The Art of Racing in the Rain By Garth Stein – a Story of Enzo and Denny
The Art of Racing in the Rain is written from an interesting point of view – that of a dog named Enzo. Enzo and his master, Denny (who have a mutual admiration society…), start off the book in a typical family life consisting of a beautiful, loving wife and a young child. Denny is a race car driver on a small-scale, and struggles between his passion (racing) and his other passions (his dog Enzo, and his family – not necessarily in that order but, then again, not necessarily not….).
Enzo, being of wise dog soul, recognizes and passes on a lot to the reader about his theory of life; he frequently waxes metaphoric and compares living life with the art of racing in the rain as shown by the below quote:
“I know this much about racing in the rain. I know it is about balance. It is about anticipation and patience… [it is also] about the mind! It is about owning one’s body… It is about believing that you are not you; you are everything. And everything is you.”
Enzo, as all dogs, is more in tune to nature and the ways of life and related items that, as humans, we and his family usually don’t understand. Of particular interest to me was his catching the scent of death on his female master’s breath – I believe that my own animals predicted my darling mother’s death days before she died. Enzo also dearly misses having thumbs and cusses monkeys (who do).
Throughout The Art of Racing in the Rain, Enzo ruminates on life as a human which he believes he will achieve in the afterlife – after all, Enzo believes that his soul will be reborn into a human after he lives a perfect dog life. On this point, I think he might have it wrong – I believe that dogs are a higher life form than humans and can only hope that I come back as a dog who is, hopefully very loved. But, I’ve digressed….
In The Art of Racing in the Rain, Enzo’s soul talks to us – sometimes witty, sometimes sad, but always wise.
In the end, I thought The Art of Racing in the Rain was interesting, mostly from the rarely realized perspective of voice – that voice being Enzo the dog. I didn’t totally love it though as it seemed a bit contrived to me. I also found the ending just a bit predictable. I still would recommend it though, especially for a dog lover.
If you’re like me and love a good book (or a few good books….) about animals, you can’t go wrong with picking up a book by James Herriot who was a small town vet in England. His books are wonderful for readers of all ages.
All Things Wise and Wonderful (All Creatures Great and Small)All Creatures Great and SmallAll Things Bright and Beautiful (All Creatures Great and Small)The Lord God Made Them All (All Creatures Great and Small)
As a ‘bonus’ (if you can call it that), here’s some pictures of the dogs we’ve loved, and some we’ve lost. They are (or were) all very treasured beasts. Please spay and neuter!