The Art of Racing in the Rain
Denny Swift picked Enzo out of a litter of puppies in east Washington. He and Enzo make their home in Seattle, but Denny is a good race car driver and is trying to break into the circuit. He has infected Enzo with his love of cars, driving, and racing.
Enzo watches as Eve comes into Denny's life. They marry, and soon Zoe comes along as well. When Danny isn't racing he works at the local BMW shop. The family gets by happily. Then Enzo notices there is something wrong with Eve. Enzo can sense it long before anyone else does, but he's a dog. Who is going to understand anything he wants to tell them? He and Eve had been a bit stand offish since she came into Denny's life. Now Enzo shakes it off and becomes her friend as well.
As Denny is getting his racing career started, Eve starts experiencing headaches and migraines. They are more than she can cope with alone. When Denny is gone, she and Zoe go to stay with her parents. But she doesn't admit the extent of her pain or go see a doctor.
The narrator of The Art of Racing in the Rain is Enzo, Denny's dog. Enzo watches as Denny, a race car driver, faces an unimaginable horror after his wife gets sick. Enzo tells Denny, Eve, and Zoe's story using the race car metaphors he has learned over the years. Denny leaves the television on for Enzo while they are gone. It is usually on the Speed Channel, Enzo's favorite. Enzo watches as Denny nears his goal in racing only to have his life turned around completely.
Garth Stein uses Enzo's point of view to view Denny's life through the love of a loyal, smart dog. Enzo is often frustrated because he doesn't have thumbs, a short tongue, or the ability to speak. He plans to reincarnate as a human in his next life. But in this one, he does his best to help Denny as life dumps him on his head.
The Art of Racing in the Rain is a poignant, heart warming book. Stein has done a good job with the narration voice. At times I had to put down the book due the the injustice enacted on Denny. But it wasn't long before I was back into it, hoping to see things turn around.
Hmmm, a man and his dog. A man and his cars. A man and his loved wife. A man and his precious daughter. All those are classic combinations. Garth Stein brings them together into a book that is well worth reading.
Notice: Strong indecent language, Suggestive dialogue or situations
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