i n t e g r a l c o u n s e l i n g i n s t i t u t e
August Book Review and Quotes Archive
The Art of Racing in the Rain
By Garth Stein, 2008 Bright White Light, LLC
Summertime is the time to lighten up and find the joy in life. "The Art of Racing in the Rain" is a quick read
that will provide both laughter and food for thought. . . . through the eyes of a dog who is obsessed with opposable
thumbs, race car driving and his next life, which he is sure will be as a human.
If you spent the summer of 1970 immersed in the Richard Bach novella "Jonathan Livingston Seagull"; learning
lessons of life, flight and self-perfection, then the thoughts and observations of our hero Enzo will both take you
back and rekindle the enlightenment you may have obtained 38 years ago.
On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life. He knows he is different from other dogs; a philosopher with
a nearly human soul, 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, and he sees that life, like racing, isn't simply about going fast.
He discovers that by using the techniques needed on the race track, one can successfully navigate all of life's
"Balance, anticipation, patience. These are vital. Peripheral vision, seeing things you've never seen before.
Kinesthetic sensation, driving by the seat of the pants. But what I've always liked best is when he talks about
having no memory. No memory of things he'd done just a second before. Good or bad. Because memory
is time folding back on itself. To remember is to disengage from the present. In order to reach any kind of
success in automobile racing, a driver must never remember. Racing is doing. It is being part of a moment
and being aware of nothing else but that moment. Reflection must come at a later time. The great champion
Julian SabellaRosa has said, 'When I am racing, my mind and my body are working so quickly and so well
together, I must be sure not to think, or else I will definitely make a mistake'".
With this as Enzo's mantra, we enjoy an enchanting look at bachelorhood, courtship, marriage, childbirth, in-laws,
cancer, death, custody battles and even the human rituals of getting ready for bed each night as only a dog
could see it. And love. . . . . so very much love and devotion. . . . as only a dog could understand it.
Grab your cold drink and sunglasses, put your feet in the kiddie pool and treat yourself to an afternoon in the
hills of Seattle while traveling on four feet and a belief that if you only learn enough in this life you will come back
as the thing you truly long for most. . .
"When I return to this world, I will be a man. I will walk among you. I will lick my lips with my small, dexterous tongue.
I will shake hands with other men, grasping firmly with my opposable thumbs. And I will teach people all that I know.
And when I see a man or a woman or a child in trouble, I will extend my hand, both metaphorically and physically.
I will offer my hand. To him. to her. To you. To the world. I will be a good citizen, a good partner in the endeavor
of life that we all share."
And you will never look at your dog quite the same way again.
August Weekly Quotes from "The Art of Racing in the Rain"
"Memory is time folding back on itself. To remember is to disengage from the present." ~ Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain
"I know this much about racing in the rain. I know it is about balance. It is about anticipation and patience. I know all of the driving
skills that are necessary for one to be successful in the rain. But racing in the rain is also about the mind! It is about owning one's
own body. About believing that one's car is merely an extension of one's body. About believing that the track is an extension of the
car, and the rain is an extension of the track, and the sky is an extension of the rain. It is about believing that you are not you; you
are everything. And everything is you. ~ Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain
"I am fine. I am wonderful. I am. I am". ~ Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain
"It is better to drive within oneself and finish the race behind the others than it is to drive too hard and crash". ~ Garth Stein, The Art
of Racing in the Rain
"There is no dishonor in losing the race. There is only dishonor in not racing because you are afraid to lose". ~ Garth Stein, The Art
of Racing in the Rain
"The race is long -- to finish first, first you must finish". ~ Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain
"To live every day as if it had been stolen from death, that is how I would like to live. To feel the joy of life. To separate oneself from
the burden, the angst, the anguish that we all encounter every day. To say I am alive, I am wonderful, I am. I am. That is something
to aspire to". ~ Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain
"Not all dogs return as men, they say; only those who are ready". ~ Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain