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

by Garth Stein

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,455498713 (4.07)363
Member:anniephan
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
Rating:****
Tags:None

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 363 mentions

English (493)  German (2)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (497)
Showing 1-5 of 493 (next | show all)
4.5 stars

Enzo is a dog, much to his annoyance. He believes that when he dies, he will be reincarnated as a man and be able to voice his opinions and use thumbs just like he's always dreamed. But for now, he resigns to be a loyal companion to his master and his family. This novel chronicles the life of Enzo and the family that he is raised in. His master, Denny, is a good man that is sucked into a world of legal persecution, betrayal, and incredible loss. Enzo is forced to merely sit on the sidelines and watch as Denny's world falls apart and he turns into a shell of his formerly optimistic and vibrant self.

I expected to cry going in; it's a dog book. But I wasn't expecting to cry after ten pages. Seriously, Garth? Why would you do this to me on a Monday morning? ( )
  lhofer | Sep 26, 2018 |
An easy read; I can't decide if I should rate it with two stars to voice my distaste or three stars because I really am a fan of fairy tales. My biggest beef with this book is in the spoiler that needs to be clicked to be read. My brief, spoiler-free review would be as follows: the book is narrated by a dog who loves his owner. The owner experiences love, life, and hardship and we share in it through the eyes of the dog. The owner is a race car driver, but I never quite understand the analogy between racing and life. I greatly suspect any appreciation that I have for this book is from my appreciation of dogs and the kind of cute perspective of a dog's hopes and dreams. As for the life hardships, it felt like there was an axe to grind with bad guys and good guys. The only interesting thought is that perhaps the fairy tale, villain hero aspects are due to the dog and not the author and as a reader I am left to find the truth. I would give it three stars only because I think there could be something there beyond face value.


Here come the spoilers: False rape accusations should not be used as literary devices. It provides a false sense of reality to readers who are already prone to disbelieve victims of rape. It's lazy and offensive. There you go. Having it all just turn out all right at the end was weird. One reviewer called a character the fairy-Ferrari-godfather, and I agree. I love happy endings. I think it's ridiculous when people poo poo light hearted, happy books and film because the characters have normal issues and no one is remarkably deranged or troubled or violent or something. BUT this everything-works-out happy ending was quite over the top to the point that I highly doubt my one saving thought of the book, that really the main character is more flawed than the dog thinks.. (flawed as we are all flawed).

( )
  CassandraT | Sep 23, 2018 |
This month's Manly Book Club selection, a book about a family told by its dog, falls into one of the categories that I typically avoid.

Namely, it's a book that caused me to feel. Thanks, Pat. Thanks a lot.

Really, though, feelings aside, I ended up really enjoying The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein. It has a dog on the cover so that automatically put it in a superior class of books about dogs, along with Old Yeller, Summer of the Monkeys, Where the Red Fern Grows, Savage Sam, White Fang and, yes, that crowd favorite, The Pokey Little Puppy. Those also evoke feelings, but the right kind of feelings, because feelings about dogs are always good ones.

The Art of Racing in the Rain, though its narrator is Enzo, the dog, it is not specifically about the dog. In fact, Enzo is largely a supporting lead character. Instead, it's a book about a family, and Enzo tells their story, his story, and we see it through his eyes. It's heart-wrenching (there are those feelings again), and while I typically avoid that kind of deep feeling, I found myself quickly flipping pages as I approached the final denouement.

Manly book club usually ends up talking about culture, politics, and, according to my wife who manages to walk in at the opportune moment every month, war. I don't know how we'll get to that with this one, but I certainly think there will be plenty to talk about.
( )
  publiusdb | Sep 21, 2018 |
Thank you Susanne for the recommendation! I loved the dog's perspective. ( )
  cubsfan3410 | Sep 1, 2018 |
Cute premise, a dog narrating a story, but the author broadcast plot twists waaaaay in advance, and most of them were so predictable. Nonetheless, I cried at the end, and I have been way nicer to my pets ever since! ( )
  Rdra1962 | Aug 1, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 493 (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 11 descriptions

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

profile page | author page

Author Chat

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

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