The Art of Racing in the Rain

The Art of Racing in the Rain

by Garth Stein

Anne Ferber (10/25/11): Dear Diane Barnes, I am heartened that you read this book in spite of not liking my review, and I am very sorry about your book club's decision. This happens to be one of my all time favorite books. Just to be clear, my need for tissues at the end was for tears of joy, not sadness. The loss of one's spouse and then the ensuing blackmail, accusation and general animosity from her family did certainly cause an emotional stir within me--more anger than bereavement--because I felt Denny deserved better than that.

The most important thing I neglected to mention in my original review was Dennys description of racing in the rain as a metaphor for a life. Denny knew that when life got rough you had to keep your eyes forward and manufacture your opportunities. And Enzo got it! He was actually the one who would not allow Denny to give up! He knew "That which you manifest is before you" and (quick, get the tissues) "The car goes where the eyes go". I can't say it without tearing up.
Rating: ****

Hadriane Kalfus (10/24/11): As the owner of two rescue black labs, I truly loved this book. I cried my eyes out while reading Marley and Me on the plane to Alaska. I was exhausted, but Racing was different. I thought I knew what the outcome would be before reading the book --- never assume. Instead of feeling drained, I was uplifted. I felt that Enzo let me into his mind and thoughts and made me see my animals for what they really may be. The story is interesting but the most wonderful part is hearing what Enzo has to say about his family and all of their lives. His thoughts, feelings and intelligence were eye opening! Garth Stein makes him real and relatable to everyone, dog lovers or not.

I have given this book as gifts and am planning on reading it again. It's a keeper!
Rating: ****

Judy Copek (10/17/11): Let me add my accolades to this novel. Loved the dog Enzo as narrator with his unique perspective and his television habits. Loved also that he had a dark side. A story can be so-so, but unique characters can make it great and I liked also how the father never wavered. I read this on my Kindle, choosing it from the best seller list. I read very few "best sellers," but occasionally one of them knocks it out of the park, and "The Art of Racing in the Rain" was right up there with "The Help" and "Water for Elephants."
Rating: ****

Diane Barnes (10/16/11): I totally disagree with the review written by Anne Ferber. This book was presented as a potential read @ my book club. No one had read it yet, but several did not want to read the book if it was an emotionally trying book. The book club tabled the book for the time being, but I decided I wanted to know more & bought it. First I'd like to say that, to me, the fact that the dog narrates the book softens it & takes the sting out of the emotional issues. I didn't enjoy the book when I first started reading it. It feels more like a book for young adults, or, with a few revisions, teenagers. As I continued reading, I did want to find out what the author was leading up to. The ending was wonderful & causes me to rate the book 4 vs 3 stars. A 1-2 day quick read, but not one you can't put down.
Rating: ****

Chris Mehling: I loved this book! A very easy read; I read it in just over one day while vacationing at Seacrest Beach in Florida. Could not help think of my sweet dog Ally in a very different way after I was done. I too loved Marley and Me and I LOVED the ending of this book.
Rating: ****

Anne Ferber: Enzo is one smart dog with a huge life perspective based on his relationship with his master, a racing car driver, his family (wife and daughter) and his television set. Enzo's goal is to become a human being in his next life, because he loves the complications and experiences that humans get to choose among. He loves the power of speech and opposable thumbs. He spends his life trying to figure out how to retain high integrity and nobility in a world that oftentimes offers choices of "the lesser of two evils".

This book has unbearably sad moments of death and custody battles including horrid accusations. But Enzo keeps everything in perspective and helps his master get thru the hard times. If you can read the end without using up a box of tissues, you have greater fortitude than me. This is a whopper of a read!
Rating: ****

Wanda Cohen: I loved this book. I loved Enzo, the dog that tells the story and offers life lessons along the way. There are enough reviews already so I'll just say read and enjoy.
Rating: *****

Judy Stanton: I really enjoyed this book. The novel approach of having the book written from a dog's perspective was unique, but it was the storyline that won me over. It was life-like enough in that life did not go along smoothly. The reader was involved enough to care about the characters and what happens to them. I liked the life lessons -- follow your dream, don't give up on what you know is right, enjoy being human, remember the great times when the sun is on your face and the wind whipping through your hair. I loved the ending.
Rating: *****

Kalee Gresham: I must say, this was the best book I read last year (and I read an awful lot of them!!).
Rating: *****

Kaaren Dolinsky: I just read this book after receiving it in a book exchange from my neighborhood book group. Everyone raved about it and I was leery of another "dog" book. It was a quick and enjoyable read where I learned about race car driving, a subject I would never have chosen, but one that I knew nothing about which is one reason I read. It was far from great literature being relatively predictable, but it was escapism without being mindless. So what if it was derivative!
Rating: ***

Debbie Weiss: I really enjoyed this easy-reading book and I totally fell in love with the narrator, Enzo the dog. His wisdom and his compassion and his love of his master and all the family members was extraordinarily heartwarming. The story certainly had sad parts and rough spots, but was definitely a delightful read. I really wanted to go out and purchase a dog so I would have a wonderful companion once I finished the book!
Rating: ****

Brenda Horne: I loved this book and didn't want it to end. The voice of the story is that of a dog, Enzo, on the eve of his death. He's almost human and believes, because he saw a program on Mongolian beliefs on an educational channel, that he will come back one day as a man. The book chronicles his life from being selected from a litter by his master to the very end. It's also a story about auto racing, falling in love and becoming a family, illness and death, loyalty and a Herculean fight for a cause. Enzo is there through it all - with his dog-like ways but human wisdom. It's a perfect rainy day weekend book - because you won't want to leave the house and will have a good reason to stay right where you are.
Rating: *****

Dale Israel: I read this book based on the recommendation of my sister. We typically like the same books and she loved this one. I enjoyed it, but didn't love it. However, most of the people on Amazon gave it an excellent rating so it must be me. The book is narrated by a dog. It was about racing and the horrors one family faced...all from the dog's perspective. I am a huge dog lover (I have two Golden Retrievers) and I must admit the I do think of my dogs differently after reading this book. Part of the reason I'm not raving about this book is because I read "Marley and Me" and this book was a lot like it. However, even though I didn't just love it, I think it's worth reading. I'd be interested to see what others thought of it.
Rating: ***

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