If you’re looking for a great holiday read, something to pick up and put down easily, to get a bit lost in, and to make you look at life and your relatives in a whole new way, get The Art of Racing in the Rain. Amusing, cogent and undemanding (a bit like Enzo, the narrator), the story is told from the point of a view of a dog who is more old Yoda than Old Yeller. Enzo is a philosopher, an observer and a family member who longs to be human but is still capable of musing about a forest: “The smell would have given me an erection if I’d still had testicles.” Surprisingly funny for a book that is basically a high-concept, sentimental tearjerker, The Art of Racing in the Rain is nearly as good a companion as a big fluffy retriever next to a wintertime fire.
The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein ($14.99). Available at bookstores everywhere and on Amazon.com.