"Touching, Clever Story Narrated by Enzo the Dog"
The only thing that prevented me from giving this poignant novel 5 stars was the emphasis on car racing. I hate car racing. The fact that Garth Stein held my interest for ANY discussion of car racing is a testament to his storytelling skills, but sometimes I thought he went on a bit long about the finer points of speeding down a track.
What I loved is the relationship between man and dog so beautifully portrayed in this story. Denny Swift is Enzo's master, and if a master ever deserves unadulterated loyalty, Denny is the one. He's full of integrity and full of love for his dog. Denny's family tragedies are heartbreaking and infuriating, but he and Enzo stick together no matter what. The lawsuit surrounding the family situation is quite suspenseful, and Enzo makes you crave justice for Denny.
Telling the story from a lab/terrier's point of view is ingenious, and I really appreciated Enzo's little insights like reading a man's character from the smell of his hands or his maliciousness in feeding a dog a hot pepper. The hallucination with the stuffed zebra was hilarious! This dog is one of the smartest narrators I've ever met.
Enzo seems like such a cool dude. I would love to be his friend one day. It would be an honor.