The Art of Racing in the Rain: A Novel (Rated: 13+)Product Type: Book
Review Rated: ASR
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Summary of this Book...
This is the best dog fiction I have ever read. The story is heartbreaking with funny and uplifting moments, imaginative, and charming, and it has a highly satisfying ending.
Yet, I have to add that I almost quit reading it at the start. The reason is: In the beginning, in a phone conversation, the ailing old dog Enzo’s master hinted that he was taking Enzo to the vet to put him down. This was too difficult for me to handle, but for some reason, possibly because the prose is so spectacular, I continued with the story and I’m glad I did.
The story is told as a chronological flashback from the first person point of view of Enzo, who is highly intellectual and witty for a canine. His master Denny is a race-car driver with a humble background, and his relationship with his dog involves watching a lot of TV shows, especially the Speed Channel and DVDs of car races. Denny later marries the love of his life, Eve, and they have a daughter, Zoe. After Denny loses his opportunity of becoming a champion due to an accident on the track, he works as a customer service representative at a luxury auto establishment.
Enzo feels he has become the caretaker of the family and enjoys this responsibility to its fullest. Unfortunately, at this point, Eve becomes sick and the family is torn apart. Denny faces the possibility of losing his daughter to Eve’s parents.
The author has illustrated the themes of loyalty, hope, and moral behavior through the main characters and highlighted those themes through their negatives by the actions of the secondary characters. According to Enzo and Denny, or the author himself, the art of racing corresponds equally to the art of living. This has made sections of the book quotable, such as, “These are things that only dogs and women understand because we tap into pain directly…” and “So much of language is unspoken. So much of language is compromised of looks and gestures and sounds that are not words. People are ignorant of the vast complexity of their own communication.”
The author of this Book...
Garth Stein lives in Seattle and is the co-founder of Seattle7Writers, a non-profit organization.
His work: How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets (Soho won a Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award, and was a BookSense Pick in both hardcover and paperback. Raven Stole the Moon (Harper, 2010) was Stein's first novel. He has also written a full-length play, Brother Jones, and produced a number of award-winning documentaries.
The Art of Racing in the Rain has won numerous awards and is translated into thirty languages.
I recommend this Book because...
It is not just any dog fiction. It evokes so many strong emotions in the reader that it can be easily filed among the greats.
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The Art of Racing in the Rain: A Novel