"Racing in the Rain"-Sad, Happy, Bittersweet….a Dog's Tale, Literally.


"Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein -Dog Writes Book, Causes Humans to Cry

Enzo is his name and he is owned by a mechanic/race car driver, his wife and daughter.

Lord this is a sad book.

Which is not to say it's not a good book.

The writing is good though I have issues with the canine narrator's voice. If dogs could talk they would not talk like Enzo.

It's my story and I'm sticking to it.

"Racing in the Rain" is, despite the very sad beginning and the human story within, a happy story.

Well it has a happy ending for Enzo's owner, not necessarily for Enzo. But between the sad beginning and a promising ending there's much sadness and unfairness.

I wrote a book written by a cat.

In fact, I love to write animal stories and have been doing so for many years. MY book also has talking dogs, birds and a squirrel-rodent with an attitude.

Animal anthropological stories are common and, frankly, not often very good books. Animal-written books are considered children's fare at best, the work of a poor writer at worst.

It takes a talent to make the words of a human sound the words and thoughts of an animal.

As sweet as this book was, sorry, I do not think Stein did a very good job writing a book posing as a dog.

The book reads as if written by a human, which I know, I was.

But at some point in time, if the author does it right, the reader really starts to believe the words being read were written by the animal.

Enzo, sweet pup though he was, didn't much like being a dog.

This fact comes out in the narrative. Enzo sounds too human and by me why not just right the book as a human being?

Although in this instance there is an ending which answers the above question, an intriguing ending that is a plus in terms of the book's story.

"I grew quickly, and during that first year, Denny and I forged a deep fondness for each other as well as a feeling of trust. Which is why I was surprised when he fell in love with Eve so quickly."

As I attempt to describe the emotion things that the humans carry on about, I find so many more that are not lost on the animal kingdom. The humans think only they know jealousy. Someone better tell that to Gloria should she spot the human petting the dog they call Buckwheat and who lives next door."

The top quote is from Enzo the dog. The bottom quote is from Josephine, a calico cat who wrote "The Memoirs of Josephine Fish".

I'll not say mine is better. I will point out the differences.

For Enzo, though a proud dog of inordinate intellect , wants very much to be human.

My animal protagonist on the other hand, smart and sassy Josephine the calico cat, would be nothing ever but a cat, she was born to be a cat and cats are smarter than people at any rate.

This is a very sad book, I warn.

It does have a somewhat happy ending, and there is a bit of a growth of hope in the goodness of humans and the human spirit.

It isn't a long book, it's a good read, just sit and read in the quiet somewhere near a spare sunbeam.


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