I read all but the first 50 pages of The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein while I was at the lake the weekend before last. It’s probably the best book I’ve read this year and it’s certainly one of the most unique books I’ve ever read, at least in its narrative style. This story is told in first person by Enzo, an incredibly intelligent dog who longs to be reincarnated as a human. Yes, the whole book is narrated by a dog, and I absolutely loved it.
Enzo is adopted as a puppy by Denny, a semi-professional race car driver. Denny soon marries Eve and has a baby, Zoe, to whom Enzo becomes a faithful companion. Denny and his family go through a really rough patch in life and Enzo is there the whole time to lend his support and at times prevent his master from making some big mistakes.
This is a heart-wrenching but funny and hopeful book that has a terrific ending. Enzo is not only the narrator of the story, he’s also the heart and soul of it. My favorite part book is when he gets to ride with Denny on the race track. The whole passage is so joyous and I love when Enzo barks twice to “go faster.” The race track and the art of racing serve as guideposts throughout the whole book, which I thought was very successful and engaging, even for someone who could care less about racecar driving.
This is an obvious choice for a dog lover but I think anybody would enjoy it. If you do have a dog I would recommend reading this with your pet nearby. Like I said, I read this while I was at the lake and by the time I finished it I couldn’t wait to go back home to my Finnley!
What are some of your favorite books you’ve read this year?
P.S. I’m linking up to Centsational Girl’s Great Book Link Party. Check out her post for her favorite book and links to other bloggers’ favorites.