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The Art of Racing in the Rain
Cover of The Art of Racing in the Rain
The Art of Racing in the Rain
A Novel
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NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE FROM FOX 2000 STARRING MILO VENTIMIGLIA, AMANDA SEYFRIED, AND KEVIN COSTNERMEET THE DOG WHO WILL SHOW THE WORLD HOW TO BE HUMANThe New York Times bestselling novel from Garth...
NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE FROM FOX 2000 STARRING MILO VENTIMIGLIA, AMANDA SEYFRIED, AND KEVIN COSTNERMEET THE DOG WHO WILL SHOW THE WORLD HOW TO BE HUMANThe New York Times bestselling novel from Garth...
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  • NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE FROM FOX 2000 STARRING MILO VENTIMIGLIA, AMANDA SEYFRIED, AND KEVIN COSTNER

    MEET THE DOG

    WHO WILL SHOW THE WORLD

    HOW TO BE HUMAN

    The New York Times bestselling novel from Garth Stein—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.

    "Splendid." —People

    "The perfect book for anyone who knows that compassion isn't only for humans, and that the relationship between two souls who are meant for each other never really comes to an end. Every now and then I'm lucky enough to read a novel I can't stop thinking about: this is one of them." —Jodi Picoult

    "It's impossible not to love Enzo." —Minneapolis Star Tribune

    "This old soul of a dog has much to teach us about being human. I loved this book." —Sara Gruen

Excerpts-

  • Chapter One

    Gestures are all that I have; sometimes they must be grand in nature. And while I occasionally step over the line and into the world of the melodramatic, it is what I must do in order to communicate clearly and effectively. In order to make my point understood without question. I have no words I can rely on because, much to my dismay, my tongue was designed long and flat and loose, and therefore, is a horribly ineffective tool for pushing food around my mouth while chewing, and an even less effective tool for making clever and complicated polysyllabic sounds that can be linked together to form sentences. And that's why I'm here now waiting for Denny to come home—he should be here soon—lying on the cool tiles of the kitchen floor in a puddle of my own urine.

    I'm old. And while I'm very capable of getting older, that's not the way I want to go out. Shot full of pain medication and steroids to reduce the swelling of my joints. Vision fogged with cataracts. Puffy, plasticky packages of Doggie Depends stocked in the pantry. I'm sure Denny would get me one of those little wagons I've seen on the streets, the ones that cradle the hindquarters so a dog can drag his ass behind him when things start to fail. That's humiliating and degrading. I'm not sure if it's worse than dressing up a dog for Halloween, but it's close. He would do it out of love, of course. I'm sure he would keep me alive as long as he possibly could, my body deteriorating, disintegrating around me, dissolving until there's nothing left but my brain floating in a glass jar filled with clear liquid, my eyeballs drifting at the surface and all sorts of cables and tubes feeding what remains. But I don't want to be kept alive. Because I know what's next. I've seen it on TV. A documentary I saw about Mongolia, of all places. It was the best thing I've ever seen on television, other than the 1993 Grand Prix of Europe, of course, the greatest automobile race of all time in which Ayrton Senna proved himself to be a genius in the rain. After the 1993 Grand Prix, the best thing I've ever seen on TV is a documentary that explained everything to me, made it all clear, told the whole truth: when a dog is finished living his lifetimes as a dog, his next incarnation will be as a man.

    I've always felt almost human. I've always known that there's something about me that's different than other dogs. Sure, I'm stuffed into a dog's body, but that's just the shell. It's what's inside that's important. The soul. And my soul is very human.

    I am ready to become a man now, though I realize I will lose all that I have been. All of my memories, all of my experiences. I would like to take them with me into my next life—there is so much I have gone through with the Swift family—but I have little say in the matter. What can I do but force myself to remember? Try to imprint what I know on my soul, a thing that has no surface, no sides, no pages, no form of any kind. Carry it so deeply in the pockets of my existence that when I open my eyes and look down at my new hands with their thumbs that are able to close tightly around their fingers, I will already know. I will already see.

