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4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (153,973 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Garth Stein Narrator: Christopher Evan Welch Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2008 ISBN: 9780061630682
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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. 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: the sacrifices Denny has made to succeed professionally; the unexpected loss of Eve, Denny’s wife; the three-year battle over their daughter, Zoë, whose maternal grandparents pulled every string to gain custody. 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 Zoë at his side. Having learned what it takes to be a compassionate and successful person, the wise canine can barely wait until his next lifetime, when he is sure he will return as a man.

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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “I savored Garth Stein’s The Art of Racing in the Rain for many reasons: a dog who speaks, the thrill of competitive racing, a heart-tugging storyline, and—best of all—the fact that it is a meditation on humility and hope in the face of despair.”

    Wally Lamb, #1 New York Times bestselling author

  • “This old soul of a dog has much to teach us about being human. I loved this book.”

    Sara Gruen, New York Times bestselling author of Water for Elephants 

  • “Fans of Marley & Me, rejoice.”

    Entertainment Weekly 

  • “If you’ve ever wondered what your dog is thinking, Stein's third novel offers an answer.”  

    Publishers Weekly

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Indie Next List
  • AudioFile Earphones Award
  • An Audie Award Finalist
  • Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award
  • A #1 Book Sense Pick
  • A San Francisco Chronicle Bestseller
  • A Los Angeles Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • A Publishers Weekly Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kimberly | 2/16/2014

    " MUST READ. Especially if you are a Dog person, this is the most amazing book I have ever read. I could read it a thousand more times. Completely changed the way I look at life, and dogs. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelley | 2/15/2014

    " Through a dog's eyes. Loved it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Samantha | 2/4/2014

    " Pleasantly surprised by this book. A quick read, but poignant. And who can resist a canine narrator? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carmen | 1/31/2014

    " It started off great, but I lost interest about 1/2 way through. I finished it, but wouldn't read it again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jamey Maze | 1/21/2014

    " I read this at the beach a few years ago. Story told from the dog's point of view. Enjoyable. A few uncomfortable parts where the dog is trying to understand what these humans are doing... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lorette | 1/21/2014

    " Told from an advanced dog POV, possibly what I have always suspected about dogs. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nicole Sherman Brewer | 12/30/2013

    " Loved the author's poignant insight about how our family pets are woven in to the fabric of our lives. From a pet lover's perspective, I've often wondered from the look on my dog or cat's face how much they really know and understand. Likewise, I have appreciated the way they cuddle with me when I'm sick and nuzzle me when I'm sad... always so in tuned to emotions and the environment. This book captures the intuition and deep knowing of our pets, one dog in particular, Enzo, and the mutual loyalty between pet and owner in a touching, sweet story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lori | 12/25/2013

    " I am certifiably a sap. A work friend lent me this book and at first - I was SO not into the racing storyline. But as I got into it - I started to appreciate the racing metaphors. This book was at times hard to read as the shit just kept raining down on the main character. But of course I loved the dog Enzo so he kept me engaged. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sara Arnall | 12/25/2013

    " Guess you need to be a dog lover to give it 5 stars "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nora Britt | 12/22/2013

    " I loved this book. I had a hard time putting. Down. I makes me worried what my cats are thinking. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dottie Resnick | 12/11/2013

    " Ever since reading this book when I walk or talk to my dog I feel I have new insight into HER thinking. Yet you do not have to have an animal to read and enjoy the book. It is a compassionate read, filled with despair, hope, love and rejoicing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janelle Wesloh | 12/1/2013

    " I read this as a book club pick and absolutely loved it... Any dog owner/lover will probably really enjoy this book (others too, but especially them!!) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Haley | 11/28/2013

    " This book was phenomenal!Definitely would recommend it to anyone who's a dog lover or just loves a good book in general! :) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hanna | 10/22/2013

    " adored this sentimental story told from the POV of a dog...I give this book as a gift all the time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ches Hutchinson | 9/27/2013

    " I had a hard time getting into this book until about halfway through. The story moved very quickly at that point, found it mildly entertaining but it's not "Where the Red Fern Grows" "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bill Zipp | 9/11/2013

    " A well-written book and a unique voice, the dog, but it's a painful story that does not end well. Yes, I know, bad things happen, but the sadness here seemed unmitigated by any joy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diane Mulligan | 7/22/2013

