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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.

An Audible for Dogs Pick: Make your dog's day. Cesar Millan shares how audiobooks can make dogs happier and calmer. Learn more.

©2008 Bright White Light, LLC; (P)2008 HarperCollins Publishers

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Performance
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  •  
    Cassandra 03-19-13
    Cassandra 03-19-13

    I'm a mom, daughter, wife, friend, sister, athlete, and teacher... Oh, and I'm lucky enough to have been born and raised in Hawaii. My reading tastes reflect all of this.

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    "LOVE this dog!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Art of Racing in the Rain the most enjoyable?

    It has been 2 or 3 years since I listened to "The Art of Racing in the Rain" and Enzo's voice has stayed with me. Here's a little sample"<br/><br/>“Here's why I will be a good person. Because I listen. I cannot talk, so I listen very well. I never deflect the course of the conversation with a comment of my own. People, if you pay attention to them, change the direction of one another's conversations constantly. It's like being a passenger in your car who suddenly grabs the steering wheel and turns you down a side street. For instance, if we met at a party and I wanted to tell you a story about the time I needed to get a soccer ball in my neighbor's yard but his dog chased me and I had to jump into a swimming pool to escape, and I began telling the story, you, hearing the words "soccer" and "neighbor" in the same sentence, might interrupt and mention that your childhood neighbor was Pele, the famous soccer player, and I might be courteous and say, Didn't he play for the Cosmos of New York? Did you grow up in New York? And you might reply that, no, you grew up in Brazil on the streets of Tres Coracoes with Pele, and I might say, I thought you were from Tennessee, and you might say not originally, and then go on to outline your genealogy at length. So my initial conversational gambit - that I had a funny story about being chased by my neighbor's dog - would be totally lost, and only because you had to tell me all about Pele. Learn to listen! I beg of you. Pretend you are a dog like me and listen to other people rather than steal their stories.”


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

    I loved every aspect of Denny's relationship with Enzo.


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

    Not yet...


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

    I laughed and I cried. And I cried, and I cried, and smiled...


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    reader 03-17-13
    reader 03-17-13
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    "Good Story. Very interesting point of view: Enzo"
    If you could sum up The Art of Racing in the Rain in three words, what would they be?

    Dog's perception of life


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

    Merle's Door. They both give you great insight into the way a dog might think


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

    It was all written in the dog, Enzo's, voice. Which he kept interesting


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

    When Enzo is talking about Eve's cancer, her release from the hospital and it's effect on the family.


    Any additional comments?

    A very different book. I loved that it was a story written from the dog's point of view, in his words, and with his (Enzo's) view of life. Enzo's life, the family's life and his reincarnation in the next life. The contrast between what Enzo thinks as a dog and as the human that he believes he will become in his next reincarnation is very well thought out and imaginative without being unbelievable. I'd like to see what else Garth Stein has written.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heidi Santa Margarita, CA, United States 03-14-13
    Heidi Santa Margarita, CA, United States 03-14-13
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    "Excellent!"
    What did you love best about The Art of Racing in the Rain?

    A great story that folds the love of dogs, family, car racing, and philosophy into one great read/listen! Superb job on narration.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Claire Riverside, CA, United States 03-13-13
    Claire Riverside, CA, United States 03-13-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Sweet, poignant, and touching"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    If you're a dog lover this book will give you an added dimension to the love you hold for the animal. Smart, funny, and sensitive, it's a story that stimulates the imagination to wonder whether our faithful animals could really hold an opinion we have no idea of. This book is a mixture of spiritual and emotional insights into the human condition only a dog could notice. I loved the journey from beginning to end that we all take, as dog owners, with our beloved companions. And we get the wonderful surprise of an ending we don't expect. Always fun. Even if you're not a dog lover this book holds a unique perspective into the inner workings of the human mind, and the human heart, as told by the canine, our most loyal companion.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved the personal insights made by the story-teller, Enzo, that were his own personal insights but that mirrored what goes on inside the human psyche. Some real and true observations are couched inside the dog's mind.


