Published in 2008, The Art of Racing in the Rain is the award-winning third novel by American author, filmmaker, and amateur car-racer Garth Stein. The novel remained on the New York Times Bestsellers List for over 156 weeks. Production rights for a film adaptation were acquired by Universal Pictures in 2009, with plans for Patrick Dempsey to star, but more recently Disney Studios has picked up the rights and put plans for the film back into motion.
The Art of Racing in the Rain was inspired by the 1998 Mongolian documentary State of Dogs and Billy Collins's poem "The Revenant," which, like Stein's novel, was written from a dog's point of view. Stein was also inspired by his own experiences with car racing as well as those of a close friend who was having family troubles at the time of the novel's composition.
The dog, Enzo, is named after Enzo Ferrari, founder of the car manufacturer of the same name.
In one Dallas-area school district, the novel was banned due to a controversial scene where an underage girl "tries to force herself on the main character and later accuses him of rape."