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The Art of Racing in the Rain

Written by: Garth Stein
Narrated by: Christopher Evan Welch
Length: 6 hrs and 56 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (226 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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. 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, Zoe, 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 Zoe at his side.

Having learned what it takes to be a compassionate and successful person, the wise canine can barely wait until his next lifetime, when he is sure he will return as a man.

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.

©2008 Bright White Light, LLC (P)2008 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

fantastic story!

Beautiful story, a great narrator, musical interludes were unnecessary, distracting and louder then the narrator.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great book, great reading by the narrator

I really enjoyed this book. However, nobody warned me it's a tear jerker, and it is certainly that. The only thing I didn't like was the periodic music interludes that presumably broke the chapters up into groups? I don't know, I don't understand why the interludes are there. It's not necessary and a bit irritating. Great novel and wonderful narration.

1 person found this helpful

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Simply beautiful!

You will never see or talk to your dog the same way again after listening to or reading this book. The love, the understanding and the connection. I absolutely loved it!

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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The best audio book

A touching story from a great perspective. The performance is great and It’s easily the first book I recommend on audible. #Audible1

1 person found this helpful

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Great touching story expertly narrated

This audio presentation had top notch Narration and the story was very enjoyable. Highly recommend.

1 person found this helpful

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A great listen and life reaffirming lessons.

I was recommended the read by a co-worker and 1/2 way thru my good friend found out I was listening to it. He added that he enjoyed it and knew I would like it. A good story reaffirms life lessons while entertaining you... and this story did exactly this.

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent story

If you have ever wondered what a dog thinks about when you go out, well Enzo can tell you all about what he thinks. A heart warming good read, worth the second read through. Enjoy it!

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For me it was a big tear jerker!

I wasn't sure at the beginning if I was going to like it , but I was sucked into the story.
I have a senior dog and it tugged at my heart strings mixed with the family tragedy and drama I was a weeping mess in places.

I recommend this book but be warned that this story may cause leaky eye syndrome.

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walked my dog for 6 hours in 2 days

Just got a puppy and i'm obsessed with him. This book made me laugh and cry and really put myself in my pups shoes. I use this app while walking my dog. As i was so eager to listen i continually did another lap to hear what happened next. What a joy.

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Not My Cup of Tea

pretty cut and dry as far as story goes. has some good lessons in it that alot of people could learn from but aside from that not worth reading to me.

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Cliff
  • 2009-03-04

A stunning read

I'll admit it... I frequently judge books by their covers. As a new owner of a yellow Labrador Retriever, this book screamed at me to pick it up off the table at our local library. I devoured the book, finishing it in just under two days. Then my wife read it at lightning speed.
This is where is gets weird...
After my wife read the book I read it again (something I have never done with fiction). Not only did I read it a second time, but then I picked it up here on audible.
Yes, it simply *is* that good!
The story is unique, and the main character's perspective is captivating. The book has really stuck with me, leading me to place a quote from it in my office at work.
Give it a listen, I'm certain you'll enjoy it.

156 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Roger
  • 2010-02-23

5 out of 3000

I have over 3000 audiobooks in two accounts - and have listened to them all - even when I should have stopped. The Art of Racing in the Rain is without question one of the five best.

192 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lora
  • 2008-06-17

Enzo (because he's so wize) for president.

Of the 125 books I've listened to, this one is my favorite. The human characters were beautifully developed, but Enzo the dog will steal your heart. The story brings out a full range of emotions; I laughed many times, and cried when it was over. My husband is listening to it now, and he thinks it's great too. Don't miss it.

109 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Wendy
  • 2010-04-12

A Beautifully Told Story

I was skeptical about listening to this book because I am a dog lover and I was afraid that it would be too sad for me. However, this was incredibly well-written. I never got to the point where I was too distraught to listen. This book took me through a full range of emotions. One minute I was tearing up and the next I was chuckling to myself. It brought to mind my own beloved dog(s).
I highly recommend this book!!!

75 people found this helpful

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  • FanB14
  • 2012-05-04

Artful Surprise

What did you love best about The Art of Racing in the Rain?

The intelligence of the narrator. I dodged this book for so long because I thought it would be simplistic as just another dog book riding the "Marley & Me" coat tails. I finally listened to this after an Audible sale purchase and was amazed. The depth of the observations made by the narrator about what it's like to be a dog were spot on. All characters were fleshed out well and I felt the whole range of emotions Denny & Enzo. Fantastic book.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Enzo was insightful and intelligent and well versed in new age theory. He was funny and honest.

