Carolyn's Reviews > The Art of Racing in the Rain

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
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Aug 26, 10

bookshelves: 5-star-books, favorites, own_loaned-out, general-fiction, own, 2010-read
Recommended to Carolyn by: All Fairfax Reads 2010
Recommended for: dog lovers, car racing aficionados, everyone really
Read from August 24 to 25, 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 speak with, believing that man's closest evolutionary relative is not the monkey but the dog. (One proof: werewolves!)

I'm not much into auto racing, so while the descriptions of that were ok, most of them were skippable for me - except for the parts that were tied to the 'life lessons' as related by Enzo. The dogs-eye view of the world and what was going on in the lives of his human family is priceless.

There are some really wonderful quotes in this book - I found myself jotting down page numbers so that I could find them again (although of course I don't have the book with me at this moment, I'll have to add them to my review later.) Somewhere the zebra is dancing, yes, but I think it's more telling that the zebra is within us all.

While I got this from the library, this is one of those books I'll be acquiring for my permanent home collection. I think I'll be rereading it many times over the years. Highly recommend.

ETA Quotes:

"To live every day as if it had been stolen from death, that is how I would like to live. To feel the joy of life, as Eve felt the joy of life. To separate oneself from the burden, the angst, the anguish that we all encounter every day. To say I am alive, I am wonderful, I am. I am. That is something to aspire to."

"My soul has learned what it came to learn, and all the other things are just things. We can't have everything we want. Sometimes, we simply have to believe."

"Demon. Gremlin. Poltergeist. Ghost. Phantom. Spirit. Shadow. Ghoul. Devil. People are afraid of them, so they relegate their existence to stories, volumes of books that can be closed and put on the shelf or left behind at a bed and breakfast; they clench their eyes shut, so they will see no evil. But trust me when I tell you that the zebra is real. Somewhere, the zebra is dancing."

"I know the truth, and I will tell you now: He was admired, loved, cheered, honored, respected. In life as well as in death. A great man, he is. A great man, he was. A great man he will be. 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. And I knew, as Denny sped me toward the doctor who would fix me, that if I had already accomplished what I set out to accomplish here on earth, if I had already learned what I was meant to learn, I would have left the curb one second later than I had, and I would have been killed instantly by that car. But I was not killed. Because I was not finished. I still had work to do"

"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."

"King Karma; I know that karma is a force in this universe, and that people will receive karmic justice for their actions. I know that this justice will come when the universe deems it appropriate and it may not be in this lifetime or the next, or the one after that.... but it will come."

"That which we manifest is before us; we are the creators of our own destiny. Be it through intention or ignorance, our successes and our failures have been brought on by none other than ourselves"

"There is no dishonor in losing the race. There is only dishonor in not racing because you are afraid to lose."

"I suddenly realized. The zebra. It is not something outside of us. The zebra is something inside of us. Our fears. Our own self-destructive nature. The zebra is the worst part of us when we are face-to-face with our worst times. The demon is us!"

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Quotes Carolyn Liked

Garth Stein
“To live every day as if it had been stolen from death, that is how I would like to live. To feel the joy of life, as Eve felt the joy of life. To separate oneself from the burden, the angst, the anguish that we all encounter every day. To say I am alive, I am wonderful, I am. I am. That is something to aspire to.”
Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain

Garth Stein
“Demon. Gremlin. Poltergeist. Ghost. Phantom. Spirit. Shadow. Ghoul. Devil. People are afraid of them, so they relegate their existence to stories, volumes of books that can be closed and put on the shelf or left behind at a bed and breakfast; they clench their eyes shut, so they will see no evil. But trust me when I tell you that the zebra is real. Somewhere, the zebra is dancing.”
Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain

Garth Stein
“I know the truth, and I will tell you now: He was admired, loved, cheered, honored, respected. In life as well as in death. A great man, he is. A great man, he was. A great man he will be. 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. And I knew, as Denny sped me toward the doctor who would fix me, that if I had already accomplished what I set out to accomplish here on earth, if I had already learned what I was meant to learn, I would have left the curb one second later than I had, and I would have been killed instantly by that car. But I was not killed. Because I was not finished. I still had work to do.”
Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain

Garth Stein
“King Karma; I know that karma is a force in this universe, and that people will receive karmic justice for their actions. I know that this justice will come when the universe deems it appropriate and it may not be in this lifetime or the next, or the one after that.... but it will come.”
Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain

Garth Stein
“I suddenly realized. The zebra. It is not something outside of us. The zebra is something inside of us. Our fears. Our own self-destructive nature. The zebra is the worst part of us when we are face-to-face with our worst times. The demon is us!”
Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain


Reading Progress

08/24/2010 page 21
7.0%
08/25/2010 page 150
47.0% "Really enjoying this - some great quotes in here."

Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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message 1: by Eva (new) - added it

Eva Leger I've been meaning to read this since it came out! After reading your review I really want to start it asap!


Carolyn Definitely worth bumping to the top of your tbr list - also a very quick read!


Jenny I loved this too, such a great book.


Lisa It is really terrific, not just regarding the love for the dog, but his insight into the human condition. And on the surface, the plot alone is engaging -- I TORE through this book.


message 5: by Lucinda (new)

Lucinda This book sounds really fantastic and as a dog lover it caught my eye instantly. I would like to thank you so much for a detailed and insightful review, that was a joy and delight to read. It included quotes too!!


Carolyn Thank you for your nice comments. :). I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did, I still consider it to be one of my top 10 books, ever.


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