Saturday, August 11, 2012

Book Review: 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: 5 of 5 stars

I haven't written a proper review in years, so please bear with me. This review will also contain some spoilers.

My full review is after the jump, just click on the Read more link...:)

I rate this book a 5 of 5 stars because of the amount of tears I have shed from start to finish. Yes, that's right, if you have a soft spot for dogs, the start will already be attempting to tug at your heartstrings. Another reason is that I can deeply relate to it as we have an elderly dog as well, and this book was about an old dog recounting his life with his master, Denny. We all wonder a lot at how our dog (her name is Red) will summarize and reflect on her life with us, and we hope that she thinks her life with us to be full of love and happy memories.

So with that, I warn you: please have a box of Kleenex ready, and your favorite dog beside you to soothe you. You will be needing them.

This book is definitely worthy of its acclaim. The writing just flows and it gets into you and keeps you reading. This would make a very good audio book as well, and I could imagine Morgan Freeman (he did portray God, and I think next to God, dogs are the best) would be such a swell idea to portray Enzo. That dog is so wise beyond his breed.

I was not a fan of racing, and I glossed over some of the text where racing became too descriptive and detailed, but I slowed down eventually because I was afraid I might miss a metaphor or two...and true enough, there were. Besides, the sentences were so engaging that despite of my lack of interest to racing, I got sucked in.

I'm not a fan of reincarnation either, I don't like the idea of recycled souls. Souls are not plastic but are special and unique. However, I still enjoy this book even though the author, Garth Stein decided Enzo, the dog, to be reincarnated as a man. I guess this is for the purposes of humanizing the dog...after all, haven't we all wondered if they wish to be us at one point? Well, wonder no more.

As for the author's style, well, Mr. Stein's writing style is very engaging throughout the book. He made a very dramatic story about a man going through a lot of pitfalls in his life, and his dog wanting to help him out so much. Enzo displays frustration of being a dog many times because he can't help or console him through words. But he never realizes that through gestures, his loyalty, and shared passion for cars and racing, his master considers him a lifesaver.

I won't be spoiling you all by telling you how it ends, but I tell you to keep those tissues handy.

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