I'm over a decade late to the game, but I finally read Garth Stein's bestseller The Art of Racing in the Rain, which later was adapted into a movie starring Milo Ventimiglia. Even though I have no interest in race cars and I have never owned a dog, I still can say this book was worth every bit of its hype.
Narrated by a philosophical and adoring dog named Enzo, The Art of Racing in the Rain opens with the dog's final days on Earth as he looks back on his life and his master's troubles. Denny, Enzo's human, is a race car driver who suffers hurdle after hurdle. When his wife gets sick and dies, his in-laws drag him to court for custody of his daughter. Just when Enzo thinks Denny's tribulations can't get any worse, someone accuses him of a wretched crime that he did not commit.
Enzo's language and narration is clever, thoughtful and at times, humorous, but never cliche or silly. The Art of Racing in the Rain is not just about a dog. The novel captures the strength of human will, love for family and demand for justice. Our narrator views the protagonist with unwavering devotion, even when he sees Denny's most raw and honest self. Despite Denny's flaws, Enzo never leaves his side until the dog himself decides his job is done.
Throughout the book, I laughed out loud, became outraged and shed a few tears. Whether you've loved dogs your entire life or if you've never called a dog your own, do yourself a favor and read The Art of Racing in the Rain. Check it out from your local public library or purchase it from your local bookstore or on Amazon here.
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Danielle Kelley Tolbird
Surrounded by books by day, Tolbird works as the communications coordinator of her local library. She writes about her favorite books, faith in God and daily life.