    The door opens, and I hear him with his familiar cry, "Yo, Zo!" Usually, I can't help but put aside my pain and hoist myself to my feet, wag my tail, sling my tongue around, and shove my face into his crotch. It takes humanlike willpower to hold back on this particular occasion, but I do. I hold back. I don't get up. I'm acting.

    "Enzo?"

    I hear his footsteps, the concern in his voice. He finds me and looks down. I lift my head, wag my tail feebly so it taps against the floor. I play the part.

    He shakes his head and runs his hand through his hair, sets down the pl

About the Author-

  • Garth Stein is the author of Enzo Races in the Rain!, based on the New York Times bestselling novel The Art of Racing in the Rain (and its tween adaptation, Racing in the Rain). His other works include A Sudden Light, How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets, Raven Stole the Moon, and a play, Brother Jones. He is the cofounder of Seattle7Writers.org, a nonprofit collective of sixty-two Northwest authors dedicated to fostering a passion for the written word. Garth lives in Seattle with his family and his dog, Comet.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 28, 2008
    If you've ever wondered what your dog is thinking, Stein's third novel offers an answer. Enzo is a lab terrier mix plucked from a farm outside Seattle to ride shotgun with race car driver Denny Swift as he pursues success on the track and off. Denny meets and marries Eve, has a daughter, Zoë, and risks his savings and his life to make it on the professional racing circuit. Enzo, frustrated by his inability to speak and his lack of opposable thumbs, watches Denny's old racing videos, coins koanlike aphorisms that apply to both driving and life, and hopes for the day when his life as a dog will be over and he can be reborn a man. When Denny hits an extended rough patch, Enzo remains his most steadfast if silent supporter. Enzo is a reliable companion and a likable enough narrator, though the string of Denny's bad luck stories strains believability. Much like Denny, however, Stein is able to salvage some dignity from the over-the-top drama.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 28, 2008
    Christopher Evan Welch has a knack for delving into heart-wrenching material with finesse. Stein's tale of family, loss, redemption, and fast cars-recounted entirely from the perspective of a retriever-terrier mix named Enzo-ups the ante on the recent trend of high-concept anthropomorphism in popular fictions. Once listeners buy into Stein's premise, Welch faithfully delivers the goods. He is particularly effective in scenes where Enzo navigates the blurry area between his human-like thoughts and his base animal instincts (like when abandonment issues during a family medical emergency compel him to wreak havoc on a stuffed animal). Welch re-creates Enzo's pivotal moment of sheer bliss-riding on the track with his racecar driver human companion Denny-with evocative detail. The musical interludes at the start and end of the CD help preserve an earnest and dignified atmosphere. A Harper hardcover (Reviews, Jan. 28).

  • Sara Gruen, Author of Water for Elephants "The Art of Racing in The Rain has everything: love, tragedy, redemption, danger, and—most especially—the canine narrator Enzo. This old soul of a dog has much to teach us about being human. I loved this book."
  • Portland Oregonian "One of those stories that may earn its place next to Richard Bach's Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist, and Yann Martel's Life of Pi."
  • People (3 ½ out of 4 stars) "Splendid."
  • Entertainment Weekly "Fans of Marley & Me, rejoice."
  • Jodi Picoult "The perfect book for anyone who knows that some of our best friends walk beside us on four legs; that compassion isn't only for humans; and that the relationship between two souls...meant for each other never really comes to an end."
  • Sara Gruen, Author of Water for Elephants "The Art of Racing in The Rain has everything: love, tragedy, redemption, danger, and—most especially—the canine narrator Enzo. This old soul of a dog has much to teach us about being human."
  • Wally Lamb, Author of She's Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True "I savored Garth Stein's The Art of Racing in the Rain for many reasons: a dog who speaks, the thrill of competitive racing, a heart-tugging storyline, and—best of all—the fact that it is a meditation on humility and hope in the face of despair."

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