Book Review ~ The Art Of Racing In The Rain by Garth Stein

Summary ~ “Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver.  Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn’t simply about going fast.  USing the techniques needed on the race track, one can successful navigate all of life’s ordeals.”

I have to stop reading books that make me cry.  The Art of Racing In The Rain was an amazing book that has brought my relationship with my dog, Rocky, to a new level.  I think he knew what I was reading about over the last few days because he has been even more affectionate and loving towards me.  This book is such a cozy, wonderful, infuriating, and heart warming story, I didn’t want it to end but I couldn’t make myself read any slower because I had to know what would happen.

In the beginning we meet Enzo, the wonderful dog/narrator at the heart of this book.  He shares the story of his life with us and the events, big and small, that filled his days.  This book holds the story of a family, happy at times and wrecked at others, but never giving up on the love and hope that they have for each other.  Denny Swift is Enzo’s Master and he is a great guy.  An up-and-coming race car driver who loves to watch tapes of his races on the T.V. with Enzo and speak to him like he’s just one of the guys.  A guy’s guy who loves his family and will do anything in his power to make things safe, happy and wonderful for them.  Tragedy of course strikes this ideal family but not without humor told from the point of view of the family dog.

At times I wanted to put this book in the freezer like Joey on Friends did while reading both The Shining and Little Women.  Not because I was scared but because I was mad and needed a cooling off period from the story and the people in Enzo’s life. 

Enzo’s retelling of his life as a member of the Swift family was a joy to read.  Though twists and turns in the lives of his family made for sad reading at times, the fact that everything effected Enzo in similar ways was amazing.  Dogs are extremely perceptive and though this is a work of fiction, I believe that Stein must have quite a dog (Comet is her name) in his own life to draw inspiration from.

On a personal note, one of my favorite bands is Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians and one of my favorite songs by them is “What I Am.”  The lyric that comes to mind here is:

I’m not aware of too many things
I know what I know, if you know what I mean
Philosophy is the talk on a cereal box
Religion is the smile on a dog
I’m not aware of too many things
I know what I know, if you know what I mean, d-doo yeah

 {Rating ~ 4.5 out of 5}

Booking Through Thursday ~ Holidays

btt button

It’s a holiday weekend here in the U.S., so let’s keep today’s question simple–What are you reading? Anything special? Any particularly juicy summer reading?

Somehow the Independence Day weekend is here.  The first half of 2008 have flown by in a blur.  I have read fifteen books so far this year and am about to add another title to my read pile.  I am almost finished with the touching and enrapturing book, “The Art of Racing In the Rain” by Garth Stein.  As I read it and listen to Enzo telling the story of his family and their lives, I find myself talking more and more with my own dog Rocky.  I have always asked Rocky “What are you thinking about?”.  Now I really wonder more than ever, what is that adorable creature who inhabits our lives and home thinking? 

                             I\'m thinking about....