Monday, January 21, 2013

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

About the book:Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an 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 successfully navigate all of life's ordeals.

On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through: the sacrifices Denny has made to succeed professionally; the unexpected loss of Eve, Denny's wife; the three-year battle over their daughter, Zoë, whose maternal grandparents pulled every string to gain custody. In the end, despite what he sees as his own limitations, Enzo comes through heroically to preserve the Swift family, holding in his heart the dream that Denny will become a racing champion with Zoë at his side.

A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a beautifully crafted and captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human only a dog could tell it. 

 First Line: Gestures are all that I have; sometimes they must be grand in nature. And while I occasionally step over the line and into the world of the melodramatic, it is what I must do in order to communicate clearly and effectively. 

 My thoughts: I love this book. This is the second time I've read it and I rarely reread a book. I recommend it to anyone. Read it. 

 Quote: 'My nose-- yes, my little black nose that is leathery and cute-- could smell the disease in Eve's brain long before even she knew it was there. But I hadn't a facile tongue. So all I could do was watch and feel empty inside; Eve had assigned me to protect Zoe no matter what, but no one had been assigned to protect Eve. And there was nothing I could do to help her.'

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