Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Art of Racing in the Rain

We were due for a funny read, so Margaret judged this book by its cover and The Art of Racing in the Rain became the BPYC book selection for May.  It wasn't exactly hilarious but it was definitely a fabulous read.  Uplifting and hopeful.

Told from the dog's point of view, the story offers a unique perspective from an immediately lovable character.  Enzo watches tv and believes his next incarnation will be human.  He covets opposable thumbs.  And he loves his race-car-driver Master, Denny, with unquestioning loyalty.

Racing in the rain becomes an allegory for life.

Certain phrases really stuck with me:

To say I am alive, I am wonderful, I am.  I am.  That is something to aspire to.  When I am a person, that is how I will live my life.

"What just happened isn't important," Denny said.  "Let's think about what's going to happen next.  Get in your car."

It is about believing that you are not you; you are everything.  And everything is you.

"That which we manifest is before us; we are the creators of our own destiny."

Unanimously enjoyed by everyone who came out to discuss the book.  Denny faces a trial and emerges with grace, but this is less of a morality tale than it is about fortitude and strength of character.  There is an ugly custody battle for his daughter, fought against the rich parents of his late wife.  The father-in-law is especially despicable.

Strangely, the book was hard to find in the library and book stores, despite its history on the New York Times bestseller list (2008). imdb notes the title as 'in development' - let's hope it is a strong adaptation.

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