The Art of Racing in the Rain- Book Review!

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein



The Plot:

We meet Enzo, a philosophical dog who strives to be able to communicate with his family. He narrates the emotional story of a family that experiences both highs and lows. Enzo starts his story at the end, when he is on the brink of death and ready to start his new life. He then switches gears and moves to the life changing moment when his owner Denny picks him up from the farm in Sprange, Washington. As time progresses, Denny falls in love, becomes a father and experiences tragedy after tragedy. Unable to speak, Enzo continues to watch and be the best friend and support that Denny needs.

First Impression:

From the moment I started this book, I knew it would be a very hard one to put down. It captured me in a way that I haven’t experienced before. This book really helps you begin to understand the mystery behind dog’s thoughts. It makes me wonder, “How much do animals truly understand?”


A great way to relax in the sun.

**Spoiler Alert for those of you whom plan to read this book!**

Enzo is unlike any other dog. Through watching, learning and living life along side his owner Denny, Enzo begins to master the human condition by understanding the variety of emotions that a person or animal goes through.

The book follows the Swift family as they go through a series of highs and lows. Denny is a thriving race car driver whom doesn’t want to sacrifice his dreams of becoming Formula One driver on day. Enzo is his best friend who will never leave his side. Eve is Denny’s wife and mother of his daughter Zoe.

Denny’s life changed when he married Eve and has his daughter Zoe. Around this time, Eve’s health begins to deteriorate. Her attitude changes, she becomes erratic, unstable and depressed. Due to a fall on the rocks, Eve is rushed to the hospital where the unthinkable happens. Eve is diagnosed with Brain Cancer and has to stay at the hospital indefinitely. Denny is then left with some hard decisions regarding his daughter, his work and Enzo. Throughout the difficult diagnoses, Enzo continues to try to heal the family by being a great support system and protector.

To makes things a bit easier for Denny, Eve’s parents decide to take care of Zoe while Eve is in the hospital. Unfortunately, upon Eve’s passing, her parents decide to that they should have full custody of Zoe. They believed that Denny wasn’t a suitable father, because of his job at BMW of Seattle and all the traveling that racing cars brings. To top it off, Denny is accused of having relations with a 15 year old girl, named Annika and is arrested. Eve’s parents jump on the opportunity to use this against Denny in the custody battle.

At this point, Denny is a huge mess, but he does the best he can not to get completely drowned in the quick sand. We see that Denny has his moments where he uses substances to ease the pain, but then Enzo comes in and encourages him that that isn’t the best path. Throughout the tragic event’s, Enzo and Denny’s bond gets stronger. They have specific cues that they only understand. For instance, “Bark twice means let’s go faster.”

At the end, a few years later, Denny has a conversation with Annika that opens her eyes. All the charges against Denny are dropped and he gets custody of Zoe back. To top it off, Denny is offered a job in Italy to test drive Ferrari’s. This is where the story ends, Denny, Enzo and Zoe move to Italy to for a fresh start.

After thoughts:

Enzo is a remarkable animal. I couldn’t help but laugh at some of his thoughts. Especially the one about how he doesn’t believe that humans evolved from monkeys. Enzo comes up with this humorous yet intriguing theory about how humans evolved from dogs.  I’ll admit, it did make me think a little bit. There were many times throughout the book when I would get frustrated and didn’t understand why the author included certain events, but in the end everything came around for the better.

Would I recommend The Art of Racing in the Rain? Absolutely!

I truly believe that dogs are a man/woman’s best friend. I don’t know where I would be without this little one. My Kasa bear.


Her eyes light up when she sees me and it always puts a smile on her face. All she wants is to be held for hours on end with a few belly scratches mixed in.

Have you read The Art of Racing in the Rain? Share your thoughts.

What are your thoughts? 

Anyone have books recommendations?

XO, Tara



  1. I’ve had a copy of this book on my shelf for years and never got around to reading it. Might just have to now! (even though I read the spoiler haha). As for recommendations, I always recommend “The Art of Fielding” by Chad Harbach. Friends that have read it all agree – it’s a great one!!

  2. I got this book as a gift a couple years ago, and although I have a rule about reading books about dogs, I decided to read it. It only cemented my rule “never read books about dogs…because the dog ALWAYS dies.” I just can’t handle it when dogs die…it breaks my heat!

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