The Art of Racing in the Rain
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The Art of Racing in the Rain

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4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  239,091 ratings  ·  25,151 reviews
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 see...more
Hardcover, 321 pages
Published May 13th 2008 by Harper Collins (first published January 1st 2008)
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The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth SteinMarley and Me by John GroganA Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce CameronWhere the Red Fern Grows by Wilson RawlsThe Call of the Wild by Jack London
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Anastacia
Dec 03, 2013 Anastacia rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: animal lovers, dog lovers
Recommended to Anastacia by: No one - I came across it in bookstore.
Shelves: favorites, fiction
I was meandering around Borders one Saturday when I saw a dog's head on the cover of a book, and since I am magnetized to animals (especially dogs), I had to pick it up and leaf through it. I was pleasantly surprised to read the cover to find out it is written entirely from the perspective of a dog. Adorable and unique; I have always wanted to know what it's like in the mind of a dog. Although obviously written by a person (or my dog has some explaining to do as I was under the impression that d...more
Jason
You know that guy who comes up to you when you’re having a bad day and says something like, “just think positive thoughts and good things will happen” as if it were really that simple? As if the spirit of Karma or whatever is patiently waiting around for you to will happiness upon yourself so that it can be befittingly bestowed? Yeah, well fuck that guy. Bad things happen all the time to people who don’t deserve it, regardless of whether or not they are in touch with their “positive energies.” S...more
Lucy
I'm shocked...shocked, by how much I loved this book.

The narrator is a dog.

There is much mentioning of racing - Formula One, NASCAR, Indy....

and the narrator is a dog. But I think I mentioned that already.

I liked this book so much that it made me want a dog. No, it made me want this dog. And I don't even like dogs.

Enzo, a terrier/lab mutt, believes in his next life he will be human. As he feels practically human already, just limited to grand gestures due to his loose-muscled tongue and lack of...more
Nicholas Sparks
If you have yet to read this wonderful novel, do yourself a favor and do so. It's original and captivating, and I simply adored Enzo (the narrator ... who also happens to be a dog). It tells the story of a particular family, with twists and turns that keep the pages turning. It's a perfect read for a rainy afternoon or while laying in bed, the kind of novel that you'll remember long after you've finished.
Matthew
Yet another book I was reading as a preview to see if I should purchase it as a gift. Sadly, no.

Equally disappointing is disliking the work of a local author. I always want to like local authors (and artists of all stripes), but it isn't always possible.

First, I don't think automobile racing is a good metaphor for life. Maybe it is, but I have a bias. I hate the automobile. I think the personal automobile is the single most destructive concept we've conceived. To then race them (in circles, no l...more
Malbadeen
Dec 04, 2013 Malbadeen marked it as holy-shit-this-got-published
Recommends it for: dorky, dork headed, dork meisters
A). This book is written from the perspective of a dog.

B). The first line of this book is, "Enzo knew he was diferent from other dogs"

C). This book is written from the perspective of a dog.

D).Inside the book there are statements such as, "That which you maifest is before you." and "No race has ever been won in the first corner; many races have been lost there".

E). This book is written from the perspective of a dog.

F). Starbucks is heavily promoting it.

G). This book is written from the perspectiv...more
Lisa
Jul 04, 2008 Lisa rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone wanting to reclaim direction and a sense of purpose
Recommended to Lisa by: no one had to, it's narrarated by a dog and used racing as a met
this is positively one of the most masterfully simple yet profound novels i have read/heard in years. i listened to the audio version on the way back from my last trip to pittsburgh and, as another reviewer commented, it's a tear jerker. i boo hoo'ed quite a bit and then raced to the nearest borders to reread the parts of the story that moved me the most. this story is a fascinating study of the human condition as witnessed by Enzo, the dog narrator. this will at once seize your emotions and pro...more
Emilie
Jun 23, 2008 Emilie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: dog lovers, anyone looking for something a little different
What I loved:
1. Enzo is the coolest. dog. ever. And that includes my dog, who happens to be pretty hip. He's caring, he's funny. I love it.
2. The way Enzo narrates is awesome. I have a feeling that if dogs - smart dogs, who are about to come back as men - could talk, this is what they would sound like.
3. I plowed through this book because I was utterly unable to put it down. It isn't so much that I wanted to find out what happened next in the plot; I wanted to find out what Enzo had to say and w...more
Lisa Kay
Ferrari F430

★★★★★ An amazing book; one of the best I’ve read in over a decade. Some of you, who know me, are aware that I am still friends with my ex-husband; a relationship that spans over 32 years. What you may not know is that he is battling the Big “C” – cancer. Now, after five valiant years, he is debating whether to enter Hospice or not. Needless to say, the last thing I, a dog-lover and ex-ICU nurse, wanted to do was read a book where a wonderful canine, Enzo, on the eve of his death, re...more
Anita
I was a little doubtful I would like this book when I first heard about it. (I mean it was a Starbucks book recommendation and so what kind of new age garbage would I be getting into?) But I need to read more fiction, and I heard from another source it was very good, so I bought it.

