The Art of Racing in the Rain

On HPHS Approved Book List
Currently used for required reading in Sophomore English II Pre-AP  (Typical Age 15-16)

Overview:

The Art of Racing in the Rain features a dog narrating his life with an owner.   The English department is said to have chosen this book for classroom use due to its perspective/narration from the voice of the dog, similar to that of the classics White Fang or Watership Down.

Excerpts:

(Note: This scene describes a married man being seduced by a 15-year-old nude girl, and he is later falsely accused of “felony rape.”)

I opened my eyes and saw her standing over him. Her hair was wet and she wore Denny’s bathrobe. She said nothing. She watched him sleep for several minutes, and I watched her. It was spooky behavior. Creepy. I didn’t like it. She opened her robe, exposing a sliver of pale white flesh and a tattoo of a sunburst encircling her belly button. She didn’t speak. She shrugged off her robe and stood naked, her large breasts with their brown nipples pointing at him. Still, he was unconscious. Asleep.

She reached down and slipped her small hands into the band of his sweatpants. She pulled his pants down to his knees.

“Don’t,” he muttered, his eyes still closed.

He had driven for more than ten hours across a harrowing course of snow and ice and flooding. He had nothing left with which to fend off an attack.

She pulled his pants down to his ankles, then lifted one foot and then the other to remove them completely. She looked at me.

“Shoo,” she said.

I didn’t shoo. I was too angry. And yet I didn’t attack, either. Something was holding me back. The zebra keeps dancing.

She gave me a dismissive look and turned her attention toward Denny.

“Don’t,” he said, sleepily.

“Shhh,” she soothed. “It’s all good.”

I have faith. I will always have faith in Denny. So I have to believe what she did to him was without his consent, without his knowledge. He had nothing to do with it. He was a prisoner of his body, which had no more energy, and she took advantage of him.

Still, I could no longer stand by and watch. I’d been in a position to prevent the demon from destroying Zoe’s toys, and I had failed. I could not fail this new test. I barked sharply, aggressively. I growled, I snapped, and Denny suddenly awakened; his eyes popped open, and he saw the naked girl and he leapt away from her.

“What the hell?” he shouted.

I continued to bark. The demon was still in the room.

“Enzo!” he snapped. “That’s enough!”

I stopped barking, but I kept my eye on her in case she were to assault him once again.

“Where are my pants?” Denny asked frantically, standing on the bed. “What were you doing?”

“I love you so much,” she said.

“I’m married!”

“It’s not like it’s having sex,” she said.

And she crawled onto the bed, reaching for him, so I barked again.

Below are shorter excerpts:

p.2 drag his ass behind him

p.4 shit

p.15 He brought her home and she was sweet smelling…full of fermented drinks that made them both act funny, they were hanging on each other like they had too many clothes between them, and they were pulling at each other, tugging, biting lips, and jabbing fingers and yanking at hair, all elbows and toes and saliva. They fell onto the bed and he mounted her and she said, “The field is fertile—beware!” And he said, “I embrace the fertility.” And he plowed the field until it grasped the sheets in its fists, arched its back and cried out with joy.

p.17 Give me my thumbs, you fucking monkeys!

p.23 the way her breasts fell just so across her chest as she lay on the bed

p.36 They spent almost the entire first night there rolling around naked in every room

p.45 kicked ass

p.53 The now-living zebra said nothing to me at all, but when it saw me it began a dance, a twisting, jerky ballet, which culminated with the zebra repeatedly thrusting its gelded groin into the face of an innocent Barbie doll. …I growled at the molester zebra, but it simply smiled and continued it’s assault, this time picking on a stuffed frog, which it mounted from behind and rode bareback.

I stalked the bastard as it abused and humiliated each of (the) toys with great malice.

It ripped open (its own) seam until it was able to reach in and tear out it’s own stuffing. It continued dismantling itself…handful by handful, until it expelled whatever demon’s blood had brought it to life and was nothing more than a pile of fabric and stuffing that undulated on the floor, beating like a heart ripped from a chest, slowly, slower and then nothing.

p.55 Shit…pissed off

56 dancing sex freak zebra

57 The demon…the evil zebra…the dark creature that came into the house and possessed the stuffed animal. The demon had possessed the zebra and left me at the bloody scene

p.58 Denny sitting on the porch steps with a drink of hard liquor

59 and poured himself another

61 He was blathering, he was drunk

p.67 discussion on fertility “but their exchange (sex) seemed weak and unenthusiastic. She made noise, but she was pretending, I could tell because in the middle of it she looked at me…”

p.68 sinister little bastards

69 crap-filled bags

71 They choked on giant mouthfuls of my shit. My shit!

72 …full of dog shit.

p.79 goddamn….fucking

p.86 for Christ’s sake

p.90 from what I heard in the bedroom late at night, her hands retained all of the necessary flexibility and suppleness to make Denny and herself very happy.

