The Art of Racing in the Rain
A philosophical dog who loves to ride in race cars reflects on his life as he nears the end of it.
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The Art of Racing in the Rain was one of the books that brought me back to avid readership after grad school burnout. I have always been a dog lover, so of course I couldn’t resist a book narrated by Enzo, a philosophical dog who bemoans his lack of thumbs and likes to ride in race cars. Enzo will alternately charm you and break your heart, as he reflects on his life while anticipating his death. Dog books are predictable in their sadness, but those of us who love them also love dogs. It’s hard to resist an imagining of their rich inner lives, and Enzo is particularly irresistible. It should go without saying that you’ll need your tissues, but it’s worth it.
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. On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through.
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.