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The Art of Racing in the Rain: A Novel (original 2008; edition 2009)

by Garth Stein

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,211446654 (4.08)325
Member:jayde1599
Title:The Art of Racing in the Rain: A Novel
Authors:Garth Stein
Info:Harper Perennial (2009), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 321 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Rating:****1/2
Tags:2013, dogs, borrowed

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. 00
    One Good Dog by Susan Wilson (hokansonh)
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» See also 325 mentions

English (438)  German (2)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (442)
Showing 1-5 of 438 (next | show all)
This novel is told from the family dog's (Enzo) point of view which is a novel technique. This narration gives the reader an omniscient perspective of the lives of the Swift family; Denny, Eve, and Zoe. Enzo tells of a life of hope, humor, love and loyalty. Enzo recalls a live of tragedy and triumph through a fast-paced life that Swift masterfully parallels to car racing. The heart-wrenching situations are tempered with delightful humor. For me, this novel was a page-turned and a quick read. This novel is a good example of how insights into humanity are innovatively communicated through the eyes of pets. Students who enjoy this novel may enjoy Marley and Me by John Grogan or A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron. I might pair excerpts of text from this novel with excerpts from Flush by Virginia Woolf in a unit about story elements; narration. ( )
  sgemmell | Apr 16, 2016 |
This is one of those books you laugh you cry and sometimes at the same time. The story is told from the dogs perspective and uses racing as an analogy to the story. The author tells a story of how he came to write the story in voice of the dog when he read a the poem The Dog by Billy Collins. The poem is worth looking up there is a You Tube video of Billy Collins reading his poem. ( )
  yvonne.sevignykaiser | Apr 2, 2016 |
My reactions to this book are mixed. My divide comes from the very thing that I loved about this book. The fact that it was told in the dog's voice is what makes it so unique and amazing but it was also what left me feeling so helpless that I didn't want to continue. In any other book, horrible situations can be navigated through the privates thoughts and actions of a human with a voice. But with Enzo, he could only look and listen and when he was completely helpless to the situations around him, that left me feeling doubly helpless to his family because I am already twice removed from them. There were actually times when I didn't want to continue with it but I set it aside and picked it up occasionally and finally made it to the end. The ending and the very few moments of joy did make it worth it to me but it was difficult. However Enzo is such a lovely soul till the very end. ( )
  mashiaraqcs | Mar 29, 2016 |
told from the dog's point of view; heartbreaking but so very good ( )
  Claudia.Anderson | Mar 21, 2016 |
5***** and a ❤

The narrator of this gem is Enzo … a Labrador / ? mix (Airedale, perhaps). Enzo spends much of his time watching television and he has learned a lot. Race videos or the Speed Channel are his favorites, but one memorable program on National Geographic was about the dogs of Mongolia. It was from this program that he learned that when a dog dies, if he has been a very good dog, his soul will return as a man. Enzo is certain this will be true for him, and when that happens he will find his master, shake his hand and tell him “Enzo says hello.”

Enzo’s master is Denny Swift, who works as a “customer service technician” for the most prestigious BMW dealership in Seattle but who is a talented (nay, genius) driver who just can’t catch a break. Denny marries Eve, the daughter of wealthy parents who do not approve, and they have a daughter Zoe. It’s Enzo’s job to “take care of Eve and Zoe” when Denny is on the road pursuing his racing dreams. But Enzo can sense that there is something wrong with Eve; he knows, long before his humans do, that Eve has something deadly growing in her brain.

The story could be maudlin but it isn’t. Enzo is a philosophical narrator, and also a fair one. (Though he does have a thing for the zebra demon.) There are moments of laugh-out-loud humor, sing-out-loud joy, and sigh-out-loud sadness.

When I got to the last page I wanted to start reading all over again. This is a book I WILL read multiple times.

Dec 2010 update: I listened to the CD for this re-reading. The audio is performed perfectly by Christopher Evan Welch. Have a hankie ready for the last few chapters. ( )
  BookConcierge | Mar 5, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 438 (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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