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Publisher's Summary

"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.
©2011 Susan Orlean (P)2011 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Critic Reviews

“Move over Seabiscuit, Rin Tin Tin will be the most-talked-about animal hero of the year and beyond.... A spectacularly compelling portrait.... Engrossing, dynamic, and affecting.” ( Booklist)
"Rin Tin Tin was more than a dog. He embodied the core paradoxes of the American ideal: He was a loner who was also a faithful companion, a brave fighter who was also vulnerable. I was astonished to learn from this delightful book that he has existed for eleven generations over a century. By chronicling his amazing ups and downs, Susan Orlean has produced a hugely entertaining and unforgettable reading experience." (Walter Isaacson, author of Benjamin Franklin and Einstein)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Sandra L. Hackett on 10-11-11

Hire a narrator!

The story was compelling, but the narration was artless and dull. Even a long distance drive was better once I turned it off. I wish good authors would hire equally skilled narrators to bring their work to life!

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11 of 12 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Pauline on 12-08-11

Don't expect a Laura Hillenbrand quality story

I agree with the other reviews about the artless and flat narration. But the writing is not that much better. It should have been titled "My Life Researching and Obsessing over Rin Tin Tin." Far too much of the book is about the author's experiences in researching the story and her philosophical musings about the actual dog and his movie and TV persona. And her numerous digressions are pointless and tedious. Why did the author find it necessary to devote space to the man who impersonated the actor who had portrayed Rusty on the TV series.
The first part of the book dealing with the discovery of the "real" Rin Tin Tin on a WWI battlefield and his rise to stardom was interesting.

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8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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