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

Even cat people will love The Art of Racing in the Rain. Sure, it’s narrated by a dog named Enzo. But it’s about family and companionship and the friends we will always carry around in our hearts. Especially if one of those friends is a dog.

I’m a dog person so I found it easy to relate to Enzo and his view of the world. My dog is 13 now and she still acts like a crazed puppy most of the time. I almost didn’t want to read this book because of my dog’s age, but I’m glad I did.

We meet Enzo at the end of his life so we already know it’s going to be sad. Through most of the book, he’s looking back on his life with Denny, a race car driver. Enzo adores Denny and stands by him while he goes through too many hardships that would probably make most people give up. He gives Denny strength when he needs it and he’s a constant friend. Denny talks to him as a friend and Enzo is at times frustrated that he can’t talk back simply because of the shape of his mouth. But they still find ways to communicate.

While looking back, Enzo looks forward to his next life. He knows he will be a man because he saw a documentary that said dogs will be reincarnated as men if they’re ready. Enzo is ready. In his next life, he wants to find Denny, shake his hand, and tell him Enzo said hello.

I expected this book to be sad but there’s joy in it too. Enzo knows how to live and love. He appreciates as much as possible, as dogs tend to do. Also, I love the ending.

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18 thoughts on “Book Review: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

    • Thank you for getting me to read this one first. I guess even the joy is the kind that makes you cry, but I loved it too. Don’t worry about the award thing – it took me forever to do mine.

  1. It sounds like a good book…..but I’m so soft-hearted when it comes to animals…I’m almost afraid to read it. I’ve got about 10 books stacked ahead of it, maybe I’ll give it a go after I finish those!
    Your review is great…nicely done!

  2. Ahh…. I’ve been wanting to read this but have post-poned it because of the “Cry-Factor.”

    I’m so emotional towards my furbabies… how much (quantitatively) did you cry?

    • hahah – that’s a tough one – I guess through about 10% of it. But I was prepared for it so maybe that affects the amount of crying time. There’s lots of joy in it too! It’s worth it. Maybe just don’t read it in public. 🙂

      • Now that I think about it, it was probably more like 20% since I cried at the beginning, at the end, and during a few parts in between. 🙂 Through most of it though, I was entertained by Enzo’s insights and his view of the world. I don’t want to give anything away but my dog is 13 and I’m glad I read it.

  3. sounds like a great read as long as the kleenex are nearby…dog and cat lover, I’d enjoy the book
    thanks for stopping by and commenting on my blog, really enjoying yours! 🙂

  4. I’m a dog lover too, not so much with cats but they’re ok. I’ve been looking for a good book to read lately and your review on this book got me excited. I hope I can pick up a copy of this one soon.

  5. Sheila, my son (16) read this and asked me to read it, which I did, and it is such a wonderful story. Your review is perfect! I, too, am a dog lover, and our dog of almost 11 years passed away last November. We’re ready now to adopt again and just today, we met a new possibility, who we are going to foster starting Tuesday, for the week. We’ll see how it goes, but I am so excited, just like a kid in a candy store. His name is Copper, 18 mos. chocolate lab…I hope he works out at home, too, because he was adorable today. Anyway, I apologize for the long post, but you can tell I’m excited! Thanks for your wonderful review and I hope others enjoy this book, too! xx

    • I’m so happy for you! I hope everything works out with the new puppy and that I’ll get to see some pictures. 🙂 I’m sorry to hear about your dog too. It’s so hard when we have to lose them, but always good to find more to love. xoxo

  6. Pingback: My Favorite Reads of the Year…so far « The Edmonton Tourist

  7. I can’t say how much I loved this book. The writing is so witty and original. I find myself thinking about the characters long after I’ve finished. A beautiful and touching story.

  8. I loved this book, and your review of it is very good. I especially like your comment, “Enzo knows how to live and love.” So true! Which is why it was a great read. Thanks.

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