- Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
- Format: Paperback | 320 pages
- Dimensions: 135mm x 203mm x 25mm | 295g
- Publication date: 2 June 2008
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 0007284764
- ISBN 13: 9780007284764
- Sales rank: 605,124
A heart-warming and inspirational tale in which Enzo, a loyal family dog, tells the story of his human family, how they nearly fell apart, and what he did to bring them back together. Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: he thinks and feels in nearly human ways. He has educated himself by watching extensive television, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver. Through Denny, Enzo realizes that racing is a metaphor: that by applying the techniques a driver would apply on the race track, one can successfully navigate the ordeals and travails one encounters in life. Enzo relates the story of his human family through his eyes, sharing the tragedies and triumphs that Denny and his wife and child. In the end, despite what he sees as his own limitations as a dog, Enzo comes through heroically to preserve the Swift family. The Art of Racing in the Rain is a testament to a man's life, given by his dog. But it is also a testament to the dog, himself. Though Enzo cannot speak, he understands everything that happens around him as he bears witness to his master's ordeal.His enforced muteness only refines his listening ability, and allows him to understand many of life's nuances that are lost on most humans. With humour, sharp observation, and a courageous heart, Enzo guides the reader to the bittersweet yet ultimately satisfying conclusion: there are no limitations to what we can achieve, if we truly know where we want to be.
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Garth Stein is the author of How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets, which won a 2006 Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Book Award, and Raven Stole the Moon. He has also written a full-length play, Brother Jones, which received its first production in Los Angeles in 2005, and was described as "brimming with intensity" by L.A. Weekly. After receiving his B.A. from Columbia College, and his M.F.A. in film from Columbia University, School of the Arts, Garth worked as a documentary film maker for eight years, and directed, produced or co-produced several award winning films. After spending his childhood in Seattle and then living in New York City for 18 years, Garth returned to Seattle, where he currently lives with his family and their dog, Comet.
By George Polley 08 Oct 2010
Every so often I come across a book that is so compelling that it pulls me in such a way that I am part of the story, even when the subject of the story - auto racing - is a subject that know nothing about and am not in the slightest way interested in. Had novelist Kathleen McKenna (The Wedding Gift) not practically demanded that I read it, I would probably have passed it up. I'm glad I took her advice. The Art of Racing in the Rain has become one of my all time favorite books.
Simply put, The Art of Racing in the Rain is about Denny, his wife Eve, their little daughter Zoë, Eve's wealthy parents Maxwell and Trish, and Denny's dog Enzo who narrates the story. But it's much, much more than that. It's about a man's struggle to become what he's always dreamt of being, a Formula One racecar driver. It's about falling in love, marrying and seeing your first child born. It's about sickness and watching your wife die from brain cancer. And it's about struggling to overcome resentment and defeat as her death threatens to tear your family apart, to crush you and steal your lifelong dream.
Ultimately it's also about much more than that. It's about triumphing in the face of an implacable enemy who is dead set on destroying you to get his way. In that sense, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a parable of all struggles for justice and the triumph of morality over selfishness and greed. And it is a parable of the triumph of a man's dream, and of forgiveness.
"There is no dishonor in losing the race," a friend says; "There is only dishonor in not racing because you are afraid."
If you haven't yet read The Art of Racing in the Rain, go out, buy yourself a copy, sit down and begin an adventure that you will never forget.
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 "I savored Garth Stein's The Art of Racing in the Rain for many reasons: a dog who speaks, the thrill of competitive racing, a heart-tugging storyline, and -- best of all -- the fact that it is a meditation on humility and hope in the face of despair. Since finishing this engagingly unique novel, I've found myself staring at my own dog, thinking, Hmm, I wonder ..." Wally Lamb, Author of She's Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True Praise for How Evan Broke His Head: "An engrossing family drama." Publishers Weekly "A powerful story!" Seattle Times "A compelling tale." Seattle Post-Intelligencer "Funny, bewitching, observant." Portland Oregonian
Stein (How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets, 2005, etc.) uses a dog as narrator to clever effect in this tear-jerker about an aspiring race-car driver who suffers more woes than Job but never mistreats his dog.Lab mix Enzo believes he is different from other dogs, that he has a human soul in a dog body. Enzo is frustrated that he can use only "gestures" to communicate with his beloved owner Denny. Denny works in a Seattle auto-repair shop to earn money to race. Enzo watches racing channels on TV, soaking up facts and lore. Dog and man are happy in their bachelor Eden. Enter Eve. She and Enzo are wary at first. Then she goes into labor while Denny's away racing and she keeps Enzo beside her. Enzo adores the baby, Zoe, but he soon smells that something is off with Eve. By the time Zoe is a toddler, Eve has increasingly bad headaches but refuses to see a doctor until it's too late. Now come the travails. During Eve's painful, lingering death, her parents, who have never approved of Denny, loom increasingly large. When Eve dies, they sue for permanent custody of Zoe. Their case is weak until Denny is charged with rape: After a reunion of Eve's family shortly before her death, Denny gave a ride home to Eve's 15-year-old cousin, who attempted to seduce him; he rebuffed her but Enzo was the only witness. Eve's evil parents are behind the trumped-up charges. Noble Denny keeps fighting for Zoe, living by his mantra, "That which you manifest is before you." When he almost buckles, Enzo provides some rather unique assistance.Pointedly inspirational. (Kirkus Reviews)