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The Art of Racing In the Rain ~Garth Stein

The art of racing in the rain

This is a biographical work of fiction about a dog as told by a dog.  It is about living in Seattle, Washington and about racing cars.

Racing in the Rain is a multifaceted love story.  It is a hard story and an easy read.  Stein is a very delightful wordsmith who seems to understand and know love.

“The true hero is flawed.  The true test of a champion is not whether he can triumph, but whether he can overcome obstacles – preferably of his own making – in orders to triumph.  A hero without a flaw is of no interests to an audience or to the universe, which, after all, is based on conflict and opposition the irresistible force meeting the unmovable object.”

Mr. Stein has done a great deal of research as it appears from his bio that he is not a Washington native, but rather has come here with new eyes and he liked what he experienced and saw.  He knows dogs and he shares the communications of gestures and myths in a believable manner and fashion.  Stein knows car racing and expounds its practice, theories and the people involved in camaraderie of wisdom.  He knows people and their strange and quirky actions; he only explores one individual and his life and loves via his dog’s understanding.

“People are always worried about what’s happening next.  They often find it difficult to stand still, to occupy the now without worrying about the future.  People are not generally satisfied with what they have; they are very concerned with what they are going to have.”

I would never have chosen this book to read, and our book group has a rule that everyone gets to choose the book they want to have the group read – their own style.  I am so happy that Deb found this book and is insisting we all read it as her birthday gift this July.

I am very happy that it was a fictional story by a very good writer because I have felt the pressure of too many self- help books in a row.  A little good fantasy goes a long way to enjoying the moments of relaxation in our lives.

I try to avoid animal stories because they always – DIE.

Rain is an important part of this story and it could not have been told without this element

5 Ladybugs

“The visible becomes inevitable.  The car goes where the eyes go.”

Cute Enzo video here too!

No one paid me or gave me anything to read and write about this book.  Well, Deb insisted! But I bought the book myself and wanted to share this delightful read with you.  If you purchase any item from Amazon from this site, I will receive a few beans in my bucket or one could donate the purchase of a cuppa!

Related Reading:
The Help
Teaching a Pup to Rain Walk
Merle’s Door: Lessons of a free thinking dog

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13 Responses to “The Art of Racing In the Rain ~Garth Stein”

  1. Hilary Says:

    Hi Patricia .. I agree light reading can do us the power of good … I imagine the context of rain, dogs and racing cars would be quite interesting .. and told through the eyes of a dog .. I think I could read it – whether I’d like it .. but then again something new and a different approach is a good thing.

    I wonder why he chose Washington, and is there a race track there?

    Cheers Hilary
    Hilary recently posted..Artists who loved the countryside … where history entwines them with fingerprints, self-publication and Higgs BosonMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    The Author lives in Seattle – Oh yes there are some race tracks here/even horse racing…but the story is also about Italy…

    Very interesting read

  2. Melody | Deliberate Receiving Says:

    Hi Patricia,
    I’m getting the sense that there’s probably a lot of spiritual wisdom coming from that dog… :)
    I fall into the trap of reading way too many non-fiction books, too. The only time I ever indulge in back to back novels anymore is if I go away for a few days, like a proper vacation. The rest of the time, I’m basically always researching. I should probably address that…

    Thanks for the tip. I’ll check it out.
    Melody | Deliberate Receiving recently posted..Why Things Can Get “Worse” When You Start MeditatingMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Melody – it was a pleasurable read and I’ll be dogged if it was not spiritual too!
    Nice to take a break
    Patricia recently posted..The Art of Racing In the Rain ~Garth SteinMy Profile

  3. Sara Says:


    As usual this is one of your wonderful book reviews. You’ve made me very curious about this book. I will have to look it up. Like you, I’m hesitant to read animals stories because something bad always seems to happen them, especially dogs for some reason.

    I’m the opposite about reading. I almost never read nonfiction. I’m a book addict, however, when it comes to reading fiction:~)

    Thanks the recommendation and I hope your summer is going well.
    Sara recently posted..Thoughtful Thursday: Feeling StuckMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    My work involves lots of reading about change…and it seems like every new self help book…I try to read one fiction a month, but am feeling this summer I need to try to read 1 a week to create a refreshing vacation.

    I really liked this book – animal or not

  4. Patricia Says:

    I read this book a while back. Thoroughly enjoyed it–the sad parts were really sad though.
    Patricia recently posted..Thursday, hot and humid but thankful…My Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Sad is good, when it such a well written story and it can clean the soul
    I so enjoyed the good cry and the good read

  5. Sam Juliano Says:

    Yes, Pat, animal stories are mostly to be avided because they always end in sadness. Heck, even the 2011 Caldecott Medal candidate “City Dog and Country Frog” by Jon Muth and Mo Willems ended tearfully, and it was only about the life cycle of a frog. And then there’s the biggest tearjerker of them all, “Where the Red Fern Grows” by Wilson Rawls, which ends with the death of one dog (of a broken heart) on the grace of his companion.

    This most interesting volume you skillfully cover here reminds me of a French film about a dog who talks and thinks. It’s a dark comedy, with a crafty satirical underpinning:

    Sam Juliano recently posted..Every Saga Has a Beginning: Osamu Tezkua and Kozo Morishita’s “Buddha: The Great Departure”My Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Yep a heart warming story with tears…but also just a great love story with a more manly theme.

    I think it is going to be a great success at book group tonight

    Thank you for the shout out
    Patricia recently posted..VisitorsMy Profile

  6. “Project Nim,” “The Double Hour,” “Planet of the Apes (1968)” and New York Asian Film Festival on Monday Morning Diary (July 11) « Wonders in the Dark Says:

    […] At Patricia’s Wisdom Pat takes an interesting look at a new volume titled “The Art of Racing in the Rain-Garth Stein”:                               http://patriciaswisdom.com/2011/07/the-art-of-racing-in-the-rain-garth-stein/ […]

  7. Davina Haisell Says:

    Patricia, this book sounds fascinating; thanks for sharing. I love how it is told through the eyes of the dog. That alone is enough to make a person want to read, just to see how it plays out.

    “The true test of a champion is not whether he can triumph, but whether he can overcome obstacles – preferably of his own making – in orders to triumph.” This a great perspective when looking at character development as the reader appreciates cheering a character on, watching them triumph and grow. Excellent.

    patricia Reply:

    It is well worth the investment and my book group thought the book was sad from start to finish – so maybe purchase some tissues too – I thought I was great to encounter someone else’s story and have it played out by an observer…some great mindful problem-solving. A very good story teller