A book that will make you cry: The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein
One of my favorite literary tropes is a story written from a unique perspective; the wicked witch’s side of the story in Wicked, the mentally handicapped Benjy’s perspective in The Sound and the Fury. I absolutely love seeing how the “othered” characters view their fictional world. That’s what originally drew me to this novel. How can you resist the temptation to see the world from the perspective of a dog? Haven’t we all wished at one time or another to know what the dog is thinking? If only they could talk!
Well, talk they do…and even philosophize! Enzo is our narrator in this story, and we see the world through his canine eyes. However, it is important to note that Enzo is not like all other dogs. He considers himself “nearly human” and has immense self-control to avoid “dog-like” behaviors. He lives with his owner Denny from puppyhood and we watch his journey unfold alongside Denny’s as they create a family and spend years together going through some very high points and severe lows. Through it all, Enzo is loyal to his family and he learns, sometimes to a puzzlingly ridiculous degree, what it means to be human—both the shortcomings and the wonderful parts.
The unique insight into humanity as only an outsider could truly see will have you laughing out loud, weeping into a tissue, and sometimes doing both on the same page. It’s a quick yet worthy read to gain some insight into the silly and wonderful things we humans do in the name of love, and it will make you give your pup an extra tight hug.