In Garth Stein’s story, the narrator (dog) named Enzo, who can’t communicate as he would like by talking to his loved ones, but instead he’s sharing his feelings with the readers. His considerable heart and spirits and sharing his experiences in life. Although Enzo is not happy with being a dog, he comforts himself with the fact that according to a documentary he watched, he will be reincarnated as a human after watching his master Denny Swift, who is a hero to him.
I give this book 3 out of 5 stars it was a touching book to read but for me personally I couldn’t really get into the book. It was not very interesting to me, which led me to be discouraged from reading it.
In the story, The Art of Racing in the Rain, a dog named Enzo and his owner Denny face problems where it seems the world is pitted against them. The story begins with a happy, healthy lifestyle that they take advantage of. Denny meets a woman named Eve and they have a daughter named Zoe, and everything is right with the world. While Denny is becoming a champion racer with his family watching from the sidelines, Zoe grows quickly and in a positive environment. As Enzo’s intelligence steadily increases, tragedy befalls the family. It seems one tragedy after another while Denny and Enzo are trying to get through it with no one but each other for comfort.
I really enjoyed this book. Something I notice is that a lot of people will probably be able to relate to The Art of Racing in the Rain because the main character is a dog and many people own a dog. The author’s tone was able to shift from silly and lighthearted to serious and miserable. All the characters seemed human-like, even Enzo, so the characters weren’t robotic and plain. They were relatable and this made it easy to form an opinion about each and every character from the minor ones to the major ones. Aside from the book being written from a dog’s point of view, all of the events were realistic, creating images and making it easy to picture what was occurring in the book.
A book I recommend if you enjoyed this book is Marley and Me by John Grogan. This is because Marley and Me is also a story including a dog, a strong relationship, and tragedy.
Recently, I read The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein, a novel written from the perspective of Enzo. Philosophical and teeming with human-like traits, Enzo is a terrier-retriever mutt owned by a race car driver by the name of Denny. The story follows Denny’s struggle to receive custody of his young daughter, Zoe, after his wife’s fairly sudden death. Typically, the other parent would automatically receive custody if their partner died, but suddenly, Denny finds himself being sued by his departed wife’s parents for the rape of a young woman that he didn’t commit. Struggling financially and barely grasping on to one of the only good things he has left – his baby daughter – Denny is paid a visit from his parents and gifted a hefty sum of cash to help him win the case. Meanwhile, Enzo is entertaining and finding peace with the idea of his own death due to the fact that, in Tibetan tradition, dogs are supposedly reincarnated as humans. As he gradually ages, his desire for the release of death only grows as he imagines seeking out Denny in his new life as a human. Shortly after Enzo’s much anticipated passing, Denny is greeted by an Italian man at one of his races and his young son – named Enzo.
I would grant this novel four out of five stars, as I found it very thought provoking and thoughtful as it dealt with very real problems and proved that no matter what hardships you encounter – be it a death, a false accusation, or something else, it can be overcome given the support needed. I also found it particularly intriguing that while the novel was written from the perspective of a dog, it was quite serious – though it did have some elements of comedy.
Enzo is just a dog living with his master Denny. Enzo is however, quite special. He knows things that most dogs are completely oblivious to. He can tell something was wrong with Denny’s wife Eve before anyone else. He wishes he could find a way to warn them – for Denny’s sake, for Eve’s sake, for their daughter Zoë’s sake – but by the time the doctors find out it is too late. Enzo curses his inability to communicate with humans. He longs to be human himself. Unfortunately, all he can do is watch. Watch the TV shows and racing tapes Denny leaves on, watch Denny’s life and dreams shatter, watch him rise from the ashes. He watches as Zoë grows up under a single father and he watches that single father climb toward his goal. As Enzo grows older and realizes he can’t fight off death itself, he begins to embrace it. In Tibetan tradition, dogs are highly respected and are believed to be reincarnated as humans when they are ready. Enzo does not fear the end. He knows he’s ready.
The Art of Racing in the Rain is an elegantly written book with a deep meaning behind it. While being written from the perspective of a golden retriever, it is deep and complex enough for a more mature audience. Garth Stein does an amazing job tying in real issues with the lazy not-so-careless life of one enlightened dog. Overall, it is a very well written and heartfelt book.
For my project I read, The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein. The story is based in Seattle, Washington and is about a young man named Denny and the trials he faces in a custody battle for his daughter Zoe after his wife Eve dies from cancer. The story is told from the perspective of his dog Enzo who Denny adopted as a puppy. Denny is sued by his deceased wife’s parents for custody aided by a false statutory rape charge from one of Eve’s cousin’s. As a professional race car driver Denny faces financial stress as with a felony charge he cannot leave the state. He ponders giving up custody of his daughter as his wife’s relatives have stated that they will drop the charges if he were to grant custody to Zoe’s grandparents. However, a visit from Denny’s parents, people he hasn’t seen or talked to in years, and a large gift of money give him the ability to keep fighting and win his case. Enzo dies near the end of the book just as Denny is about to begin a new life with Zoe in Italy, the final scene is a flash forward to several years later when Denny has won a formula-one racing championship. He is introduced to two fans an Italian man and his young son named Enzo.
I liked the book especially the unconventional way of telling it. Coming from the perspective of a dog highlights different aspects of the story especially a more in-depth description of the way things would smell. It also shows the imperfections of humans and ways were more similar to animals then we think. Although a majority of the book is quite morbid and depressing the comments and insights of Enzo including a long argument of why dogs are more similar to humans than monkeys gives the story a strong comedic aspect. Even Enzo’s death is not a complete tragedy as one of the themes he discusses is reincarnation and it is demonstrated by the appearance of the young boy at the end of the book meant to be Enzo reborn in a next life as a higher being for acting with honor and integrity in his previous life.