An amazingly told story, The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein sets the reader up with a different kind of narrator. Told through the eyes of a dog named Enzo, the story follows his master, Denny, through the trials and tribulations of being a single parent and trying to live out his dreams.
When Denny’s wife, Eve, is diagnosed with brain cancer, he doesn’t think life could get any worse. However, when Eve passes away, his in-laws make the next blow and demand custody of his daughter, Zoe, insisting she will have a better life with them. As his silent companion, Enzo gives the reader his thoughts on the situation especially since he cannot deliver it to his master the way he would want to because he is only a dog. But Enzo speaks in his own way, trying to be as human as possible while being the best friend Denny could have.
The Art of Racing in the Rain is probably one of the best books I’ve read this year. My sister bought it after hearing nothing but good reviews and insisted I read it. Right away Garth Stein captures the reader’s attention with his choice in a dog as a narrator and continues to hold their attention with witty comeback lines and pieces of advice. Stein does an amazing job in portraying the way a dog would think and act, and definitely won points by giving Enzo a wise demeanor and will of his own.
Another aspect I really liked about Stein’s writing was his use of metaphors. I found it amazing how he could take a sport as monotonous as racecar driving, which is Denny’s dream job, and connect it with everyday happenings that anyone could connect to and understand. And while some of his metaphors can be silly, such as the menacing stuffed zebra that taunts Enzo, he is able to make the metaphor extremely important to the plot.
Surprising and captivating, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a touching book for both teenagers and adults.
Also by Garth Stein: Raven Stole the Moon