Book Review: The Art of Racing In the Rain

13 08 2009

I recently read The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein and I wanted to share it with all of you fellow dog lovers.  It tells the story of Enzo, a wonderfully insightful mixed breed dog and his owner, Denny, an aspiring professional race car driver.

Art of Racing In the Rain CoverThe book is written entirely from Enzo’s point of view, which not only gives it a fun twist but provides the reader with an unusual and fresh perspective on the human experience.  Enzo is a fiercely persistent observer and the epitome of man’s best friend.  While Denny struggles to live up to his own expectations professionally, Enzo practices becoming civilized and mourns the fact that he does not have opposable thumbs.

Enzo is a bit of a philosopher and while I was afraid I would become bored with his musings or find them unbelievable, I found myself amused  and even cheered up by Enzo’s reflections.  If they had come from a human perspective I think they would have come across as trite or contrived. Thankfully Enzo’s canine outlook was conveyed as delightfully simple instead.  For those familiar with The Art of Racing in the Rain or intrigued by these “Enzo-isms,” Garth Stein’s website offers merchandise in the Enzo Store.

The Art of Racing In the Rain was a very quick read for me but also very enjoyable.  I think you’ll enjoy Enzo’s observations and sense of humor and find yourself logging away his phrases to remind yourself of later.  While it is what I consider a light read, it tells an approachable yet varied story in a steady and warm tone.

After the boy and I see movies, he always asks me to rate it with a system unique to that movie (similar to the four star rating system often used for movies, books, or restaurants).  For example, since I enjoy Star Wars I would give it four out of four light sabers (where a light saber is equal to a star) while my dislike of horror films would be evident in giving The Exorcist a half of a vomiting, spinning head.  The idea is to use something more interesting and unique than simple stars and that I pick something from the book that intrigues you, my dear readers (all three of you), into reading the book for yourselves.  Without further ado, Hamlet and I give The Art of Racing In the Rain three out of four dancing zebras.

Do you have any dog books that you’d like to recommend?  If you give me a goodie, I may just review it right here on GE&H!

Special thanks to my friend Priscilla for gifting this book to me the minute that I told her the boy and I were adopting a dog.

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3 responses

15 08 2009
Ham's Gram

Thanks for loaning this book to me, Shelley, and thanks to Priscilla and Shelley for recommending it. I’m going to start reading it today and will report my rating later.

18 08 2009
modernation

There is a book about It’s me or The Dog and I know how much you like that show!

18 08 2009
Shelley

Ham’s Gram, can’t wait to hear what you think!
Modernation, yes, “It’s Me Or the Dog” is next on my list, thank you!

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