|Photo taken from Goodreads|
Title: The Art of Racing in the Rain
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
"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. Having learned what it takes to be a compassionate and successful person, the wise canine can barely wait until his next lifetime, when he is sure he will return as a man.
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 life . . . as only a dog could tell it."
There's a new philosopher on the block, and he's got four legs. Meet Enzo, a lab terrier mix who considers himself a dog with a human soul. An avid car racing fan who gains his education through his race car driver master, as well as through watching television, he believes in the Mongolian belief that once a dog serves his lifetime as a dog, he will be reincarnated as a man - which he learned from the National Geographic Channel and therefore must be true. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein gives us this lovable four-legged wonder who could probably give Deepak Chopra a run for his money.
The voice is sound and distinct, although the narration had something to answer for, because no matter how many times I go back and forth, I could not reconcile the parallelism of the first chapter to the last - yes the plot is still the same but the circumstances did not seem to align. But maybe that's just me. Otherwise, the hardships, triumphs and the life lessons from a dog culled from his knowledge of car racing will have you admiring the style of writing and the versatility of Mr. Stein to be able to write such a believable character. The really rough patch that Enzo's master encounters in his life is a bit too tiring, dragging, and unrealistic, but the reader will get the point that as this is an inspirational book at its core, he/she must be able to always expect the worst in order to understand the teachings that this philosopher cum car racing buff dog imparts to this book's audience.