I finally finished reading The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. This one’s been on my list for awhile, and I’m almost sad it’s over.
If you don’t know, this book is a novel about a race car driver named Denny Swift– told from Enzo’s point of view. Enzo is Denny’s dog who we learn is about to die in the first few pages of the book.
If you’ve ever had a dog, then you know the unconditional love and affection a dog will have for his family, particularly the “alpha male.” Our family dog, Yogi (pictured above, RIP) wouldn’t even sleep through the night in one room; he would wake up every few hours to rotate between family members. This may seem off topic, but my point is that dogs love their us as much as we love them.
In The Art of Racing in the Rain, Enzo tells the story his life with Denny, starting with the day Denny adopted him, up until the very end. Enzo describes how he and Denny would spend their time together as bachelors until Denny meets his wife, Eve, with whom he has a daughter, Zoe. If you thought the concept of a book told from a dog’s point of view was entertaining, wait till you see how Enzo describes Eve’s moving in.
Dog lovers, get ready to swoon.
If you’re like me and you’re wondering where the title fits in, keep in mind that Denny is a professional race car driver waiting for his big break. Enzo discusses Denny’s career and racing in general quite often, as he’s picked up a lot about the sport from watching TV. I may have even learned some driving tips from Enzo (though you won’t catch me doing laps anytime soon, I assure).
The unconditional love that dogs are so well-known for is abundantly clear throughout The Art of Racing in the Rain.
Granted, it’s not actually written by a dog, however, I think most dog owners (or, like me, former dog owners) would agree that if a dog could write a book, it would come out a lot like Enzo’s (the handwriting just may be a little tougher to read).
In addition to describing his life with Denny and the Swift family, throughout the story, Enzo frequently discusses his desire to be a human in his next life. This, again, is something that I think a lot of dogs feel. (Yes, I am a crazy-dog-lady, and I’m not afraid to admit it.)
The quote below isn’t significant to the story overall, but it’s just one example of how this book made me smile:
I see green as gray. I see red as black. Does that make me a bad potential person? If you taught me to read and provided for me the same computer system as someone has provided for Stephen Hawking, I , too, would write great books.
–The Art of Racing in the Rain
Overall, the story was enough to hold my attention, but the real “special sauce” with this book was, of course, the fact that it’s told from a dog’s perspective. The Art of Racing in the Rain is a nice, light read if you’re looking for a good book to curl up and relax with.
Of course, this book is far from new, so comment below and let me know if you’ve read it too, and tell me what you thought! I myself I had to give it 4 stars on Goodreads.