The Art of Racing in the Rain
|January 1, 2008
June 9, 2009
The Art of Racing in the Rain is a 2008 novel by American author and film producer Garth Stein — told from a dog's point of view. The novel became a New York Times bestseller, remaining on the list for more than 156 weeks.
The novel follows the story of Denny Swift, a race car driver and customer representative in a high-end Seattle auto dealership, and his dog Enzo, who believes in the Mongolian legend that a dog who is prepared will be reincarnated in his next life as a human. Enzo sets out to prepare, with The Seattle Times calling his journey "a struggle to hone his humanness, to make sense of the good, the bad and the unthinkable."
Enzo spends most of his days watching and learning from television, gleaning what he can about his owner's greatest passion, race car driving — and relating it to life. Enzo eventually plays a key role in Denny's child-custody battle with his in-laws, and distills his observations of the human condition in the mantra "that which you manifest is before you." Enzo helps Denny throughout his life, through his ups and downs.
Inspiration for the novel came after Stein watched the 1998 Mongolian documentary State of Dogs, and then later in 2004 heard poet Billy Collins give a reading of the poem "The Revenant," told from a dog's point of view.
Stein had originally named the dog "Juan Pablo" after Colombian race car driver Juan Pablo Montoya, but changed his name at the suggestion of his wife, naming the dog instead after Enzo Ferrari, founder of the famous Italian automobile marque of the same name.
The race car driving experience of the novel's character, Denny, is based on Stein's own experience in racing cars, and on another race car driver who is a close friend of Stein's who was dealing with some family turbulence at the time. Stein moved from New York City to Seattle in 2001 and became involved in "high performance driver education," received his racing license with the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), and won the points championship in the Northwest region Spec Miata class in 2003. Stein left racing after crashing while racing in the rain.
- "Paperback Trade Fiction Bestseller List". The New York Times. March 19, 2010.
- Billing, Karen. "Bestselling author discusses work ‘from a dog’s point of view’". Carmel Valley News.
- Davila, Florangela (May 9, 2008). "Old soul inside a good dog in "Racing in the Rain". The Seattle Times.
- "Frequently Asked Questions About The Art of Racing in the Rain". GarthStein.com.
- "AUTHOR TALK: Garth Stein". Bookreporter.com. May 16, 2008.
- "AUTHOR TALK: Garth Stein". Bookreporter.com. May 16, 2008. "When I crashed my car pretty badly --- ironically, while racing in the rain --- I decided to semi-retire from racing, and now I only race enough to keep my license current."
- Fleming, Michael (July 15, 2009), Dempsey shifts gears for Universal, Variety
- Boucher, Geoff (July 25, 2011), Dempsey hopes to leave 'McDreamy' in rearview, Chicago Tribune