For the past few years I've repeatedly had this book recommended to me. Friends, coworkers, even the occasional book shopper has told me about how this book has taught them so much about love, life, and loss. It's showed them the world through a dogs eyes and they could not wait for me to read it.
Now it's great that all those people found some great big deep meaning to this book, but I honestly hated it. I found it uncomfortable, unfathomable, and a little bit creepy; not a scary creepy but more like there's a guy at the bar breathing a little too close to you creepy.
Okay so The Art of Racing in the Rain is told through the perspective of a dog named Enzo. Here's a quick rundown of his quirks: he's a dog (which he repeatedly reminds us of), he can smell BRAIN CANCER, he mistrusts modern medicine, he loves racing (makes sense given his owner is a race car driver), but he also believes in reincarnation of his soul which he thoroughly believes is going to come back as the greatest race car driver of all time.
I can suspend my belief for only so long. But there are parts of this book that left me feeling downright violated. I know that sounds extreme but hear me out first. Eve, the wife of Enzo's owner, has an episode and ends up in the hospital for 3 days and just.....forgets they have a dog. During those 3 days, Enzo begins hallucinating. He's in their daughter's room when he sees a stuffed zebra molesting all of the other toys in the room. He tries to get the zebra to stop but instead the zebra rips open his own seam and begins ripping its stuffing out..... How awkward are those two sentences? Imagine reading that for several pages.
There's several awkward misplaced sex scenes that we're reading from the POV of a dog. The descriptions of moans and breast size and foreplay was completely cringeworthy while reading.
Now, I do understand what the author was trying to do for....some of the book but it just was not something that I would ever read again, recommend to another human being, or even something I'd want to keep on my bookshelf.
If you want to read a genuine book that captures the voice of a dog more than any other dog book I've read then you should definitely check out Where the Dogs Go by Janell Martin!