Rating: 4 / 5
I stumbled across a copy of THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN by Garth Stein at my local used book store a long time back and I knew it was a book about which I had heard good reviews. I knew there was a movie coming out and so I picked up a copy. Ever since I’ve been procrastinating actually picking up the book. My last experience with an animal narrator was not an experience I was looking to duplicate, plus I had been warned that this was a book best read with tissues on hand.
THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN is narrated by Enzo, the loyal canine companion of a man trying to support a family and follow his passion for race car driving. The book begins with Enzo facing the end of his life and reflecting back on his life as a whole. Though confined to the body of a dog and without the ability for speech, Enzo has a very human soul and in fact believes that once he’s shed his failing body he will come back as a human.
Enzo is brought home as a puppy by Denny Swift, a man who loves to drive race cars. Enzo is there as Denny brings home his wife and they bring a baby girl into the world. He has a firsthand view into their lives and the many hardships they face throughout his life.
Having lost my furry four legged kid at the beginning of 2018, but I wasn’t fully prepared for the amount of heartache that permeated this book. Denny and his family have a lot of heartbreak for Enzo to narrate. The author does a good job of peppering in humor (Enzo’s obsession with human thumbs for example) which helps to balance the sadness out in places. The relationships in the book are also often uplifting.
This is definitely one where you need the entire box of tissues handy, but overall a book that I enjoyed. It definitely got Kylee a few extra pets and snuggles along the way!