I was immediately sucked into the book and did not want to put it down. It has very short chapters so I kept saying, "Just one more," and then the book was over. But it is still in my thoughts, a really good sign.

I th...more
Nikki
I was rather sceptical about The Art of Racing in the Rain. I continued to be so as I read, even when I was more than halfway through. It bothered me: the description of Eve's illness, the situation with Annika. And I wasn't sure I was getting much out of it in return for getting so unsettled. I didn't think that much of the narration -- the conceit of a dog narrating the story. Parts just didn't go together: you can't have a really smart dog with ideas on philosophy who then gets confused about...more
Ann
Judging from the other Goodreads reviews and the recommendations of my friends, I seem to be a minority of one in my low estimation of this book. It's not that I disliked it, per se, but I really resented the way this sappy, anthropomorphic story stomped on every emotion in my body. If you need a good cry for some other reason, by all means grab yourself a box of tissues and a copy of this book and go for it. You can get it all out and no one will ask you what's wrong when they see what you are...more
Dana Stabenow
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Andrea
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Jamie
This book was a gift from my father-in-law, who knows that I like to read and that I like dogs. I knew the moment I read the title and looked at the cover and read the inside of the dust jacket that it wasn’t the kind of book I would ever choose for myself, but it was a gift, and I read pretty much anything whenever I have the chance to, so I decided I’d give it a shot. I made it all the way through, but barely.

The first thing I could not help but notice was the writing style, composed of simpl...more
Frank
I'll start by saying that I'm not much of a "dog person" and nor am I a race car fan. I've never been to Seattle, and the novel as fable genre has not done much for me. That being said, after "The Art of Racing in the Rain" - I need a new dog, I drive faster, and I loved this book.

I had stumbled across three reviews of this book within one 24 hour period, so I felt like I was being led to read this book that on the surface help only a small appeal - a story from a dog's perspective - pretty uniq...more
Linda
Oct 05, 2008 Linda rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Dog and pet lovers
Recommended to Linda by: The Book Reporter.com
I expected this to be another "Marley and Me." In that it is about a dog's love for its people and its peoples' love of the dog, the two books are alike. But there is a sad undertone throughout "Racing in the Rain," that I never felt in "Marley."

Here's why: from the beginning we know that Enzo (the pooch!) is recalling his life story on the eve of his death. That fact struck like an arrow in my heart because in August I had to put my dog to sleep. A first for me even though I've been around for...more
Michael
Despite being sappy with melodrama and rather silly how humanly wise the dog is portrayed, I enjoyed the illusions as a fantasy and the overall metaphors for life from the world of car racing.

The tale here is a narrative from the mind of Enzo, an airedale mix living in the Seattle area with his beloved master Denny, a race car driver. We experience a dogs-eye view of his courtship of Eve, the birth and babyhood of their daughter Zoë, a family crisis from a slowly developing medical condition of...more
Jackie
Sep 27, 2008 Jackie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: just about anyone
This book is a heartbreaking, can't-put-it-down treasure. The story is told by the family dog, Enzo, who is highly evolved and intellectual and preparing to be a man in his next life (he saw a show on the Discovery channel that
explained that that is what will happen to dogs such as himself). He was picked out of a litter at 12 weeks old by semi-pro race car driver Denny and was there for Denny meeting and marrying Eve and a witness to the couple's
daughter Zoe's home birth. And, alas, he was ther...more
Books Ring Mah Bell
Jan 06, 2014 Books Ring Mah Bell rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Books Ring Mah Bell by: dog lovers looking for a quick, easy read.
The ex-runner in me was sad when "racing" in the rain did not refer to running. Instead, it was automobile racing. Gack! I hate auto racing. HATE IT!
However, I love dogs. Dogs are much better than humans on any given day. This book was written from the dog's point of view. Cute, right?

Kind of.

