Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Art of Racing in the Rain

There's been a lot of buzz about this novel: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. I loved it. You either buy into it or you don't, because from page one and all the way through, readers enter into the flowing stream of consciousness of a dog named Enzo.

Enzo has watched a lot of public television, and therefore has learned about reincarnation. He is sure that in his next reincarnation he will be human. The man who adopted him, Denny is a wonderfully Zen race car driver and Enzo emulates his beloved owner in many ways, including sharing his love of all things speedy. Denny has a wife and daughter he loves very much, and both are taken from him in different ways. Enzo witnesses all the loss, all the grief. He tells us his family's stories. And he tells us his own. Enzo is nearing his last days as a dog on our planet.

That's all I want to say about the plot of this unusual book. People are comparing it to Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men and E. B. White's Charlotte's Web. It also reminds me of The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. The tone is philosophical, spiritual, and ultimately redemptive. If you've ever looked into the eyes of a dog and seen an old soul, this book is for you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Keddy,

A comment from one of the Asheville Cats :-) I'm considering reading this book about a dawg based on my respect for your taste. Hope it is as good as you said it was since I enlisted another friend to read it with me. Forgot to tell you that I brought with me the little plant you gave me awhile back. It is in a blue & white planter and sitting in my kitchen window with my little red buddhas. I think of you daily :-)