The Art of Racing in the Rain – Garth Stein: A Review

It has been a long time since I reviewed any book. I’ve been reading books and abandoning them halfway (sacrilegious, I know!). This is mainly because I saw the movie and know what happens (Memoirs of a Geisha) or I started another book (Maurice – for my book challenge) before finishing the first one (The Fountainhead). So, for a while I stuck to short stories that I could read while travelling to work. This book consists of a collection of four short novels of which one is The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein.


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The book is narrated in first-dog wherein Enzo (named after Enzo Ferrari) describes his journey with his human family. Enzo is no ordinary dog; he’s almost human. He thinks like a human being. He shares a special bond with his parent/owner, Denny Swift, a race car driver and later with his daughter, Zoe. Enzo believes in a Mongolian legend that states, “A dog who is prepared will be reincarnated in his next life as a human”. Enzo is ready. He recounts his time with Denny, the good and the bad, the troubles and triumphs, life and death. He contrasts his life to racing and how they are not so different after all. He is the sole entity who reunites Denny’s broken family. He stays with Denny through his battles all the while dealing with his failing health. In the end, some wishes do come true. How? Read the book.

The Art of Racing in the Rain is one of those rare books that cannot be put down. At times, it feels as though Enzo is human because he understands Denny; maybe better than anyone else. The book is a pretty fast read as it does not stray on minor details for long. The drama is predictable sometimes and corny in certain places but these are just minor glitches. Reading from a dog’s perspective has definitely been a good experience.


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