Friday, October 8, 2010
An unforgettable story of struggle and triumph
Every so often I come across a book that is so compelling that it pulls me in such a way that I am part of the story, even when the subject of the story – auto racing – is a subject that know nothing about and am not in the slightest way interested in. Had novelist Kathleen McKenna (The Wedding Gift) not practically demanded that I read it, I would probably have passed it up. I’m glad I took her advice. The Art of Racing in the Rain has become one of my all time favorite books.
Simply put, The Art of Racing in the Rain is about Denny, his wife Eve, their little daughter Zoë, Eve’s wealthy parents Maxwell and Trish, and Denny’s dog Enzo who narrates the story. But it’s much, much more than that. It’s about a man’s struggle to become what he’s always dreamt of being, a Formula One racecar driver. It’s about falling in love, marrying and seeing your first child born. It’s about sickness and watching your wife die from brain cancer. And it’s about struggling to overcome resentment and defeat as her death threatens to tear your family apart, to crush you and steal your lifelong dream.
Ultimately it’s also about much more than that. It’s about triumphing in the face of an implacable enemy who is dead set on destroying you to get his way. In that sense, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a parable of all struggles for justice and the triumph of morality over selfishness and greed. And it is a parable of the triumph of a man’s dream, and of forgiveness.
"There is no dishonor in losing the race," a friend says; "There is only dishonor in not racing because you are afraid."
If you haven’t yet read The Art of Racing in the Rain, go out, buy yourself a copy, sit down and begin an adventure that you will never forget.