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.
With this stirring biographical history, Orlean follows up her bestselling The Orchid Thief with another tale of passion and dedication overcoming adversity and even common sense this one centering on Rin Tin Tin, the German shepherd who founded a film and TV dynasty. After spending a lonely childhood in an orphanage, the young soldier Lee Duncan discovers on the battlefield of WWI France the puppy that will make a name for him as one of Hollywood's top dog trainers, and become his life's guiding purpose. The book follows Rin Tin Tin's trajectory from early Hollywood's "Poverty Row," where Duncan sought the dog's first film deal, to international celebrity in silent films, radio shows, and TV programs. Though Rin Tin Tin's contracts began to lapse in later years, Duncan never ceased grooming canine successors and shopping around scripts, and producer Bert Leonard lived on friends' couches as he poured money into colorizing old episodes of The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin. Orlean directs a sympathetic gaze toward these men so haunted by their memories of the dog that swept them into stardom. 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."
Rim Tin Tin
You will cry more for the humans than you will for the dogs. A must for dog lovers, historians, and movie buffs. I grew up with the TV Rin Tin Tin and as I read this book, all those memories came flooding back.
When I was 16 years old my father asked what I wanted for Christmas I instantly told him “A German Shepherd!”. Ever since then I have always had German Shepherds dogs. While slowly readinng this book during pauses at work it reminded me I grew up watching THE ADVENTURES OF RIN TIN TIN on TV. That explains why I, without a second thought replied, “A German Shepherd” as my Christmas wish.
When I return from work my very own Rin Tin Tin is always there waiting with “that look” in his eyes everytime!
Reading this wonderful book reveals how I fell in love with this marvelous breed and why I still am!
Rin Tin Tin
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Susan Orlean's Rin Tin Tinn!! She obviously did a tremendous amount of research!
It was so interesting & well written! I loved the whole book!! I also listened to it!