The Art of Racing in the Rain is told from the viewpoint of Enzo, the dog belonging to aspiring race driver Denny Swift. Enzo loves riding in the race car with Denny, cares for Denny's wife Eve as she dies of cancer, worries about Denny's daughter Zoe as she is taken from her father by Eve's parents. Enzo observes intently and thinks deeply - about the injustice of life as a dog (“Those monkey-thumbs were meant for dogs. Give me my thumbs, you fu**ing monkeys!”), about the foolishness of people ("So much of language is compromised of looks and gestures and sounds that are not words. People are ignorant of the vast complexity of their own communication.”), and about the glory of struggling to accomplish great things.
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 order to triumph.
The story traces the challenges faced by Denny as he chases his dream. Enzo observes and learns about racing, people, and life as he shares in the journey.