Monday, February 1, 2010

Book Review: The Art of Racing in the Rain

The Art of Racing in the Rain
by Garth Stein

The Least You Need to Know... told through the perspective of a thinking, tv watching, waiting for reincarnation as a human, dog.

Reminds me of... Marley and Me; Timbuktu by Paul Auster.

Pros... I read this one in a little more than twelve hours. It's arranged in short chapters than lend itself to, "oh, I'll just read one more," and the story sucks you in quickly. Being a dog person, I loved the conceit that the narrator is Enzo the dog. Enzo tells the tale with great insight, and hilarious bits (and the dog himself is very likeable), even though much of the story is quite sad and depressing. A satisfying, if unbelievable, ending.

Cons... Somewhat predictable plot lines. Even though I found myself wanting things to resolve in the way they did, it was very unrealistic and felt like a bit of a throwaway when everything wraps up very neatly at the end.

Quotable... Enzo: "I've always felt almost human. I've always known that there's something about me that's different than other dogs. Sure, I'm stuffed into a dog's body, but that's just the shell. It's what's inside that's important. The soul. And my soul is very human."

Bottom Line... It's a dog book, so it should be no surprise that you'll need a box of tissues by the end; that said, read it.


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