Book Review: “The Art of Racing in the Rain” by Garth Stein

Amber has an open mind and thankfully, she allows me to read books about dogs.  I would have hated to have missed “The Art of Racing in the Rain.”  I highly recommend this wonderful book.

Synopsis:  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.

But don’t take these words for it  – watch Enzo tell you himself:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZ0CTcU0Fd0

I actually think that both the synopsis and the trailer sell this book short.  In addition to being heartwarming, gut-wrenching, and ultimately uplifting, there is also a deeply spiritual component to this book.   For me, the most memorable part of the book (and there are so many of them)  was Enzo’s mantra “That which you manifest is before you.”  We all create our own reality, and I particulary enjoyed having this concept presented from a dog’s point of view.

For more good reading, check out my Reading List.

4 Comments on Book Review: “The Art of Racing in the Rain” by Garth Stein

  1. Ingrid
    June 1, 2009 at 1:13 pm (10 years ago)

    Tammy, I think animals have so much to teach us, and Enzo is definitely one of the more advanced teachers!

    Michaelsean, thanks for the link to Garth Stein’s Twitter account, I will definitely follow him.

    Reply
  2. michaelsean
    June 1, 2009 at 1:04 pm (10 years ago)

    This was one of my favorite books of the last year. And I think you are right, the spirtual aspect of the book is under-played. The author has a great Twitter if you are into that.

    http://www.twitter.com/garthstein

    Reply
  3. Tammy
    June 1, 2009 at 11:11 am (10 years ago)

    Thanks for the review! This sounds like a really wonderful book. I’m guessing Enzo has many lessons we could all stand to learn!

    Reply

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  1. […] one in a while.  I would have hated to miss One Good Dog.  In the tradition of Marley and Me and The Art of Racing in the Rain, this is a moving book about how a dog changes a human’s life for the […]

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