Book Report – The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

17 Sep

The Art of Racing in the Rain is one of those books that you hear about in passing, and find your interest semi-piqued, so you check it out of the library because you’re not sure you want to spend $20 on a book told from the perspective of a dog. At least, that’s what happened in my case, anyway. As it turns out, I could have just spent the money… but more on that in a bit.

Honestly, from what I knew about it before reading it, this book had a lot working against it. The idea of a story being told from a dog’s perspective is unique, sure… but it’s also a bit gimmicky. And the plot sounds melodramatic at first, involving love and death and custody battles and rampant accusations and court battles. And Ferraris. Because the lead human character is a race car driver. I’m not remotely interested in race cars, and I’m only moderately interested in melodrama. However, I am very, very interested in dogs, so that’s why I gave it a chance.

The story follows wise, charming Enzo, the aforementioned dog, and his master Denny, the aforementioned racecar driver. You learn right away that it will be a sad story, but Enzo sets you up for That Much More of an emotional reaction by detailing happier times first. I feel like I’ve already given away too much of the plot, so I don’t want to risk any serious spoilers… just know that this was a book where I was near tears at some points, laughing out loud at others. At one point, I was so angry with the story that I almost stopped reading the book, thinking that I didn’t like it. After a moment I realized it was the actual story that was provoking such a visceral reaction, not the book itself.

I love dogs. I’ve often looked at them and thought that they have so much to say; they just don’t have a way of communicating it all to us. Sometimes I think they might even be smarter than human beings. I get the impression Garth Stein thinks so too. If you’re looking for a good story that’s a bit of an emotional whirlwind, or you just enjoy reading stories told from unique perspectives, I think you’d probably like The Art of Racing in the Rain. Definitely worth buying.

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2 Responses to “Book Report – The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein”

  1. JimmyBean October 1, 2009 at 4:39 pm #

    I don’t know If I said it already but …Cool site, love the info. I do a lot of research online on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read..Jim Bean

    • beeks October 19, 2009 at 3:22 am #

      Thank you for the nice feedback! Sorry if it took me awhile to reply; I’m not particularly tech savvy and didn’t realize I had some comments that were marked as spam. I really appreciate your comment!

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