Opening Line: “Gestures are all that I have; sometimes they must be grand in nature.”
Wow, this truly is an unforgettable book that will leave you (kinda wrecked) and unable to look at dogs in quite the same way ever again. Garth Stein has managed to capture the inner workings of the dog perfectly here, the attention to detail and why dogs do certain things is amazing. This really is a look at our human lives as only a dog could see it. Enzo and his family will tear at your heart in many ways and on many different levels. Containing a wonderful, gripping storyline and characters that you'll become deeply attached to, this is a sad yet ultimately uplifting book.
Don’t be scared away by the title. The “racing in the rain” part of this book is a metaphor for life. Yes, one of the main characters races cars for a living and yes, Enzo refers to everything in his life by way of racing metaphors, but this book is so much more. It’s about life and family, heartbreak and loss and ultimately joy, all as seen through the eyes of a dog named Enzo. Think (Marley & Me) only narrated by Marley not the humans.
Enzo, wants nothing more than to be a man. On the eve of his death he tells what will amount to his master’s life’s story. Enzo has educated himself by watching too much TV, in particular Speed Channel and The Weather Channel. In his own words “the weather channel is not about weather it’s about life.”
His happy family includes; Denny, an up and coming race car driver, Eve, his wife and their young daughter Zoë. Enzo’s life is cheerfully routine until the day he smells the cancer that has come to rest in Eve’s head. He can’t warn her of course because dogs can’t speak (Enzo continually reminds us of this) and as Eve’s condition deteriorates their lives change forever. In the end Denny finds himself in a bitter custody battle that very nearly breaks him. Along the way Enzo must deal with possessed Zebras, the twins, hip dysplasia, hot peppers and demon crows all of which provided some great comic relief.
I absolutely loved this book and I can’t recommend it enough although I would suggest not reading the ending in public as it made me cry… a lot. I will certainly be visiting Enzo again soon and giving him to all my friends as well.