“Racing in the Rain” is Inspiring

After reading Garth Stien’s “The Art of Racing in the Rain,” I would definitely rate it as one of my favorite books.

I have to admit I was skeptical at first, the prevalent racing theme did not interest me and I was afraid it would deter me from enjoying the book, but it was actually quite the opposite. Although racing is established in the title and throughout the book, the story does not follow racing, rather it uses it as an extended metaphor for life.

PHOTO CREDIT TO AMAZON.COM
PHOTO CREDIT TO AMAZON.COM

However, perhaps the most interesting thing about this book is that it is told in the point of view of a dog named Enzo on the eve of his death. Although this may seem sappy or depressing it’s in fact the opposite—it’s a wonderfully unique and heartfelt story. The book opens with Enzo, weak and old, hatching a master plan to be euthanized. But to Enzo, euthanization is not death, it’s the first step to being reborn. All Enzo’s life he believed he was a human stuck in a dog’s body, unable to speak or communicate with others, just watch.

One day he sees a documentary in which Mongolians express their belief that dogs are destined to be reborn as humans and he latches on to that ideology. And so Enzo, trapped inside his decaying body, dreams away the rest of his days hoping to be reincarnated as a human.

However, in order to get his master Denny to “put him down” Enzo pretends to struggle to get up and greet him as he walks through the door. Upon seeing Enzo’s distressed state, Denny decides it’s finally time to take him to the vet and Enzo, realizing his preeminent death, begins to recount his life to the reader, captivating us with every moment.

Beginning with being plucked from the litter by Denny, Enzo narrates every aspect of his captivating life, enthralling us through each of Denny’s nasty struggles in life, including his wife’s battle with terminal illness, false accusations of relations with a minor, and a malicious custodial battle with his in-laws for his daughter Zoe.

“The Art of Racing in the Rain” will keep you intrigued until Enzo’s last word with his every candid and thought-provoking stance on the ins and outs of human life that can only be explained through the eyes of a dog. And even if you’re not a dog lover or a racecar lover, I promise this book will touch your heart and compel you see the world differently.

– Guest Writer Nicole Krampitz