View Full Version : "The Art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein

05-15-2010, 11:06 PM
If you haven't read the book "The Art of Racing in the Rain" already, I highly recommend you do. :) The story is about the development of a small family, the Swifts, narrated by their insightful dog named Enzo. Be careful though - once I started the book, I could not put it down! I cut an exerpt of text (below) from the author's website:


“In Mongolia, when a dog dies, he is buried high in the hills so people cannot walk on his grave. The dog's master whispers into the dog's ear his wishes that the dog will return as a man in his next life. Then his tail is cut off and put beneath his head, and a piece of meat or fat is placed in his mouth to sustain his soul on its journey; before he is reincarnated, the dog's soul is freed to travel the land, to run across the high desert plains for as long as it would like.

I learned that from a program on the National Geographic channel, so I believe it is true. Not all dogs return as men, they say; only those who are ready.

I am ready.”

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, and 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, ZoŽ, 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 ZoŽ at his side.

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.

Casey's Mom
05-16-2010, 11:40 PM
What a coincidence to read your post. I was just given this book by a friend. He is a dog lover too and knew I would like this book.


05-18-2010, 10:28 AM
I LOVED this book! (and I'm NOT a reader).
My sister lent it to me, and she warned me the first chapter would be hard to get through. Having just lost Niko a few months before, I put the book down 3 times during the first chapter, not sure if I could go on. However, I did, and am glad. What a great book!!! :)

05-18-2010, 10:54 AM
I almost purchased this book last night at the bookstore. I'm going today to pick it up.

07-19-2010, 10:16 AM
I bought this book the same day this thread was opened but forgot to update everybody with my review. :D I am not a big reader but I finished it in two days. I think it has probaby been passed on to the fifth or sixth person on my morning train. It's a great book!

Roxee's Dad
07-19-2010, 10:28 AM
You wrote a wonderful preface and have enticed me to get the book. :D