Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Art of Racing In the Rain by Garth Stein

At just a few pages in, I knew this book would be special. It could have been the hook, the voice, the flawless mechanics or easy flow. Maybe it was all those things, because Stein is an amazing storyteller.

What I know without a doubt is, I finally have an answer to the question What's your favorite book? It's this, a story about the human condition... told from a dog's point of view.

Enzo is a mix-breed with a penchant for race cars. He's also a deep-thinking wannabe man. He's self-taught (with "a degree of literacy"), observant, intuitive. And he fiercely loves his master, Denny.

It's Denny, a semi-professional car racer, who teaches Enzo the rules of the track: It's Enzo who, while watching his human family struggle through heartbreak and more, turns those rules into life lessons for us.

I laughed out loud. I worried. I wept. I shared excerpts with my husband. But best of all? I found it.

Perfection.

My favorite book.

27 comments:

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

Thank you for sharing this book! I am an avid animal lover and look forward to reading it. The book reminds me of a precious book given down through my family, called Beautiful Joe. One of my brothers has it and I don't remember the author, but the story makes me feel the way you do about your book. It's about a dog, told from the dog's point of view. If you should happen to find it, make sure you have at least two boxes of tissues when you read it!

Terri Tiffany said...

LOL I just finished this book! I bawled the first chapter as I had just gotten rid of my dog--but then couldn't put it down! Really good!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Don't ya love when a book tweaks every single heart string?

Joanne said...

This books sounds like the type that when you finish it, you pick it up and read it again, gleaning something you might have missed in the first read. I've done that with books, more than once. Thanks for the recommendation.

Kathryn Magendie said...

I'll have to look that up - I'm always looking for good books.

(and just saw your comment blurb above - *haw!!!*

Melissa Marsh said...

It sounds wonderful! Will have to put it on my "to be read" list.

Janna Qualman said...

Donna, I think you'll love this one! And I'll write Beautiful Joe down. I had no idea a "dog narration" had been done before!

Terri - Me, either! SO hard to put down.

Angie - I certainly do. And it's happened many times, but never in such a way as this one did.

Joanne - I thought that very thing last night upon finishing it; that I can't wait to read it again.

Kat - I hope you read and like it! And LOL! Thanks.

Melissa - You'll have to let me know what you think.

Melanie Avila said...

I've never even heard of this - I'll have to check it out!

WendyCinNYC said...

I just bought that for my mom for Christmas. I'll have to borrow it back. Thanks.

spyscribbler said...

I've heard of this book! Isn't this the book that Stephen King took out a page ad to endorse? Sold by Agent Jeff Kleinman?

The premise is amazing, and I keep meaning to add this to my Kindle. I'm on it!

Janna Qualman said...

Melanie - I seriously think EVERYONE'S going to be hearing about this book. I told hubby I really hope they make it into a movie.

Wendy - You betcha!

Spy - Bingo! I hadn't heard about the King thing, but he is Kleinman's client. And fun trivia: Kleinman also reps Melanie's aunt, Karen Dionne. He's really had some success as an agent, and was just touted as an up-and-comer in Poets & Writers magazine.

Sharla said...

Ohhhhhhh sounds like something I want to read. I wish I had time. I started Twilight and made it a chapter or two. I used to read all the time. Now I feel like if I'm reading I should be writing. I need to change that!

Barbara said...

Wow, I'll buy this one!!

Ang said...

This sounds like a must for my library. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Rachel Burton said...

Wow; I'll definitely check it out after that endorsement! I've seen it on shelves and thought the title was cute, but hadn't flipped through it yet.

Janna Qualman said...

Sharla - I hear you with the crunch for reading time. But I do know reading can be so important to a writer's life. The good thing about this book was, I made time for it.

Barbara - I'll be eager to hear your thoughts!

Ang - Absolutely. :)

Rachel - Welcome back! :) Next time you see it, read a few paragraphs. Heck, just the first page! I dare you NOT to get hooked.

thedomesticfringe said...

It's honestly not a book I'd ever pick-up, but you've sold me on it. Now I wanna read it! Thanks for sharing.
-FringeGirl

Turkey Lurkey said...

Was Black Beauty the first book to do this? (animal perspective) I am not sure. This one sounds very interesting though!

Janna Qualman said...

FringeGirl - Woo hoo!

Turk - Shows how much I know... I didn't know Black Beauty was written that way.

Jessica said...

Wow! I hope the author finds your blog because I think your post would make him feel awesome.
I've heard of this book. Guess now I know I'd better read it!

Janna Qualman said...

Jessica - That would be so cool. :)

kimmirich said...

Thanks, janna, I'm putting it on my wish list now, hugs

Little Red said...

Oh. Sounds great! I'll have to pick that one up sometime. :)

michaelsean said...

Great review Janna! I saw Garth just joined the Twitter-verse. I am interested to see what he has to say and since your review was so amazing, I thought you might be interested!

http://twitter.com/garthstein

Janna Qualman said...

michaelsean - Thanks! I just read your review (though Vox wouldn't allow me to comment without signing up :P ), and I'm glad to see my enjoyment of the novel backed up by another. I thought it fabulous!

Thea said...

I know this is an oldie, but read Call of the Wild by Jack London. Wow, told from the dog's POV and very powerful

Brasil said...

This book is awesome! I am the kind of person who doesnt like the "thriller" type books that much so i really enjoyed th book. I think its really cool how its told from the point of view of dog.