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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » The Art of Racing in the Rain: A Novel » User review

Depressingly sad, yet high on happiness

  • May 29, 2010
  • by
A friend of mine told me I should absolutely read this book last year. I hadn't gotten around to reading it when my turn for book club came up, so I recommended this book and read it. I'm a little scared to know what some of the group will think. I honestly went in thinking I wouldn't like it. It's a dog book. You already know the dog is going to die - not only does the description give it away but let's face it, the dog ALWAYS dies in a dog book. It's a rule. No really, go look it it up!

It's a depressing read, who knew so many horrible things could happen to one person. Heck, who knew that dogs were so smart? But there were so many good moments that made me smile too. Some about the dog talking about fetching or riding in a car, some about the story going on.

Either way, it's well written. Oh, it's not perfect, but I'm still going to give this one five stars simply because I thought it was interesting, pretty unique and the story was very well done. It made me laugh, it made me cry, and then it made me cry some more.

Read this one. Even if you aren't a dog person. Read it. Just keep a hanky handy.

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More The Art of Racing in the Rain:... reviews
review by . April 03, 2010
I would have had no problem giving this book 5 stars if the constant, detailed descriptions of car racing had been toned down. As a woman who is not a fan of car racing, I went from bored to irritated to downright annoyed as the story lapsed into page after page of racing talk on a regular basis. I GET that car racing was being used as an metaphor for life, etc., etc., but I don't have to be hammered over the head with it, especially when it is a subject in which I have no interest.    …
review by . August 10, 2010
Meet Enzo, the story's narrator. He's smart, loveable and he loves to watch car racing. He tells you the story of himself, Denny, Eve and Zoe. You'll laugh, you'll cry, but mostly you'll marvel at what an excellent job that Stein does writing as the family dog.      That's right- Enzo is the beloved family pet. And he's quite complex, emotional and above all else, loyal. The relationship between Denny and …
review by . July 12, 2010
Enzo loves nothing more than racing around a racetrack with his master, up-and-coming race car driver Denny Swift. Enzo has been with Denny since puppyhood and the two share a heartwarming relationship. Enzo is Denny's best friend and confidante and Enzo dreams of one day returning to Earth as a human with hopes of meeting Denny in that form.      The book begins on the eve of Enzo's death, and from that point backtracks to the life shared by a caring man and his dog. …
Quick Tip by . August 29, 2010
Loved the book. It's a funny and touching story at the same time. I don't think you'll ever look at your canine companion the same way again after reading this book.
Quick Tip by . July 01, 2010
EVERYONE should read this book!
Quick Tip by . June 16, 2010
THis is a great book!
Quick Tip by . June 15, 2010
loved the narrative from the dogs point of view.
review by . April 13, 2010
"If animals could talk", wonder no more! This novel will share with you the love, caring, sensitivity, and understanding of man's best friend, his or her dog. Garth Stein portrays how the dog Enzo makes its master Eddy sensitive to the cruelties, injustices, and selfishness that humans do to each other when Enzo protects Eddy in crucial situations.  The novel portrays a love affair between a human and his animal that people who love animals can relate to and enjoy reading. The novel also …
review by . February 21, 2010
Pros: The wise voice of Enzo, the dog; witty, clear writing style     Cons: Overly dramatic storyline; weak ending     The Bottom Line: A fun quick read; just don't expect a great story     On this rainy afternoon, let me race to tell you about Garth Stein's novel Racing in the Rain. First, we meet Enzo, a very wise, elderly dog. Although Enzo does not speak, he is highly intelligent, has learned a great deal from his interactions with …
review by . September 27, 2009
A story narrated by a dog named Enzo? The cutesy factor, no doubt, has a lot to do with why this book is so popular and well-liked. One might even be inclined to pooh-pooh it as a contrivance to charm the reader, but this book has much more to offer than mere cutesiness.    Enzo, the dog, is lovable and deliriously funny. He describes his life with his master Denny Swift, a race car driver. Denny's forte is his ability to maneuver a race car in the rain better than any other …
About the reviewer
Candy Beauchamp ()
Ranked #591
I'm the owner of OffAssist, a virtual bookkeeping company. I like what I do, most of the time ;) - My husband and I got married in '93, we have 2 kids born in 2000 and 2003. I truly love my life. … more
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About this book


If you've ever wondered what your dog is thinking, Stein's third novel offers an answer. Enzo is a lab terrier mix plucked from a farm outside Seattle to ride shotgun with race car driver Denny Swift as he pursues success on the track and off. Denny meets and marries Eve, has a daughter, Zoë, and risks his savings and his life to make it on the professional racing circuit. Enzo, frustrated by his inability to speak and his lack of opposable thumbs, watches Denny's old racing videos, coins koanlike aphorisms that apply to both driving and life, and hopes for the day when his life as a dog will be over and he can be reborn a man. When Denny hits an extended rough patch, Enzo remains his most steadfast if silent supporter. Enzo is a reliable companion and a likable enough narrator, though the string of Denny's bad luck stories strains believability. Much like Denny, however, Stein is able to salvage some dignity from the over-the-top drama.(May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.--This text refers to theHardcoveredition.
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ISBN-10: 0061537969
ISBN-13: 978-0061537967
Author: Garth Stein
Genre: Literature & Fiction, Nonfiction
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
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