Enzo is there when Denny falls in love with Eve and the two get married and have a daughter, Zoe. Denny's attempts to build a racing career cause some stress in the marriage, as does Eve's refusal to see a doctor for the fierce headaches she experiences. Eventually, a crisis takes her to the emergency room, and she learns she has a brain tumor. It is clear that only bad things will come from this diagnosis--and many do, providing a series of horrendous challenges for Denny and Enzo to overcome.
The Art of Racing in the Rain was the One Book One Denver selection last year, so I had some hope that it might be a good read, despite the fact that my friend Suzy had disliked it so much she hadn't finished it. Alas, I found this book ridiculous. I could not suspend my disbelief and accept the voice of Enzo the dog (even if you can allow yourself to believe in a philosophical, television-watching dog, some parts of the portrayal do not make sense; for example, Enzo might have watched a lot of shows in the Law and Order franchise, but without being able to read [and he's admitted he can't read], how would he know that Trial by Jury was "much maligned"? There's no indication that Denny discusses television criticism. I know I'm nitpicking, but if you want us to believe an unbelievable narrator, you have to construct that narrator carefully).
Even worse, however, are the third-rate philosophical musings built around the lore of driving/racing (e.g., "That which you manifest is before you.") They're on a par with the kind of smarmy life lessons conveyed in the novels of Mitch Albom or in Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist. Yes, I know millions of people love Albom, Coehlo, and Stein--but I am not one of them.
Favorite passage: None