Monday, March 22, 2010

The Art of Racing in the Rain: Review and Giveaway

My daughter's friend, Niki, once described our pets, a cat, Sara, and a dog, Jenny, as "humanized". At the time of this pronouncement our animals were hanging out together in the kitchen, Sara perched up on a kitchen counter, most likely mewing (she is quite verbal), while Jenny excitedly greeted our guest on lower ground, being her usual social self.

"I've always felt almost human. I've always known that there's something about me that's different than other dogs. Sure, I'm stuffed into a dog's body, but that's just the shell. It's what's inside that's important. The soul. And my soul is very human."
~The Art of Racing in the Rain, Garth Stein

For those of you who don't know, the narrator of the New York Times bestseller The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein is a dog named Enzo. But this novel, published in 2008, set in Seattle, is neither corny nor sentimental. In fact, it's actually kind of edgy. And Enzo, a Lab mix, is no ordinary dog. Along with possessing a "human soul", Enzo is intelligent, witty, insightful, a bit conniving and vengeful, and very engaging as the canine narrator. He's also old, his hips hurt, and he's incontinent. (As the owner of elderly animals, 16-year-old Sara and 12-year-old Jenny, I now cherish our time together, and I don't like to think about the day when these lovely creatures will be gone. Over the years we've reached "pet perfection" with Sara and Jenny; they are treasured family members.) One of Enzo's favorite pastimes is watching TV (how could I not adore a dog who lists his favorite actors?), and videos of races. He calls his owner, race car driver Denny Swift, "brilliant", and is protective and loyal to those he loves. The descriptions of driving a race car, though told from a dog's point of view, are riveting and realistic, with a bit of wisdom mixed in.

"This is what Denny says. He says racing is doing. It is being part of a moment and being aware of nothing else but that moment. Reflection must come at a later time."
~The Art of Racing in the Rain, Garth Stein

Enzo entertains us with Denny's story, which includes the art of racing, love, marriage, birth, sickness and--I don't want to say much more or I'll need to add a spoiler alert. But I will say that Garth Stein's novel is compelling and humorous, a book which is both heartbreaking and uplifting. Two thumbs up (with apologies to Enzo)!

Exciting news! HarperCollins is generously offering a copy of The Art of Racing in the Rain as a giveaway (U.S./Canada only).
  • To enter this giveaway, simply leave a comment.
  • For an extra chance at winning, become a follower of this blog, or let me know that you're already a follower.
  • For an additional chance, post about this contest on your blog, Facebook, or Twitter.
Enter by 5 PM PDT on Monday, April 12. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced on Tuesday, April 13. Good luck!

Special thanks to Sarah from Terra Communications for sending me this book.

34 comments:

  1. I love this book because I think my dog is as smart as Enzo! No need to enter me.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I would love to win a copy of this book! My uncle really enjoyed reading it. :)

    I'm already a follower!

    srfbluemama[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  3. This makes me really curious to read it - I know I'd love it!

    I am a follower.

    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've been wanting to read this book!

    I'm a follower.

    reading_frenzy at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  5. This book sounds like something I would enjoy. Who knows what our precious pets are thinking. Maybe they do have spirits like ours. I am already a follower, and I'd love this book!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Suko, this sounds like a wonderful read. Thank you for the review. Please don't enter me in as I am in Australia. But I will look out for it.

    Mervat
    x

    ReplyDelete
  7. Loved, loved, loved this review! Enzo sounds like quite a dog, and I am looking forward to reading this book! No need to enter me in the giveaway as I already have my copy. I also love your sentiments about "pet perfection", we are rapidly reaching that state here as well!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I LOVED the audio version. Great giveaway (no need to enter me).

    ReplyDelete
  9. Sounds like a great read. Please include me.

    I'm a follower.

    dlodden at frontiernet dot net

    ReplyDelete
  10. Please include me as well. I'm a follower.

    quirion @me.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. I so so so so want to read this one! I for once wish I was in the US, so that I could enter LOL!

    Awesome review as always :)

    AND you have been tagged :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I can very much relate to your comments about the special quality of older pets-Our Siamese cat Charles is 18-we lost his brother at 17-he is older than all three of my daughters!

    ReplyDelete
  13. My dog definitely thinks he is human. He doesn't like other dogs much, but will sit happily and talk to us in his own language. I sound nuts after reading that back!

    ReplyDelete
  14. No need to enter me, darling. I'm dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. I've got this posted at Win a Book for you.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I just fell in love with Garth Stein's books while reading Raven Stole the Moon. I would love to win this book.

    freda.mans[at]sympatico.ca

    ReplyDelete
  16. Already a follower, publicly and proud.

    freda.mans[at]sympatico.ca

    ReplyDelete
  17. tweet; http://twitter.com/fredalicious/status/10932124462

    freda.mans[at]sympatico.ca

    ReplyDelete
  18. I loved this book...I'd like to have my own copy.
    -already a follower
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  19. Please enter me in this giveaway. Thanks!

    grumpydannyboy[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thank you for all your comments. This book will be made into a movie starring Patrick Dempsey: http://movies.about.com/b/2009/07/16/racing-rain-patrickdempsey.htm

    More comments welcomed.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I've heard and read much about this book.

    niteswimming [at] gmail

    ReplyDelete
  22. I am a follower and admirer of yours *batting lashes* -- I find it interesting that pets can behave so well together when traditionally they have been known to be enemies. One friend of mine actually said she thought her cat and dog were having a clandestine affair because they would make eyes at one another as they passed in the hall, then turn up in another room sleeping in the same vicinity as though they were "together".

    Good post!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thanks for the chance to win!!!

    areallibrarian[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thanks for all the great comments!

    Kim, your comment's so funny. My dog sneaks up onto the bed while I'm gone (she knows she's not supposed to be on the bed), near where the cat sleeps. I wonder if they snuggle together.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Glad to see you enjoyed this one. I've long wondered what animals think. :)

    No need to enter me, as I already have the book. Just have to find the time to read it.

    --Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

    ReplyDelete
  26. I've been wanting to read this one. Would love to win.

    ReplyDelete
  27. this sounds interesting and different! Glad you enjoyed it :)
    http://thebookworm07.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  28. This sounds really good! I'd love to read it! Please enter me!
    I follow your blog.
    mittens0831 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  29. I've had this on my "to read" list for awhile now. This just makes me want to read it all the more. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I missed reading this when it first came out. Please enter me in the giveaway.

    wolfcarol451(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  31. I follow with Google Friend Connect.

    wolfcarol451(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  32. Please enter me for this. thanks.

    mystica123athotmaildotcom

    ReplyDelete
  33. Please enter me in this giveaway! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  34. can't resist the doggy eyes.
    vvb32 at yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete

Your comments make this site lively! Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I value each one, and will respond to questions.

If you're entering a giveaway, please leave your e-mail address (or a link that leads to it).

Blog header by Held Design

BLOG ARCHIVE









Some of the books reviewed here are given
to me free of charge by authors, publishers, and
agents.



I'm honored to be an Amazon Associate. If you
make a purchase from Amazon through a link on
this site, I'll earn a small advertising fee. Many
thanks to those who place orders through my site!