Ellen Thorp


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The Art of Racing in the Rain: Book Review

By ellent | September 26, 2010

It’s About a Dog, It’s About Car Racing, It’s About Reincarnation. It’s an Excellent Novel by Garth Stein.

Chain of Events are sometimes really awesome! I had a really long sit in an airport not very long ago. I proceeded to roam around and look in stores. I ran into a bookstore; which for me, is like candy to a child!

My eyes landed on the cover of a book that appeared to be a Golden Retriever. As I own a Golden, I just had to check it out. I read the reviews on the back of the book and decided – why not!

I was reading another book at the time and figured I’d start this one right afterward. I almost forgot about this little gem and had finished a completely different book before I remembered it! I Am So Thrilled that I finally Read this book!

“The Art of Racing in the Rain”.

It’s the story of Denny (a race car driver hoping one day to be at the top of his field), His family and His dog – Enzo. Here’s the Kicker – the Story is Narrated by Enzo!

Now, if you love animals as much as I do – beware! The first chapter starts with Enzo at the end of his life. He’s in pain and wants to be let go. My tear ducts opened Gushers! I didn’t even know Enzo yet!

The story, ever so eloquently woven by author Garth Stein,  starts from the beginning when Denny first meets and adopts Enzo as a puppy; followed by their years together.

Enzo might, possibly, be a little more advanced than the average dog, yet he still holds the innocence that dogs possess. He does see the world through rose-colored glasses and yet seems to see the human endeavor more clearly than most humans ever do.

Denny, as a race car driver, happens to be an Expert at Racing in the Rain. His understanding of the track, the conditions of the track and his ability to maneuver in these conditions are clearly set in his mind. This same mindset seems to follow throughout his life as well. The challenges he must face and how to cope with these challenges.

Enzo likes watching Television while Denny is away. He loves watching race cars and a documentary that talks about Mongolian dogs! It is believed that when these dogs die, they come back as men. This is very pleasing to Enzo; he hopes to come back someday as a man, meet Denny on the street, and shake his hand.

“I learned that from a program on the National Geographic channel, so I believe it is true. Not all dogs return as men, they say; only those who are ready.

I am ready.”

This Wonderful book weaves between the hardships that Denny must face and Enzo’s desire to have opposable thumbs! It also weaves Enzo’s pure devotion for Denny – wishing he could make everything right for him.

The Art of Racing in the Rain is just that! The determination, the skill, the focus of racing, incorporated into our lives and how we chose to live it. Dealing with life’s controversies and pitfalls and coming out a winner.

Garth Stein has written an extremely wonderful novel. From Joy and Pain, Rejection and Embracement, Laughter and Heartbreak.

The Art of Racing in the Rain is one of those books I will read over and over! With each reading I am sure I will find another passage, moment or thought that will strike a chord of familiarity, sadness, hope and redemption!

In the Words of Enzo:

“I know this much about racing in the rain. I know it is about balance. It is about anticipation and patience. I know all driving skills that are necessary for one to be successful in the rain. But racing in the rain is also about the mind! About owning one’s own body. About believing that one’s car is merely an extension of one’s body. About believing that the track is an extension of the car, and the rain is an extension of the track, and the sky is an extension of the rain. It is about believing that you are not you; you are everything. And Everything is You.

I have rarely read a book that has had such a huge impact one me! If you have ever questioned your ability to succeed, to move ahead, to live a positive life – You Need to Read this Book! This book has the ability to lift your spirits and lift your expectations for yourself and your life!

Mr. Stein, Thank You For This Book! Thank You For Enzo!

Here are some interviews with the Author Garth Stein:
Interview #1
Interview #2

I have added a wonderful trailer of the book. You can view it under “Videos” on the top of the blog.

Want to discuss your favorite books and authors? Stop by my Group on Facebook  Ellen’s Booklovers Corner

Have a Great Day!

Skype: ellen_thorp
Email: ethorp4@gmail.com

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Topics: Reviews | 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “The Art of Racing in the Rain: Book Review”

  1. Carol McCrow Says:
    September 27th, 2010 at 1:57 am

    From one animal lover to another…. You stirred my interest in this book Ellen! Wonderful review and next time I am out and about I will have to see if I can find it. It sounds like you had a positive experience from reading this and I believe I will too. Thank you for sharing!

  2. ellent Says:
    September 27th, 2010 at 4:18 am

    Thank you Carol. Yes, this book has so much to offer. It also reflects how each of us, in our own way, need to find a focus and a control in order to achieve what we need to succeed.