The Art of Racing in the Rain: Chapters 1 – 13

And we’re off – it was so difficult to put this book down. I was completely riveted and sped through the first few chapters. But before I get ahead of myself, I first want to thank you for sharing your amazing pet stories. I had quite a few good laughs – from farting dogs to over-sized lap dogs. You can’t help but smile reading all of them.

Now, let’s talk about Chapter 1. From the first sentence, I got emotional reading this book written from Enzo’s point of view. It just made me think about what my dog Lucy must be thinking all day long and how I wish I could understand her better. It definitely brought tears to my eye, in a wistful kind of way.

The book also drops two big bombs in the first chapter: we are told that Denny’s wife will die and that Enzo will be put to sleep. Why do you think the author, Garth Stein, chose to do this? To better prepare us for what’s to come? I have to say, I appreciate the writing tactic. I think it made me read the book with a more thoughtful eye, knowing that big life events are to come. It helps you focus on the characters, rather than the plot.

And I loved Enzo’s sentiments about reincarnation – that he will one day come back to life as a boy. What did you think about this idea?

At the end of this section, things start to take a turn for the worse. We start to see Eve’s sickness take hold of her. (Side note: I love how the author incorporated the timely news element that dogs can sniff sickness/cancer.) There is also a huge overtone of guilt: for leaving your family, for pursuing your own passions, for not coming home earlier to walk the dog (I have that one a lot). And what did you think of that whole scene with Enzo attacking Zoe’s stuffed animals? What do you think the zebra symbolizes?

Other random musings: What do you think of the quote “That which you manifest is before you”? Do you agree with it? And what about that story about the crows eating the dog poop – I’m curious as to what significance that story will play for the rest of the book.

Would love to hear what your first impressions are. I can’t wait to keep reading. For next week, let’s read Chapter 14 through Chapter 26 (pages 73 to 157).