Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition. He sees that life, like racing, isn't simply about going fast. Using the techniques needed on the race track, one can successfully navigate all of life's ordeals.
On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through: the sacrifices Denny has made to succeed professionally; the unexpected loss of Eve, Denny's wife; the three-year battle over their daughter, Zoe, whose maternal grandparents pulled every string to gain custody. In the end, despite what he sees as his own limitations, Enzo comes through heroically to preserve the Swift family, holding in his heart the dream that Denny will become a racing champion with Zoe at his side.
Having learned what it takes to be a compassionate and successful person, the wise canine can barely wait until his next lifetime, when he is sure he will return as a man.
A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a beautifully crafted and captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life...as only a dog could tell it.
©2008 Bright White Light, LLC; (P)2008 HarperCollins Publishers
Audible editor and listener. Lover of fiction, thrillers, celebrity memoirs, and quirky teen novels.
As a dog parent, I find myself constantly personifying my pet. Garth Stein's brought that concept to lift - dogs are not only part of the family, but have deeply human souls. I fell in love with Enzo from the start. Christopher Evan Welch's narration of life journeys through the eyes of man's best friend will have you laughing and crying from beginning to end. Afterwards, you'll never look at your dog in quite the same way.
this book may be one of the best audibles purchases that i've made. it was heartwarming, sweet, funny, etc etc...! definitely a must read/listen. everything--the narrator, characters, story develpment--was spot on!
This audiobook was just great. The characters were well developed. The story was meticulously woven and each detail played wonderfully to a conclusion. Best dog story since Old Yeller! Do not miss this book.
This was a phenomenal listen. The voice was dead on perfect and you really felt all the emotions. Tying in the principles of car racing and life was well done and interesting even if you aren't a racing buff. The characters were beautifully realized and multi dimensional and part of the end will bring tears to your eyes. You'll probably look at this book several times and won't get it because your first assumption is that a book from the point of view of a dog is silly. I felt the same. I'm glad my book club picked it because I never would have known what I missed. the dog is wry and poignant and a brilliant character. Really, really good. One of the best books I've either read or listened to, all year. Really a great listening book.
I am SO happy I found this book! It truly touched me. Such a wonderful perspective on our best furry friends. I would not suggest listening to the first 15-20 minutes or the last 30 minutes while out in public. Enzo was a true friend in every way that we hope to be. He listened, was supportive, attentive, caring and loved unconditionally. I don't think I've ever loved a character more!! This is one of those stories that brings tears to my eyes even weeks after reading because it was such a beautiful, well told story about true love and friendship. Highly recommend.
I really enjoyed the story line and the reading. However the musical interludes between chapters were too long, to the point of distraction and annoyance and when the reading resumed before the music ended the music was slightly louder than the reading.
I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!
STORY (fiction) - Enzo is a labrador who lives in present-day Seattle. He watches Law & Order, The Science Channel and LOVES to watch car races because his owner, Denny, is a race car driver. Enzo is very smart, philosophical and also happens to be the teller of this story . The summary gives a lot of the plot away, so I don't mind telling you that Enzo's family goes through a lot of sadness. Denny's wife dies, then her parents try to get custody of his daugher by playing dirty. This affects his job ... and on and on. As Enzo tells the story from his doggie perspective, he explains how he plans to be a human in his next life. He talks about a lot of famous race car drivers and their accomplishments. He also draws a lot of parallels between driving a race car and managing your own life. For example, "The car goes where your eyes go." In other words, keep your eyes on your dream, don't give up, and you will get where you want to in life. As I said, Enzo is a very deep dog!!
To be honest, I didn't like most of the book. It's well-written and there are some funny moments when Enzo resorts to acting like a plain old dog, but mostly it's just a downer. Then all of a sudden, Enzo is able to do something amazing which totally changes the direction of his family's lives. It comes totally out of left field -- NO WAY will you see it coming -- and it's great. It will make you laugh, smile, maybe even cheer. So I guess the bottom line is this: Are you in the mood to hear a lot of sadness before a heartwarming ending?
PERFORMANCE - The narrator has the voice of a man in his late 20's, early 30's. He does a good job, but there's nothing remarkable about the performance.
OVERALL (actual rating 3.5) - Well-done book, but I don't really like to wallow in as much misery as this dog and his family did. This would appeal to guys and gals equally, but it's definitely not a cute dog book for family listening. There's a tiny bit of cursing and sexual content, but shouldn't bother most listeners.
The Art of Racing in the Rain has been beautifully constructed. Every moment in the story builds towards another, until you find yourself completely engaged in the story, and its characters.
The voice of the narrator (Christopher Evan Welch) is perfect. He doesn't put too much emotion into his voice - instead letting the words 'take over' - and not making the emotion in the story seem tacky and clichéd.
Definitely worth listening to, just don't listen to it while you have low blood-sugar. (It can get slightly 'tear-jerky'...)
Similar to that heart wrenching tug that makes you want to hug your dog immediately found in "Marley and Me", this book takes a little different of a turn as it's fromt he dog's perspective. I will never look at my dog the same after reading this book. It's wonderful!
I've always thought of myself as a bit dog-like and now I know why. The book was well written, witty, and the story was told from a unique perspective that I enjoyed thoroughly.
If you enjoy good story telling, you can't go wrong with this book.
Well told delightful story that shows the writers passion for racing and how these skills can come in handy. A story of success through humility and love.
As a fervent motor racing fan and dog lover this book was just up my street, just loved it. All life is encapsulated by the old dog. It made me laugh and cry best read this year.
"An all-time favourite!"
Yes. It was a beautiful story, well-written and perfectly read.
It is in a clas of its own.
No, but I will look out for him.
Yes, I laughed and cried...It was an emotional book.
I loved this book when I first read it, and I enjoyed it all over again, even more, when I listened to it. Highly recommended.
"The dog tells it as it is .."
I am sure the audio book is better than the printed book. It makes the story come very much to life.
I loved the book throughout. My inner child love the idea of the dog telling the story.
I loved the reincarnation towards the end.
A must read for animal lovers.
"Best accidental find... Ever"
I would, and have recommended this to friends and family and local book club. It might be a story through a dog's eyes but its a great study of characters and events.
"very enjoyable - beautifully written and read"
A light-hearted, beautifully written book. Loved the way this dog views the world. Both my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed it (and didn't find the end part weird despite comments to the contrary).
One of the best books I have read for a long time, especially if you are a dog lover, I could see myself as the dog, and I could see my dog in the book also.
This is a great listen with lots of clever observational detail and a cracking storyline.It is very moving in parts without being too "syrupy"-I bet you will be looking at your beloved mutt in a different way!
Really enjoyed it- but what was the court room Steven Hawkins thing about??-I'm afraid this really jarred with me-was the author looking for a way out?
Still good stuff, though,if you've got an elderly,wobbly much loved dog,be prepared to shed a tear or two.
"The art of racing...."
Oh my god, what a book. The narrator is splendid. I didnt know what to expect when this story commenced. It is very very special.
"So happy that this narrator was chosen"
Having read and thoroughly enjoyed indeed savoured the printed book, I was a bit nervous about paying for an audio version in case it was a let-down.
I need not have worried. The narrator does a superb job and is utterly convincing as Enzo, and I didn't want my listening time to end.
I can totally recommend this audiobook.
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