Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Garth Stein - The Art of Racing in the Rain

I didn't think I would like this book. Firstly, my care factor for racing is zero, so that aspect of the novel didn't appeal to me at all. Also, while I loved Marley and Me and this novel featured a dog as one of the main characters, based on what I read from the blurb, it seemed so ridiculous to have Enzo narrate the story and to be portrayed as a philosopher trapped in a dog's body. Right. Despite my preconceptions, I decided to go ahead and borrow this book from the library because of the rave reviews that I had seen on Amazon. After all, what did I have to lose? I am so glad I did because I ended up loving this story, racing bits and all. Garth Stein has created such real and remarkable characters that as a reader, I just can't help but be swept up by the moments and follow their journey. I felt their joy when Denny and Eve had Zoë in their lives; I was saddened by the immense grief that Denny felt when Eve passed away; I shared Enzo's outrage when Zoë grandparents ganged up on Denny and took her away. In lesser hands, this novel could have verged on the ridiculous; but Stein masterfully crafted an absolutely beautiful story that was utterly engaging and moving. Two thumbs up!