A Book Review
From Goodreads: 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. On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through.
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.
Let me just start by saying that I started and finished The Art of Racing in the Rain within a week of Steel’s death. I had been wanting to read it and someone in one of my book groups on Facebook basically told me that now was the time. She actually even sent me a gift card for it, which was super sweet – and I’m glad that I didn’t get the e-version because for me holding that book was a form of therapy.
This is probably now my most favorite book in the entire world. I really want to re-read it, but I am making myself read a few other books I have before I run back into that escape. The fact that I read this so close to losing Steel isn’t lost on me: I’m sure that has something to do with my emotional attachment. But I literally have never felt so much while reading a book. When I made it through the last few pages, I closed the book, held it to my chest and promptly bawled (happy and sad tears) for a long time. Mr. Coffee was slightly concerned and probably only half understood as I explained to him the ending.
I grew up with a father who to this day VCR records (well, I lie, he updated to TiVO a few months ago) Formula1 races and then watches them on Saturday mornings. I knew who Michael Schumaker and Enzo Ferrari were before I picked up this book – I knew of corner apexes and other track mechanics as well. So, not only was I attached to Enzo from page one – I also was connected to him through that as well. We both have father’s (/master) who loved racing and cars and taught us what they could. However, I know plenty of people who read this without any of that racing knowledge and loved it just as much – so don’t let that stop you!
Besides being able to relate to and love Enzo and his family so much, the story was just really good. It made you mad, sad, angry, happy, sad, PISSED, happy, utterly depressed, and then comforted to bottom of your soul. Some people hated the ending: that it was cliche or too far of a reach. But honestly, I bought into the first part of the ending – what Enzo saw while Denny was telling him “Its okay. You can go”. So, that next part just hit me right in the heart. I wrote out a lot about what I wish for Steel – but I think I’ll save you from that sobfest. Other people’s reviews mention how stupid it is for a dog to have such commentary – for him to want to go to into a courtroom and save his master, etc. Those would be the people who’ve never owned a half intellgient dog – who would never talk to their dog as if they were human. I talk to my dogs and I’m perfectly sure that they understand me and wish they could talk back. 😉 All in all, Enzo tells a good story with The Art of Racing in the Rain and I recommend that you go read it!
Have you read The Art of Racing in the Rain? What were your thoughts and feelings?
I’ve added this book to my 2016 Reading Challenge list as the entry for the NY Times Bestseller.