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The Art of Racing in the Rain Audiobook

The Art of Racing in the Rain

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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

4.5 (11819 )
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4.6 (9220 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Regina-Audible USA 12-21-13
    Regina-Audible USA 12-21-13 Member Since 2010

    Audible editor and listener. Lover of fiction, thrillers, celebrity memoirs, and quirky teen novels.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S new york, NY, United States 06-18-08
    S new york, NY, United States 06-18-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
  •  
    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.

    18 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arianne Woodinville, WA, USA 10-25-08
    Arianne Woodinville, WA, USA 10-25-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Racing in the Rain is Lovely"

    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.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katie 07-01-16
    Katie 07-01-16 Member Since 2017
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    "What a fabulous story!!!"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marlene 05-20-16
    Marlene 05-20-16 Member Since 2017
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    "Good book, good performance."

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AudioAddict 05-06-14
    AudioAddict 05-06-14

    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!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Heartwarming and uplifting, yes, after 6 sad hours"

    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.

    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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    "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'...)

    6 of 7 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
  •  
    Todd Laguna Niguel, CA, USA 06-09-08
    Todd Laguna Niguel, CA, USA 06-09-08
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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.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
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  • Mike T.
    5/26/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I love this book, but I also hate it."

    The first four hours of this book is wonderful. Sad but wonderful and beautiful. The philosophical and somewhat melancholy musings of the dog that almost feels like a human is fresh and utterly brilliant, and again yes, sad and beautiful.

    Then the story introduces a major (and vile) plot element that completely dominates the book. It almost ruined the read for me. I actually paused my reading for weeks before picking it up again. I was actually angry at the book and had no enjoyment in listening for some time. Dammit, I went from listening with a sad smile (and even some tears) on my face, to listening with a grim determination to get the damn thing over with. I did not like that.

    I suspect that a reread of the book will mellow my harsh feelings and make me love it again. But right now, having just finished the book, this is how I feel. Even the great ending didn't abate my annoyance much.

    Narration was superb. I'm sure that Christopher Evan Welch was a dog in a previous life.

    So, I guess that the fact that I hated where the story went so much, was in no small part due to how much I also loved this unique book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • lou oppenheim
    5/14/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Utterly captivating and uplifting - and very well read."

    A tender and beautifully written story - insightful into human nature, observed through the eyes of a dog, and drawing on parallels with the drive behind motor racing. Easily one of the best audio books I have heard.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ms
    1/19/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Moving and inspiring."

    Loved it. Whilst taking you on a roller-coaster of emotions it leaves you feeling uplifted. Love the angle of using the point of view of the dog and felt it was well written and we'll read from each characters input.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • david morris
    8/25/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Story not to be missed"

    One of the best listens, I have experienced. Enjoyed it so much I played it again.

    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
  • Thierry
    United Kingdom
    5/26/09
    Overall
    "Enjoy the ride and stop being cynical...."

    I utterely disagree with the previous review. This book is a masterpiece which gently, but very surely, captivate your imagination and after 30 minutes, become impossible to stop listening to. I am a 46 years old man "tough" with tatooes and all. "Marley and me", moved me, "The Art of Racing in the Rain" made me cry as well as laugh. Not only because it was about one dog, but also because it was about the trials of life of his "friend", not JUST about a dog. Brilliant. The only criticism, if I may, is that I now have started to have conversations with my two labradors!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A. Seymour
    4/26/09
    Overall
    "Sweet and... sour"

    Few minutes after begun listening this book... I was feeling regrets of buying it.
    This book shows a very cranky dog that swears a lot... I thought it could be nicer and apt for a younger audience if there were not that many times the f word (I hope my dog doesn't swear that much in his head!!).
    A couple of hours later on the book I was feeling more comfortable and enjoying more the drama... it keep me wondering... towards the end the little twist of adding Stephen Hawking's voice device, in my personal opinion... it killed the book.
    I finished listening to it yesterday and I must confess, I even enjoy the end.
    In conclusion, this is not the best book about a dog life but it will keep you entertained if you listen to it while walking your own dog!

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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