Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein

The Art of Racing in the Rain is a surprisingly touching story written from the perspective of a philosophical dog, named Enzo. Enzo realizes he is not an ordinary dog and longs to become fully human someday. While watching television, where he gains most of his knowledge, he discovers a documentary on Mongolia where he learns that once a dog’s life is over he becomes reincarnated as a man. But only if he is ready, and Enzo is ready. Enzo reflects back on his life with his master, Denny, a struggling professional race car driver, his wife, Eve, and their daughter, Zoe. Denny shares his passion of racing with Enzo and with that knowledge Enzo begins to unwrap the mysteries of life. There is tragedy, struggles, set-backs, and disappointments and Enzo walks us through it all. There is an especially funny but poignant scene when Enzo is unexpectedly left home alone for three days and has an unpleasant encounter with a Zebra. We come to learn that there is a little Zebra in all of us! Although I don’t think you have to own a dog to enjoy this book, I think those who do will find it especially warm and charming.

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