Review – The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd (5 Mar 2009)
  • Language English
  • ISBN-10: 0007281196
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007281190
  • My Rating = B+

    I’m glad I didn’t have any preconceptions about this book as I won it as a result of completing a survey for Harper Collins and, horror of horrors, I didn’t even read the blurb!   I think I’d have taken to the hills at the thought of a story narrated by a dog whose master uses Formula One racing as a metaphor for life.   Ah, you see, you’re already making a judgement, thinking it must be a lot of over-sentimentalised nonsense but this bizarre, contrived melange actually works!

    Enzo tells the story of how he first met Denny, how Denny subsequently met and married Eve and how they had a daughter, Zoe.  Of course, the (race) course of true love/life inevitably does not run smoothly and Enzo proves to be an insightful observer of events.  At times hilarious, at times extremely poignant (box of tissues needed…) the story is more than that of one man and his dog. 

    The analogies with racing seem particularly apt – “In racing they say, your car goes where your eyes go”, “Another way of saying, that which you manifest is before you”.  Ok, I know that quote looks like it’s been lifted straight from Confucious or even the Kung Fu tv series but you need to rein in the cynicism, it simply means life is what you make of it – maybe a dog’s perspective works better than our overly complicated philosophizing!

    I must admit to shedding a tear or two whilst reading this,  (Lassie films make me cry too..) and I know that some folk will steer well clear of this heartfelt story.   I found it entertaining, engrossing and now I want an Enzo to make my life complete…

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    1. Magic Bry says:

      As always, a very entertaining review Treez, sounds like an unusual read. As an F1 fan and someone considering dog ownership, it’s going on my TBR pile!

    2. admin says:

      Well, I had to send this onto a bookish friend, otherwise I would have added it to your mammoth TBR! What kind of dog are WE going to get then??? You can answer that one in person…. ;-)

    3. Elaine Dingsdale says:

      Sounds like I’ll have to give it a try. Surprisingly I rarely read doggy books-honestly, but this sounds a cut above the rest! Maybe I should try writing one, after 12 years with the lovely Rosie…..Hope you get your Enzo-it would be one of the best things you’ll ever do.

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