Thursday, January 16, 2014

Winter Book Club: The Art of Racing in the Rain

The Art of Racing in the RainThe Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book had been on my TBR List for awhile now.  I wasn't too sure about it, but a number of patron who I share similar reading tastes had really liked it, so I kept it on my list.  I'm always happy when a book club picks a book I've been meaning to read, I feel slightly accomplished in being able to cross a book off my ever growing list.

I really enjoyed this book, Enzo was a great narrator and told the story as best he could from a dog's point of view.  I think presenting this book from his point of view gave the reader a perspective other than their own to judge the actions of the characters.  Enzo, being a dog and innately loyal, would view his master as a hero and see very little fault in his character.  As a reader, we see Denny as a flawed and at times very selfish (or at least the members of the book discussion did).

During our discussions we talked about decisions Denny made throughout the novel and how the story would have been different if he had made different choices.  There is a key decision in the story which leads to a humorous scene in which Enzo, not agreeing with what he master is choosing to do, grabs a paper off the table and runs around with it, before escaping outside.  I felt that if Enzo had not interfered, there still could have been a story, but it would have been very different.

This story had me thinking a lot about my dogs.  For the most part we leave the television on for them when we leave the house, I wonder if they are soaking up the information just like Enzo.  How much do our pets understand about the world around them?  Enzo, understands quite a bit and has taken hold of the idea that in his next life he will be human.  He laments on how his life as a dog would be different if he had thumbs and could talk and knows that since he is already so close how could he NOT come back as a human.  While Enzo had a firm grasp on a good portion of the human world, there are still things that are beyond his comprehension, these things added enjoyable moments to the story doing some of the hardest emotional parts.

I highly suggest reading this book!

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