Saturday, July 23, 2011

Review: The Art Of Racing In The Rain by Garth Stein

Published: May 5, 2008
Publisher: Harper Collins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible
Challenge: 100 Books in a Year
The Art of Racing in the Rain

Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (an 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.  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 Zoe at his side.

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.  ((From Goodreads))

My Thoughts
I just finished listening to this and I am at a complete loss of words.  Congrats Stein, not many people are able to shut me up!!  If you recall -- I tried the whole audiobook thing on the drive to my parents house last year, and I just couldn't get into it.  I really wanted to give it another shot, and I'm so glad that I did.
I got a free audiobook from for joining, and my membership gets me 1 free book a month!  I'm still a little torn though.  While I enjoyed listening to this book, I still feel like I want to read it myself.  I'm afraid I might have missed something!!
Enzo is such a loveable and amazingly loyal dog.  I am such a big dog fan that as soon as Enzo started talking I knew I was in love!  I found myself constantly listening to Enzo recall all of the events he was a part of with the Swift family, and looking over at my pup wondering "whatcha thinkin??"
With only the capability of using gestures as communication, Enzo often has to think outside of the box to get his point across.  My favorite scene was when Denny was getting ready to sign some important papers, and Enzo knew it wasn't a good idea.  Instead of just barking or nudging Denny, Enzo grabbed the papers and ran outside to bury them!  
I highly recommend this book to animal lovers everywhere -- especially those that have had to go through some rough patches but have had a loyal companion with them for the ride.

Favorite Quotes

"There is no dishonor in losing the race.  There is only dishonor in not racing because you are afraid to lose."

"He died that day because his body had served its purpose.  His soul had done what it came to do, learned what it came to learn, and then was free to leave."

"The true hero is flawed.  The true test of a champion is not whether he can triumph, but whether he can overcome obstacles - preferably of his own making - in order to triumph."

"To live every day as if it had been stolen from death, that is how I would like to live.  To feel the joy of life, as Eve felt the joy of life.  To separate oneself from the burden, the angst, the anguish that we all encounter everyday.  To say I am alive, I am wonderful, I am.  I am.  That is something to aspire to."

"The race is long - to finish first, first you must finish."

"People and their rituals.  They cling to things so hard sometimes."

"I beg of you, pretend you are a dog like me and LISTEN to other people rather than steal their stories."

"People are always worried about what's happening next.  They often find it difficult to stand still, to occupy the now without worrying about the future.  People are generally not satisfied with what they have; they are very concerned with what they are going to have."

My Ratings
Cover: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Writing Style: 5/5
Plot: 5/5
Ending: 5/5
Overall: 5

Happy Reading! 

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