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on October 3, 2008
Enzo knows he's different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul, he has educated himself by watching TV and listening to his master, Denny Swift, an up0and-coming race car driver- Art of Racing in the Rain (Front Flap)

Enzo is convinced that he will come back in his next life as a man. On the last night of his death, he looks back on his life and the struggles that Denny had. The loss of his wife Eve and the custody battle for his daughter Zoe, against Eve's wealthy parents. Enzo knows that he did his part to reunite the family and has the hope that Denny can still become a champion race car driver.

I received a copy of this as an advanced read from Harper Collins Canada. I was just about to start reading this book when my precious dog, Robbie died. Because of the nature of this book, I couldn't get myself to pick it up until now. It was difficult for me to get through the parts where Enzo described his health and his passing. I had a good cry.

Garth Stein has an amazingly creative and fresh writing style. Using a dog, as narrator not only works, I don't think the book could have been written any other way.

This may sound like it has the potential to be saccharin sweet and I must confess it has a little bit of that. The ending was also quite predictable, however, don't let these little "flaws" keep you from this book. There are moments of great sadness, moments that are laugh out loud funny, and moments of great joy. This book is a gem!
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on July 15, 2009
I absolutely loved this book. It has been some time now since I have read a book that I just couldn't put down. It sounds like such a cliche and perhaps it is but this was truly a wonderful book. I found myself laughing, crying and actually talking out loud as I read the book. I surprised and somewhat startled my husband a few times as I quietly sat reading and then came out with comments like "Way to go Enzo!" or I moved suddenly to sit on the edge of my chair or I just started to laugh or cry. At one point I actually had tears dripping off my chin. This is so much more than a book about a dog. This is a lesson in life, but not in a preachy way. Other reviewers have commented that you will never be able to look at a dog in the same way again and I agree, but I must add that I will never look at a stuffed zebra in the same way again either. "The zebra is the worst part of us..." This story is about good (Denny, Eve, Zoe and Enzo) as well as evil (the 'twins"). It is about love, understanding, perseverance, forgiveness, friendship, courage, faith and so much more. If you read only one book this year, make it his one.
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on August 5, 2009
Amazing Read! I had just finished reading Marley & Me, & this just seemed to be a natural followup by showing the dog's point of view.
Very philisophical & thought inspiring! Fantastic ending, wouldn't have it any other way!
Will most definitely read it again & again! A Keeper!
Bravo Garth Stein for a wonderful look into our human failings. A True lesson to be learned!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon July 5, 2009
Wow, this truly is an unforgettable book that will leave you (kinda wrecked) and unable to look at dogs in quite the same way ever again. Garth Stein has managed to capture the inner workings of the dog perfectly here, the attention to detail and why dogs do certain things is amazing. This really is a look at our human lives as only a dog could see it. Enzo and his family will tear at your heart in many ways and on many different levels. Containing a wonderful, gripping storyline and characters that you'll become deeply attached to, this is a sad yet ultimately uplifting book.

Don't be scared away by the title. The "racing in the rain" part of this book is a metaphor for life. Yes, one of the main characters races cars for a living and yes, Enzo refers to everything in his life by way of racing metaphors, but this book is so much more. It's about life and family, heartbreak and loss and ultimately joy, all as seen through the eyes of a dog named Enzo. Think (Marley & Me) only narrated by Marley not the humans.

Enzo, wants nothing more than to be a man. On the eve of his death he tells what will amount to his master's life's story. Enzo has educated himself by watching too much TV, in particular Speed Channel and The Weather Channel. In his own words "the weather channel is not about weather it's about life."

His happy family includes; Denny, an up and coming race car driver, Eve, his wife and their young daughter Zoë. Enzo's life is cheerfully routine until the day he smells the cancer that has come to rest in Eve's head. He can't warn her of course because dogs can't speak (Enzo continually reminds us of this) and as Eve's condition deteriorates their lives change forever. In the end Denny finds himself in a bitter custody battle that very nearly breaks him. Along the way Enzo must deal with possessed Zebras, the twins, hip dysplasia, hot peppers and demon crows all of which provided some great comic relief.

