The Art of Racing in the Rain


Garth Stein

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The Art of Racing in the Rain: Chapter 3 Summary & Analysis

Stepping out of the narrative of his puppyhood, Enzo talks about watching racing videos with Denny. Denny always says that when driving in the rain, you must drive very gently, like there are eggshells on the pedals. When the two watch videos, Denny explains these sorts of things to Enzo: balance, kinesthetic sensation, driving by the seat of your pants, and Enzo's favorite: having no memory. Enzo says that memory is time folding back on itself, and when you remember, you disengage from the present. In racing, a driver can't remember. This is why drivers record their races from a variety of cameras. Enzo quotes a driving champion, Julian SabellaRosa, as saying that when he's working so fast, he can't think or he'll make a mistake.
Enzo will sprinkle several of these asides throughout the novel. This particular aside works to help flesh out Denny and Enzo's relationship, which revolves around racing and Denny teaching Enzo the technicalities of driving technique. Enzo's discussion of memory and how it pertains to racing relates back to the novel as a whole, as the narrative is Enzo's memory of the last ten years, and he disengages from his present (as an old dog in pain, close to death) to remember and tell his story.
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