“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.” (Page 3)
Enzo is just a pup when he meets his new owner and friend Denny, and his life is all about racing and being a companion. When Denny meets Eve, Enzo must make adjustments and learn to fit new people into his life. Denny and Eve have a daughter Zoe, and Denny makes his way in the racing world until things start to go awry.
Stein has a way with words that captures the essence of Enzo and his devotion to his family. Readers will enjoy Enzo’s theories about reincarnation, family life, human communication, and more. Enzo’s examination of why dogs do not have thumbs and how humans have bred them that way and why is humorous.
“George Clooney is my fourth favorite actor because he’s exceptionally clever at helping cure children of diseases on reruns of ER, and because he looks a little like me around the eyes.” (Page 125)
There is a great deal of racing jargon and discussion in the book, but readers will find these serve more to help Enzo explain his feelings about the events of his life and how his family dynamics work. Overall, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a fast-paced, enjoyable read, but be prepared for some tugging of the heart strings.