Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend (Unabridged)
by Susan Orlean
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"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 20th-century entertainment and entrepreneurship and the changing role of dogs in the American family and society. Almost 10 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-listen for anyone who loves great dogs or great yarns.
Clumsy and disappointing - and about a lot more than Rin Tin Tin
This is not really a book about Rin Tin Tin as much as it is a book about how the author feels about writing about Rin Tin Tin. It's great that Susan Orlean wanted a dog as a child and that her grandfather owned a Rin Tin Tin doll, but does that add anything to the story? The author seems to think this is her story. She's an uninvited guest who makes herself at home in the Rin Tin Tin legend, and listening to her uninspired speculation and babbling is a chore.