Garth Stein

The Art of Racing in the Rain

New York Times best-selling novel

The Art of Racing in the Rain
In Mongolia, when a dog dies, he is buried high in the hills so people cannot walk on his grave. The dog's master whispers into the dog's ear his wishes that the dog will return as a man in his next life. Then his tail is cut off and put beneath his head, and a piece of meat or fat is placed in his mouth to sustain his soul on its journey; before he is reincarnated, the dog's soul is freed to travel the land, to run across the high desert plains for as long as it would like.

I learned that from a program on the National Geographic channel, so I believe it is true. Not all dogs return as men, they say; only those who are ready.

I am ready.



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, Zo, 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 Zo 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 life...as only a dog could tell it.




Praise for The Art of Racing in the Rain

The Art of Racing in The Rain has everything: love, tragedy, redemption, danger, and--best of all--the canine narrator Enzo. This old soul of a dog has much to teach to us about being human. I loved this book. -- Sara Gruen, Author of Water for Elephants

I savored Garth Steins 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. Since finishing this engagingly unique novel, Ive found myself staring at my own dog, thinking, Hmm, I wonder ... -- Wally Lamb, Author of She's Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True

The Art of Racing in the Rain takes you on an unforgettable journey through another kind of mind, through the eyes -- and nose -- of a dog. I found it fascinating. -- Temple Grandin, Author of Animals in Translation

Read the reviews.