by Garth Stein
*** The Plot ***
I liked the summary I read at this site so I'm just going to copy it here:
On the last night of his life, Enzo (a dog) reflects on the life he has shared with his human family: Denny, Eve, and Zoe. Through Enzo's eyes (an interesting perspective), we witness the best and worst of human behavior and learn a little something about car racing, too.Of course there is much more to the book than that but that IS the gist of it.
*** My Thoughts ***
Bloggers have been raving about this book for quite some time now. I recommended it to a friend (before I read it myself) and she loved it. In fact, she and her sister both nominated it for our book club to read. I wasn't sure it was exactly my kind of thing but I figured I'd give it a shot ... and then I got a copy from a publicist, so I figured I was "meant" to be reading it right now.
It just took me a few days to read. The plot moves along quickly, Enzo is a unique narrator, and the writing is well done. On the whole I thought it was good. Not great, but good. If I had to describe it in one word I'd say ... cute.
Maybe I'm callous, I don't know, but I just didn't LOVE this book as much as most other people seem to. I love dogs so that is not the problem. I'm glad that I read it and I have a list of people I'll be recommending it to, but I won't be counting it among my favorites of the year.
Sometimes discussing a book at book club changes my opinion of it somewhat; I'll be interested to see if that happens with this one. I'll be sure to update you after our meeting on 7/19.
(Garth Stein is rather attractive, don't you think?)
*** What Fun! ***
Despite my rather luke-warm feelings about the book I do have to say that the marketing that has been done for this book is FANTASTIC. Garth has a wonderful website (www.goenzo.com) chock full of interviews, photos, and promotional material for readers to play around with. I made a custom poster for my book club's meeting, printed some decorations, and even found a link to make iron-ons for t-shirts! There are also discussion questions for book clubs - always a helpful thing. Plus there's a video of Enzo, which I posted on my book club's blog. I had a blast preparing for this book club meeting, thanks to all the materials available from Garth.
By the way, that is Garth with his dog, Comet, in the photo. Comet was the model used for the US hardcover edition of the book. I learned that from Garth's site too. ;)
*** Movie News ***
The book is being made into a movie! Here are the details, as found on Haute or Not:
We had the great pleasure of meeting with Garth Stein the other evening before a book signing here in Miami and he wanted to give Haute or Not? Readers an “inside scoop.” Stein has just signed a deal with Universal Studios to film the movie, The Art of Racing in the Rain. It will star Patrick Dempsey (McDreamy from Grey's Anatomy), who we absolutely love !!!So, what do you all think about that little bit of news?
*** Other Links ***