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Editor’s Note

“Man’s Best Friend...”

Not just a sprawling history of a beloved celebrity dog, this biography by New Yorker staff writer Orlean is also a deeply touching tale of loyalty & love.
Alex P.
Scribd Editor
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.

Topics: Hollywood, Adventurous, Dramatic, Dogs, Film, Animals, and Female Author

Published: Simon & Schuster on Sep 27, 2011
ISBN: 9781439190159
List price: $11.99
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Susan Orlean is a good writer and knows how to keep the story interesting.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Dog is cuteread more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I loved the book, was eager to read the story of Rin Tin Tin, did not know Susan and I also liked, I'll find other books of this author for this weekendread more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
good idearead more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Really interestingread more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Interesting look at the Rin Tin Tin phenomenon from the silent film to talkies to the tv show. The book explores Rin Tin Tin’s original owner, Lee Duncan’s life, from at one point being abandoned by his mother in an orphanage to finding the German Shepherd puppies in a bombed out kennel in WWI Germany. Duncan’s attachment to the dog is extraordinary, so much so that at one point his first wife named the dog as correspondent in their divorce. Duncan’s determination to tell the story of the dog by knocking on doors in Hollywood and finally getting picked up by Warner Brothers is the typical Hollywood star discovery story but in this case, it was true. However, after the success of the films, the stories did not transition as well to the sound era but Duncan never seemed to give up. He continued breeding the dogs, looking for another that had the personality of the first, but never seeming to find it, and eventually died broke. He always wanted to tell the original story of the finding of Rin Tin Tin in that bombed out kennel and Rin Tin Tin's rise to fame but never got to. The story transitions to Herbert Leonard who produced the Rin Tin Tin tv series and always wanted to produce another tv series once the original one was cancelled. Then there is Daphne Hereford, who started with 4 puppies who were descendents of the original Rin Tin Tin and who is continuing the blood line with Rin Tin Tin XII. It is a fascinating story as the author visited many of the locations where Rin Tin Tin and/or Duncan were connected to the small town in France where Duncan found the puppy to the Corriganville ranch where the tv series was shot to the Riverside library where all of Duncan's papers from his "Memory Room" are stored. Interviews with Duncan’s daughter and those involved in the tv series as well as Daphne Hereford gives the book a well-rounded look at the story of Rin Tin Tin from WWI to the present day. I found the initial part on the original Rin Tin Tin the most interesting as well as Duncan’s persistent in keeping the legend of Rin Tin Tin alive. Once the book got into the television series, it seemed the people involved were more concerned about making money than preserving the Rin Tin Tin legacy. Additionally the book did wander off into the history of dogs in American homes in the 20th century, some of which had no relation to the Rin Tin Tin story at all and could have been covered in another book. Additionally, I would have liked lots more photographs as they were barely existent in the book. A complete filmography, tv list of all the appearances Rin Tin Tin or dogs called Rin Tin Tin would have also made the book more complete.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
What baby boomer doesn't remember Rin Tin Tin from the early days of television? That & the fact that I really liked Orlean's book, The Orchid Thief drew me to this book. The story of the original Rin Tin Tin being found in war-torn France during World War I is interesting, but even more interesting is the affect of the dog (and his subsequent incarnations) on his owner and others who were involved in advancing the dog's legend.The book falls apart at the end as the author tried to ferret out all of today's connections to "Rinty," but the first two-thirds of the book are fascinating.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I've liked other books by Orlean much better. There wasn't so much meat here as I expected, somehow. The official story of Rin Tin Tin is odd, full of half-truths and outright lies, strange characters and broken hearts. There's nothing cheerful anywhere- not the dogs, not the owners, not the companies promoting same. I liked the original story of how the original puppy was found, but the rest was pretty grim reading.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I so wanted to love this book because I'm a big fan of Susan Orlean's work and I love dogs. But there was too much Susan and not enough Rin Tin Tin.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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 strugglingThe 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 herFavorite 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 this4 Dewey'sI received this from Simon and Schuster in exchange for an honest reviewread more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I can't recall ever seeing a Rin Tin Tin film or television episode but I was somehow aware of the phenomenon like Lassie, Benji and other famous pooches. Orlean's offers a fascinating and engrossing story about how Rin Tin Tin went from being an actual dog by that name to a legend embodying the personality and virtues any german shephard with the right look, training and talent could portray.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
