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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

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  •  
    Todd Laguna Niguel, CA, USA 06-09-08
    Todd Laguna Niguel, CA, USA 06-09-08 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A fun read."

    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.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JM2742 Tewksbury, MA 08-11-15
    JM2742 Tewksbury, MA 08-11-15 Member Since 2015

    booksrus

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    "Great!"
    If you could sum up The Art of Racing in the Rain in three words, what would they be?

    A sweet story


    What did you like best about this story?

    The fact that I was ok with the point of view being from a dog was HUGE for me, but my friend talked me into the book. I truly thought i would think it was too corny of a storyline and only for true animal lovers, but i was mistaken.


    What about Christopher Evan Welch’s performance did you like?

    He was fantastic!


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

    Can never stop thinking about how he smelled her illness before she knew. I know my dog always sits near me when i am upset, etc. So it was easy to believe.


    Any additional comments?

    This book made me think differently when I looked at my own dog! Great story that will stay with you long after you finish it!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    betsy Sherman Oaks, CA, United States 03-28-15
    betsy Sherman Oaks, CA, United States 03-28-15 Member Since 2011
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    "Can you stay angry with a dog?"

    The plot of this book is the worst. It is a tearjerker with a Hollywood ending that would embarrass the most shameless sports movie hack. Humans show unprecedented depths of depravity and heights of benevolence in destroying Enzo's owner's life - and then helping him pick it back up, all very tenuously justified. The economics of racing are viewed through the most vaselined lens possible. This is all insidiously wormed into our hearts in the words of an endearing dying dog. You need to know: If there weren't a dog in the picture, nobody would be praising this book.

    The dog, Enzo, has a real and dog-like voice, earnest and enthusiastic, full of love for his family. He understands humans better than real dogs, but he's canine in his confidence, in his love for and absorption with his family and his master's auto racing, and hilariously so in his occasional lapses into bad dog behavior. The dog is funny, although some of the humor here is really odd and not safe for children. The owner, Denny, is an aspiring Seattle auto racer who's especially good in wet weather. His driving philosophy and truisms form the core of Enzo's philosophy. A racer lives in the present and tries to be vividly aware of his surroundings and control his immediate future. This story just isn't a good vehicle to explore that philosophy.

    The ending is utter childish fantasy. I was so torn out of my suspension of disbelief by what happened to Denny I hardly cared what happened to Enzo. Know that up to this point, the dog's voice and the narrator's performance held me in here, and I mostly almost enjoyed this book despite all the faults.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    karen Christchurch, New Zealand 01-17-14
    karen Christchurch, New Zealand 01-17-14

    Hot romance/Sci Fi we're so lucky to have Audible to feed our book addictions. I love walking my precious dog Sydney & listening to my books

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    "Special Unconditional love achieved with a dog"
    Any additional comments?

    This touching story is very hard to put down. I listened to much of this book with my own dog either on my knee or right next to me (as always) and I gave him a big Hugs and Kisses throughout this heart filled story. If you have loved and lived for your dog (as I do for my we boy Sydney) you will know the unconditional Love and loyalty they dish out in spades. The acceptance they have with life is second to none, no mater what the situation. I so thoroughly enjoyed The Art of Racing in the Rain and would definitely recommend it for all dog/animal lovers......

    The Art of Racing in the Rain is a wonderfully written book that is fun, thoughtful, and heartbreakingly sad. This story is cleverly narrated by the family dog, Enzo, a loyal Labrador mix. Enzo tells the tale of his life, recounts lessons learned, and shares what he imagines lies ahead for his soul. Enzo has always felt “almost human,” and his greatest desire is to come back in the next life as a human. He longs to express himself through speech and have opposable thumbs. He believes he is ready.

