Author(s): Garth Stein
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, Zo , 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 Zo 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 is not a new book (2008), but one I had not come across until it turned up as a book club read. And I’m so glad it did! Enzo the dog is an unlikely protagonist, but after reading this book he is my new hero. I had no idea of what this book was about apart from the fact that it featured a dog. I was hooked on the first page and couldn’t put it down. Enzo tells the story of living with Denny and his family and the joys and tribulations of life. This is a marvellous book - I have already bought another copy which is it is on its way to a friend in Christchurch and another copy will be going to my son for Christmas. The Art of Racing in the Rain is filled with wonderfully wry observations on the human condition. Enzo is marvellous and who couldn’t love a character who lists George Clooney as his fourth actor favourite because... he’s exceptionally clever at helping cure children of diseases on reruns of ER, and because he looks a little like me around the eyes.- Marie
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
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 was described as "brimming with intensity" by the L.A. Weekly. Garth worked as a documentary filmmaker 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 eighteen years, Garth returned to Seattle, where he currently lives with his family and their dog, Comet.