Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Review: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

Challenge No 2 - Blogroll Roulette

Find a blogroll at either your book blog or a book blog you like that has at least 15 book blogs on it. Go to Random.org and, using the True Random Number Generator, enter the number 1 for the min. and 15 for the max. and then hit generate. Then find the blog that is that number on the blogroll you selected.
My number was 4  which on my blogroll was booksidoneread - love this lady's very original and funny reviews and then discovered she has her reviews all very conveniently listed alphabetically by both authors and title which made things very easy. I chose the titles list and didn't have to look far before finding this one. A friend had recommended it to me quite some ago so I thought now is as good a time as any - and then my daughter said I'd like it so that confirmed the choice . I don't like reading reviews before I read a book so I didn't - maybe I should have! So I brought it home from the library and the dog and I spent three weeks eyeballing each other while I chose every other book but that one to read........then I had to renew it......and then I couldn't put it off any longer.........and I've read it. 
Title: The Art of Racing in the Rain
Author: Garth Stein
Genre: General Fiction
Publisher: Harper & Collins, 2008
The story is narrated by Enzo!
Enzo is a dog!
I've always known that there's something about me that's different from 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.
Enzo is a very old and infirm dog - I know this because he takes great pains to tell me in the opening pages. For someone with a tendency to turn to mush at the slightest sniff of a sad animal tale this is not looking good. I'm only on page 2 and already I'm getting all choked up.
Fortunately I have a reprieve as Enzo is looking back and reflecting on his life and we return to the days of his puppyhood and how he was chosen to be the companion of Denny. For a while there is just the two of them and then Denny marries his sweetheart Eve.........and very soon a little daughter Zoe joins them. And I'm not going to spoil your reading pleasure by giving away anything else.
Denny is a racing car driver. Which is why I would never have chosen to read this book. I don't like fast cars and motor racing. Dirt , noise and nasty pollution. But it's ok because the motor racing is being used as a metaphor for life and it works really well.
It's about love and the joy and sorrow that love brings, its about facing loss and fear with courage and finding the ability to move on through the tears. Being a part of the moment and being aware of nothing else but that moment....................be sure not to think, or else I will definitely make a mistake..........thinking lets the memories unfold.
I think that unconsciously I knew that was what this book was going to do and it's why I avoided it. I failed my driving in the rain test miserably and let the memories in.
I cried.
I cried a lot.........but I laughed a lot as well. And I loved the ending.....it was perfect and I could close the book on a high note.
Enzo touches one on a deeply emotional level with his simple and beautiful observations on life and the human condition and I know he'll stay with me for a long time.
Brilliant - My Pick of the Month for January! 


  1. Glad you enjoyed this story. I've never read a read review of it yet so it must be good.

  2. I enjoyed it as well. In fact I have a review in queue on it.

  3. I thought it was really something special. Look forward to your review, Bekah.

  4. Yep its a good one...love the review :-)

  5. Great review! I can't wait to read this one :)

  6. I have this on my list to read ... and I'm going to make sure I have tissues nearby! Seems like everyone who reads it ends up crying. I'm even more excited to read it now that I've read your review!