The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein has gotten so many positive reviews that I must admit I was a little nervous about reading it. I'm pretty sure I won my copy from a drawing at Stephanie's blog, though, which means the buzz was enough to catch my interest in spite of the fact that I tend to shy from books that get a lot of hype. I don't enter drawings very often.
My book group chose The Art of Racing in the Rain for their June selection and I gobbled it down, then missed the meeting. I heard the discussion was great. Le sigh. At any rate, you've probably heard all about the book, right? Enzo, a dog, is the narrator and he tells all about his life from his adoption until his death. Enzo is a fabulous narrator. Instead of treating Enzo like a dimwit, the author made him intelligent, intuitive, wise . . . often more aware of what was going on in his family's life than even they seemed to know.
What I remember most vividly about this book (and, again, it's been at least a month since I read it) is that the situation for Enzo's owner kept growing worse and worse. The author did an excellent job of ramping up the tension and placing his protagonist in a corner until you truly wondered if there was any way out. I love that. The Art of Racing in the Rain is a very lovely, philosophical, hopeful book. Although it didn't stick with me for quite as long as I expected, I remember Enzo's name without digging for the book and I think that says something.
Also, I did write down one of Enzo's frequently-repeated quotes, which I loved: "That which you manifest is before you." It took me a while to get that what he was saying is that you create your own future through today's actions.
The bottom line:
Definitely recommended and you don't have to be a dog person to love The Art of Racing in the Rain. Creative, surprising and poignant with a solid storyline, great narrator and terrific writing.©2011 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery and Babble or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email email@example.com for written permission to reproduce text or photos.