The Art of Racing in the Rain

Ashley Johnson, Guest Writer

“The car goes where your eyes go;” one of the most famous lines from the critically acclaimed novel The Art of Racing in the Rain.  Lessons in the book are taught through Denny, a Formula One race car driver, who has to maneuver life with his wife Eve, daughter Zoë, and dog Enzo.   Enzo tells the story from his point of view as he grows up and learns the way of human life.  Denny dreams of being up in the big-league races, but when his wife becomes terminally ill, he has to give up his career to look after his family.  Some days are better than others, but it all comes to a halt when they finally find out that Eve has cancer.  In battles with recovery, grief, and overbearing in-laws, this novel helps us understand the human experience through the eyes of a dog.

This realistic-fiction novel portrays the struggles of life, but also the beauty of it.  Enzo has lived his life as a dog, and even though he was surrounded by grief for a large part of it, he still wanted to become human.  The author, Garth Stein, beautifully executed this novel and the way he writes really sucks you in. Before you know it, you find yourself relating to the dog on a soul level.  

This book stuck with me, and I can find myself thinking about the deeper meaning.  The symbols, such as the rain and Zoe’s zebra, shown throughout help to explain things in a less straightforward way, making you really need to make connections.  When you figure out what something stands for or read a certain quote, it feels like a euphoric moment.  

This story is truly beautiful, and the more you read, the more you feel emotionally changed. Stein created a book about the human experience that is deeper than it seems.  This beautiful story helps us understand the beauty in the unpredictability of life, much like how it is when we fearfully drive through a slippery rainstorm.


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