Book Review: The Art of Racing in the Rain

The Art of Racing in the Rain
By: Garth Stein
Published By: Harper Collins
Publication Date: June 1, 2006
Page Count: 321
Source: personal copy
Audience/Genre: Adult Fiction
 Buy it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Indiebound.

I love this book so much. I love it because Enzo has more humanity and insight than most human protagonists. I love it because Garth Stein has managed to craft a completely believable and engrossing novel based on a wacky premise. I love it because the racing seems to have so little to do with the plot, yet it has everything to do with the plot. I love it because I don't follow racing, but that didn't matter. I love it because I love dogs. And I love it because I love all of the human characters Stein created, too. Seriously, this is one of my all-time favorites, not just of 2015.

Enzo is a dog who believes he should really have been human. And at the very least, that he will be a human in his next life. He garners most of his information about the people in the world from TV and his human, Denny, a semi-professional race car driver. And it is through his knowledge (or lack thereof) of the human condition and his relationships with Denny, Denny's wife, and their daughter, that Enzo shows us what being a human is really all about. (Hint: To do it well, it's not that far off from being a dog.)

Enzo and Denny's relationship is the centerpiece of the novel, but it is Enzo's observations and philosopher's soul that steals the show. Told largely as a flashback and entirely from Enzo's point of view, the book deals with love and death and faith and commitment, along with every other human emotion from every corner of the spectrum. Equal parts heart-wrenching and heart-warming, the story is one that left me feeling completely satisfied and happy to be a part of the human race. :) Five fantastic, wonderful, amazing, you-gotta-read-it birdies!

Summary via Goodreads

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. On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through.

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 only a dog could tell it.


  1. Jeez I really should read this book but I love dogs so dad told me how it ended (since he read it) and we both were on the verge of tears. UGH it sounds so good but I'm not ready to cry yet, still this seems like such a beautiful book :D I'm glad you liked it!

  2. This is one I've wanted to read forever now. I highly recommend reading his novel, The Raven Who Stole The Moon, if you haven't already.
    Fab review!

  3. What a fun character for a book! I hate when bad things happen to book dogs, though, so I'm really nervous about this one.

  4. I cried so much from this book. All dog lovers should read it.


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