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The Art of Racing in the Rain | [Garth Stein]

The Art of Racing in the Rain

Why we think it’s a great listen: If you’ve ever loved a dog - or even patted a dog - this book, told from the perspective of man’s best friend, will tug at your heartstrings...and won’t let go until long after Welch performs the last word. Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively and by listening very closely to the words of his master.
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Publisher's Summary

Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver.

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (7141 )
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Performance
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  •  
    S new york, NY, United States 06-18-08
    S new york, NY, United States 06-18-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    403
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    "wow--what a great read"

    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!

    12 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Regina-Audible USA 12-21-13
    Regina-Audible USA 12-21-13 Member Since 2010

    Audible editor and data evangelist. Lover of fiction, classics, thrillers, celebrity memoirs, and quirky teen novels.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    163
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    Story
    "A Don't Miss for Dog Owners"

    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.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert 06-07-08
    Robert 06-07-08

    Attorney. Like legal novels.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Art of Racing in the Rain (Unabridged)"

    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.

    15 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mariah BOULDER, CO, United States 12-01-12
    Mariah BOULDER, CO, United States 12-01-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I knew it would make me cry...and it did"

    Like all books about dogs, this book was heartbreaking. Why do all dogs have to die in the end???? No spoiler alert--you know right from the beginning that this is a retrospective. It wasn't exactly what I was expecting. Enzo was a much more serious and philosophical dog than many of his literary compatriots. Still, it was everything I was hoping for-sweet, funny, thought provoking, and of course, sad. I liked the narrator but I felt like his voice and tone added more gravitas to the story than was entirely necessary. He often sounded sardonic or annoyed when he referred to Enzo's doggiest aspects (getting his head scratched, playing fetch), which made Enzo devoid of any cuteness or playfulness. I think I would have viewed Enzo differently if I had read the book instead of listening. Still--a great read!!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carl HUNTINGTON, WV, United States 09-24-12
    Carl HUNTINGTON, WV, United States 09-24-12 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Your dog cares more about you than you do"

    Genre: Fiction

    Rated: PG-13 small sexual themes

    1st or 3rd Person: 1st person: Enzo the dog, with his friend and family

    Static or Dynamic: Static, the setting doesn't change physically that much but that same place goes through many moods that make you want to cry on both sides of the spectrum.

    Art or Entertainment: Entertainment. This is a wonderfully enjoyable read that doesn't take that much effort to enjoy. The story was wonderful and the climaxes were well planned.

    Linear or Non-Linear: Linear

    Narrator: The narrator was incredible. It's been almost a year now and I can still remember how awesome he was.

    Plot Outline: Enzo is a dog and he's going to tell you what that's all about. He discovers the joys of being a companion, guardian, and an individual. His insights into the world from his unique perspective shed some external light on the human experience and how we might view our lives from another angle. Enzo's family goes through more than a couple of difficult times (be prepared to cry some it gets real sad) but his persistent companionship with his closest friend marks how wonderful having a loyal un-speaking friend can be.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Orlando Auckland, New Zealand 04-24-12
    Orlando Auckland, New Zealand 04-24-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Great Storytelling from the author and narrator."

    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'...)

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P. Chavez Huntington Beach, CA USA 12-28-11
    P. Chavez Huntington Beach, CA USA 12-28-11 Member Since 2005
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    "An interesting premise"

    At first, I thought telling the story from the dog???s point of view was rather contrived, but I grew to really enjoy it. And, of course, fell in love with the dog. Unfortunately, the story is a melodrama; with the bad guys, the good guys and the eventual happy ending. Not a very interesting story without the dog.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mercedes carson city, NV, United States 08-02-11
    Mercedes carson city, NV, United States 08-02-11 Member Since 2015
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    "For the dog lover..."

    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!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Menlo Park, CA, United States 07-08-11
    John Menlo Park, CA, United States 07-08-11 Member Since 2007
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    "A charming book"

    Nothing fancy, but a real nice story, well-told, humorous and poignant in equal measure, and a book that will leave you thinking fondly of a dog you have loved.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marjorie Santa Rosa, CA, United States 02-10-11
    Marjorie Santa Rosa, CA, United States 02-10-11 Member Since 2015

    Life's good when I am listening to a great book.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Kept Waiting."

    This book lacked character development and, therefore, was slow. I kept waiting for something interesting or exciting to happen but it never did. If you like race car driving, you might like it because there are many references to various drivers and races.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Bluebells and Daffodils
    U.K.
    7/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An all-time favourite!"
    Would you listen to The Art of Racing in the Rain again? Why?

    Yes. It was a beautiful story, well-written and perfectly read.


    What other book might you compare The Art of Racing in the Rain to, and why?

    It is in a clas of its own.


    Have you listened to any of Christopher Evan Welch’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    No, but I will look out for him.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes, I laughed and cried...It was an emotional book.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • jane joensen
    7/15/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The dog tells it as it is .."
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Art of Racing in the Rain to be better than the print version?

    I am sure the audio book is better than the printed book. It makes the story come very much to life.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Art of Racing in the Rain?

    I loved the book throughout. My inner child love the idea of the dog telling the story.


    Which character – as performed by Christopher Evan Welch – was your favourite?

    The dog


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I loved the reincarnation towards the end.


    Any additional comments?

    A must read for animal lovers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A M C Bridgeman
    12/1/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Best accidental find... Ever"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • lindy
    Cape Town, South Africa
    7/22/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kathryn A. Dean
    Congleton UK
    1/13/13
    Overall
    "Excellent"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A User
    5/31/12
    Overall
    "Great listen-but...."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Julie
    Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
    11/22/11
    Overall
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rosemary
    Dunnose Head, Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)
    9/22/11
    Overall
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ms
    Bedlington, United Kingdom
    7/3/11
    Overall
    "Art of racing in the rain"

    This is the best book I have read in a very very long time thoroughly enjoyed it

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sandra
    redditch, worcestershire, United Kingdom
    5/7/10
    Overall
    "Very moving"

    This story made me cry.... Am I just soppy or can an writer just sometimes write so well that you forget you are listening to fiction . I challenge anyone who has owned and mourned the loss of the family pet not to be moved by this storey . If you liked Marley and Me by John Grogan you really should listen to this the twist is this gem is written from the point of view of Enzo who is the family dog. Listen and enjoy just keep the tissues handy for the end .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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