Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Art of Racing in the Rain

I've heard some positive buzz about this book, and so I picked up a copy from the Library:

From Publishers Weekly

If you've ever wondered what your dog is thinking, Stein's third novel offers an answer. Enzo is a lab terrier mix plucked from a farm outside Seattle to ride shotgun with race car driver Denny Swift as he pursues success on the track and off. Denny meets and marries Eve, has a daughter, Zoƫ, and risks his savings and his life to make it on the professional racing circuit. Enzo, frustrated by his inability to speak and his lack of opposable thumbs, watches Denny's old racing videos, coins koanlike aphorisms that apply to both driving and life, and hopes for the day when his life as a dog will be over and he can be reborn a man. When Denny hits an extended rough patch, Enzo remains his most steadfast if silent supporter. Enzo is a reliable companion and a likable enough narrator, though the string of Denny's bad luck stories strains believability. Much like Denny, however, Stein is able to salvage some dignity from the over-the-top drama. (May)
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Check out my friend, Kammy's review here. (it's way better than mine)
My thoughts:
  I've endured way too many kid movies featuring talking animals that I was worried that this book would be cheesy.  However, I love that the dog was telling the story. He was a wise old soul with great observations on the family and who better to tell a family's story than the family's pet?

I didn't love how sad the book was.  I'm not a sad book type of person and there are some downright tragedies in this one, but the ending is satisfying.  I am also not a racing fan and so I skimmed whenever there was talk of cars or racing. Finally, I did not love the bad language in the book and so I'd think twice about recommending it to your church book club. 

Overall I'd give it a 3 out of 5.

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