Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

One of the joys of working in the library is that every so often a book catches your eye that begs to be read, and once you do, all you can say is WOW!. Such a book is The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein.

On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life and offers up the lessons he has learned about human life, love, relationships and racing. Enzo loves Formula 1 racing, television shows, and the humans who love him. Enzo is a dog, a philosopher, who learns that life is like racing, and one must learn the art of racing in the rain – that is navigating through difficult times to emerge as a champion. Enzo sees the cruelty possible in humans, but also the lengths humans will go to for those they love. Enzo does all this because he wants to learn what it takes to be a great human being. Enzo believes that once he has learned all there is to learn he will be reborn as a man, and he wants to be ready.

After reading this book, I guarantee, you’ll never look at a dog the same way again.

1 comment:

  1. I find that I am not that interested in the car racing side of the story because it seems too contrived for the dog to be engaging in many of the thought processes with his owner. It is easier to relate to the human relationships, regarding basic feelings and emotions, because I can relate to those more easily than to Nascar. However, that said, the simple rules revealed in the anecdotes about the racetrack, about managing life's situations and challenges, are illuminating for us humans as well as for Enzo, the star dog of the novel. It is through the animal that human experience is being examined, and it is a unique avenue to travel.
    Although the story is written, a bit tongue in cheek, since you have to suspend disbelief while you read it thinking of a dog who can both think and reason, who believes he will be reincarnated as a man, it is also written with humor and sorrow, exploring the happiness and pain that constitutes our lives.