Has this ever happened to you? You hear about a new book. Everyone is talking about it. There is a lot of buzz and hype. You get all excited thinking you're on to a good one. You put your name on the hold list for the book at the library. Then you wait. And wait. And wait some more. All along the buzz about the book continues. Your excitement grows and finally you get the book. Yay! You dive right in and .... what the heck. What was all the fuss about? The book is OK, but that's it. Just OK. You keep reading and then right at the end...BANG! The book has a really good ending which in some way manages to redeem the whole book. Sort of like childbirth. The end result is so good that that is all you focus on. You conveniently forget about the process of getting to the "good" ending. Well, that's exactly what happened to me with The Art of Racing in the Rain. But unlike childbirth, I'm not able to forget the process of getting to the great ending. So, I don't want to add the the hype and buzz.
That being said... The Art of Racing in the Rain tells the story of Denny Swift, an amateur race car driver and his struggle to retain custody of his 5 year old daughter after the death of his wife. The cleverest part of the novel is that the story is told from the perspective of Denny's dog, Enzo. Stein, the author, does manage to handle that part of the book quite well. But again, like the ending, it's not enough to override the very ordinariness of the story itself. But, that's just my opinion. Apparently, I'm in the minority on this one.