Friday, November 13, 2009

The Art Of Racing In The Rain by Garth Stein

In The Art Of Racing In The Rain, Garth Stein has chosen to tell his story through the eyes of a dog, Enzo.  Enzo comes to live with Denny Swift as a puppy.  Through the years, he is there as Denny meets Eve and marries her, and as they have their daughter, Zoe.  He is there as Denny starts to have success as a race car driver, and is treated as a full member of the family.

Then tragedy strikes.  Eve sickens and dies young, and Denny is caught up in a fight with her parents for custody for Zoe.  The fight gets vicious, and he loses custody while things are being resolved.  Through all this grief, Enzo is there as a steady touchpoint for Denny and Zoe, bringing them solace through his love and loyalty.

The reader hears how the custody battle works its way out over the years.  Enzo gets older and starts to deteriorate physically.  The book, in many ways, is the story of Enzo's life as he looks back over it as he nears his own end.

This book is recommended for animal lovers.  Many dog owners rave about this book, and it is one that they recommend highly and will remember for a long time.  For me, computer nerd that I am, the whole device of an animal narrator never really clicked as I found it impossible to engage with the viewpoint that Enzo understood the human world and what makes humans act as they do.  His philosophical discussions on being trapped in a dog's body when he should surely have been created a human just didn't ring true for me.  Still, this book is very popular, and most readers will enjoy it immensely.

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