I am a complete sucker for animal stories.  Let me rephrase that I am a complete sucker for heartwarming animal stories not animal stories that make my hair stand on end with each turn of the page. I only say this because my student reminded me of Stephen King’s book Cujo. I don’t read them that often cause I am crier.  Charlotte’s Web – cried. Old Yeller – cried. Marley and Me – cried.  Anywhere from a little watery eyed to uncontrolled stream, page after page after page. I was warned before I started the Garth Stein’s The Art of Racing in the Rain that I was going to cry.  I was warned and so I steeled myself. It didn’t work.

I was told that this book was a biography of a dog but in actuality it was so much more than that.  It was a story of love, friendship, family, strength and hope and yes, the narrator was a dog named Enzo.  You really couldn’t ask for a better narrator either. It was absolutely impossible and I dare you to try, not to fall in love with him. Enzo’s voice was totally refreshing.  His words come across immensely introspective  as well very witty, brilliant and sensitive. Enzo is very smart dog – I guess that ‘s what happens when you watch the weather channel all day.  There are many studies on the power of the connection between people and their pets.  Enzo with all of his small acts of affection, concern, loyalty, and furriness showed Denny and reader that their life together was so much more than just gestures and companionship.

This book was not all doom and gloom, mind you.  While there is tragedy, there is also so much happiness and hope embedded into the story and it can be seen in the interactions Denny has with Enzo, his wife Eve, Zoe, their child and his friends.  No matter what adversity Denny faced he faced it head on with grace and true strength.  You don’t have to be a racing fan to enjoy this book.  Racing in the rain, if you can do that, prepares you for all the twists and turns life throws at you.There is alot of wisdom in this book.

 I now want a dog.  I want an Enzo.

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