the buzz

Stein to read from “Racing in the Rain” at Page’s

By Curtis Riggs | March 11, 2009

Reading, reception set for Friday, March 13

garth, cometCAVE CREEK – Best-selling author Garth Stein will read from his new book “The Art of Racing in the Rain” at Page’s book store on Friday.

Stein’s latest novel was the eighth best-selling novel in the country last year. Currently it is No. 25 on the best-seller’s list. Stein credits the success of the book to Enzo, the dog narrating the story. Enzo, both a television and racing enthusiast, dreams of being reincarnated as a human being (complete with opposable thumbs) and looks back on his days with aspiring racer Denny Swift as he ponders the meaning of life while he awaits death.

“Enzo gives voice to dog lovers everywhere,” Stein recently said from his Seattle home where he and his wife are raising three children and a dog, Comet, of their own.

“It keeps on going,” he said. “Racing in the Rain” is still “hovering” on the best-selling lists. It will be out in paperback in June. He recently sold the rights to Hollywood actor Patrick Dempsey, who intends to play the lead character, Denny Swift, himself.

The book has struck a chord with racing enthusiasts as well as dog lovers. Stein is appreciative of both groups joining his fan base. He will also visit Bob Bondurant School of Racing coverHigh Performance Driving and an animal fundraiser during his trip to the Valley.

He will be at Page’s for the reading and a wine & cheese reception at 6 p.m. on Friday, March 13. Page’s owner Will Pearson said reservations for the event are appreciated. Call 480-575-7220.

Stein’s first two novels were critically acclaimed, but did not sell well. “I’m glad I had the experience on the other side,” he said about selling 5,000 books as opposed to the 300,000 “The Art of Racing in the Rain” has racked up.

“I’ve seen both sides and I kind of like this side,” he said about his newfound success.

Stein was a documentary filmmaker in his other life. He got the idea for a dog coming back as a human from working on a film about Mongolia. Many Mongolians believe they will be reincarnated as dogs, he said.

Stein is happy to read at small independent bookstores like Page’s.

“Independent booksellers are a crucial part of society in terms of disseminating ideas and keeping conversation going.”