The Art of Racing in the Rain (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Shannon's Staff Pick (September 2014): The ultimate story of unconditional love and compassion for family, told from the perspective of Enzo, a lovable and philosophical dog who possesses an incredible insight into the human condition and lives for the thrill of competitive racing. Enzo tells the story of his adored owner Denny,his young family, and Denny’s budding race car career. Stein writes a novel that contemplates loyalty, love, and old age in this touching and funny book that ponders all aspects of life. — From Shannon's Staff Picks

Garth Stein’s narrator, Enzo, has a unique problem when it comes to communication with the other characters in this novel. The problem is, Enzo is a dog. His tongue, while adept at lapping water, will not form words, much to Enzo’s frustration. His love for his race-car driver master is unflinching and heartwarming, even in the face of tragedy, of which there is much. If you love racing, or have a furry four-legged friend, this book will have you alternately crying and laughing out loud.

  • Recommended by Scott

— From December Staff Picks For Everyone This Holiday Season


The New York Times bestseller, now available in paperback. A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of a dog's efforts to hold together his family in the face of a divisive custody battle.

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.

Praise For…

“Fans of Marley & Me, rejoice.”
-Entertainment Weekly

“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...meant for each other never really comes to an end.”
-Jodi Picoult

“The Art of Racing in The Rain has everything: love, tragedy, redemption, danger, and--most especially--the canine narrator Enzo. This old soul of a dog has much to teach us about being human.”
-Sara Gruen, Author of Water for Elephants

“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.”
-Wally Lamb, Author of She's Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True

“One of those stories that may earn its place next to Richard Bach’s ‘Jonathan Livingston Seagull,’ Paulo Coelho’s ‘The Alchemist,’ and Yann Martel’s ‘Life of Pi.’”
-Portland Oregonian

Product Details
ISBN: 9780061537967
ISBN-10: 0061537969
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
Publication Date: June 9th, 2009
Pages: 336
Language: English