The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
This is the best book I’ve read in a long time. I kept running into it and I would think about buying it but frankly the synopsis sounded kind of silly.
This is the story of a race car driver and his family. As told by his dog. Got to be silly, right? Anything but. This is no ordinary dog. He is as intelligent as you or me. He is wise. He is somewhat bitter because he does not have opposable thumbs and his long floppy tongue will not allow him to form words and sentences. He is very knowledgeable because he watches a lot of TV. Denny, his owner, will not allow him to watch mindless daytime TV. He watches PBS, National Geographic, the Learning Channel, and especially Speed Network where he learns all about racing.
This book has love, joy, tragedy, conflict. It has heart. I teared up at least four times. Well, some of the teary incidents were the racing scenes. I’ve always loved auto racing, sports cars and especially formula one. Not NASCAR. Some day I’ll tell you what I think of NASCAR. But the racing sequences in this book are so visceral, so experiential that you will feel like you are in the car.
The signature quote from this book is ‘That which you manifest is before you’. I won’t explain how that applies to racing but I will say that quote as implications that apply to far more than just getting an automobile around a closed course as quickly as possible. It says something about life.
The book has some language and some ‘sexual situations’ as they say. Basically a mild PG13. And there’s some reincarnation stuff in there you’ll have to overlook. But it’s well worth the read. I’ve read it twice.