(45)The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
The concept of this book had me all excited. It was fresh & creative. I mean, really -- a book written from the perspective of the dog! How exciting! I am a huge dog lover & anyone who knows me, knows that my dog is truly my best friend.
But the subtle humor that peppers the book seems inappropriately out of place given the subject matter of the rest of the book.
Let me back up. You are first introduced to Enzo as he is lying on his death bed. He is reflecting back over his life. And the things that have happened to him & his owner, Denny. From the first chapter you sense the underlying humor that Enzo brings to the family. He is a smart dog. Having been left with the company of the tv for years while Denny is at work, well, Enzo received quite the education.
Enzo continues his trip down memory lane with the introduction of Eve. Well. Then tragedy after tragedy strikes Denny & his family. Almost to the point of complete predictability. So amidst of all of this tragedy, there are the bits of dry humor. And it just seems wrong.
I think this book would have worked if there were only one "issue" at play. Or if it were the dog reminiscing on just a typical, boring life with his family. The humor could have made the "mundane" excellent reading material. But as it was written, it was just too much.
I did stick with it to see how the ending would turn out. But overall, this is not a book I will be suggesting to customers.