The Art of Racing in the Rain: A Novel Reprint Edition, Kindle Edition
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- Length: 338 pages
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
- Page Flip: Enabled
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From the Back Cover
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.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
- ASIN : B0017SWPXY
- Publisher : HarperCollins e-books; Reprint edition (March 17, 2009)
- Publication date : March 17, 2009
- Language: : English
- File size : 3517 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 338 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #20,994 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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As a rule I avoid sad dog things. Not because I don't like dogs, but because I love them. For me, a sad situation with a dog is 1000x worse than with a person, and I just don't have the emotional capability to keep it together. But a friend of mine recommended this book multiple times over the past year, so I finally bite the bullet and read it.
And let me tell you, I regret nothing. This book was amazing. I cried in the first chapter and could not stop reading. The voice of this book is crystal clear. It's wonderful to hear a life told from a dog's perspective and Enzo is so much more than just a dog. He is a confident, a shoulder, a protector, and a prisoner. I love him. I love Garth Stein for doing this.
The one disclaimer I have, don't read this in public. I finished this book in an airport and thought TSA was going to have to get involved. So many feels.
This book has a similarly predictable ending. But along the way, there were countless chapters that preened breathlessly about auto racing stars and pontificated with litanies of Hallmark platitudes. I ended up skipping them.
The story arc is ridiculously dull: you know what’s going to happen with the wife, you know what’s going to happen with the dog, you know what’s going to happen with the grandparents, you know what’s going to happen with the criminal case. As a divorce lawyer, I found the whole custody/support case storyline just plain dull.
As for the voice of the dog - he sounds like a highly educated adult male. He says that is because he watches TV and has educated himself so that he is ready to go to the next life reborn as a human. A rehash of A Dog’s Purpose, only without anywhere near as much affection.
The animal abuse in the pages of this book was particularly horrifying. The dog’s dewclaws are removed without anesthesia. The dog is left alone for three days without food and water, his owner strikes him in the face, he’s left alone bored out of his mind.
After reading this book, I spent the following day giving my dog extra special attention to make sure she never feels like poor Enzo.
I will never understand how this book out to be such a big deal. I will not be seeing the movie.
Its only saving grace is it didn’t take very long to read, but that’s partly because I skipped through the endless homilies, the word repetition (I must’ve read it about that Mongolian documentary five or six times at least) and the incredibly boring racing descriptions.
Enzo spends most of his days watching and learning from television, gleaning what he can about his owner's greatest passion, race car driving — and relating it to life. Enzo eventually plays a key role in Denny's child-custody battle with his in-laws, and distills his observations of the human condition in the mantra "that which you manifest is before you." Enzo helps Denny throughout his life, through his ups and downs.
- Enzo's ability to break down life into a series of good or bad decisions allows the reader a simpler look at life. For Enzo, there doesn't seem to be a gray area in decision making. It's either good, or bad and that will determine the proceeding sequence of events.
- Denny's perseverance (with the help of Enzo) in achieving his goals. Without revealing anything, it's outrageous the amount of crap Denny was put through in this novel and, while he had moments of serious doubt and surrender, he worked tirelessly to keep his head above water.
- Many of Enzo's observations of people are on par with today's realities. Two of my favorites are:
1.) People aren't always interested in the conversation unless it can be about them. Enzo commented on the realization that people will listen to a conversation until a specific comment is made that they can then use to gain control of the conversation and talk about themselves. This has happened to me quite often, although the person trying to overhaul the conversation always seems conveniently oblivious to their rudeness.
2.) People aren't strongly capable of dealing with, or talking about, serious situations as they occur to others. Some examples could be when deaths happen or when family members become dangerously ill. Others don't often know how to approach or interact the individual directly dealing with the issue, leaving the conversation uncomfortable and quiet and not offering much support to the person that needs it.
- Throughout the novel, the mantra "The car goes where the eyes go!" occurs as a positive way of reminding Denny, and Enzo that to achieve what you want you have to keep your eyes on the prize. Also, it serves as a good reminder that if you eyes stray towards the negative outcome of something that you are likely to venture that way.
- Enzo is a very aware and intuitive pup in this novel, definitely deserving of becoming a human in his next life. Also, he was pretty funny and sought revenge in the best of ways.
- At certain times throughout the book I would get tired of the race car analogies that Enzo used.
- "The Evil Twins" aka Denny's in-laws. I would be surprised to meet a reader that didn't finish this novel absolutely hating these two characters after all of the hardships that they had Denny endure, just to achieve their own ends. Absolutely deplorable characters, which is a credit to the author for creating characters that a reader can come to hate.
Overall, I would recommend this novel to any, and all readers. The amount of drama that occurs in this novel is entertaining and horrific at the same time, with plenty of positive morals that are littered throughout. PLUS, there's a dog in it!
I actually cried reading this book, and I am not a very sensitive or emotional person. I bawled like a baby. The book has so many happy moments, but the tragedies will break your heart. I like how this is from the viewpoint of the dog, and how he sees everything.
A dog named Enzo is owned by a man wanting to be a professional racecar driver. Enzo sees his owner go through marriage, life, death, legal issues, a career change, etc. Enzo shows you, through his dog eyes/brain, what it is like being there through all those moments. The book is not slow at all, has truly hilarious moments, and will make you want to hug your pets over and over. I am in love with this book.
Top reviews from other countries
Through Enzo's eyes we learn so much about human nature, how each individual deals with adversity and how focus, grit and determination can ultimately triumph against apparently insurmountable odds, especially where love is involved, as it is in many forms in this story.
The author draws wonderful parallels between the skills and focus a racing driver needs to win the race, particularly when 'racing in the rain' and how those same skills and being focussed on the outcome, can keep us from skidding out of control in real life. He makes you believe that if you want a thing badly enough then anything is possible.
This is a story about love and the determination to succeed when the chips are down. You don't have to be a dog lover to appreciate that, or to enjoy this thoroughly engaging book.
"That which we manifest is before us; we are the creators of our own destiny. Be it though intention or ignorance, our successes and our failures have been brought on by none other than ourselves"
That a way to look a life and to pursue it through this book, through the eyes of someone we all love in our home and our lives. Someone that gives us comfort when we dont even realise we need it. Someone we call a pet, but is really another member of our family.
If you read one book this year, make it this.