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The Art of Racing in the Rain Paperback – Jun 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Paperbacks; Reprint edition (Jun. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061537969
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061537967
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.9 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (336 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,254,894 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Praise for The Art of Racing in The Rain:

‘The Art of Racing in the Rain is the perfect book for anyone who knows that some of our best friends walk beside us on four legs; that compassion isn't only for humans; and that the relationship between two souls who are meant for each other never really comes to an end. Every now and then, I'm lucky enough to read a novel I can't stop thinking about: this is one of them.’ Jodi Piccoult

‘The Art of Racing in The Rain has everything: love, tragedy, redemption, danger, and–best of all–the canine narrator Enzo. This old soul of a dog has much to teach to us about being human. I loved this book.’ Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants

‘The Art of Racing in the Rain takes you on an unforgettable journey through another kind of mind, through the eyes – and nose – of a dog. I found it fascinating.’ Temple Grandin, author of Animals in Translation

Praise for How Evan Broke His Head:

"An engrossing family drama." Publishers Weekly

"A powerful story" Seattle Times

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

From Publishers Weekly
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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. B. A. Bostock VINE VOICE on 10 July 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This hilarious yet moving story has all of the epic elements of life, death, love, betrayal and loss but what makes it unique is that it is narrated by Enzo, the family dog. From his unique canine perspective Enzo describes the idyllic life he leads with his owners, Denny and Eve, until it is devastated by illness. Enzo, wise beyond his doggy years - which of course are seven of ours - describes the events that unfold as the family tries to cope with Eve's cancer diagnosis and the fall-out from it. The title is a reference to Denny's passion for Formula One driving which has many similarities to life itself. If you love dogs, cars or the concept of triumph over adversity this book will tick your boxes. It's a cross between Love Story and Marley and Me with some Kramer v Kramer thrown in along the way. I read it in one long train journey and loved every second.
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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Gemmeg on 23 May 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It is impossible to read "The Art of Racing in the Rain" without feeling emotion. Beautifully written, this is a heart-warming and gut-wrenching story of incredible strength of character against all odds.

Written from the point of view of the intelligent and empathic family dog, Enzo ("a good looking dog...a smart dog"), this is a story like no other. Genuinely impossible to put down, I actually resented being distracted from reading it from cover to cover in one sitting, and desperately looked forward to the blissful hours I managed to steal in order to have this delicious tale wash over me once more.

I am glad, however, that I did not take this book everywhere I went, instead choosing to complete it in the comfort of my own home. The strong - and sometimes surprisingly raw - emotion that this book often evokes in the reader, certainly caused me to shed tears on more that several occassions, as well as gasps of frustration and sadness at the characters' plights.

Completely believable, this is one of those books that gets under your skin. You will find it impossible to keep it to yourself. If you are reading this review and shaking your head, saying to yourself, "ah, but I'm not really a dog lover", then don't be put off. The fact that the narrator of the story is a dog only occassionally comes into the conversation - and a conversation it is between us and this highly intelligent and emotive animal, who wishes he were human and is eternally frustrated that he is not.

It is not a story about a dog, it is a story of human lives struck with joy, tragedy, failure, success, setbacks and ultimate triumph over incredible adversity. It is a story of life and death, and how the two are inextricably linked together in all our lives.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By J. Price on 16 Sept. 2008
Format: Hardcover
I have lived in households that have included dogs my whole life. I have loved and bonded with a few through the years, including my present companion, a robust Chocolate Lab. I was glad to discover this small masterpiece.

First of all, I love the title. The Art of Racing in the Rain, told from the perspective of a dog named Enzo (after Ferrari) is a moving tale of love, loss and betrayal -- of overcoming impossible barriers and ultimate triumph. Enzo's master, Denny Swift, is a talented race car driver. He is also husband to Eve, father to Zoe, and this core family is Enzo's Universe. Enzo has gained great wisdom and insight from his master and from watching TV, including among other things racing videos and the Weather Channel. Enzo tells the story of Denny's life with honesty and insight. Through Enzo's eyes we find a hero in Denny, a good man who doesn't look at the wall as his car (and his life) spins out of control, but at the track. This is perhaps my favorite racing metaphor on life: that Denny does not meet the wall, but regains the track, even when he is racing blind. For Eve, Denny's dying wife, I feel incredible compassion. Eve, so afraid to be alone she asks Enzo to stay with her through the night and protect her, then whispers "thank you" to her protector on surviving the darkness. Young Zoe is her father's spirit, a tender, resilient child who completes the family. This novel keeps is eye on the next turn and remains on the track.

What struck me in particular in The Art of Racing in the Rain was the great character development that emerged through Enzo's straightforward reporting.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By SJSmith TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 26 May 2008
Format: Paperback
This is simply the most amazing book and is within my top ten of 2008 so far. I'm very grateful that I've had the opportunity to read this through Amazon Vine and I don't think I've gushed about a Vine product in this manner before! It's absolutely amazing and when I say get the tissues ready I'm not even talking about a specific event, I just found it all so heart-warming and a fantastic reflection on life itself that every now and then I had big fat tears rolling down my cheeks at Enzo's observations.

There's not much product information available on Amazon and the question from the inside jacket is enough to get you thinking, "Have you ever looked at a dog and wondered whether there might be more to him than meets the eye?" well in the case of Enzo there definitely is. Through Enzo we explore morality, philosophy, sociology, psychology and what it is to be human. You don't forget at all that you are reading the book from the perspective of Enzo and Garth Stein has written this into it so well - particularly all the bits about monkeys, they did have me laughing.

Enzo is adorable - that's coming from a cat person rather than a dog person as well! It shows how much we are a nation of animal lovers and I could hear how I talk to my cat in the way that other characters talked to Enzo. I now wonder what's going through her mind when I'm chatting away to her!! The plot takes you through some difficult times for Denny - a semi-professional racing car driver - and his family (to which I include Enzo!). Enzo's thoughts and opinions take what is somewhere between an outsider's perspective, mixed with a child-like attitude in order to formulate a very sensible solution.

It's a highly readable novel.
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