The Art of Racing in the Rain: Book Review

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein is amazing novel that captures the relationship of a man and his best friend beautifully. It is a moving philosophical and emotional story that has become a fan favorite over the years. Keep reading to find out why this novel should be your next read!

The Art of Racing in the Rain Summary

Denny Swift is a race car driver and customer representative at a Seattle BMW dealership. His dog Enzo believes in in the legend that says that a dog who is prepared” will be reincarnated as a human in the next life. Enzo begins his journey and starts to prepare for the next life.

The Art of Racing in the Rain novel dog story
The Art of Racing in the Rain book review

Enzo then spends most of his time watching television and taking in all the information. Mostly, Enzo likes to watch his owner’s favorite hobby, race car driving. From these viewings, Enzo learns life lessons that he plans on applying when he becomes human in his next life.

But Enzo is more than just a dog waiting for his next life. He is also Denny’s support system and plays a big role in Denny’s life by helping him navigate the difficult moments in his life. A dog is a man’s best friend and Enzo proves why that is so. 


The Art of Racing in the Rain Movie trailer

This is one of the few novels that made my eyes teary. Enzo is a phenomenal dog and you can tell how much Garth Stein appreciates dogs. If you are a lover of dogs, then this novel was written for you.

The novel was inspired by movies such as the 1998 Mongolian documentary State of Dogs. It was also inspired by a poem heard by Stein in 2004 of Billy Collins reading the poem The Revenant that was told from a dog’s point of view. Great ideas often come from unexpected sources and I am happy that Stein followed his heart and wrote a book after being inspired from those works.

Originally, the name of the dog was going to be Juan Pablo after the Colombian race car driver Juan Pablo Montoya. He changed the name after his wife’s suggestion. Instead, the dog was named Enzo after Enzo Ferrari, the founder of the Italian automobile company Ferrari. 

The name change was a great move because Enzo is very unique. Small changes like these are why you trust your wife’s better judgement. Maybe Juan Pablo would have been fine once I saw it on paper. Who knows? 

The Art of Racing in the Rain


This is an amazing book and easily one of the best books about dogs that you will read. If you like dogs or are a fan of race car driving, then this should be your next read. And if you aren’t a fan of either, then I recommend it just because of Stein’s writing and the plights of a man going through a lot of stuff. Happy reading!

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