Art of Racing in the Rain
by Stein, Garth






Evaluating his life on the eve of his death, atypical canine Enzo considers the sacrifices his master, Denny Swift, has made in his pursuit of becoming a professional race car driver; the painful custody battle between Denny and his in-laws, and the dog's own efforts to preserve the Swift family. 200,000 first printing.





Enzo the dog†feels sure†that his next life will be spent in a man's body. In preparation, he closely studies human behavior, and it's from Enzo's observant point of view that Stein†writes his†moving third novel. Enzo is deeply jealous when his owner, Denny, falls in love with Eve, but after baby Zoe is born, Enzo assumes his role as the family's unconditional protector, particularly after Eve is diagnosed with brain cancer. After Eve's death, her parents drag Denny into a bitter custody battle for Zoe, and Enzo, despite his canine limitations,†passionately defends Denny and even alters the course of events. Denny is a race-car driver, and Enzo, who has watched countless televised races, folds thrilling track scenes and driving lessons into the terse family drama. The metaphors may feel purposeful, but readers will nonetheless delight in Enzo's wild, original voice; his aching insights into the limitations and joys of the canine and human worlds; and his infinite capacity for love. A natural choice for book clubs, this should inspire steady demand. Copyright 2008 Booklist Reviews.





Stein (How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets, 2005, etc.) uses a dog as narrator to clever effect in this tear-jerker about an aspiring race-car driver who suffers more woes than Job but never mistreats his dog.Lab mix Enzo believes he is different from other dogs, that he has a human soul in a dog body. Enzo is frustrated that he can use only "gestures" to communicate with his beloved owner Denny. Denny works in a Seattle auto-repair shop to earn money to race. Enzo watches racing channels on TV, soaking up facts and lore. Dog and man are happy in their bachelor Eden. Enter Eve. She and Enzo are wary at first. Then she goes into labor while Denny's away racing and she keeps Enzo beside her. Enzo adores the baby, ZoŽ, but he soon smells that something is off with Eve. By the time ZoŽ is a toddler, Eve has increasingly bad headaches but refuses to see a doctor until it's too late. Now come the travails. During Eve's painful, lingering death, her parents, who have never approved of Denny, loom increasingly large. When Eve dies, they sue for permanent custody of ZoŽ. Their case is weak until Denny is charged with rape: After a reunion of Eve's family shortly before her death, Denny gave a ride home to Eve's 15-year-old cousin, who attempted to seduce him; he rebuffed her but Enzo was the only witness. Eve's evil parents are behind the trumped-up charges. Noble Denny keeps fighting for ZoŽ, living by his mantra, "That which you manifest is before you." When he almost buckles, Enzo provides some rather unique assistance.Pointedly inspirational. Copyright Kirkus 2008 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






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