Thursday, July 3, 2008

The art of racing in the rain

An excerpt from Enzo the dog's reverie—

...Balance, anticipation, patience. These are all vital. Peripheral vision, seeing things you've never seen before. Kinesthetic sensation, driving by the seat of your pants. But what I've always liked best is when he talks about having no memory. no memory of things he'd done just a second before. Good or bad. Because memory is time folding back on itself. To remember is to disengage from the present. In order to reach any kind of success in automobile racing, a driver must never remember.

Which is why drivers compulsively record their every race, with cockpit cameras, in-car video, data mapping; a driver cannot be a witness to his own greatness. This is what Denny says. He says racing is doing. It is being part of a moment and being aware of nothing else but that moment. Reflection must come at a later time. The great champion Julian SabellaRoasa has said, “When I am racing, my mind and my body are working so quickly and so well together, I must be sure not to think,or else I will definitely make a mistake.”


from—
a novel by Garth Stein

3 comments:

Frank said...

I hadn't heard of this book...sounds like one I'll really like. I'll pick it up today...what a great title...and the pull quote is really something.

Thanks for another pointer!

Eleanor said...

I wonder if you might be interested in another original work of fiction, also narrated by a sentient labrador. (This labrador, Randolph, has rather high-brow tastes, preferring Dante to television.)

A DOG AMONG DIPLOMATS (April 2008) is the second book in a quirky mystery series by J.F. Englert. The first book, A DOG ABOUT TOWN was published in May 2007, and the third book, A DOG AT SEA, is scheduled for publication in April/May of 2009.

I'm helping author J.F. Englert reach out to bloggers, and I'd be happy to send you review copies of either or both books if you're interested!

An overview of the books and excerpts from reviews already in are below.

Best,
Eleanor
adogabouttown@gmail.com


BULL MOOSE DOG RUN MYSTERY SERIES - A Dog About Town, A Dog Among Diplomats

In writing this fanciful mystery series, Englert adopts the daring and original conceit of employing a first-person narration by a labrador-cum-detective, Randolph. The first book in the series, A Dog About Town, was recognized with the 2007 fiction award from The Dog Writers Association of America (DWAA).

Unbeknownst to his owners, Randolph (a black lab) is both sentient and literate--even well-read, spending much of the time that he has to himself at their Upper West Side apartment immersed in books. A year before the first novel opens, Randolph's mistress Imogen disappears without a trace, leaving behind a broken-hearted and mystified boyfriend and dog.

In A DOG ABOUT TOWN, the object of Randolph's ability to read and to reason turns from private past time to undercover detective work as he gently prods his less-enlightened owner, Harry, toward the answers behind a suspicious death--which also holds clues to Imogen's disappearance. Combining his powers of reasoning with his superior sense of smell (100,000 more powerful than that of humans), he is able to literally sniff out the trail, as well as the guilty parties.

In A DOG AMONG DIPLOMATS, Randolph dedicates himself to a second murder case—this time one with ties to the U.N. and in which Imogen is implicated as a possible suspect.


Advance praise for A DOG AMONG DIPLOMATS
Englert's droll mix of mystery, philosophical musing about man and beast, political doings at the U.N. and the mysteries of love make this an elegant, funny and inspiring romp in the park. - Publishers Weekly

LibraryThing members on A DOG AMONG DIPLOMATS
"This book reminded me of two things, both very disconnected: the old-time movie serials where the heroine is always left in utmost peril until the next sequence and P.G. Wodehouse."

"the writing is sharp and witty"

"I couldn't help but fall in love with Randolph."

"a marvelous study of character, especially the dog's, and has some of the funniest writing I've ever read in the genre."

"Like Wodehouse, [Englert] often throws off phrases that you want to reread just for the sheer pleasure of it."

T said...

I was just looking up the quote on memory to see if it was originally from elsewhere, enjoyed you choice of paragraphs as well :)

"Because memory is time folding back on itself"