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If you are a dog-lover like I am, you MUST read this book! Warning: this story will make you ugly-cry in public. (I know this because that happened to me on a plane...)
The Art of Racing in the Rain took me on an emotional rollercoaster. While I read it I laughed, I cried, and I cheered Enzo and Denny on. At times I wanted to stop reading, because it was so intense, still I pressed on to see how it would turnout.
I highly recommend reading this book for the story, creative prose and doggy perspective.
And now the movie! Must take a box of Kleenex to this one....
Rarely do I recommend books (too many years, too many frustrations), but this is one of those moments. Yes, there are some forced moments, seriously strain-belief incidents, and maudlin overwriting, but this is a book of such intense humanity that these slight flaws can (and should) be overlooked. This is a book about love, loyalty, and the need to let go (of ego, of fear) in order that we come to trust the universe to work itself out as it should.
The Art of Racing in the Rain was chosen as our Pass the Book – Oshawa Reads 2019 title. The book does not fall into my usual go-to genres, but it was a pleasant surprise! I think that it is well written especially with it being such a different type of narrator than I'm used to, it was very easy to read. And the story tugged on my heartstrings from the very start (being the dog lover that I am), but it also ended up being quite heartwarming. It was a nice break away from what I usually read, and I can't wait to see the movie now!
The story is told from a dog's point of view who was more like a human philosopher on a quest to understand the human condition. He is funny , intelligent, and a loving dog helping to keep his family together through good times, loss and tragedy. This book made me laugh out loud and cry at times. It is well written and you won't be able to put it down.
Anybody who has ever loved a dog needs to read this. I laughed a lot and cried a little too! So good!
I enjoyed the first 1/3 of this book but then it quickly became tiresome. Grandparents who sue for custody within hours of a parent dying? A fake rape charge on top of that? Very tiresome. I abandoned ship thereafter.
An unremarkable and predictable tale, but there is a catch. It's narrated through the lense of a dog. Unfortunately, despite the dog's strong senses, instinct and intellect the dog's perspective remains unremarkable, much on the level of an occasionally insightful child. He has his biases and a species superiority complex, making him prone to rants insulting other animals: chimpanzees, platypuses, crows, etc. There was a sad unnecessary chapter where the dog is abused. At the end of three days of starvation the dog is struck down in a misdirected fit of rage. The savage scene is then brushed off and reasoned away, as dogs are loyal and forgiving creatures that are built to endure days without food, yet hallucinate when do so. As an animal lover myself, a dog talking trash about other animals and the incident of abuse are disheartening. The multiple references to the fact that dogs can't talk and lack opposable thumbs and yet we're ironically reading his writing or listening to his audio book quickly becomes numbing and tiresome. This overly done jest of the irony of a dog authored tale emphasizes that this is a sub par tale that just happens to be told by a dog... I like the concept, but it's misdirected. Some of the dog insights are intersting and humorous, but for the reasons above it's flaws are fatal. Not suitable for some children due to references to sex.
What an awesome book from a unique perspective! Enzo is my kind of dog and Denny my driving method hero. The car goes where the eyes go indeed. Everything about this book resonated with me, especially staying the course and not giving up when your heart and soul knows what is right. This book is a keeper. Now, I am very much anticipating other books by Garth Stein and have inundated our local Library with hold requests.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays everyone!
THIS BOOK IS SO BEAUTIFUL. If you love dogs you will definitely like this book. It makes you look at your dog and wonder, "what is going on in that head of yours?". I cried at the end. Good and easy read.
If you ever wondered what your dog is thinking, this book is for you! I fell in love with Enzo the lab-terrier mix, as he cheerfully fit into the Swift’s family life. What follows is heartbreak, loss, and ultimately, redemption. This book is a page-turner, easy to read, and captivating. A must-read for a dog lover or someone who dreams of becoming a car racer! (submitted by IM)
I got a recommendation about this book from a friend and decided to grab it for our trip to Hawaii. Well, when I posted my haul that was going on our vacation I got a ton of feedback from folks - most saying that this novel was amazing, but quite a few folks mentioning I shouldn't read it in public because it would leave me teary-eyed. Since I had a few days before our trip when I grabbed the books from the library I decided to read this one prior to our flight. I flew through it (took less than an afternoon, even for being over 300 pages long). Like people said, it was great. I loved the idea of the book - a story told from the perspective of a pet dog. If you have a pup, you probably feel like your doggy is an integral part of your family so this just made sense. Actually, it made me look at Walt and give him an extra big squench, even if he can't quite understand me like Enzo ;) From everyone's feedback I was expecting to be a blubbering mess for the majority of the book, but the tears only came in the last few pages. I'm so glad a friend recommended this book to me, and now I will totally recommend it to you! I would give it a 10 out of 10.
An amazing story about a man told by his pet dog, it’s one not to be missed and a movie currently being made.
Could not put this book down. Everytime I stopped crying l hit another chapter that had me start crying again. I didn't think I would like this book when it was recommended but what a great book. It is told from a dog's perspective on his owner's life.
I found this title through a blog post about the ‘11 underrated books that will blow you away’ list and it was not something that I would pick up and read on a normal day. This is a bittersweet story of a family told through the eyes of the family dog. And no Enzo the dog cannot speak but he is totally aware of what is happening around him – and yes he also knows he is an unusually self-aware dog. This is simply delightful, sad, funny and very doglike and I am not really a dog person but I totally could be after empathising with Enzo and his master’s life journey. Enzo is the sole narrator of the story so the reader has to interact in this novel in a different way as you work out what is happening as Enzo only has a dog’s understanding and reports from what is happening around the family home. Stein maintains Enzo’s voice throughout the novel which I thought was a good feat seeing as Stein himself is not a dog! This is a literary read about a family drama and everyone I have recommended it to has given it a 5 star rating. It is about to be made into a film but there is no release date as yet so I am sure there will be a resurgence of popularity for this novel in the coming year. I have also downloaded his next novel A sudden light and hope it is just as good.
I found out that this book connected to me as soon as I picked it up. It talks about how animals may feel and relationships and emotions. A dog named Enzo, explains his life from his perspective. He talks about his personality, his problems and his way of thinking. He loves Formula One racing and thinks that the monkey's thumbs are supposed to be for dogs. I love animals and I love reading about their lives and perspectives in books.
A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope--a captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life . . . as only a dog could tell it.
If you don't cry reading this, you're doing it wrong. I blubbed. . . a couple of times. This is a relationship novel, a story of emotions, from a male perspective - dogs and race cars and all. The writing is so direct, so clear, it's like being there.
I made many stops and starts with this book, believing that it was too sentimental for my reading taste, but the book proved me wrong! I ended up loving Enzo and wanting so much to pet him!! The last 100 pages are impossible to put down! Very Poignant dog tale for many readers, not just dog fans!
Enzo is a dog who regrets that his tongue is too long and flat to form words. He is also quite annoyed that the monkeys got the opposable thumbs. Despite his deficiencies, he figures out a way to tell the touching story of his owner's custody battle for his daughter. This book has it all: love, loss, car racing, and a talking dog. It is a very satisfying read with a great ending. The audio version is excellent as well. — Jan G., Penn Lake Library
Dog's perspective: **** Car racing: **
This was a quick read, with many "aha" moments for people closely connected with their dogs. Enzo writes well and it's the pinnacle of anthropomorphism, which many a dog family believes in. Only thing I didn't enjoy was: too much car racing. (Maybe the title should have warned me.) Recommended for people like me who don't usually read "dog-books" because we sort of live one daily.