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. Using the techniques needed on the race track, one can successfully navigate all of life's ordeals.
On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through: the sacrifices Denny has made to succeed professionally; the unexpected loss of Eve, Denny's wife; the three-year battle over their daughter, Zoë, whose maternal grandparents pulled every string to gain custody. In the end, despite what he sees as his own limitations, Enzo comes through heroically to preserve the Swift family, holding in his heart the dream that Denny will become a racing champion with Zoë at his side. Having learned what it takes to be a compassionate and successful person, the wise canine can barely wait until his next lifetime, when he is sure he will return as a man.
A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a beautifully crafted and captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life . . . as only a dog could tell it.
About Garth SteinSee more books from this Author
This is one of those books that dog lovers give to other dog lovers to read...In the end, though, I found The Art of Racing in the Rain difficult to put down once I got into Enzo’s life story...Stein’s imminently readable novel takes that idea further and argues that our pets know so much more about us...Read Full Review of The Art of Racing in the Rain | See more reviews from Blog Critics
The mechanical failure of the book is caused by one of two things: a predictable plot that erodes character, or a poorly conceived character ill-equipped to drive a plot...Yet the narrative inventiveness, introduced so beautifully in the early pages, led me to expect a more sophisticated story...But it was not to be.Read Full Review of The Art of Racing in the Rain
The choice of Enzo as narrator creates a fresh perspective in this family drama, and allows for some much needed humor when the plot grows darker. It is Enzo's unique perspective tied with the all-too real character relationships that have made The Art of Racing in the Rain such a popular choice for readers and book clubs since its publication.Read Full Review of The Art of Racing in the Rain
For me, the book was not difficult to read, but it also was not super easy. I think that it is the perfect reading level. All of the characters that were supposed to be likeable were likeable; but they also seemed very human, no one was perfect, and because of this I could feel their emotions more than I would have if they were perfect.Read Full Review of The Art of Racing in the Rain
...a story that isn’t about racing at all…instead it is a heartwarming story of love and perseverance. The story is told from an unusual viewpoint: one of a dog...This was one of the most devotional and loving stories I have ever read, and I think that others who read it, be they a dog person or not, will find that they love it too.Read Full Review of The Art of Racing in the Rain
I really enjoyed it. To me it was almost perfect until that last chapter...In all, I highly recommend this novel. Enzo is so lovable and vulnerable. The idea of having a dog like him to look after my family is such a reasuring thought. The Art of Racing in the Rain is a book for dog lovers of all kinds.Read Full Review of The Art of Racing in the Rain
The writing itself is very accessible, and the generally short chapters help make this a very quick read. I do love the character of Enzo and how human he is, while also making comments that remind us that he is, in fact, a dog. It is all pretty cleverly done.Read Full Review of The Art of Racing in the Rain
Since finishing the book, I even make more of an effort to interpret what my dogs try to tell me. Stein didn't have to convince me my dogs have souls...It was a reminder to me of how big a role man's best friend can play in our lives and us in theirs. I highly recommend THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN by Garth Stein.Read Full Review of The Art of Racing in the Rain
When you're looking for some hope on a gray day, pick this up and let Enzo lift your spirits. He's got life figured out and he can share it in a way that's easy to understand. You'll love him as much as I did.Read Full Review of The Art of Racing in the Rain
So here's the scoop with this book. I cried (like a baby at one point), I laughed out loud (boy did that feel great), and I really cared about the characters and the storyline...The narrator happens to be a dog, but you certainly don't have to be a dog lover to appreciate this book because it is about so much more.Read Full Review of The Art of Racing in the Rain
This is one book that I could not set aside. The story is smooth, the characters are either lovable, or deplorable, and Enzo is an amazing narrator, making references and connections to pop-culture, making astute philosophical and psychological assessments of the humans around him.Read Full Review of The Art of Racing in the Rain
I defy any dog owner to read The Art of Racing in the Rain (★★★★) and not substitute their dog for Enzo...The unique voice of the narrator helps temper the depressing aspects of the rest of the book. Make no mistake, this book will make you cry, multiple times.Read Full Review of The Art of Racing in the Rain
Stein has stuffed this book with insightful driving metaphors sprinkled into the rest of the narrative, which he divides into short chapters that make this book an easy, fast read. The story hits both the high and low moments and emotions in life, making it a tale both happy and sad...Read Full Review of The Art of Racing in the Rain
Denny and Enzo adapt to changes, suffer loss, face their demons, and “handle their cars” through obstacle courses of adversity. But in life, as in racing, experience improves performance...Readers who appreciate whimsy will love The Art of Racing in the Rain and Enzo’s charming take on life.Read Full Review of The Art of Racing in the Rain
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