I finished The Art Of Racing In The Rain a few days ago and I can't say enough good things about this book. I already recommended this book to my dad and brother (and my mom too), since I immediately thought of them while reading the story.
The book is written from the perspective of a dog, Enzo, who is reflecting on his life the night before his death. His owner, Denny, is a race car driver who shares his passion for racing with Enzo, often bringing Enzo along for races or watching the Speed network together. The story takes you on a roller coaster of emotions from happy, to sad, to mad and around again. Obviously the book was actually written by a man and not a dog, but I loved the uniqueness of reading from a dog's perspective and really feeling that dogs are not much different than humans. Pets can be so comforting and such a part of their our lives. I know my life would be very different without my cat around.
When I first picked up this book from a family friend, I didn't really have much of a desire to read it. I didn't know anything about the plot, and I put off reading the book for a long time. Once I finally started reading, I sat in wonder as to why I waited so long to start reading. One habit I have is to pick out quotes from books; usually, the more quotes I can pick out from a book the more I love the book itself. The Art Of Racing In The Rain was riddled with perfect quotes about love and life. Garth Stein had a great way of comparing car racing to the challenges one faces in life. He melded a simple way of writing with deep philosophical thoughts. Stein also mastered the frustration of the inability to communicate, knowing something and yet being unable to tell anyone. Even though I do not own a dog, drive race cars, have a child, or have lost a significant other, I really felt connected to the story line. I felt like I could relate to what Enzo was thinking.
The book made me:
1. Want a dog.
2. Never want a dog because they will eventually die.
3. Watch Senna.
4. Really hate that people actually act like Eve's parents did.
Now go read this book!