Sunday, June 3, 2012

Dog Books: The Art of Racing in the Rain

Has anyone else read this book? I'm officially in love with Enzo.

I finished it in two days, on the bus rides to and from work, and over lunch breaks. Any time I could squeeze it in - it's that good!  It is an emotional book, sad and depressing in places, but I didn't cry - Enzo tells the tail of his life and family in a straightforward way. He helps you believe that it is all happening for a reason, and there isn't a need to feel pity for him - in fact, the sad parts of the book are also filled with a sort of excitement and hope. This is a book I'll look back to when our dogs are ready to leave this world. 
There is also a "young person's" version of this book.

The description from the author's website gives the overview best, so I won't try to re-word 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. 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.

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 only a dog could tell it.

I'd love to believe our dogs think the way Enzo does. So much so, that just in case they do, I've started talking to them more and differently since I finished reading this book. In hopes that someday, perhaps, when we're out on a run, and I ask Suvi if she wants to go faster, she'll bark twice...

What did you think? Chad won't read it because it's sad - I might be able to convince him to see the movie, should it come out - but even that's doubtful. I kinda love that about him, though.

Do you have other dog book recommendations? I love to read, and I'm always looking for suggestions!! Comments welcome below.


  1. I really liked The Dogs of Babel, by Carolyn Parkhurst (not dog-narrated. Also rather sad.) The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, by David Wroblewski, also CONTAINS dogs but isn't solely about them.

    I haven't read The Art of Racing in the Rain yet, though I do have a copy I got from my library book sale. Somebody was just recommending it to me on Thursday as well!

    1. I read Edgar Sawtelle - good book! It's actually (fictionally) based in a town very near where I grew up. I'll check out Dogs of Babel, and definitely can't wait to hear what you think of "The Art"!

  2. I think you would enjoy two books. One is A Dog's Purpose written by W. Bruce Cameron. This is also written from the dog's view. The other one is Unsaid by Neil Abramson. This one is not just about dogs. Very well written. Enjoy.

    1. Thanks for the recommendations, Allison! I'm going out to download A Dog's Purpose on my Kindle right now!

    2. Your welcome. I think you will like the end of the story. Some of the story is somewhat sad but the end is worth the trip. If you can let me know how you liked it. Allison

  3. One of my favorites is "Chicken Soup for the Pet Lovers Soul". It is full of stories that are are emotionally all over the chart and most of them made me cry. My bf at the time kept threatening to hide the book because he couldn't stand me crying every night before I haven't read the book in about 13 years but some of the stories still stay with me. ("The Christmas Gift" still chokes me up when i tell someone about it) Actually, i think i may need to dig it out (or buy it for my kindle) and read it again :)