprehensive at first because I shy away from anything I think will make me cry over animals, especially after we had a big scare last year with my Hershey. But, I gave in and read it and am so glad I did!

I thought Stein's meshing of racing techniques with life was unique and insightful. I'm not a racing fan, but I sure found myself saying, "wow, I would have never thought of that comparison."

There are so many small nuances; Stein did a great job paying close attention to those minor details. It's a rich book.

Valerie said...

I read this book a while ago and really enjoyed it, especially since my husband is a "car guy". You picked out great quotes from the book. Enzo thinking he looks like George Clooney around the eyes? Priceless...

Serena said...

Lisa: I couldn't resist the George Clooney reference since I love him to pieces.

Carolina: I read your review and added it to my post here.

Jen: I agree. There is a lot going on in this book and I have a hard time reading books I know will make me cry because of animal deaths, etc. But this was well worth it. Stein really knows his racing, not that I watch it all that much.

Valerie: If you'd like me to link to your review, I'd be glad to. I loved this book. I read it in like 2 days.

S. Krishna said...

I've heard great things about this book. Thanks for the review.