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

by Garth Stein

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,703466558 (4.07)344
Member:ahsreads
Title:The Art of Racing in the Rain
Authors:Garth Stein
Info:Harper (2008), Hardcover, 321 pages
Collections:Wishlist
Rating:
Tags:racing, dogs, drama, tragedy, life lessons, family drama, relationships, death

Work details

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

  1. 60
    Marley & Me by John Grogan (Trevorlanticism)
  2. 60
    A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron (kaledrina)
    kaledrina: narrated by dog!
  3. 30
    Dog on It by Spencer Quinn (rxtheresa)
    rxtheresa: Written from dog's point of view
  4. 10
    The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst (jbarry)
  5. 21
    Merle's Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog by Ted Kerasote (kalpitad)
    kalpitad: Although The Art of Racing in the Rain is fiction and Merle's Door is non-fiction, both provide a narrative about the mind and heart of a dog.
  6. 00
    Belka, Why Don't You Bark? by Hideo Furukawa (nsblumenfeld)
  7. 00
    A Dog's Life by Peter Mayle (Cecilturtle)
  8. 44
    Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach (Graphirus)
    Graphirus: Life-philosophy explained through action, an activity (flight/car racing)
  9. 01
    One Good Dog by Susan Wilson (hokansonh)
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» See also 344 mentions

English (461)  German (2)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  All (465)
Showing 1-5 of 461 (next | show all)
The one star is for the initially intriguing conceit that this is a story narrated by a dog, peppered with philosophy gleaned from professional race car driving. With such a loveable, thoughtful narrator, covering hard-hitting topics like death, cancer, and ugly court cases, I was crossing my fingers that the author could handle this skillfully and somehow come up with a winner. Like "Room", only instead of a child, we have a dog.

But as I read on, I started to dislike the voice of the author, who I visualized as an unskilled ventriloquist trying to project his hackneyed Hallmark lines into the mouth of a flimsy hand puppet. I felt talked down to, and I can almost detect the dramatic pauses after particularly philosophical (melodramatic) lines, as if allowing us time to appreciate how wise and human this dog is. What a waste of a great idea. Instead of a character that is insightful but childlike (as I imagine a dog would be), we end up with someone who sounds like a middle-aged man with occasional delusions that he is a dog. Meanwhile, the rest of the characters are flat, and seem like mere props in this moralizing story.

In short: Nice try, but it didn't fly. ( )
  mrsrobin | Jun 24, 2017 |
dog thinks his human can think — can't talk educated himself by T.V.
has no thumbs — owner Denny a racer
shows him life like racing — isn't simply @ going fast

Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver.

Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn't simply about going fast. On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through.
  christinejoseph | Jun 19, 2017 |
This is an up-and-down tale, told from the perspective of a dog who is all too human, of an aspiring race car driver's battle through losing his wife to brain cancer and a custody battle over his daughter. Enzo the dog is a great narrator, privy to all kinds of information - yet kept from still other kinds. His racing metaphors are skillfully applied to life, and what would otherwise be a simple story takes in a life of its own through his eyes. Lots of swearing, a fair amount of sex, minimal violence. I would recommend this book to upper high-school and older. ( )
  J9Plourde | Jun 13, 2017 |
There are very few books that I take a highlighter to outside of school books. This novel, however, made me wish that I was the owner of the book, rather than the borrower, and could thus highlight to my heart's content. Yes, some of it was cheesy, but so much of it was profound. Even if you don't read it, it's worth going through the quotes page on Goodreads and looking at the treasures. ( )
  serogers02 | Jun 10, 2017 |
I really liked this book. The story is told by the family dog Enzo. The only downside for me was too much regarding car racing, as I have little or no interest in this subject. Otherwise an excellent book and I would recommend it for a great read. ( )
  myers3 | May 20, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 461 (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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Epigraph
"With your mind power, your determination, your instinct and the experience as well, you can fly very high." - Ayrton Senna
Dedication
For Muggs
First words
Gestures are all that I have; sometimes they must be grand in nature.
Quotations
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.
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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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