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A Dog of Consequence

 

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The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein

 

Imagine a heartwarming book narrated by a dog of a certain age. That’s the hook to this book: Enzo is something of a mutt and he tells the story of life with his human, Denny, a mechanic in an upscale auto shop, who aspires to drive formula I race cars. 

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The book is Enzo’s retrospective as his life draws to a close. The book begins with Denny rescuing puppy Enzo from a less-than-benevolent master, and we follow Enzo's life as Denny marries Eve, and then as daughter Zoe emerges into their lives. Enzo loves them all, of course, but then there are problems. Eve contracts cancer, and there is a serious kerfuffle between Denny and Eve’s parents over Eve’s welfare, and then finally over custody of Zoe.

Stein’s prose here is occasionally inspired, but his gift to readers is Enzo and his perspective on the humans he becomes close to. The book is both heart-rending and heart-warming, and anyone who enjoys high-end auto racing, dogs, an unusual love story, or family intrigue will find it hard to quit turning pages. 

 

My rating: 17 of 20 stars

 

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Good review ~

My wife and I read this book when it came out and I concur with your assessment.  I usually avoid animal stories but my wife convinced me that it was worth a read, and she wasn't wrong.  Enzo is a wry, intelligent and fascinating character.  That he is a thinking dog is startling but the way it's related made total sense.

Namaste