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

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
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Nov 16, 2010

did not like it
bookshelves: fiction


A short but very spoiler laden review.

<<<<< Spoiler Alert >>>>>


How do I say I disliked a book that is so popular, especially when I enjoyed parts of it? Equivocally, I suppose.


Enzo is a dog and the story’s narrator.

I enjoyed some, but not all of his observations about people and their weaknesses. I enjoyed learning a little bit about a particular type of auto racing. I enjoyed being swept along emotionally with Enzo in his dying moments. Those scenes were well paced and evocatively. I would accept them for my own demise.

Minor annoyances:

Enzo goes from being believably canine to being overtly human. Any continuity problems, exaggerated events, or overdramatizations can be explained away because Enzo is only a dog, after all.

He spends too much time discussing his favorite TV shows, movies, and actors.

He knows he is color blind but describes the new daily routine as “not as colorful” as the old.

Profanity is included in his dialogs and he calls a character, although deservedly, a mother___er. A cursing dog is just weird.

How many Enzos did Denny meet in Italy before deciding he’d met his reincarnated dog?

Major annoyances

Enzo’s owners, Eve and Denny, are totally irresponsible people. Eve doesn’t go to the doctor when she knows she is ill, showing a total disregard for the well-being of her husband and her daughter. Denny is, let’s face it, a gearhead. Amateur athletes dreaming of the big time in other sports face the same long odds and long hours but not the crushing expenses of racing.

The whole custody issue with Eve’s parents was over the top. I don’t doubt it gets that bad in real life but it imposed an absolute train wreck on the story. Darth Vader in his polyester guise, with his Seattle police Storm Troopers, totally destroy what remains of Denny’s life and after years of denial and anguish, he smiles and drives away into the Italian sunset in his new Ferrari. Hey, what about some justice! What about other abused folks in Seattle who aren’t so fortunate? Rich people get to walk all over them without fear of consequences? In the words of Edmund Burke, “All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.”

Shouldn’t the prosecuting attorney have rigorously questioned Annika’s story before the trial?

Did I understand that Denny was to blame for his problems because a good driver knows where he is on the track, knows the other drivers, is already planning the next turn, and drives through a spin before it happens?

Darth Vader just blows up the whole track.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
November 1, 2010 – Finished Reading
November 16, 2010 – Shelved
January 27, 2011 – Shelved as: fiction

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Jason "Book Sniper" Great review. I gave this book 4 stars but I always like to read what others think. You brought up some really good points.


Edward Jason: Thanks for commenting. It led me to read your review and I gave it a "Like" because it was well written and a good representative of the many I skimmed through. I also check others' opinions, to the extent it's possible and practical, because I might have missed or misunderstood something.


Jason "Book Sniper" Thanks I look forward to reading more of your reviews


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