Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Review: The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein

The Art of Racing in the RainThe Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It isn't every writer who can take the unlikely elements of an unreliable narrator, a main character who is a dog, race car driving, and brain cancer, and work all that into a highly readable, engaging, moving and memorable story. Garth Stein is one such writer.

Clearly a man comfortable with his craft, dedicated to research and the nuance of language, Stein has created the story of a dog known as Enzo, who believes he will be reincarnated as a human when his time as a dog is done. During Enzo's journey as a dog, he becomes emotionally attached to his master, Denny, who is a rising race car driver. Together Enzo and Denny experience joy in a marriage and birth of a child, the thrill of the race course, and then the devastation of the loss of all they've held precious.

Never maudlin or trite, the emotional impact of Stein's story rings true with a subtlety which is quite astonishing.

Altogether a thoroughly enjoyable and memorable read. Highly recommended.

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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Two reviews of novels by Wilbur Smith

River God (Ancient Egypt, #1)River God by Wilbur Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

An entertaining tale of ancient Egypt, told from the perspective of an arrogant slave. Wilbur Smith creates good environmental detail and demonstrates an intimate knowledge of the subject matter.

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The Seventh Scroll (Ancient Egypt, #2)The Seventh Scroll by Wilbur Smith
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Words fail me! An astonishing work of self-aggrandizement. Badly written, tedious, with cutout characters.

If this novel is supposed to be a sequel to River God it fails in every respect.

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