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

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
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Jun 19, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: read-animal-books, favorites

** spoiler alert ** This is the best book I have read in a long time!

Let me just say - I'm not a race car fan at all, but this book really isn't about race car driving. It's about the love a dog has for its humans, the nature of life, and how - according to the dog - race car driving is a metaphor for all of life. (And I have to admit that I'm crying my eyes out right now!)

To start at the beginning, the book is narrated by the dog - Enzo. He is smart and funny, observant and clever, good and loyal. He is everything a dog should be. He watches TV and learns from TV documentaries - although he's never learned to read even though he tried by watching Sesame Street. He thinks that humans are evolved from dogs and not monkeys - as in case study #2 when he says "The full moon rises. The fog clings to the lowest branches of the spruce trees. The man steps out of the darkest corner of the forest and finds himself transformed into...A monkey? I think not."

After watching a documentary about Mongolia and how they believe that dog's are reincarnated as humans, he knows that he is a misplaced human soul in a dog's body and when he dies he'll become human. He has it all planned out and while he doesn't long for death, he is certainly ready to embrace it. And so he practices being human and controlling his base animal instincts.

His love of race car driving? He watches races all day, and his owner, Denny, is a race car driver. Often they even watch the races together!

As the reader, you become intimately connected with Enzo - his every thought and emotion. But reality isn't so skewed in this book that he can talk. He has to communicate with gestures which frustrates him greatly. But that's one reason why this book is SO good...at least if you've ever owned a pet. It's believable. Reading this I believe - I believe that pets could/do communicate with us and understand us. I became completely immersed in Enzo's world.

Of course, Enzo's world centers around his family which is absolutely just torn apart by tragedy and maddening circumstances - his wife's death due to brain cancer, his in-laws suing him for custody, a made up law-suit against him so they can win custody of his granddaughter. Visitation rights being revoked, his entire life's savings gone with lawyer and trial fees. Almost giving up time after time after time. Enzo is there narrating the entire thing, giving his perspective of the situation and being there completely and utterly for a human in need.

There is a heartbreaking scene when Enzo is hit by a car and Denny rushes him to the hospital. And Denny can't afford to pay the vet bill because he has nothing. And even though Enzo is in such pain afterwards and he never fully recovers, he pretends he is fine for Denny because he knows that Denny doesn't have the money to pay for more vet bills!

In the end, everything works out for Denny and his daughter Zoey. And in the end, of couse, Enzo gets what he wishes for. But in the end, he realizes there is so much more to life that he wants to live. In the end he realizes that he doesn't want to leave Denny and Zoey even though they don't need him as much anymore. And in the end, Enzo is reincarnated as a human - a boy who is a natural born race car driver named Enzo who is Denny's biggest fan.

I loved this book! Loved it! I can't express how much I loved this book. Go out and read it today!!!! "Sometimes I believe...Sometimes I really do believe!"
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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Annette Oh my gosh - I think you really loved this book! Thanks for the loan - I can't wait to read it...!! annette


Peggy Yeah, I could care less about race cars, etc. either, but I really liked this too! Now I am going to read Raven Stole the Moon by the same author.


message 3: by Jim (new)

Jim I can't to get a copy of this book great review


Juliana u just answerd my other question if he ever becomes a human but he does so im a least knowing enzo doesnt acctually die
and i think thats why it says MT LIFE AS A DOG i was wondering why it sed that and now i know


Palmira I loved this book. It truly touched my heart. It's funny, sad, happy and everything else you can imagine. I am biased, I must admit, I have six beautiful dogs (kids) myself, Each with their own very distinct personalities. I would be lost with out them. I have to admit, I prefer four legged animals over the two legged any day.


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