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review 2018-04-11 02:12
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
The Art of Racing in the Rain - Garth Stein,Christopher Welch,Christopher Evan Welch
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

Oh my heart! There is just something about books about dogs that gives them the ability to touch on every single one of my emotions. I am going to let you in on a little secret. I love dogs. A lot. I like my three dogs more than I like most people and would love a chance to spend one moment in their heads so this story really appealed to me on every level. I loved this book when I read it years ago and I loved it just as much when I listened to the audio for a re-read. It was a lot of fun to spend a few hours in Enzo's mind.

I was really kind of surprised by how much of the book I actually remembered from my initial read years ago but it seems that this story had really stayed with me over the years. I loved Enzo's voice. Did he sound like a dog all of the time? Probably not. I mean I think if I were to hear one of my dog's internal monologues there would be a lot of requests for snacks and ball playing and not a lot else. Who knows maybe I am wrong and my dogs are pondering the meaning of life but I honestly doubt it. Enzo is a bit of a philosopher and hopes to eventually get his chance as a human. Nothing really gets past Enzo and he seems to figure what is going on in his house before the humans do.

This isn't just a book about a dog. It is really a book about a family that is told by the dog. Denny is Enzo's human and he has some really high points in the book and some really low one. With everything that Denny has to deal with in this book, it is amazing that he is able to stay so positive through it all. The one constant in the story is the bond between these two. We get to see Denny adopt Enzo as a puppy and then go through a lot of milestones together.

This was the first time that I have listened to Christopher Evan Welch narrate a book and I thought he did a great job with this one. This was a rather emotional story at times and I thought that he really was able to pack a lot of feeling into his reading. He used a very pleasant reading voice and read the story with perfect pacing. I would definitely listen to his work again in the future.

I would recommend this book to others. I probably felt just about every emotion while listening to this one. The only part of the book that I wasn't a huge fan of was the epilogue because it was just a little too much for me and didn't feel necessary. I do love the book and will probably read it again in a few years.

Initial Thoughts
Oh my heart. This was a re-read for me and I think it might have broken my heart just a little bit more this time around. I may bump my rating up to 5 stars after I have some time to fully process everything. I actually remember more of the story than I thought I did. This isn't just a story about a dog. This is a story about a man and his family told from the dog's point of view. There were people that I hated in this story and others that I loved. I thought that the narrator did a terrific job with this story.

Book source: Audible purchase


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review 2017-04-23 09:48
The Art of Racing in the Rain - Garth Stein
The Art of Racing in the Rain - Garth Stein

Enzo is not like other dogs, he loves race car driving, loves watching t.v and is convinced that he will be reincarnated as a man after he dies. On the eve of his death, Enzo looks back over his life, chronicling his adventures with his master, Denny and the highs and lows of their time together.

I loved so much about this book but most of all I loved Enzo, he is so loyal to Denny you love him for that alone. His insights into human life are humorous and sometimes it seems he's the only one who sees situations clearly.

The story itself was very easy to get lost in and I found myself cheering characters on, becoming teary when tragedy struck or angry when Denny was being pushed to his absolute limit. This read highlighted not only the best of human (and dog) behaviour but also the ugliest. I laughed out loud when Enzo got his revenge on one of the grandparents, be warned that feeding a dog a spicy hot pepper will have serious repercussions for your carpet.

Overall this was a fantastic read; engaging, thoughtful, realistic with wonderful characters and one hell of a dog. Be warned though, you'll need lots of tissues.

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review 2016-08-25 00:00
The art of racing in the rain
The art of racing in the rain - Garth Stein First of all, the initial description of the book that I read said NOTHING about this being heart-wrenching or a tear-jerker. If it had, I would have better prepared myself for this book.

It was a beautiful story that made me happy, sad, angry. I laughed at a few parts, but mostly, this was a very melancholy tale. Enzo was an amazingly smart dog and living life through his eyes made me wonder (even more than I previously did) what goes through my dog's head most days.

I loved and hated Enzo's family. It was so sweet and very believable how much Denny loved his dog, because I love my dog that much and I'm not even a 'dog' person! And the things Denny went through... Ugh there were a few times when I wanted to punch Denny, but mostly I wanted to do bodily harm to his wife and in-laws. And somehow, even though he was only a dog, Enzo usually ended up saving the day.

As mad as I was to read the opening paragraphs and find out that this was not a whimsical tale of life through a dog's eyes, but the flash back of his life during his last days (which they warn you about in the description on the back of the book so this is NOT technically a spoiler) I could not put this book down. I ended up taking it to the beach and sitting under an umbrella next to my hubby, I finished it. I was bawling. If you read this, keep tissues or a hanky with you! But you should read this.
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review 2016-03-15 15:52
The Art of Racing in the Rain
The Art of Racing in the Rain - Garth Stein

The Art of Racing in the Rain


Garth Stein, 2006



Enzo the dog is nearing the end of his life. He's lived with Denny, a racecar driver, since he was a puppy and he's seen and done quite a lot. He also watches a lot of TV during the day, so he's learned things, like how he will come back as a human in his next life, and he's been preparing for it. This book is about Enzo taking stock of his life to this point and remember everything he's been through with Denny and his family.



I put off reading this book for a long time. I had heard really great things about it, that it was an amazing book, a bit heart-wrenching, but really well-written. I even bought it for my Nook. But I didn't read it... The concept was just too weird for me. Was I really interested in reading a book told from the point of view of the family dog? But I finally read it... And now I'm kicking myself that I didn't read it sooner.


This book was so well done. Enzo has an almost human point of view - he understands nearly everything that a human would (a few things go over his head), and even sometimes understands more than his humans do. He talks like a philosopher a lot of the time, but not a pretentious one. Just one who is sure that he will come back after he dies, and he wants to be sure that he learns as much as he can in the hope that he will remember. 


The human characters in this book were a little less developed than Enzo was, but they were still very interesting to read about. Denny, of course, is the one that Enzo is closest to, so we get more insight on him, but I really enjoyed reading about Denny's wife and child as well, and I found Enzo's impressions of the secondary characters mostly pretty entertaining. 


The one warning I can give is this: the ending is a bit heart-breaking. We know from the first few pages that Enzo is dying; the book is actually him looking back on his life. So the ending isn't surprising, but it is a little bit of a tear-jerker. A few events that happy throughout the book tear at the heart a bit, too, so just be careful about reading this book in public. 


This is not a long book - just over 300 pages - but it packs a punch. This is one that I would heartily recommend to almost anyone. Just be prepared to have your heartstrings tugged a little bit. I'm glad I finally made myself read this one. Totally worth it.

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review 2016-01-04 19:51
The Art of Racing in the Rain
The Art of Racing in the Rain - Garth Stein


what a great story ! and it's all from a dog's perspective.
So unique, so touching and fascinating. ♥

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