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addabook - The Art of Racing in the Rain
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The Art of Racing in the Rain
Garth Stein
read on February 21, 2010

I judge books by their covers. Everyone does, but I think I do it more than others. What can I say, I love graphic design, so it seems natural. I also love dogs. And racing. And especially the rain. So I bought this book immediately without any idea what it was about.

Halfway through, I thought I had made a mistake. It's literally told in the first person by a dog, who is as smart as a human, but I guess not smart enough to find a way to let on about it. He's a sweetie though, and does a convincing job of being a stereotypical loyal and slightly goofy mans-best-friend. After a lengthy exposition, the conflict finally takes center stage and drives the story well. It turned out quite delightful, by the end I was pleasantly surprised by what I could learn from racing in the rain.

There was one line in particular that went something like "to remember is to disengage from the present." It was in the context of the main character's memories (lack thereof) of races he'd won. I thought it was a clever and well executed presentation of the idea that life should be lived in the moment. Anyway, not bad for a gamble on nice cover.

Oh yeah, one last thing. I also enjoyed that the book took place in Seattle. I'm not used to seeing places that I'm familiar with in books or movies. I guess people that grow up in New York or Vegas or San Francisco must be numb to it, but I always get a thrill out of seeing the space needle on film or in this case, reading about a dog that lives on Capitol Hill and plays fetch at Volunteer Park.

Author Bio:

Garth Stein is an American author and film producer from Seattle, Washington. Widely known as the author of the New York Times bestselling novel, The Art of Racing in the Rain, Stein is also a documentary film maker, playwright, teacher, and amateur racer.