    As Enzo reflects on his life, the story is not just his, but his family's too. Denny is Enzo's master. He was single when he came to the puppy farm and chose Enzo. Enzo admires Denny and he lives up to his traditional “man's best friend” role. When Eve came into their lives, Enzo had to share his master, his time, and their home. But he loves how Eve makes Denny happy and silly, and slowly warms up to her and grows to love her as well. Zoe's birth brings a tiny vulnerable soul into the family and Enzo knows he is her protector. He again learns a new kind of love and responsibility. Through all their good and bad times, Enzo is the loyal and trusted four-legged member of the family.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Browder Ocala, Fl USA 12-06-13
    Bill Browder Ocala, Fl USA 12-06-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Suprised"

    I was not expecting the setting of this story. Had I known it was the autobiography of a dog with a not especially exciting life I probably would have passed. That would have been my misfortune. This was a wonderful book! Well written and very entertaining. If you are an animal lover especially a dog lover, I highly recommend this book.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara J. Anderson Huntington Beach, Ca 04-22-13
    Barbara J. Anderson Huntington Beach, Ca 04-22-13 Member Since 2015

    paws4me

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    "Finally a Great Story and a Great Narrator"

    This book was recommended by a friend, I shall thank her later. She said Long Beach California was being encouraged to read it. That caught my attention, maybe a Long Beach Book Club, the Long Beach Grand Prix, I'm not sure. This is an amazing story, some parts were touching, some had me in tears. If you are a parent or love dogs this will touch your heart. If you are a car guy this is also for you. Some of the lines in the book are now on post-it notes on my desk. Yes, wisdom's are also in this amazing book. The narrator was spot on, well done. He was perfect for this book.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leigh Mount Pleasant, SC United States 03-23-13
    Leigh Mount Pleasant, SC United States 03-23-13 Member Since 2013

    There is nothing better than a good book!

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    "A "Tail" of love, loss, and joy..."

    I purchased this after I read the the book. And.....I enjoyed it so much more! It is the kind of story that stirs up every emotion we have inside- joy, anger, sadness, excitement, humor, contentment, etc.... It is full of witty dialogue, heart-wrenching decisions, and life lessons....given to us honestly and simply by man's best friend, a dog.
    This is a must-have for my fellow dog lovers who believe that life isn't complete without a faithful canine by your side!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Maui, Hawaii, United States 08-22-11
    Eric Maui, Hawaii, United States 08-22-11 Member Since 2011

    Audiobooks Make Weed Wacking a Pleasure

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    "Great First Half"

    The first half of The Art of Racing in the Rain is excellent. It starts out very creatively. The second half gets bogged down into a predictable and unnecessary subplot. There is a part where the main character is at his breaking point and is ready to compromise on his principles. At this point it seems like the author hands the writing over to a third grade class which comes up with a ridiculous, cheesy, unimaginative, predictable outcome. There are no surprises in its Hollywood ending.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Clipper Phoenix, AZ 08-11-10
    M. Clipper Phoenix, AZ 08-11-10 Member Since 2013
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    "Absolutely fantastic!"

    I thoroughly enjoyed "The Art of Racing in the Rain". The idea of a family's story being told from the dog's point-of-view was pure genius, and the way that it was executed far exceeded my expectations. The author and narrator could have easily portrayed the family dog (Enzo) as the stereo-typical happy-go-lucky family pet, but no. Enzo was wise beyond his years, and it was truly a pleasure to hear all that he was thinking.

    However, I would have to say that the last third of the book was especially difficult to get though, at least until the final two chapters. Denny's struggle is enough to make any father cringe at what he endured. But through it all, Enzo was there to help, even though he may not have been able to communicate directly.

    If you're a dog lover or you enjoyed "Marley and Me", I highly suggest giving this book a try. You won't be disappointed.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Neil 07-10-10
    Neil 07-10-10
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    "I got something in my eye"

    I have to admit that this book was pretty good but towards the end I got something in my eye and it made finishing the book a little difficult. It must have been lint or something but my eye kept watering. I think my new motto in life is two barks.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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