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

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
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Mar 14, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: 2009, animal-related, fiction
Read in March, 2009

** spoiler alert ** My overall impression was chick lit for men (and that's not a bad thing).

The first chapter made me bawl. Never a good sign of what's to come, but I found this both heart wrenching and lovely. The use of the dog as a narrator was a great idea, the use of racing car analogies even better ("The race is never won on the first corner, but it is often lost there" is my favourite).

After the first chapter I found it a bit slow to around page 60. After this I was hooked. It didn't mater that it made me tear up, I had to get it finished, even though it meant reading it in public places (e.g. the peak hour commuter train).

There were parts I found difficult to believe (like the court case and that every adult said he was predetory but let him drive the teenager home). But Enzo got me every time.
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Quotes Rebecca Liked

Garth Stein
“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.”
Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain

Garth Stein
“Here's why I will be a good person. Because I listen. I cannot talk, so I listen very well. I never deflect the course of the conversation with a comment of my own. People, if you pay attention to them, change the direction of one another's conversations constantly. It's like being a passenger in your car who suddenly grabs the steering wheel and turns you down a side street. For instance, if we met at a party and I wanted to tell you a story about the time I needed to get a soccer ball in my neighbor's yard but his dog chased me and I had to jump into a swimming pool to escape, and I began telling the story, you, hearing the words "soccer" and "neighbor" in the same sentence, might interrupt and mention that your childhood neighbor was Pele, the famous soccer player, and I might be courteous and say, Didn't he play for the Cosmos of New York? Did you grow up in New York? And you might reply that, no, you grew up in Brazil on the streets of Tres Coracoes with Pele, and I might say, I thought you were from Tennessee, and you might say not originally, and then go on to outline your genealogy at length. So my initial conversational gambit - that I had a funny story about being chased by my neighbor's dog - would be totally lost, and only because you had to tell me all about Pele. Learn to listen! I beg of you. Pretend you are a dog like me and listen to other people rather than steal their stories.”
Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain

Garth Stein
“That which is around me does not affect my mood; my mood affects that which is around me.”
Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain

Garth Stein
“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.”
Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain

Garth Stein
“There is no dishonor in losing the race. There is only dishonor in not racing because you are afraid to lose.”
Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain

Garth Stein
“This is a rule of racing: No race has ever been won in the first corner; many have been lost there.”
Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain

Garth Stein
“I had always wanted to love Eve as Denny loved her, but I never had because I was afraid. She was my rain. She was my unpredictable element. She was my fear. But a racer should not be afraid of the rain; a racer should embrace the rain. I, alone, could manifest a change around me. By changing my mood, my energy, I allowed Eve to regard me differently. And while I cannot say that I am a master of my own destiny, I can say that I have experienced a glimpse of mastery, and I know what I have to work toward.”
Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain

Garth Stein
“When I return to the world, I will be a man. I will walk among you. I will lick my lips with my small, dexterous tongue. I will shake hands with other men, grasping firmly with my opposable thumbs. And I will teach all people that I know. And when I see a man or a woman or a child in trouble, I will extend my hand, both metaphorically and physically. I will offer my hand. To him. To her. To you. To the world. I will be a good citizen, a good partner in the endeaver of life that we all share.”
Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain


Reading Progress

03/07/2009 page 66
20.56% "Started with me crying, moved on nicely but now slowing a bit...I so much want to love this book,I hope my expectations arn't too high.."
03/10/2009 page 296
92.21% "Loving this book, especially the use of the narator"

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