The Art of Racing in The Rain #BookReview

Garth Stein | Jan 2008 | 336 pp

This was not a book I would have chosen for myself, but, I thoroughly enjoyed it! This officially substantiates the necessity of book clubs. 🤣😂 My club chose this as our April read and it was interesting.

Danny is a young ambitious man that yearns to be a race car driver. We meet him and his dog Enzo, as he is coming out of a hard time as described by Enzo, the dog. Enzo is actually our narrator in the story. Thats right, we get to hear Danny’s story from the perspective of his dog, Enzo.

Enzo believes if dogs live a good life, after their death, they will return as human..presumably, men. And Enzo wants this very much, so he sets out to love and protect Danny, through it all, and along the way, practicing his best human traits.

Enzo is baring witness to Danny’s life and telling us about it. Danny meets Eve, falls in love, gets married and they have a daughter. Life starts to happen when Eve gets sick and there isn’t enough money to support his racing dreams.

Pros: Telling the story from the dog’s perspective made it so much more endearing for me. Enzo has got to be every dog in the world and I really enjoyed his storytelling. The story itself is an emotional rollercoaster, I find hard saying ‘i liked’. But, the writing was done well and the characters were interesting.

Cons: The author is male and if I wanted to paint a broad, judgmental stroke, Id say he hates women. None of the female characters were developed and when they spoke, it was little more than committing some stupid act or deferring to a male character. (Eve walks out the house and leaves the dog for days unattended, claiming, ‘she forgot’. Both Danny’s mother and Eve’s mother sits back while Danny is grossly mistreated by their partners.)

I’ll try not to be sweepingly judgmental but, it will likely prevent me from reading anything else from this writer.

The story is a tad unbearable in spots. The racing jargon gets overwhelming. I think the reader tries way too hard to squeeze greater life lessons out of the practice of driving a race car in the rain. If you’re into sport racing, this will likely be a plus for you. For me, it was overhanded.

Danny simultaneously is an expert racer, broke, working in a mechanic shop, parentless man-child, not completely capable of taking care of himself BUT has the eloquent words of a very mature adult when confronting a young accuser. 🤷🏾‍♀️ I don’t know. I just leaned in. I mean, I was reading a story told by a dog. Anything can be possible. I guess the saying is true: Be the person your dog thinks you are.

Overall its a great story. Trigger warning: if sugar to shit was a story- it would be this one. Job (biblical) level destruction takes place and midway through you will ask yourself if its even worth it to continue. It is. Keep going. If your super sensitive to how women are portrayed..maybe skip this one. If you have a dog, you will grab her/him and kiss and love in them profusely- I know I did with my dog. I also hear tell its been made into a movie, less the naughty bits about Danny and an accusation..seems like a poor choice but so it goes with book to movie hype! Goodbook 4/2021

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