Review – The Art of Racing in the Rain

The Art of Racing in the Rain

by Garth Stein


I have seen this book all over the place, so, wondering what the big deal is, I borrowed it.  If you want a quick read that makes you weep and gives you pointers on life, this is the book for you!  It is narrated by Enzo, a philosophical dog and is about his family and his life.  His owner, Denny, is a race car driver who knows how to drive well on a wet race track.  There is a special art to racing in the rain which can be applied to how you live your life as well.

So, to add rain to this man’s life, a whole sh*t load of problems and horrible things descend upon him.  How he reacts to the rain in his life, his focus to make it through the curves leads to whether he will crash and burn or make it through for the win.  It is allegorical and all that good stuff.  It is told simply and well.

So, I read the first 3/5’s of this book in one sitting, then I threw the book down in an emotional tizzy because I felt so manipulated because so much crap gets piled on this poor guy.  It is a little heavy handed, so I suggest you read this for the interesting POV and the emotional rollercoaster it takes you on.  I picked it up again to finish it and didn’t have another freak out, so that was good.  I enjoyed it.  I think if I read it in smaller chunks I would have had a better time of it.  Since it goes so quickly and the chapters are short and easy I ate too much of the book all at once and got a tummy-ache.  I wept, dang it, I laughed, it was nice and it ultimately makes you feel good.  3 stars.

This sort of summed up the book for me:

“No race has ever been won in the first corner,” he said.  “But plenty of races have been lost there.”  …

“That’s right,” he said to me, “If we’re going to be a cliche, let’s be a positive cliche.”

About ocdreader

I love to read! I always have a book or four going, I have more books in my to-be-read pile than I can read in a year and yet I continue to haunt the bookstores. I have a problem, but I somehow soldier on. I enjoy talking books, so pass on your recommendations and thoughts - I would love to hear them.
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6 Responses to Review – The Art of Racing in the Rain

  1. diannegray says:

    Great review. I love the way you’re always so honest!

    Love this line – ‘I ate too much of the book all at once and got a tummy-ache’

    🙂 🙂

    • ocdreader says:

      I am trying so hard for honesty! Thanks Dianne. I am really enjoying the writing aspect of blogging and reviewing, even though it is HARD and time consuming and cuts into my reading time 🙂 but I hope to be keeping it interesting too.

  2. I’ve heard a lot about my book–mostly from my wife, who said to me, “Ooh, it’s told from the POV of the family dog. You should totally read this!” You know, because, well… I like dogs. They’re my favorite animal. We get each other. It’s totally platonic, though.

    Anyway, thank you so much for reviewing this book. It sounds as if it was a solid read, but that it was filled with some trite bits of philosophic advice after dumping a bucket of crap on the protagonist’s head… and I don’t generally like those types of books.

    Great review, all round. Funny, entertaining, informative. I’m following by RSS now. 😉


    • ocdreader says:

      That is why I thought I might enjoy the book, the dog POV, which I must admit was pretty cool…then you just get wacked over the head with a shovel.
      I have been following your blog for a while now – you tell it like it is and it cracks me the hell up, you also use literary terms and make me feel like a slacker – I like it. 🙂

      • readabookonce says:

        Ha! Yeah, I guess I feel duty bound to use some of those fancy terms my liberal arts education bought me. But thanks all the same. You’ll probably see me around more often now. No worries, I’m not stalking you. 🙂


  3. beckyday6 says:

    Haha, love the quote!

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