Book of My Choosing - 2018 · Book Review · Contemporary

Book Review: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein


Pages: 321
Genre: Animal Fiction
Publication Date:
January 1, 2008
Story Perspective: First-Person
Themes: Loyalty, Family, Friendship, Grief, Sickness, Confusion, Love

SynopsisEnzo, a lovable and intelligent dog, has witnessed a series of events that has happened to his loved ones. As he can see the end of his life, he reflects and shares what his family has gone through.

my review

Recently, I was with my husband on a work trip, and I happened to stumble upon this book in a little borrowing nook at the hotel we stayed. I became excited as I’ve been meaning to read The Art Racing in the Rain for a while and decided to pick it up. 

Having the narrator be Enzo, the dog, was both sweet and unrealistic at the same time. Enzo is a loyal and intuitive dog. He expresses at times confusion of what things mean and has an extra sense of knowing when dangerous situations are occurring. Both of these added a level of realism to Enzo’s perspective, as I’m sure most dogs have felt confusion and are sensitive to varying life events. However, at the same time, his intuitiveness was also a downfall in the story. He just seemed too aware and had too much of an understanding of lawsuits/court rooms proceedings, higher-level vocabulary words, and much information about race car drivers. Seeing how the book, I believe, is intended to be realistic fiction, this suspension of disbelief kept bothering me throughout as I continually had to remember that the narrator was a dog.

I felt the events in the story to be fairly exciting and made most of the book fast-paced. Between a family sickness, a lawsuit, and uncertainty for the future, much of the story speeds right through. On the other hand, aside from the unrealistic intelligence of Enzo, I also found many of the racing cars information slow and uninteresting. I can see the symbolism between racing cars and life, but I didn’t care to learn about the top racers or cars, in general.

Without giving too much away, the ending also left me with mixed feelings. I was on the verge of tears and heartbreak, but then that feeling was ripped pretty quickly from me. Then, I was left with uncertainty and just an odd feeling, in general.

Overall, this book had both its merits and its areas that could be improved. It was definitely a book that was quick and easy to read, I just wish it was presented a bit more realistically.

My Rating3 stars


I would recommend this to dog lovers and to those enjoy some information about racing cars.

Was this a book of my choosing or one for review?
35 out of 50 books of my choosing for 2018!

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