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The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

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“The car goes where the eyes go.” This simple statement is the mantra of Garth Stein’s novel, The Art of Racing in the Rain, a story that isn’t about racing at all…instead it is a heartwarming story of love and perseverance. The story is told from an unusual viewpoint: one of a dog. Enzo, a Labrador-terrier mix, tells his side of the story when his whole family starts to fall apart. Stein uses brilliant insight to convey Enzo’s thoughts, feelings, and actions in a way that renders him almost human. The Art of Racing in the Rain is a compelling book that teaches that one doesn’t need a voice to convey the love that they feel in their heart.
“Gestures are all that I have; sometimes they must be grand in nature” (Stein 1). This is Enzo in entirety. He stays by his master Denny’s side through thick and thin; always loving, always protecting. When Denny’s wife gets cancer, he gets sued for custody of his child, and a bogus sexual assault lawsuit put on him, Enzo is there. Denny, a semi-professional racecar driver, is a remarkable man with a gut full of character, and his resolution is astonishing. Enzo clearly portrays his love and admiration for his owner, leaving you laughing one minute and crying the next. Although at times Enzo seems too smart to be just a dog, the story is still believable.
When I first picked up this book, I had no idea it was told by the viewpoint of a dog. But once I started, I never even thought of putting this book down. I read The Art of Racing in the Rain in two big gulps. This was one of the most devotional and loving stories I have ever read, and I think that others who read it, be they a dog person or not, will find that they love it too. I took away something from this book: a little more will to push on. I think readers of all ages will love Enzo and his story of perseverance. Garth Stein, you have reached the checkered flags first with this book.



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