The Art of Racing in the Rain – Garth Stein



Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks; X edition (June 9, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0061537969
ISBN-13: 978-0061537967
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Meet Enzo. Enzo is a Philospher. He lives with the Swift Family. The Swift family consists of Denny, a mechanic and race car driver, his wife Eve, and their daughter Zoe. Then there is Enzo. Enzo loves television. He loves auto racing. Enzo is a dog.

This story by Garth Stein is often humorous, touching, tear jerking. There were times it left me a little angry, times a little sad. It is told from the perspective of Enzo. Enzo is a philosophical dog, who tells the story while relating things to auto racing and television programs. The book follows Enzo’s life with the Swift family, from the time he was born. He has a belief that when a dog dies, he gets to be reincarnated as a man. Enzo is ready to become a man.

I loved the sense of humor given to Enzo, an example is in this excerpt:

“I’m old. And while I’m very capable of getting older, that’s not the way I want to go out. Shot full of pain medication and steroids to reduce the swelling of my joints. Vision fogged with cataracts. Puffy, plasticky packages of Doggie Depends stocked in the pantry. I’m sure Denny would get me one of those little wagons I’ve seen on the streets, the ones that cradle the hindquarters so a dog can drag his ass behind him when things start to fail. That’s humiliating and degrading. I’m not sure if it’s worse than dressing up a dog for Halloween, but it’s close. He would do it out of love, of course. I’m sure he would keep me alive as long as he possibly could, my body deteriorating, disintegrating around me, dissolving until there’s nothing left but my brain floating in a glass jar filled with clear liquid, my eyeballs drifting at the surface and all sorts of cables and tubes feeding what remains. But I don’t want to be kept alive. Because I know what’s next. I’ve seen it on TV. A documentary I saw about Mongolia, of all places. It was the best thing I’ve ever seen on television, other than the 1993 Grand Prix of Europe, of course, the greatest automobile race of all time in which Ayrton Senna proved himself to be a genius in the rain. After the 1993 Grand Prix, the best thing I’ve ever seen on TV is a documentary that explained everything to me, made it all clear, told the whole truth: when a dog is finished living his lifetimes as a dog, his next incarnation will be as a man.”

Mr. Stein does a great job of making you see what a dog would be thinking. It’s also done in what seems like a realistic portrayal. One instance is where Enzo thinks a stuff zebra is possessed of the demon and ends up destroying a room full of toys to get the zebra. I fell in love with Enzo reading this. His reactions to people were similar to how I would react were I a dog.

I think this book would appeal to anyone, but especially those who love animals, and those who’ve lost animals they loved. There is some stronger language, and some situations that wouldn’t be good for young readers, so I’d set the age as mid teens and above. A beautiful story about life, and the desire to be human. Pick it up if you get the chance, you’ll love it, and I’m certain you’ll love Enzo.

*Disclaimer* A review copy of this book was provided by Sarah at Terra Communications.  Thanks go to her for this book.  It didn’t affect my review in any way.

Thanks to Terra Communications, I’m able to have the following contest. One lucky winner will get a copy of The Art of Racing in the Rain and a swag bag. What’s in the swag bag, you might ask? Well, I’ll tell you. It includes a tote bag, magnet, lapel pin, note pad and bumper sticker. So, now for the rules:

1) One Entry if you’re a follower [You can follow through Google Friend connect to the right, you can also sign up to follow through Twitter or Facebook].
2) An Additonal Entry if you blog about this contest.
3) An Additonal Entry if you’re a new follower.
4) One entry each for posting on facebook and/or twitter.
5) Must leave a comment letting me know how you follow me, blog link to this post, facebook/twitter link, etc.
6) Contest will continue until March 31, 2010.
7) This giveaway is open to residents of US and Canada. No PO Box addresses (street mailing only).

You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

11 Responses to “The Art of Racing in the Rain – Garth Stein”

  1. Deanna Scott Says:

    Think I’ll pick this one up. This is an author I need to read more of to get a take on his style. Thanks for the info Rick.

  2. Marilu Says:

    This sounds like a great read. I would love a copy. Please enter me. Thank you!

    lovemykidsandbooks AT gmail DOT com

  3. Marilu Says:

    I forgot to mention that I am a new follower. I am now following through google friend connect!

  4. Alva Kuhl Says:

    Please enter me.

  5. Kathy (mommysreading) Says:

    This book has been on my wish list for awhile. I would love to win a copy. I am a new follower through google.

    Thank you

  6. suzquiz Says:

    following you on twitter

  7. suzquiz Says:


  8. suzquiz Says:


  9. suzquiz Says:

    new follower
    This book sounds great

  10. Rick Rhodes Says:

    Deanna, His style was different on this than it was on Raven. If you read it, I hope you enjoy it.

  11. *Review* The Art of Racing in the Rain, Garth Stein « Mommy's Reading Says:

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