I absolutely loved this book and I can't recommend it enough although I would suggest not reading the ending in public as it made me cry... a lot. I will certainly be visiting Enzo again soon and giving him to all my friends as well.
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on September 21, 2008
Art of Racing in the Rain
I am a professional columnist, a some-day novelist who really earns his living as a conflict management specialist and as a personal coach. From that perspective, it is perhaps the best book I have ever read. Mr. Steins' novel functions as a cracking good story, replete with humor and tragedy, and a joy for all of us for who love dogs or might have dreamt of racing cars. On a totally different level, it is also a powerful teaching tool. In the pages of this book, I learned a life lesson simple and powerful that I have incorporated it into my professional practice and personal life. This is- without doubt- a must-read book.
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Surprise. Surprise. "The Art of Racing in the Rain" actually refers to race car driving. I have no interest in this sport but I certainly got the relevance thanks to Enzo.

Enzo is a dog, (named after Enzo Ferrari no less)! Denny is a sometimes racing car driver, Enzo's master.

Enzo is nothing if not discerning & expects to come back as a man when his time comes with a proper tongue to allow him to speak & of course, thumbs! Until then he is a thinker & watcher of people sagely advising: "Learn to listen! I beg of you. Pretend you are a dog like me and listen to other people rather than steal their stories". (Pg.102).

This book is full of empathy, honesty & insight into the human heart as seen through the eyes of a dog. Enzo is Denny's closest confidant & comfort when Denny must deal with sadness, loss & adversity.

Enzo has much to say about growing old; how the body disappoints us & how we must deal with it with courage it. He has much to say about many things that are certainly relevant, and who is to say that dogs really do not have the thoughts & feelings that Mr. Stein has attributed to Enzo?

Since I don't know I'm quite willing to take Enzo at his word. A charming, surprising, sometimes sad, but ultimately happy dog's tale.
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on April 23, 2011
The Art of Racing in the Rain (ARR) is narrated by Enzo, a wise dog with, on the circle of reincarnation, a soul that is almost human. By the way, that is Enzo's opinion of himself, based on a documentary on Mongolia that he watched - it said that when a dog finished living his lifetimes as a dog, his next incarnation will be as a man. ARR begins with Enzo at the end of his life confident that he will be a human soon - we know right away what Enzo's fate is. But what is it about Enzo that makes him so certain about his rebirth?

The plot, which largely revolves around events in his owner's (Denny) life, is not nuanced and, at times, can feel slightly contrived. But the book succeeds because the plot is merely a vehicle; along side the plot are Enzo's delightfully perceptive, compassionate and funny insights and thoughts about life and the human condition. By the end of the book, I was convinced Enzo would be reincarnated as human too. Why? Because Enzo embodies the person that I want to be - loyal, compassionate, wise, forgiving, loving. Enzo warmed my heart, made me laugh and cry and renewed my faith in karma and the Golden Rule. ARR is a delightful novel - highly recommended!

(I'm no expert on reincarnation, so I am in no way implying that humans are "higher" or "lower" than dogs, what the mechanics of reincarnation are, etc... If you know, please feel free to comment and let me know.)
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The author tells the story of a dog called Enzo who narrates his life experiences as if he was human. The novel will definitely stimulate your thoughts the next time you look at your favourite pet and he looks back as only a pet can...

This is a heart-wrenching tale running the gamut of life. With amazing writing, the author brings Enzo to life so perfectly, with his wants and needs and wishes he puts you under a spell. Enzo has been given a human soul, has gained knowledge by watching TV and listening to the words of his master, race car driver Denny Swift. You are temporary fooled into believing that this dog could be real and able to talk.

The story starts on the eve of Enzo's death; taking stock of his life and his relationship with his adopted family, Danny, Eve and Zoe.

This novel is beautifully crafted and highly captivating; Mr Stein has pulled off a very human story of love and loss one can easily relate to.
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on September 2, 2009
Enzo wants nothing so much as to return to his next life as a man: I want nothing so much as to become more like Enzo.

Educating himself through years of watching TV (and he makes pretty wise decisions about his viewing time) Enzo has developed a philosphy of life filtered through the ideal of what makes for an accomplished race car driver. Surprisingly, it turns out these values are amazingly portable, and could offer anyone a noble path through this life (and evidently, on to the next).

Albeit occasionally saccharine (but only a little), this is a book that will touch your soul; and you'll look at (and speak to) your dog in a different way forever.

That's a gift from Enzo.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon August 28, 2012
I read this book in two days. Truth be told, I couldn't put it down once I started reading it. I became addicted to it. Reading it was like watching a really good movie, waiting in anticipation for the ending to come so you could find out everything that happens. When I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about it. I was completely absorbed. It had such moments of joy and one moment in particular that had me howling with laughter so hard I had tears streaming down my face. It also had its share of sorrow. The ending of the book was bittersweet and left me sobbing. One of the best books I've ever read. I'm going to recommend this book to everyone I know. A must read!
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