90 Dead Fucking Last

92 but you’re never here anymore when I’m ovulating

93 We could use a turkey baster…I could leave you with a cupful of potential babies in the refrigerator

p.94 The smell would have given me an erection if I’d still had testicles.

p.127 The demon was coming for Eve…I made it clear to the demon…the demon stayed away

134-5 She was a teenager who had a full set of breasts for milking and hips wide enough for childbirth and so was, for all intents and purposes, an adult…

p.141 Fate…is a mean bitch

p.142-43 I opened my eyes and saw her standing over him. Her hair was wet and she wore Denny’s bathrobe. She said nothing. She watched him sleep for several minutes, and I watched her. It was spooky behavior. Creepy. I didn’t like it. She opened her robe, exposing a sliver of pale white flesh and a tattoo of a sunburst encircling her belly button. She didn’t speak. She shrugged off her robe and stood naked, her large breasts with their brown nipples pointing at him. Still he was asleep. She reached down and slipped her small hands into the band of his sweatpants. She pulled his pants down to his knees…she pulled his pants down to his ankles, then lifted one foot and then the other to remove them completely.

I have to believe what she did to him was without his consent, without his knowledge. He had nothing to do with it. He was a prisoner of his body, which had no more energy, and she took advantage of him.

144 “It’s not like it’s having sex,” she said, and she crawled onto the bed, reaching for him

144 I thought you wanted me.

p.145. “I can’t talk to a fifteen-year-old nude woman.”

p.145 Suddenly her massive breasts, heaving with grief, were exposed to him and he had to retreat. This happened several times. He approached to comfort her, she dropped her hands, her breasts shot out at him, he flew back. It’s possible I was witnessing a living interpretation of an antique pornographic penny bank, similar to one I saw in a movie called The Stunt Man, which depicted a bear copulating with a girl on a swing.

p.152 if he shits himself

p.156 you were hauling ass

p.165 I was ruthless. My jaws slapped down on it (the squirrel), cracking its back, my teeth ripped into its fur, and I shook it to death after that, for good measure, I shook it until I heard its neck snap in two. And then I ate it. I ripped it open with my fangs, my incisors, tore into it, and blood was on me, all the blood, hot and rich, I drank its life and I ate its entrails and pulverized its bones and swallowed. I crushed its skull and ate its head. I devoured the squirrel. I had to do it.

p.183 unless you’re cooking meth in your kitchen

183 they’ve already fucked up

p.183 grandparents are pains in the ass because….

p.193 rape of a child…felony rape…but I didn’t rape anyone

p.194 “What child?” “The one you raped.”

p.198 “what the fuck is this all about?”

p.199 “The fuck it is!” “The fuck it’s nothing!”

p.199 “Did you have intercourse with this girl?”

p.199 “Did you penetrate any of her orifices with your genitals or any other object?”

p.199 “A pedophile. A sex offender. A statutory rapist. A child molester.”

p.204 “rapists don’t get custody of their little girls”

p.205 “I put the booze away”

p.211 “Get the hell out of here” “Child molester!”

p.219 A pedophile. A sex offender.

p.221 the fucking dog

p.228 If he’s stupid enough to get caught with his pants down and his pecker in his fist…you’re going to be damn sure…

p.229 sexual molestation

p.232 “What the hell?”

p.232 “Get busy, motherfucker,”

p.236 I’m fucking proud of you.

p.236 You’re a fucking competitor

p.241 kick your ass

p.244 you owe me a shitload

p.264 …Plastic shit-bag. I’ll have this plastic shit bag…I empty my shit bag.

p.265 “Get the hell over here!”

p.267 I urinated on the papers. I piss on their settlement.

p.267 Screw them

p.274 Holy Shit!

p.277 Get the hell out

p.280 Temptress! Seducer! Vixen! …her unrestrained sexuality

p.283 registered as a sex offender

p.288 Where the hell did this come from?

p.302 She offered herself to him

p.311 “Like shit,” I reply