Monday, March 22, 2010

Page 14: The Art of Racing in the Rain

In case you are one of the few who has not yet read The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein please join the majority.  This is a wonderful story narrated by a dog with the goal of becoming human in his next incarnation.  Enzo is named after a famous Formula One driver, and learns much of what he knows about life from watching television with his owner Denny.  Yes, racing is a major theme of this book, but not what you might think.  In The Art of Racing in the Rain racing is a metaphor for life and Enzo is our instructor.

The book begins with Enzo near the end of his life.  Enzo recounts the story of his family: Denny, his wife Eve, and their daughter Zoe.  Denny tries to balance his love of racing cars with his love for his family.  He faces a choice he just cannot bring himself to make.  He wants to be a full-time race car driver, but must work for his friends at a car repair shop in order to earn enough money to support his family.  The story gets very dark for Denny and it seems all is lost for him.  However, events eventually turn in the right direction with some excellent assistance from Enzo.  I don't want to say much more about the story without giving it all away.  You need to read it for yourself.  One of Enzo's favorite  quotes, "Your car goes where your eyes go," will come to have a very special meaning for you.

Garth Stein has crafted a great story from the point of view of a dog.  I was fortunate to see him give a presentation about his book at our local library a couple of weeks ago.  He is a wonderful speaker as well as a great writer.  It was standing room only.  He told us his agent refused to handle the book because it was narrated by a dog.  Garth Stein fired his agent, found another one, and the rest is history.

So take my advice, even if you are not a dog lover, read this book.  You will love it.

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