Enzo is the old, dying dog who tells the story of his life with his master. I'm not gonna lie. I loved the dog. He destroys a pile of stuffed animals because they are "taunting" him. He eats a pepper and s...more
Jeff Scott
"That which we manifest is before us." The Art of Racing in the rain is the story of a family from a dog's perspective. Enzo, Denny's dog, is loyal to his master a semi-pro race car driver. The lessons of racing become lessons for life. The art of dealing with adversity, facing your deepest fears, while learning how one dog yearns to be a man(And beware of the zebra of fear). As one reviewer noted, you'll look at your dogs in a different light after reading this book. The ending will bring tears...more
Carolyn
Aug 26, 2010 Carolyn rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: dog lovers, car racing aficionados, everyone really
Recommended to Carolyn by: All Fairfax Reads 2010
I LOVED this book!

If you've ever owned or loved a dog, you will love Enzo, dog extraordinaire. The book summaries describe him as a philosopher, and we are treated to his thoughts on the meaning of life, on souls, on what comes after death, and more. Not in a pedantic way, but very anecdotal. He celebrates his own doggishness, while striving to curb his 'animal instincts' and live as a human would in order to 'earn' reincarnation as a human. He bemoans his lack of a thumb and a facile tongue to...more
Reese
Jul 06, 2010 Reese rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Reese by: Barbara Thompson
One review, written by my GR friend Barbara Thompson, led me to THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN. I've read none of the other hundreds, thousands of reviews -- who's counting? I can easily dismiss unintentional plagiarism and chance as explanations for any similarities between my thoughts and those of other reviewers because I have just finished a book that sold me the belief "that one's car is merely an extension of one's body. . . . [T:]he track is an extension of the car, . . . the rain is an ex...more
Jim
Wonderfully read & it worked as well as paper. Pretty amazing. This was a re-read (listen) for a group.

An autobiographical novel by a dog. It started off kind of cute & I wondered if I'd be able to endure it. Maybe 50 short pages in, it had a firm grip on me & by the halfway point, I couldn't put it down. The end about tore my heart out - in a good way.

The eclectic blend of a dog's eye perspective of his master facing life's hardships as a husband, father & aspiring race car dri...more
Buggy
Opening Line: “Gestures are all that I have; sometimes they must be grand in nature.”

Wow, this truly is an unforgettable book that will leave you (kinda wrecked) and unable to look at dogs in quite the same way ever again. Garth Stein has managed to capture the inner workings of the dog perfectly here, the attention to detail and why dogs do certain things is amazing. This really is a look at our human lives as only a dog could see it. Enzo and his family will tear at your heart in many ways and...more
Trin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Doug Bradshaw
A good dog can be the best thing in a person's life, especially in tough times and the love felt is as powerful as the love of another person. Enzo, was once such dog. This touching story reaches into the most emotional parts of a man's life including death of a loved one, difficult career situations, fabricated legal motions potentially destroying a good man's life including the relationship he has with the daughter he adores and who adores him back.

The story is told by the dog from the dog's...more
Barbara
Jun 08, 2010 Barbara rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of racing, lovers of dogs, lover of life
I know I am years behind, but can I jump on the bandwagon now? The Art of Racing in the Rain has been on my To Read list since it was published. What took me so long? Why didn't everyone tell me about this wonderful book? What a great way to express the heartfelt experiences of the human race: with the metaphor of auto racing, and the narrator a dog! The always patient, unconditionally loving dog who comforts and brings joy to the family members is actually a zen budhist who sees all and underst...more
Emily
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jim
Wow! An autobiographical novel by a dog. It started off kind of cute & I wondered if I'd be able to endure it. Maybe 50 short pages in, it had a firm grip on me & by the halfway point, I couldn't put it down. The end about tore my heart out - in a good way.

The eclectic blend of a dog's eye perspective of his master facing life's hardships as a husband, father & aspiring race car driver, seasoned with some quality racing history, worked so incredibly well that I am stunned. The story...more
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Garth Stein is the author of three novels: The Art of Racing in the Rain (Harper, 2008); How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets (Soho Press, 2005), which won a 2006 Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Book Award, and was a Book Sense Pick in both hardcover and paperback; and Raven Stole the Moon (Pocket, 1998). He has also written a full-length play, Brother Jones, which received its firs...more
More about Garth Stein...
Racing in the Rain: My Life as a Dog Raven Stole the Moon How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets A Sudden Light Racing in the Rain/Enzo Picture Book #1

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“There is no dishonor in losing the race. There is only dishonor in not racing because you are afraid to lose.” 981 likes
“He died that day because his body had served its purpose. His soul had done what it came to do, learned what it came to learn, and then was free to leave.” 527 likes
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