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, Zoë, 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 Zoë 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.
The Art of Racing In the Rain book summary coming soon..
Standing in line at the copy store, I was aimlessly browsing the end cap display holding several popular current books. "The Art of Racing in the Rain" was one of them, and since there was a picture of a dog on the cover it grabbed my attention. Without more preamble than the jacket description, I bought the book on a whim, intending to gift it to a friend, and ended up retaining and reading it myself instead. I immediately loved Enzo, the dog and narrator for this story, and found his voice to be refreshingly witty and it worked - mostly. The book is flawed and lacks character development for some of its principal players, namely Eve and possibly Annika, and I felt there were unnecessary gaps in Denny's back story that were rushed over to tie up the end in a neat fashion. Granted, the book is told through the eyes of a dog: Denny's dog, specifically. We get lots of insight into Denny and I felt I was able to fill in some of those gaps or at least make allowance for them. The relationship between Denny and Enzo is what gives this story its magic. Anyone who has loved a dog - I mean really loved a dog - will connect with Enzo in immediate and significant ways. You will "get" Denny and never question his conversations, walks, and rides with Enzo. As a narrator, Enzo does a decent job, albeit imperfect. I loved him all the way through - and was anxiously supportive of his journey toward human. I just felt like the end of the story was eclipsed to make it all a bit too tidy. I do recommend the book. It's a fast read, and entertaining. Enzo's human-like perspectives and his love of philosophizing are entertaining - but there's more of that in the beginning, and I missed that in the second half of the story. The parallels drawn between racing and life's trials worked for me, even though I'm not a Formula One racer. The metaphors speak to us on an elementary and easily translatable level. Author Garth Stein writes in an easy to read style and there were many passages I marked to come back to later as a reminder to self of some of Enzo's insights I found particularly profound. If there really is a way for dogs to evolve and to work their way back into our lives as humans, my heart loves Enzo's journey all the more. 45
A great read recommended to me by a friend who has already taught me so much; The Art of Racing in the Rain is full of takeaways. 55
Love the way that connects Enzo with his family makes me feel my own life reflected in the eye of my dog. Thank you!! 55
Can't remember when I cried at the end of a book, but this one got me good! A wonderfully crafted novel of intense interest and perspective. A definite " recommend" to all I know! Hated to end it! 55
Calling all dog owners! This book is delightful , sweet,full of high spirited smiles,and wonderfully written. I enjoyed it so ...and would recommend it highly 55
I have plenty of favorite books, but wow this one got to me so much I just had to write a review over it! I can't stop crying because I'm both sad about Enzo's death, and happy about everything else! An amazing book! I loved it so much! The first book I actually took the time to review, THAT'S how good it was. 55
Honestly, one of the best books I've read in a long time. Truly insightful, clever, and heartwarming. 55
Great book 55
I read quite a bit, usually a book a week. This is one of the best ones I have read in a very long time. The word needs to get out about this one, it would make a great movie! 55
Beautifully written. This is one of those stories that changes you and makes you a better person. 55