Alanna's Reviews > The Art of Racing in the Rain

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
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's review
Jun 30, 2012

really liked it
Read in June, 2012

I read this book about as fast as I could, trying to get it done in time for book club. I would have preferred a more leisurely read, but what can you do?

The whole idea of the dog as narrator was kind of a wash for me-- sometimes it was pretty funny, except when it was annoying. I don't think it "made" the story, but it didn't ruin it either.

I loved one of the lessons from racing that the dog's owner explains, the idea that even if someone else's mistakes mess things up for you, you just deal with it and move on. It's as much your fault for being near them on the track and not anticipating their mistakes as it is their fault, so you take it and move on. I also loved the idea that you finish the race, even if it's dead last. That's just what you do.

The one lesson I didn't like was the whole idea that you go where your eyes go. At first, it sounds so reasonable. But then I begin to think of all the people whose eyes are desperately trying to take them one place in life, but they still aren't getting there (people who want to get married or have children but it just isn't happening for whatever reason). So that really doesn't work. And then I think about how this was applied in the book-- the idea that Eve {SPOILER} dies after the doctors tell her she will die because she lost sight of the goal of Keeping Alive. I hate this. Our society has become enamored with the idea that if we just think positive, nothing bad will happen, but that's just not true. Sometimes cancer kills you no matter how much you fight and believe and struggle and all that stuff. To imply otherwise is both ridiculously stupid and very disrespectful to people who have fought and lost to cancer (or any other disease/problem out there). So, yeah, that annoyed me.

The grandparents were so awful. But there wouldn't have been much of a story without them, and I don't kid myself into believing that there aren't people out there who aren't that awful, so I'm not complaining about Stein's choice to have them be so awful. I'm just complaining because I hate people like that. But then again, who doesn't?

Over all, a really good read!

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