Tuesday, June 9, 2009 7:30 p.m.
Books Inc. in the Marina
There were dogs roaming the aisles of Books Inc. in the Marina when I arrived for this event. A spokesperson introduced them as beneficiaries of Grateful Dogs Rescue & announced that Garth Stein would be donating a percentage of his sales for this event to the organization. Then Mr. Stein came up & pledged to write a check that would double that amount at the end of the evening.
The connection became obvious when Mr. Stein began reading from his novel. The Art of Racing in the Rain is a family drama narrated from the point of view of a dog named Enzo. This sympathetic & self-aware creature, after watching a TV documentary, believes he is on the verge of being reincarnated as a human. It sounds like an enjoyable story for animal lovers. Mr. Stein was most involved when reading a section about car racing, incidentally revealing what must be a powerful passion of his. He also told us the funny story of how Enzo got his very human name.
Mr. Stein is an excellent promoter of his own work. Besides his author's Website, he's on facebook & twitter. He's also trying out a promotional stunt with fake lost dog posters, & he gave away buttons & a branded baseball cap during the event. Mr. Stein seems possessed of a happy disposition. With his large face & hands & eagerness to please, he is a bit puppy-like himself. When a dog fell asleep on someone's lap in the front row & started snoring, no one was more amused then the author.