The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein

The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein, is narrated by a dog, Enzo. With just that much information, I’m surprised that it took me this long to read it. I love puppies, and I loved this book! I’ve been languishing over this review, though, because it’s hard to put my admiration into words. Here is my best shot.

Enzo is a dog who believes – from watching a documentary – that in his next life he will be a human man. While limited as a dog (he has no thumbs!), he’s trying to learn as many human attributes as he can by paying attention to the humans around him. Enzo was purchased as a puppy by Dennis Swift. Denny is a semi-pro race car driver whose life has took some tragic turns. As Enzo looks back over his life, he retells his and Denny’s story with great insight and compassion.

I really loved this book. The plot is fairly simple, but it’s from a whole new perspective – a dog’s perspective! Stein’s prose is fresh and poignant. (I found myself tearing up a couple of times.) The metaphor of life as a race is carried throughout with skill and just enough jargon to make the reader understand. The only quibble I have is that sometimes the dog-as-narrator thing was stretched a little too far. Enzo couldn’t be everywhere. He explains that he pieced things together afterwards, but it seemed a little thin. Still, I loved the book enough to overlook that one small flaw. Have I mentioned that it’s told by a dog? I think you’ll enjoy it. I sure did.

The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein [rating:5]

Other Reviews:
Both Eyes Book Blog
Fizzy Thoughts
Fyrefly’s Book Blog
So Many Precious Books, So Little Time
A Guy’s Moleskine Notebook
The Novel World