Thursday, 21 April 2011

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein (2009)


Well some good bits first. It did help me understand more about car racing. And yes I liked the title as the theme for the story – we can get through the bad times etc. But the characters are flat and boarding on cliché – the kooky, brave loyal wife, the cute kid, the in-laws from hell , the silent strong hero struggling to do the best for his loved ones. In short, classic TV movie fodder.  The use as a dog as the central narrator does allow for some interesting takes on the events but it gradually beggars belief – he can bark twice as requested to urge speed but can’t work any other code out in his time with the family? Then its downhill for me as the plot unfolds. The wife suffers months/years of a mega serious illness but loving husband and in-laws from hell don't get her to the hospital ( so why no coven of friends fighting her corner?) But once in and the consequences known, wife and child go to live with in-laws from hell and so create the added complications of the plot. And he’s working in some vague back office job yet manages to raise the serious levels of sponsorship needed for professional racing almost in passing. I suspect that as a spoken book and a film with the right cast it might work as character depth could be injected but for me it’s the first abandoned book of the year.

Amazon_2_star: Disappointing - fine if nothing better to read but sell or swap ASAP.