Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

This was a thoughtful well written philosophical book set in Seattle.  On the surface, it is a story about Enzo the dog and Enzo's family, Denny the race car driver, his wive Eve and their daughter Zoe.  The interesting part is that Enzo was born with human intelligence.  This makes the story incredibly amusing, but also a fantasy.

What makes this book so special is the insight into the seemingly impossible situations that make up each of our lives.  Enzo's family experiences extreme challenges that I hope not a single reader will ever have to cope with, but the application of professional car racing skills to life is absolutely delightful, entertaining and profound.  Just the idea that we are all zooming at incredible speeds on a race car track, trying not only to win, but to survive life is an exhilarating metaphor.

In the following paragraph, Enzo is considering how he will live his next life when, as he believes, he will be reincarnated as a person.

"To live every day as if it had been stolen from death, that is how I would like to live.  ...  To separate oneself from the burden, the angst, the anguish that we all encounter every day.  To say I am alive, I am wonderful, I am.  I am.  This is something to aspire to.  When I am a person, that is how I will live my life."

This is a good book club choice.  It is a short, easy read, and is fun to discuss.  As for the book club party, I would recommend a trip to the races, lunch at a sports bar, or a trip to the doggie park for a picnic!

Please, post and tell me what you thought of this book!  I give it two paws up!