Review: The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein

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

It isn’t every writer who can take the unlikely elements of an unreliable narrator, a main character who is a dog, race car driving, and brain cancer, and work all that into a highly readable, engaging, moving and memorable story. Garth Stein is one such writer.

Clearly a man comfortable with his craft, dedicated to research and the nuance of language, Stein has created the story of a dog known as Enzo, who believes he will be reincarnated as a human when his time as a dog is done. During Enzo’s journey as a dog, he becomes emotionally attached to his master, Denny, who is a rising race car driver. Together Enzo and Denny experience joy in a marriage and birth of a child, the thrill of the race course, and then the devastation of the loss of all they’ve held precious.

Never maudlin or trite, the emotional impact of Stein’s story rings true with a subtlety which is quite astonishing.

Altogether a thoroughly enjoyable and memorable read. Highly recommended.

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