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The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

The Art of Racing in the Rain (original 2008; edition 2008)

by Garth Stein

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,956432702 (4.08)320
Title:The Art of Racing in the Rain
Authors:Garth Stein
Info:Harper (2008), Edition: Book Club (BCE/BOMC), Hardcover, 336 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned

Work details

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein (Author) (2008)

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» See also 320 mentions

English (425)  German (2)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (429)
Showing 1-5 of 425 (next | show all)
A must read for every dog and the humans that love them. ( )
  Jolynne | Nov 2, 2015 |
To view an annotated bibliography of this title written for EDLI200, expand the spoiler entry below:

Young Adult
Fantasy Fiction
Realistic Fiction
Audio Book

Estimated age level of interest:
Upper Grades

Estimated reading level:
Grade 6

Brief description:
On the eve of his last day alive, Enzo, a terrier-retriever mix, recounts his years as a beloved friend and companion to his master, Denny, and their family. This is a moving story filled with humor, sorrow, and philosophical guidance for making sense of some of life’s most universal lessons.

At least 2 characteristics of this genre and subgenre and how they appear in this book:
This book has one foot firmly planted in fantasy and another in reality. The anthropomorphism of Enzo the dog is clearly an element of fantasy, and more specifically what we refer to as animal fantasy. Fantasy literature helps a child to develop a sense of imagination. While this book is suited for an age group that should already be well beyond the stage of developing imagination, it certainly reinforces and helps the reader to maintain that same sense of creative thinking that fantasy for younger children initially instills.

Another characteristic of good fantasy is that it is not without direct connections to the real world; it helps us to better make sense of our thoughts, feelings, and the world around us. Because the plot of this story is, aside from having a dog for a narrator, so realistic, the lessons it delivers are easily digestible and allow for direct comparisons to the reader’s own life. Being told from the perspective of a loveable dog, it is difficult for the reader to dismiss the wisdom presented on the basis of disliking the character who offer it (who doesn’t love a happy, friendly dog?!). It is rare to find a book that is so enjoyable to read for its story while simultaneously inducing such introspective considerations as does “The Art of Racing in the Rain”.

In what ways and how well does the book as a whole serve its intended audience?
Young adults are in a difficult stage of life. They are shedding the comfortable naivete of childhood and confronting head-on many of the challenges that they will face as adults. No longer is everything done for them or given to them, and they are allowed to experience more directly much of the “unfairness” of life that they may have once been shielded from. The plot of this book does not swerve to avoid such unpleasantries. Rather, it collides with them directly and illustrates how to overcome and persevere, even in the most dire of situations. This is a valuable lesson that all readers, young and old, can benefit from.

Awards, if any:

Links to published, professional reviews, if any:
Three professional reviews can be found at Lit Lovers: http://www.litlovers.com/reading-guides/13-fiction/81-art-of-racing-in-the-rain-...
Additional reviews are posted on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0061537969?ie=UTF8&isInIframe=1&n=28315...

( )
  nphill85 | Oct 12, 2015 |
Narrated by a self-educated dog called Enzo, who enjoys watching television and spending time with his master, Denny Swift, who is an up-and-coming race car driver. Enzo tells his life story, through puppyhood, being chosen by Denny, Denny's marriage, fatherhood, losing his wife to cancer, a false allegation of sexual harassment, and the years spent trying to regain custody of his daughter. A fantastic look at the human condition through the perspective of a pet. The racing car references didn't really interest me, but other than that the book was really good. ( )
  DebbieMcCauley | Oct 10, 2015 |
I cried. Several times. Finished this in two days. The premise is simple, the style is charming and readable, and the plot is heart-wrenching. Dog or no, [a:Garth Stein|194531|Garth Stein|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1229127424p2/194531.jpg] constructs a very compelling story with appropriate highs and lows. As ubiquitous as dogs are in our lives, they are written about quite seldom. So to write a novel from a dog's point of view will either bomb or nail it, and this book nails it! Refreshing and original, and integrating the racing theme does not distract at all, but bolsters and cements the narrative. ( )
  Victor_A_Davis | Sep 18, 2015 |
Although I'd heard this book was great, I was reluctant to read it because it was narrated by a dog and I thought it would be weird. It was instead really good on several levels: I came to understand a bit more of race car driving and drivers and have a new appreciation of their skills; I enjoyed the story and its comparision of the lives in the book to racing; and I learned from the wisdom of the dog as he made observations of us human. I will read this one again, thus the high rating. ( )
  bereanna | Sep 13, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 425 (next | show all)
Fans of Marley & Me, rejoice.
added by cmwilson101 | editEntertainment Weekly
If you've ever wondered what your dog is thinking, Stein's third novel offers an answer. Enzo is a lab terrier mix plucked from a farm outside Seattle to ride shotgun with race car driver Denny Swift as he pursues success on the track and off. Denny meets and marries Eve, has a daughter, Zoë, and risks his savings and his life to make it on the professional racing circuit. Enzo, frustrated by his inability to speak and his lack of opposable thumbs, watches Denny's old racing videos, coins koanlike aphorisms that apply to both driving and life, and hopes for the day when his life as a dog will be over and he can be reborn a man. When Denny hits an extended rough patch, Enzo remains his most steadfast if silent supporter. Enzo is a reliable companion and a likable enough narrator, though the string of Denny's bad luck stories strains believability. Much like Denny, however, Stein is able to salvage some dignity from the over-the-top drama.
added by cmwilson101 | editPublisher's Weekly
“I savored Garth Stein’s The Art of Racing in the Rain for many reasons: a dog who speaks, the thrill of competitive racing, a heart-tugging storyline, and--best of all--the fact that it is a meditation on humility and hope in the face of despair.”
added by cmwilson101 | editAmazon.com, Wally Lamb

» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stein, GarthAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Welch, Christopher EvanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"With your mind power, your determination, your instinct and the experience as well, you can fly very high." - Ayrton Senna
For Muggs
First words
Gestures are all that I have; sometimes they must be grand in nature.
To live every day as if it had been stolen from death, that is how I would like to live. (pg 160; first harper paperback published 2009) ~ Enzo~

She died that night. Her last breath took her soul, I saw it in my dream. I saw her soul leave her body as she exhaled, and then she had no more needs, no more reason; she was released from her body, and, being released, she continued her journey elsewhere, high in the firmament where soul material gathers and plays out all the dreams and joys of which we temporal beings can barely conceive, all the things that are beyond our comprehension, but even so, are not beyond our attainment if we choose to attain them, and believe that we truly can.

In Monglolia, when a dog dies, he is buried high in the hills so people cannot walk on his grave. The dog's master whispers into the dog's ear his wishes that the dog will return as a man in his next life. Then his tail is cut off and put beneath his head, and a piece of meat or fat is placed in his mouth to sustain his soul on its journey; before he is reincarnated, the dog's soul is freed to travel the land, to run across the high desert plains for as long as it would like.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Please distinguish among The Art of Racing in the Rain (2008), for general audiences; Racing in the Rain: My Life as a Dog (2011), "a special adaptation for young people of the acclaimed New York Times bestselling adult novel The Art of Racing in the Rain"; and Enzo Races in the Rain! (2014), for pre-school to third grade readers. Thank you.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061537969, Paperback)

A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope--a captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life . . . as only a dog could tell it.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:49 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Nearing the end of his life, Enzo, a dog with a philosopher's soul, tries to bring together the family, pulled apart by a three year custody battle between daughter Zoe's maternal grandparents and her father Denny, a race car driver.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

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Garth Stein is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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Garth Stein chatted with LibraryThing members from May 17, 2010 to May 28, 2010. Read the chat.

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