Rin Tin Tin

The Life and the Legend

By Susan Orlean
(Simon & Schuster, Paperback, 9781439190142, 352pp.)

Publication Date: October 9, 2012

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback, Hardcover, Hardcover, Compact Disc, Paperback

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Fall '12 Reading Group List
“This is the story of a young man whose fateful journey collides with that of a battlefield puppy, setting into motion an extraordinary tale of devotion. Beginning with a tale of redemption, Orlean unfolds a riveting account of the history of both the German shepherd, whose breed exemplifies the good-natured qualities that have made dog and human relationships unparalleled in society, and early American movie making. The result is a wonderful odyssey beautifully depicting loyalty and friendship in a remarkable history lesson and an entertaining read.”
-- Megan Bruce, Watermark Books, Wichita, KS
Selected by Indie Booksellers for the October 2011 Indie Next List


Description

He believed the dog was immortal. So begins Susan Orlean’s sweeping, powerfully moving account of Rin Tin Tin’s journey from abandoned puppy to movie star and international icon. Spanning almost one hundred years of history, from the dog’s improbable discovery on a battlefield in 1918 to his tumultuous rise through Hollywood and beyond, Rin Tin Tin is a love story about "the mutual devotion between one man and one dog" (The Wall Street Journal) that is also a quintessentially American story of reinvention, a captivating exploration of our spiritual bond with animals, and a stirring meditation on mortality and immortality.




About the Author

Susan Orlean has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1992. She is the author of seven books, including Rin Tin Tin, Saturday Night, and The Orchid Thief, which was made into the Academy Award–winning film Adaptation. She lives with her family and her animals in upstate New York and may be reached at SusanOrlean.com and Twitter.com/SusanOrlean.




NPR
Monday, Jan 9, 2012

The orphaned German shepherd was found in the wreckage of a kennel during World War I. Writer Susan Orlean details how he became one of the biggest film stars of the silent era in Rin Tin Tin: The Life and Legend. More at NPR.org

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Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. Were you familiar with Rin Tin Tin before reading this book? What memories do you have of the famous dog? What was it like to delve back into the history of Rin Tin Tin? If this was your first introduction to him, what impressions did the book give you?




Praise For Rin Tin Tin

“Deeply moving . . . Unforgettable.”

“A masterpiece.”

“Magnificent.”

“Epic . . . Heartfelt . . . An enormously satisfying story about a dog and the man who believed in him.”
-Carol Memmott

“Fascinating . . . Sweeping . . . Expertly told . . . [Orlean] may persuade even the most hardened skeptic that Rin Tin Tin belongs on Mount Rushmore with George Washington and Teddy Roosevelt, or at least somewhere nearby with John Wayne and Seabiscuit.”
-Jennifer Schuessler

“A story of magnificent obsession. Nearly a decade in the making, combining worldwide research with personal connection, it offers the kind of satisfactions you only get when an impeccable writer gets hold of one heck of a story.”
-Kenneth Turan

“Stunning . . . Truly exceptional . . . A book so moving it melted the heart of at least this one dogged Lassie lover . . . . Calling Rin Tin Tin the story of a dog is like calling Moby-Dick the story of a whale.”
-Meredith Maran

“Susan Orlean has written a book about how an orphaned dog became part of millions of households, and hearts, in a way that may reveal the changing bonds between humans and animals, too. . . . One of the many pleasures of this book is the historical breadth of the story.”
-Scott Simon

“An improbably fascinating tale of one of the first canine celebrities, the times that catapulted him to fame, and the legacy that endures.”

“Brilliant . . . If there were any book she was born to write, it's this one. The product of years of dogged research, it's her magnum opus, a work filled with fascinating stories . . . [and] stunning prose that is both compassionate and perceptive.”
-Michael Schaub

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