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The Art of Racing in the Rain - Garth Stein
Member Name: Jonni_boi
The Art of Racing in the Rain - Garth Stein
Advantages: a book that seems real!
Disadvantages: some bits are about motor racing
It seems like well over a year since I last read this, and m extensive "need to review" list is getting longer and longer and longer. So this review could be a lot more concise if I had reviewed it the day after I read it.
I totally believed that this story was real and it came as a surprise to find out that it is a work of fiction. The author has made this book really well, and it is captivating, and at the end of it I think you truly could think that it was real, and that it actually happened.
Garth Stein is definitely an author I'm going to look out for in the future, and all his books will appear on my wish list shortly after this review, because if he made me think a book was real, means he is a superb writer and hopefully it follows through to his other books. And maybe he'll end up as one of my favourite authors...... But we'll have to wait and see.
Since it has been over a year I have read this, I don't think I can sell it well enough with the description I was going to give you (yes I've tried 5 times now and I can't describe it well enough) So, after reading fantasticfiction.co.uk's description, I think it's only right to put it on here, as it would be pretty similar to what I would have put, but it is a lot better:
"Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver.
Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn't simply about going fast. Using the techniques needed on the race track, one can successfully navigate all of life's ordeals.
On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through: the sacrifices Denny has made to succeed professionally; the unexpected loss of Eve, Denny's wife; the three-year battle over their daughter, ZoŽ, whose maternal grandparents pulled every string to gain custody. In the end, despite what he sees as his own limitations, Enzo comes through heroically to preserve the Swift family, holding in his heart the dream that Denny will become a racing champion with ZoŽ at his side. Having learned what it takes to be a compassionate and successful person, the wise canine can barely wait until his next lifetime, when he is sure he will return as a man.
A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a beautifully crafted and captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life . . . as only a dog could tell it."
Now don't be put off with the whole fact that it is linked with motor racing. I am the only person in my entire family, who hates and detests motor racing and the F1 and anything else. Well I hate sport full stop! I'm the missing link out of our family, but I like to be different. And even though this book has quite a big link with racing, I totally fell in love with the story, and I think I may just read it again sometime in the future as the story seems real and it captured me right from the start, just like it will with you when you start reading it.
There is quite a few heart-felt scenes and YES I am turning into the biggest softy ever, this is the third book that has made me cry (1st being "The Host - Stephenie Meyer", 2nd being "Bridge to Terabithia - Katherine Paterson"). And usually I don't get upset about these sorts of scenes, but for some reason I've started getting emotional over things, maybe it's because I'm getting older.... Or maybe it's because the author's writing style has gripped me that much and then ends up breaking my heart. When I get around to reading it again, if I cry again, we'll all know that it's the author's amazing writing style.
I really like the cover of the book that I've got as it has a golden retriever on the front who looks adorable, however some of the other covers have different dogs on them and I don't like the other dogs, so I'm really happy that the person who sent me this book gave me this cover, but personally I think I would've waited and waited to read it, maybe I'd still be trying to read it, if it had a different dog on the front, as the other covers doesn't appeal t me, and I'd probably not get round to reading it. And I know "don't judge a book by its cover", but everyone does, otherwise you'd end up buying ever book you see when you walk into a bookshop.
I found this book realistic and extremely interesting. I have a dog (called "Harvey") he's a border-collie, and he is occasionally really intelligent, but doesn't most dog owners say that about their own dogs? Anyway I imagined Enzo being Harvey, and I could totally see Harvey doing the exact same things if our family went into so much turmoil. Maybe that's the reason why I'm so attached to this story, and why it gripped me straight away. And although this brilliant book made me cry, the ending is not at all sad, it is quite interesting how it has been put, and a really nice ending, one that I really liked and found memorable. It is definitely a book that I'm planning to read again in the future sometime, and I really do think I will love it just as much as I did a whole year ago.
I officially gave this book a 4.5 stars, but since it don't let me, I'll have t give it a five, even though I very much feel that this book deserves a drop of half a star, but no more, since some bits can be considered as slow going to a certain extent but it jumps back in not long after. Those bits are when Enzo talks about motor racing, and I kind of switched off. But I'm pretty sure that the people who do like the F1 and other motor sports will totally enjoy these bits!
So who would enjoy this book? Well I think it goes without saying that people who like motor racing would really like this book, which is really weird as it makes this book stand out as it isn't a common theme found in these books (NOTE: you DO NOT have to like motor racing to like this book), fans of "Marley & Me" would definitely like this (I haven't read Marley and Me so I can't comment), fans of "Dewey: The library cat who Touched The World" as it is similar to an extent, anyone who likes books taken from a pet's perspective you'll really enjoy this! Also people who like Family Tragedies and books about Family love, as those are strong issues found in this book.
A lot of author's have recommended this book from Jodi Picoult (Best known for "My Sister's Keeper") to Sara Gruen (Best Known for "Water for Elephants"). I am also someone who would totally recommend this book. And it should definitely end up on your wish lists at some point.
Thank you all for reading and I really hope I have interested at least a few of you into reading this book, as I totally believe it is one you will like!
Summary: A book written from a dog's perspective