What about Christopher Evan Welch’s performance did you like?

Welch's voice emotes all the intelligence and wit possessed by Enzo. He sounds honest, forthright, and strong, just like Enzo.

If you could rename The Art of Racing in the Rain, what would you call it?

The name is perfect. As with all good titles, it has many meanings. It alludes to Denny's racing and all of the character's individual philosophy of life.

Any additional comments?

Buy this one. Great story & narrator.

91 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Bonnie L. Mcintosh
  • 2010-01-31

Inspiring without being cheesy

I am a dog person, not a cat person, so that was easy. But I had a bit of trouble keeping going through a couple parts as they closely reflected things that are happening with my dog. But how they were done was good and eventually not as painful as I thought they would be. On the whole, I loved the entire book. The dog's perspective was well done. The book gave me something to think about as to how to live my life. Good narrator. I'll be reading it again.

54 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ella
  • 2009-03-16

Pushes the Emotional Envelope

I truly enjoy when a book challenges my emotions. A book that can do that, captures me, and I become part of it. It doesnt happen often, but it did happen in The Art of Racing in the Rain. A real human interest story with very high highs and low lows, all told from the view of the family dog. I love it! I am also a long time dog owner and lover and I appreciated all the little nuances that could only come from someone who truly knows how a dog behaves. As for the racing part, I know nothing about racing but it fit the story perfectly and I found I did not need to know a thing about racing or even be interested in it. The story takes you from the depths of despair to the heights of euphoria. It doesnt often get better than this.

44 people found this helpful

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  • Liz
  • 2017-08-26

MUSIC IN AUDIOBOOKS - WHY?

Any additional comments?

I've read other books narrated by a dog and liked them more. I didn't get very attached to the characters on this one. The story wasn't bad, I just wouldn't brag on it.

I do have a question for Harper, who produced this book.
Question: Do the producers at Harper ever read a printed book? If so, do you stop between chapters or parts and turn on music before you move on to the rest of the book? Just wondering WHY you think it's a splendid idea to insert music into the books you produce. Some of us listen in bed at night and music suddenly blaring in your ear is very irritating. It's irritating at any place in any book. Please STOP IT.

52 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • M. Pennell
  • 2008-06-14

What a Story!

It's been a while since I listened to a book and felt moved enough to write a review but this is one of the best this year. The premise is outlandish but it really works, the writing is beautiful. This story has everything in it - humor, friends, family, love and death. Within the first 5 minutes you are hooked on this story and will have a hard time turning it off. The narration and production of this book is excellent.

20 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • AudioAddict
  • 2014-05-06

Heartwarming and uplifting, yes, after 6 sad hours

STORY (fiction) - Enzo is a labrador who lives in present-day Seattle. He watches Law & Order, The Science Channel and LOVES to watch car races because his owner, Denny, is a race car driver. Enzo is very smart, philosophical and also happens to be the teller of this story . The summary gives a lot of the plot away, so I don't mind telling you that Enzo's family goes through a lot of sadness. Denny's wife dies, then her parents try to get custody of his daugher by playing dirty. This affects his job ... and on and on. As Enzo tells the story from his doggie perspective, he explains how he plans to be a human in his next life. He talks about a lot of famous race car drivers and their accomplishments. He also draws a lot of parallels between driving a race car and managing your own life. For example, "The car goes where your eyes go." In other words, keep your eyes on your dream, don't give up, and you will get where you want to in life. As I said, Enzo is a very deep dog!!

To be honest, I didn't like most of the book. It's well-written and there are some funny moments when Enzo resorts to acting like a plain old dog, but mostly it's just a downer. Then all of a sudden, Enzo is able to do something amazing which totally changes the direction of his family's lives. It comes totally out of left field -- NO WAY will you see it coming -- and it's great. It will make you laugh, smile, maybe even cheer. So I guess the bottom line is this: Are you in the mood to hear a lot of sadness before a heartwarming ending?

PERFORMANCE - The narrator has the voice of a man in his late 20's, early 30's. He does a good job, but there's nothing remarkable about the performance.

OVERALL (actual rating 3.5) - Well-done book, but I don't really like to wallow in as much misery as this dog and his family did. This would appeal to guys and gals equally, but it's definitely not a cute dog book for family listening. There's a tiny bit of cursing and sexual content, but shouldn't bother most listeners.

9 people found this helpful