Monday, June 8, 2009

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

There is the excitement of exhilirating action - Denny Swift is a race car driver. It is a family story: Eve and daughter Zoe help to make Denny’s life whole and happy. But it is Enzo, a Labrador-terrier mix who through thick and thin remains steadfastly at Denny’s side and is Denny’s support and cheerleader. Enzo’s perspective drives this story of how to go about this thing called life. Enzo loves everything he is able to experience, learning about racing, life and what it means to be – well, human. His main regret is that he does not have opposable thumbs; and he can’t wait to become a human in his next life, which he surely believes he will become. He tells us of his bursts of insight; he tells us about his tiny gleaned truths.

Though this story is somewhat over the top, still it is a joyous exclamation mark about what it means to be compassionate, loving and able to succeed even in the face of wrenching, heartbreaking loss. It touches on themes of loyalty, faithfulness, hope, and life at its most incongruous. Racing is a metaphor for life and its challenges, turns and jolts and remembering to appreciate the present. All from the perspective of a dog’s eyes. For animal lovers and race driving enthusiasts this is a warm and charming story. It is mostly about how a dog masterfully holds a family together in his unique style.

A wonderful read. Plan to wistfully use your Kleenex. (Review courtesy of Paula N! Thank you!)

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