What if Denny narrated the novel?

Discuss the December 2014 book of the month, The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein.
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Re: What if Denny narrated the novel?

Post by jazziemommie » 02 Feb 2015, 18:40

If the story had been narrated by Denny, I most likely never would have read it. I can see it being something my father might have read: a story focusing on a lifelong love of racing and a family tragedy that ends or in this case ignites the champion's career. Making Enzo the narrator was genius--It brought so many more readers to this book.
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Post by Duende Knocking » 02 Feb 2015, 20:25

Definitely would not have been as good.

I was leery of this book originally because I feared that the dog-narrative would be too gimmicky, but I found myself really enjoying it, and my initial fears were misled. This wasn't a book that was just in the dog's perspective for the sake of being unique, so I think having Deny narrate would really take away from what it had.
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Post by Kappy » 05 Feb 2015, 15:44

As written, the vocabulary attributed to Enzo is far too extensive to be believable as coming from a dog. I can imagine the book with Denny as the narrator; it could have better that way, since Denny could speculate as to Enzo's thoughts, using the terminology of an educated human.

But I think the novel would have been best as a third-person narrative; that way, the thoughts of Enzo could have been described without the reader needing to believe in a dog who could think with such humanlike language and impeccable grammar. Indeed, much of this book sounds as if it were originally narrated in the third person, then hastily converted to a dog narrator to give it a gimmick to increase sales.
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Post by TammyO » 17 Feb 2015, 20:52

I agree. Had Denny narrated the novel It wouldn't have been as interesting to read. Who wants to hear someone talking about themselves all the time? I know I don't. The fact that Enzo sung Denny's praises made it more believable and also quite entertaining. Stein's idea to tell this story from a dog's point of view was ingenious. If it was told from Denny's point of view, I probably wouldn't have enjoyed it as much as I did.
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Post by Cee-Jay Aurinko » 24 Apr 2015, 14:20

The story might have been the same, but wouldn't have been as enjoyable. There were some things Enzo couldn't explain, like what happened during Denny's trail. If Denny narrated the novel, Enzo would've been more of a character in the background, and that would've just ruined the whole experience.
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Post by litmonster » 07 Sep 2015, 13:36

It absolutely wouldn't have been the same story if it had been done from Denny's point of view, for multiple reasons. It's Enzo's unique perspective and third party observer status that gives this book the voice it deserves. I don't think I would have read the story if not for Enzo's voice, and I know my mother would have had no interest in it (she's the one who recommended it to me and starting reading it to me in hospital). Denny's perspective would have been so different, and he didn't have the same lessons to learn or work through that Enzo did. As others have said, different narrator would give you a different story, but one told by Denny probably isn't one that I would be all that interested in, truth be told.

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Post by Jausten11 » 28 Oct 2015, 08:26

The narrator is what made the story come to life. It should not be changed!

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Post by klbradley » 05 Jul 2016, 12:47

I don't think I would have enjoyed reading "The Art of Racing in the Rain" if Denny had been the narrator, because that would take all the fun away. I thought some of the best parts of the book was when Enzo would casually ramble on about something that we would expect to hear from a dog, and then go right back to his intelligent, observant self. It would have definitely taken away from all the fun had it been from a human.
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Post by Taylor Razzani » 11 Jul 2016, 21:50

I loved that Enzo was the narrator, it gave the book a very unique feel that it needed. We've read many books from a person's perspective, but not books where you see the course of events through the eyes of a dog that loves that human more than anything. I totally buy the whole philosophical thinking he has as a dog, they know more than they let on :-)
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Post by Naval Aulakh » 09 Jul 2017, 06:37

The story being narrated by a dog gives it an edge and that is something which drew me towards the book. It is a unique concept for me.
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