Books about dogs always end up with me getting to the last page a blubbering mess and 'The Art of Racing in the Rain' is no exception my friends. Not like author Garth Stein doesn't give ample time to get yourself prepared - in fact by the time you've put the first few pages behind you it's inevitable that Enzo, the lovable pup in question, isn't long for this world.
While nearly all of the dog stories I've sat down with end in similar fashion, this is the first time I've read one where the narrator is, in fact, the dog himself. Not the guy who loved and lost him [like the one about the crazy golden retriever] or about how far their people will go to try and hold onto them, death be damned [Dog, Inc]. No - this one is told from the perspective of Enzo, the lab-terrier mix, who has humble beginnings on a farm, believes that humans evolved from dogs, loves car racing, his family and dreams of his next life as a human.
But was it worth the read? If you like dogs and have at least a small interest in the world of race cars than this one is definitively for you. I love dogs, and this particular breed of sappy stories are a soft spot of mine, but about halfway through I found myself bored with the pages and pages of racing history and car references - having to force myself through them to get back to the drama that the author had done such an excellent job of creating.