    " Be prepared to cry. Have tissues on hand and don't attempt to finish reading this one in public. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Caitlin | 7/16/2013

    " Loved this book. Bawled my eyes out through large chunks of it, but loved it anyway. Well written and definitely pulls at the heart strings. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Moneek Miller | 7/13/2013

    " What a wonderful read - made me laugh out loud! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelly | 6/17/2013

    " Thoroughly enjoyable. The tone of the book would have been ridiculous if the narrator were human, but pretty much nails the voice of friendly, loyal, intelligent domestic dog... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dori | 6/13/2013

    " Good read-sad though. I don't usually re-read books, but this one was worth the effort. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Crystal Anders | 5/2/2013

    " This is an amazing story about life through the eyes of a dog. If you have a dog, I highly recommend reading this book! It was a vary fast paced read, and I was caught between moments of crying and laughing. I feel like the author truly captured the dog's perspective in this story. Amazing book! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gloria | 3/23/2013

    " I loved this book for so many reasons! Enzo the dog and his viewpoint on life, love, families and just being a dog. Great characters, story, and lots of good life insights! Highly reccommend!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cara | 3/4/2013

    " I love a good dog book, but the endings are always sad. This is a sweet book told from the dog's perspective. I've been looking at my own dog differently since I've read this book. An added bonus is the touching ending. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Yi | 12/6/2012

    " Wow! What a marvellous book!!! It has been a while since I have been so emotionally involved with the characters in a book. Love you, Enzo!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephen J. | 11/5/2012

    " One of the best books I've read in a long time. If it does't make you cry and stay with you forever, you're probably not alive. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alesia | 9/3/2012

    " Beautifully written from an enlightened dog's POV about choices & consequences, and above all else, the love of a dog. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leonardo Raudales | 8/25/2012

    " Simple and touching. It's a quick read but truly a nice one. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Roberta | 4/19/2012

    " From the ratings it looks like many either love or hate this book. I felt like I was reading a screenplay and could imagine how the various scenes in this book would play out. There were some entertaining moments, but overall the story seemed too melodramatic to me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Euria | 3/13/2012

    " "La macchina va dove vanno gli occhi." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michelle | 12/14/2011

    " This a wonderful book. A must read for dog lovers! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elisabeth | 12/4/2011

    " Enjoyable book for a bad weather Sunday. finished in 1 sitting. I learned a lot about car racing and had fun reading the story from a Doug's point of view. not great literature but a pleasant read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kari Goeden | 10/13/2011

    " Such a touching story and a quick read! Loved the way the story was told through a dogs eyes. Fantastic! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary Wilson | 6/9/2011

    " The idea of a first person narrative from a dog's point of view is unusual. Garth Stein has written a very poignant novel that way, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica | 5/22/2011

    " Beautiful. I cried, its just so amazing. No words to describe it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Colette | 5/21/2011

    " Not what I expected. I don't think I'll look at my dog the same way again. An excellent read but be prepared for a good cry. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 5/21/2011

    " Loved it, not as much as "A Dog's Purpose" but it was still really good, it went too fast. (Ha!) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deana | 5/20/2011

    " This was a sweet story, but it was written from teh perspective of a dog so I think you would have to be an animal lover to really enjoy it... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ingrid | 5/20/2011

    " The overall story was sweet, but the writing was very boring to me. For me, the story dragged on forever and didn't get interesting until the end. However, there was a lot written about cars and racing which I have zero interest in, so that could have been it. Glad I am done reading this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 5/20/2011

    " I really liked the style in which this book was written from the dogs perspective. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa | 5/20/2011

    " This is one of the best books I read so far this year. The only thing I recommend is not to read much of it in a public place, because crying ensued on the train and it was embarassing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shelley | 5/20/2011

    " I liked the writing but thought the story moved along pretty slowly. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bob | 5/19/2011

    " I loved this book, have read it once and plan on reading it again. A very moving story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joan | 5/19/2011

    " A must read for any dog lover! It moved me to tears! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sue | 5/19/2011

    " It was good, but sad. I cried at the end even though I knew up-front what is going to happen. "

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About the Author
Author Garth Stein

Garth Stein is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel The Art of Racing in the Rain, published in thirty-five languages. He is also the author of the novels How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets and Raven Stole the Moon. He lives in Seattle with his family.