The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

Sometimes, you read a book that you love so much, you want to tell everybody you know to read it.  This is one of those times.  This book is beautiful, sad, moving and funny.

The book is narrated by Enzo, a dog of indeterminate breed, who is on the eve of his death. He is not scared though, because he is convinced that he is going to be reincarnated as a man, and will finally be able to speak, and will be the proud owner of a pair of opposable thumbs.  Unlike many books where the narrator is an animal, this is not written as a comedy, although parts of it did make me laugh out loud.  

Enzo narrates his life, from the moment he was picked out of a litter of puppies by his master Denny, and a deep bond of love and loyalty was formed.

Denny meets Eve and they have a daughter, and for a while all is well with the family, but then a tragedy strikes them, and life starts to come apart at the seams.  Throughout all of Denny’s problems, Enzo is right there by his side.  He sees the sacrifices Denny makes, and how Denny has to put his dreams of becoming a champion race car driver to one side.

Enzo displays far more humanity than many of the humans in the book.  He is a deeply intelligent dog, who is frustrated by his inability to express his thoughts to the people around him.  He loves watching tv, and especially videos of Denny’s races.

The title is an allusion to Denny’s motor racing, which is a theme which runs throughout the book.  However, you certainly do not need to be a racing enthusiast to enjoy this book (I am not one, although I did learn some interesting facts about Formula One along the way)!

I also don’t believe that you need to be a dog lover to enjoy this read (although I am certainly doggie crazy).  This book was very moving indeed, and made me cry, but also made me smile through my tears.

After finishing it, I wished I had read it earlier, but simultaneously wished that I hadn’t read it yet, so that I still had that pleasure to come.  Highly recommended!

Categories: Reviews | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

  1. Happyanddandy

    You have made me want to read this asap!!

  2. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book. It’s on my list.

  3. Pingback: The Sunday Salon: The Art of Racing in the Rain « A Novel Menagerie

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