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

Art of Racing

This book is one of my favorite books, and has a wonderful audio book as well. I recently listened to the audio during Bout of Books, but had read the book several years ago. It’s an enchanting tale. While the story itself does not seem to stand out at first glance, Enzo, the narrator, is what makes the book worth reading, re-reading, and adoring, and what makes the story understated yet wholly original.

The story follows Denny, a race car driver, his wife Eve, and their daughter Zoe. It is a story of ups and downs, illness, and custody battles. But more than anything, it’s the story of a dog and his person. Enzo, amazingly articulate and philosophical for a dog, is quite enjoyable as a narrator. He narrates the story from old age, but spares no details, even making some up when he’s not allowed to go certain places. He tells us about how Denny picked him out at a farm, what it was like when Denny found Eve, and all of his feelings about Zoe.

Enzo has learned a lot in his years as a dog, mostly from listening to Denny and watching TV. He is philosophical. He knows deep in his bones that he is meant to someday be reincarnated as a man. Since he firmly believes this, he uses those around him to learn how to be a good one when the time comes. His commentary is heartfelt, infused with his deep and abiding love for his people, especially Denny. He’s also funny, with his diatribes against squirrels and stuffed animals. He will make you laugh out loud, and he will make you cry. Inevitably, though, you will love him and be in awe of the overwhelming bond between pet and owner, no matter what.

Having recently listened to the audiobook, I can tell you it is well worth your time. The narration from Enzo’s point of view really makes him come alive, and the narrator is also good enough at mimicking multiple voices to make conversations engaging and characters recognizable. I will also tell you I did laugh out loud, and I sat in my car sobbing while driving to and from work at times. Even if you’ve already read this book, the audio is worth the re-read.

Also, I just realized the author has written some children’s books about Enzo, and I will be checking those out!

Recommend: Yes, especially for animal lovers & pet owners. Gives you a clue as to what your pet may be thinking!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars (both text & audio)

More Information: Amazon, Goodreads, Garth Stein’s Webpage

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