Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend by Susan Orlean


Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend
by Susan Orlean
Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 978-1-4391-9013-5
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Buy From Indigo


Description: He believed the dog was immortal. So begins Susan Orlean’s sweeping, powerfully moving story of Rin Tin Tin’s journey from orphaned puppy to movie star and international icon. From the moment in 1918 when Corporal Lee Duncan discovers Rin Tin Tin on a World War I battlefield, he recognizes something in the pup that he needs to share with the world. Rin Tin Tin’s improbable introduction to Hollywood leads to the dog’s first blockbuster film and over time, the many radio programs, movies, and television shows that follow. The canine hero’s legacy is cemented by Duncan and a small group of others who devote their lives to keeping him and his descendants alive.

At its heart, Rin Tin Tin is a poignant exploration of the enduring bond between humans and animals. But it is also a richly textured history of twentieth-century entertainment and entrepreneurship and the changing role of dogs in the American family and society. Almost ten years in the making, Susan Orlean’s first original book since The Orchid Thief is a tour de force of history, human interest, and masterful storytelling—the ultimate must-read for anyone who loves great dogs or great yarns

The Good Stuff
  • Honestly when I first got this I was a wee bit worried that I wouldn't enjoy, as I knew very little of Rin Tin Tin, but was amazed by how interesting it ended up being
  • Learned so much fascination information about dogs during the war and the history of the German Sheppard (My fav type of Dog)
  • Interesting background info about the beginnings of the film and tv industry
  • Incredibly well researched 
  • What could have been a dry book, has life brought to it by Orleans writing ability and her passion for the subject matter
  • Lots of background on dogs in the entertainment industry and their valiant efforts during the war (The stuff about the dogs during the war made me cry)
  • You really get a feel of the emotions of the depression in the US and understand how this dog brought light and hope into the lives of those who were struggling
The Not so Good Stuff
  • Would have like more pictures
  • The organization of the book jumps a little so you have to be paying attention - I'm a speed reader so this is a little disjointing for me
  • Now I want a dog -- damn you I got enough needy male creatures in my house (Dogs are boys, Cats are girls LOL)
  • Really liked Orlean's writing style and I look forward to reading more by her
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"I began to understand that what drew me to Rin Tin Tin most of all was his permanence - how he manged to linger in the minds of so many people for so long, when so much else shines for a moment only and then finally fades away. He was something you could dream about."


"I had wanted to create something permanent in my life- some proof that everything in its way mattered, that working hard mattered, that feeling things mattered, that even sadness and loss mattered, because it was all part of something that would live on. But I had also come to recognize that not everything needs to be durable. the lesson we have yet to learn from dogs, that could sustain us, is that having no apprehension of the past or future is not limiting but liberating."

"A singular passion helps you slice through the mess of the world, but I had also come to believe that cutting such a a narrow path plays tricks with proportion and balance and pushes everything that much closer to the edge. It's not that passionate people are crazy; it's that by necessity, the have traded the sweep of a big view for one that's contracted and focused. which can give their world a peculiar shape."

Who should/shouldn't read
  • Dog lovers will enjoy
  • Obviously fans of Rin Tin Tin will be enthralled by this
4 Dewey's

I received this from Simon and Schuster in exchange for an honest review

1 comment:

  1. I don't know anything about Rin Tin Tin but I am a dog lover so I'd probably enjoy this one.
    I guess I never really thought about it, but dogs are more like males and cats like females. We have one of each :)

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