    What does Christopher Evan Welch bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I am a woman so I liked the make voice since this is a male dog. I wouldn't have had that perspective if I had read the book instead of listened to it. His delivery was seamless and genuine and believable as the dog Enzo.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mona Dubai, United Arab Emirates 03-13-13
    Mona Dubai, United Arab Emirates 03-13-13 Member Since 2012
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    "You just can't help but love Enzo"

    I LOVED this story. It was so simple and so true. It took all of that innocence and loyalty and silly happiness that dogs have, got right past my defenses and hit me where it hurt with short and sweet observations on human nature that just rung true. This all while telling an engaging story with characters I believed. They were very real to me and I was sad when I'd finished this book but also felt like I'd been fed some soul food. Do it, buy it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    k 03-12-13
    k 03-12-13

    Finding the next great book to recommend to friends is an obsession I don't feel guilty about.

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    "Best Narrator Ever!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this audiobook with gusto. I loved the narrator! Add in the descriptive and symbolic nuances of race car driving, the perspective of a true friend and it's a winner! Garth Stein captures the innocence and intelligence of his main character with such finesse and honesty.


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

    The reunion at the end brought such a sense of validation, a perfect full circle of closure.


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

    Who wouldn't love Enzo, a character with such a sense of loyalty, trust, innocence and wisdom.


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

    Enzo's battle with the stuffed animals was so heartbreaking and yet humorous. Or it was humorous but heartbreaking. Either way, I wanted to just reach out my arms and hold Enzo and tell him everything was going to be okay.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm looking forward to exploring what else Mr. Stein has written.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Houston Arlington, VT, United States 03-11-13
    K. Houston Arlington, VT, United States 03-11-13 Member Since 2012

    Horse Play

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    "Nice, Easy, Relaxing Read"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this book because of the unique perspective the narrator, Enzo, brings to the story. At the end of the book, I found myself concienciously making an effort to listen more...talk less. Enzo can teach us many things, including dying with dignity and grace.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Telling the story from the vantage point of a very intelligent dog.


    What does Christopher Evan Welch bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Narration really drew me in. I think if Enzo could talk, he'd sound just like Christopher Evan Welch.


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

    I cried at the end, and I laughed at Enzo's sense of humour.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arlene CHESTER, VT, United States 03-07-13
    Arlene CHESTER, VT, United States 03-07-13
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    "LOVED IT"
    What made the experience of listening to The Art of Racing in the Rain the most enjoyable?

    IT was a wonderful story and the voice of the dog was perfect. And it was perfecty done. Sad, of course, but still very very good.


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

    A little like a DOG PURPOSE and A DOG"S JOURNEY by Cameron, also 2 excellent books.<br/>


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

    no


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    no

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Beth Harris 03-06-13 Member Since 2008
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    "Who would have thought our dogs knew us so well?"
    What did you love best about The Art of Racing in the Rain?

    I was really pleasantly surprised to find that a book written from a unique (but potentially bad) perspective of a dying dog could be so insightful and interesting. The book is a real page turner, telling a story while conveying a profound meditation on many of life's lessons: living in the present, family love, friendship, and chasing your dreams.


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

    The scenes in which you can (if you're a dog lover like me) really hear the dog's voice and identify with his "Dogness." These scenes made me laugh and cry at the same time.


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

    I have not listened to the Narrator's performances but would love to find more titles like this one with him at the helm.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Man's best friend has a lot to teach us about being a man.


    Any additional comments?

    LOVED this book. Really memorable, thoughtful, and well done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer TALLAHASSEE, FL, United States 03-06-13
    Amazon Customer TALLAHASSEE, FL, United States 03-06-13 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Didn't like the use of reincarnation."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    People who are into reincarnation and who enjoy the idea of a dog having a low-brow mentality like a character from the TV show "Cheers" will enjoy this.


    What could Garth Stein have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    The author could have left out the part about reincarnation and the a** word. It seemed to be written for a low-brow audience. That's not me.


    What does Christopher Evan Welch bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The narrator was excellent. I had no objection to his voice. I thought he brought a nice personal touch to the story. It's just too bad that I didn't like the way the book was written.


    What character would you cut from The Art of Racing in the Rain?

    I only got through the first few minutes - just enough to hear about the dog. I don't think the dog was well-represented. Dogs are not characters from the TV show "Cheers." The book made the dog sound stupid and low-minded.


    Any additional comments?

    Again - I only got through the first few minutes because of the reference to reincarnation and the language. As a lover of animal books - particularly the ones where the animals have a voice in the story - I was severely disappointed in the way the dog was represented.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • The pink one
    2/2/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enchanting story"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ann & Jim
    10/12/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "brilliant book"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • 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.

    1 of 1 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. <br/>


    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A M C
    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.


    1 of 1 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).

    1 of 1 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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Julie
    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.

    1 of 1 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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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