Rin Tin Tin by Susan Orlean
The Life and the Legend

77%

19 Critic Reviews

Orlean writes sentences that make you ache with longing for moments in the past...whether it be the comforts of a beloved pet or the joy of reading a great book like this one.
-Forbes

Synopsis

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 Susan Orlean

See more books from this Author
Susan Orlean is a staff writer for The New Yorker 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. Orlean is the author of The Orchid Thief and Rin Tin Tin: The Life and Legend. She now lives in New York City and can be reached via the internet at www.susanorlean.com
 
Published September 27, 2011 by Simon & Schuster. 354 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Humor & Entertainment, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, History, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Oct 16 2011
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Rin Tin Tin
All: 19 | Positive: 16 | Negative: 3

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by JENNIFER SCHUESSLER on Oct 20 2011

Rin Tin Tin himself is also strangely absent from the story, or at least strangely indistinct.

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Jul 11 2011

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."

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Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by Holly Weiss on Sep 18 2011

Rin Tin Tin is impeccably researched and full of details of Hollywood, television and American life. Lee’s war experience, the rescue of Rin Tin Tin, and the parts he played in movies are the most compelling sections of the book.

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WSJ online

Good
Reviewed by Scott Eyman on Oct 01 2011

Ms. Orlean...explores "the life and the legend" of Rin Tin Tin and perceptively illuminates both. It's a pleasure to report that the legend is also the truth and to be reminded of just how remarkable a dog Rin Tin Tin really was.

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Examiner

Good
Reviewed by Sharon Damon on Oct 08 2011

Susan Orlean has created a fascinating history of a dog, yes, but she has also opened a discussion of many larger issues, which are highly relevant and provocative. This is a truly terrific book!

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NY Journal of Books

Good
Reviewed by Vinton Rafe McCabe on Sep 27 2011

Throughout Rin Tin Tin: The Life of the Legend Susan Orlean presents a story that is as engrossing as it is illuminating, which is, of course, her special magic.

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Star Tribune

Below average
Reviewed by KRISTIN TILLOTSON on Nov 12 2011

The insertion of first-person anecdotes and reactions...seems out of place here, as if she's trying too hard to connect her own life to Rinty's legend.

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Book Reporter

Good
Reviewed by Kate Ayers on Sep 29 2011

Baby boomers will eat this up, and then pass it on to their children and grandchildren, who will do the same. After all, it’s about Rin Tin Tin.

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The Economist

Good
on Feb 04 2012

Few writers can elevate a yarn about a Hollywood dog into a meditation on the durability of myth and the nature of heroism... With this book, the story of Rin Tin Tin will more certainly live on.

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AV Club

Good
Reviewed by Ellen Wernecke on Oct 26 2011

Orlean navigates around the less-savory aspects of the business that sprung up around the pup without puncturing the myth.

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Entertainment Weekly

Above average
Reviewed by Clark Collis on Sep 14 2011

...Susan Orlean relates the histories of the original Rin Tin Tin and his various successors with her customary eye for captivating detail and, rather less winningly, the ambition of injecting herself into this shaggy-dog story whenever possible.

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LA Times

Good
Reviewed by Kenneth Turan on Oct 02 2011

Orlean has not only ferreted out all kinds of fascinating Rinty arcana, she is especially good at contextualizing what it all means.

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The Telegraph

Good
Reviewed by Nicholas Shakespeare on Jan 23 2012

...she constructs an efficient and unexpectedly charming narrative.

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USA Today

Good
Reviewed by Carol Memmott on Sep 26 2011

...young pop-culture enthusiasts may discover him again thanks to Orlean's enormously satisfying story about a dog and the man who believed in him.

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Dallas News

Good
Reviewed by BEATRIZ TERRAZAS on Sep 30 2011

This marks Orlean’s biggest gift to readers — her willingness to explore others’ lives, her fearlessness in mining their emotions and her own, and her quest to leave no stone unturned when following a story.

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Forbes

Good
Reviewed by Nathan Pensky on Oct 17 2011

Orlean writes sentences that make you ache with longing for moments in the past...whether it be the comforts of a beloved pet or the joy of reading a great book like this one.

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Boston.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Meredith Maran on Oct 09 2011

... a truly exceptional book that marries historical journalism, memoir, and the technique of character-driven, psychologically astute, finely crafted fiction: a whole far greater than the sum of its parts.

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The New Republic

Good
Reviewed by David Thomson on Oct 03 2011

She has done a fine job with this book, and it is to be numbered among the best Hollywood biographies.

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National Post arts

Above average
Reviewed by Kate Carraway on Oct 14 2011

The dog-hero as parable, and the history of work animals becoming man’s best friend, are excellent, but that’s really just because it’s Susan Orlean. At the halfway point, she begins to seem simply too talented for what amounts to a classic Hollywood — and American, city-on-the-hill-style — tale of ambition...

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Reader Rating for Rin Tin Tin
71%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 337 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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