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Friday, June 17, 2011

The Art of Racing in the Rain

This incredible story, written by Garth Stein, will touch your heart and make you want to believe in its legitimacy, even though it’s a work of fiction. Enzo the dog was raised from a puppy by Danny, an aspiring racecar driver whose family eventually expanded to include a wife and daughter. The dog also was a faithful family member, honor bound to protect them all. Remarkably, Enzo is the narrator of the story as he is a self-educated canine. Thanks to instruction from television and other sources, Enzo is capable of higher thinking, although he is unable to speak and has to communicate through gestures and actions.

There are two stories here, one being the tragedy that befalls Danny’s family when his wife dies and her parents try to gain total custody of the daughter, because of their belief that they will be better guardians than Danny who they see as less than stable because of his profession. But Danny is able to succeed in the end, thanks to his racing philosophy and sheer determination. The second story involves Enzo’s desire to become a human in his next life, something he has learned about from an educational television program and that he believes he is ready for. In a book balanced by equal portions of humor and pathos, we speed through Enzo’s short canine life, cheering on this noble creature who in the end receives his just reward.

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