Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend

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Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend

by Susan Orlean

Simon & Schuster | August 29, 2013 | Hardcover

Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend is rated 4 out of 5 by 1.
He believed the dog was immortal.

So begins Susan Orlean’s sweeping, powerfully moving account of Rin Tin Tin’s journey from orphaned puppy to movie star and international icon. Orlean, a staff writer at The New Yorker who has been hailed as “a national treasure” by The Washington Post, spent nearly ten years researching and reporting her most captivating book to date: the story of a dog who was born in 1918 and never died.

It begins on a battlefield in France during World War I, when a young American soldier, Lee Duncan, discovered a newborn German shepherd in the ruins of a bombed-out dog kennel. To Duncan, who came of age in an orphanage, the dog’s survival was a miracle. He saw something in Rin Tin Tin that he felt compelled to share with the world. Duncan brought Rinty home to California, where the dog’s athleticism and acting ability drew the attention of Warner Bros. Over the next ten years, Rinty starred in twenty-three blockbuster silent films that saved the studio from bankruptcy and made him the most famous dog in the world. At the height of his popularity, Rin Tin Tin was Hollywood’s number one box office star.

During the decades that followed, Rinty and his descendants rose and fell with the times, making a tumultuous journey from silent films to talkies, from black-and-white to color, from radio programs to one of the most popular television shows of the baby boom era, The Adventures of Rin-Tin-Tin. The canine hero’s legacy was cemented by Duncan and a small group of others—including Bert Leonard, the producer of the TV series, and Daphne Hereford, the owner of the current Rin Tin Tin—who have dedicated their lives to making sure the dog’s legend will never die.

At its core, Rin Tin Tin is a poignant exploration of the enduring bond between humans and animals. It is also a richly textured history of twentieth-century entertainment and entrepreneurship. It spans ninety years and explores everything from the shift in status of dogs from working farmhands to beloved family members, from the birth of obedience training to the evolution of dog breeding, from the rise of Hollywood to the past and present of dogs in war. Filled with humor and heart and moments that will move you to tears, Susan Orlean’s first original book since The Orchid Thief is an irresistible blend of history, human interest, and masterful storytelling—a dazzling celebration of a great American dog by one of our most gifted writers.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 336 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 1.1 in

Published: August 29, 2013

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1439190135

ISBN - 13: 9781439190135

Found in: Science and Nature

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Must for dog lovers & Rin Tin Tin buffs 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
Date published: 2011-09-26

– More About This Product –

Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend

by Susan Orlean

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 336 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 1.1 in

Published: August 29, 2013

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1439190135

ISBN - 13: 9781439190135

About the Book

Acclaimed bestselling author of "The Orchid Thief" Susan Orleans traces the life and enduring legacy of canine hero Rin Tin Tin.

Read from the Book

Rin Tin Tin   FOREVER H e believed the dog was immortal. “There will always be a Rin Tin Tin,” Lee Duncan said, time and time again, to reporters, to visitors, to fan magazines, to neighbors, to family, to friends. At first this must have sounded absurd—just wishful thinking about the creature that had eased his loneliness and made him famous around the world. And yet, just as Lee believed, there has always been a Rin Tin Tin. The second Rin Tin Tin was not the talent his father was, but still, he was Rin Tin Tin, carrying on what the first dog had begun. After Rin Tin Tin Jr. there was Rin Tin Tin III, and then another Rin Tin Tin after him, and then another, and then another: there has always been another. And Rin Tin Tin has always been more than a dog. He was an idea and an ideal—a hero who was also a friend, a fighter who was also a caretaker, a mute genius, a companionable loner. He was one dog and many dogs, a real animal and an invented character, a pet as well as an international celebrity. He was born in 1918 and he never died. There were low moments and setbacks when Lee did doubt himself and Rin Tin Tin. The winter of 1952 was one such point. Lee was broke. He had washed out of Hollywood and was living in the blank, baked valley east of Los Angeles, surviving on his wife’s job at an orange-packing plant while Rin Tin Tin survived on free kibble Lee received through an old sponsorship arrangement with Ken-L-Ration, the dog food co
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From the Publisher

He believed the dog was immortal.

So begins Susan Orlean’s sweeping, powerfully moving account of Rin Tin Tin’s journey from orphaned puppy to movie star and international icon. Orlean, a staff writer at The New Yorker who has been hailed as “a national treasure” by The Washington Post, spent nearly ten years researching and reporting her most captivating book to date: the story of a dog who was born in 1918 and never died.

It begins on a battlefield in France during World War I, when a young American soldier, Lee Duncan, discovered a newborn German shepherd in the ruins of a bombed-out dog kennel. To Duncan, who came of age in an orphanage, the dog’s survival was a miracle. He saw something in Rin Tin Tin that he felt compelled to share with the world. Duncan brought Rinty home to California, where the dog’s athleticism and acting ability drew the attention of Warner Bros. Over the next ten years, Rinty starred in twenty-three blockbuster silent films that saved the studio from bankruptcy and made him the most famous dog in the world. At the height of his popularity, Rin Tin Tin was Hollywood’s number one box office star.

During the decades that followed, Rinty and his descendants rose and fell with the times, making a tumultuous journey from silent films to talkies, from black-and-white to color, from radio programs to one of the most popular television shows of the baby boom era, The Adventures of Rin-Tin-Tin. The canine hero’s legacy was cemented by Duncan and a small group of others—including Bert Leonard, the producer of the TV series, and Daphne Hereford, the owner of the current Rin Tin Tin—who have dedicated their lives to making sure the dog’s legend will never die.

At its core, Rin Tin Tin is a poignant exploration of the enduring bond between humans and animals. It is also a richly textured history of twentieth-century entertainment and entrepreneurship. It spans ninety years and explores everything from the shift in status of dogs from working farmhands to beloved family members, from the birth of obedience training to the evolution of dog breeding, from the rise of Hollywood to the past and present of dogs in war. Filled with humor and heart and moments that will move you to tears, Susan Orlean’s first original book since The Orchid Thief is an irresistible blend of history, human interest, and masterful storytelling—a dazzling celebration of a great American dog by one of our most gifted writers.

About the Author

Staff writer for The New Yorker since 1992 and has also written for Outside, Esquire, Rolling Stone, and Vogue. She graduated from the University of Michigan and worked as a reporter in Portland, Oregon, and Boston, Massachusetts. She now lives in New York City and can be reached via the internet at www.susanorlean.com

Editorial Reviews

“Stirring . . . A tale of passion and dedication overcoming adversity. . . . Even readers coming to Rin Tin Tin for the first time will find it difficult to refrain from joining Duncan in his hope that Rin Tin Tin’s legacy will ‘go on forever.’” —Publishers Weekly
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