In movies and on television, the German shepherd known as Rin Tin Tin seemed almost human. As Susan Orlean reports in her excellent book "Rin Tin Tin," the dog often seemed almost human in real life, too. Consider:- The dog's name and number were once listed in the Los Angeles telephone directory.- He earned more for his movies than human actors did, once making $1,000 a week for a silent picture when the lead human actor made only $150.- Rin Tin Tin was named a co-respondent in a divorce case, a position normally taken by the other woman.- In Academy Awards voting one year, Rin Tin Tin got the most votes in the Best Actor category, although Emil Jannings was eventually given the Oscar.Rin Tin Tin's entire story is an amazing one, starting with his discovery, along with other puppies, on a French battlefield at the close of World War I by Lee Duncan, an American soldier. Duncan brought the dog home with him at the end of the war, trained him and eventually turned him into one of the biggest stars of the silent era in Hollywood. Decades later, one of his descendants using the same name became a huge star in a popular television series (although other dogs actually appeared on the screen).Yet Orlean's book is not just the story of a famous dog. It is also the story of the less famous people behind the dog, including Duncan, who made Rin Tin Tin the center of his life; Bert Leonard, a colorful Hollywood producer responsible for "The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin" on television in the 1950s (he also produced "Route 66" and "Naked City"); and Janniettia Brodsgaard and Daphne Hereford, two Texas women responsible for keeping Rin Tin Tin's breeding line alive.Of course, to that list must now be added the name of Susan Orlean, whose long research and excellent story-telling ability have brought Rin Tin Tin back into the public eye.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Rin Tin Tin as "dog" is a minor part of the story. The people who loved him, his story, and what they felt he stood for are at the center of the marvelously researched tale. It begins with the adoption of a war dog puppy in World War I and ends in obsession and, in the American Way, in litigation. Orlean includes herself in those obsessed by the Rin Tin Tin phenomenon, and it has led to a true treat of a book for all of us.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Before this book, my one vague memory of Rin Tin Tin was that short scene in 101 Dalmatians where the puppies are watching it on TV. Yet, I somehow knew that Rin Tin Tin was a dog, and even had a blurry picture of a German Shepard in my mind, and knew that he was a famous dog actor back in the day. So even me, who was born decades after Rin Tin Tin was last on the air, knew of him. I found Orlean's dedication to her research and her ability to bring back to life the history of Rin Tin Tin and those around him. I sped through most of the book in one sitting, and probably would have finished it then if the plane hadn't landed.After reading the book I found that a) I wanted to watch some of the original Rin Tin Tin silent movies, and b) get a German Shepard. Despite not having grown up with Rinty, Orlean made me fall in love with the dog and want to be a part of his legacy.A great book for any dog lover, or any movie history buff.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
An interesting story. Rin Tin Tin was a Hollywood wonder, a happily ever after fairy tale, for a while. A good story, interesting people, the kind of thing that supposedly can't happen anymore. You certainly wouldn't get the feel-good, stories with morals that you got back then. Fairly well written, but especially toward the end, the author can't help inserting herself into the story. She should have stepped back a little.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book is a fascinating account of the real life Rin Tin Tin and his owner Lee Duncan, as well as the early days of the entertainment industry from silent film and vaudeville reaching all the way to television. We also learn of the immense contributions of animals to the war effort of WWI and WWII, with the United States finally bringing in the use of trained dogs in WWII. Susan Orlean has done an amazing job of research for this book and has tied it all together in a compelling narrative. Certainly the bond that Lee Duncan had with Rinty is the stuff legends are made of. Long live Rin Tin Tin!read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
the best book that I readread more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Hi,
I am very Fond fo reading such type of books. Since very long I was searching for some good material and I found its just awesome. ! Great Book.
keep Posting. :) read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
http://www.viettelhochiminh.vn/dich-vu/25/cap-quang-viettel.htmlread more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Adarsh and company is the best manufacturers and suppliers of multiple output gear boxes. Find details on twine output gear boxes in Ghaziabad Indiaread more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Read all reviews

Reviews

Susan Orlean is a good writer and knows how to keep the story interesting.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Dog is cute
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I loved the book, was eager to read the story of Rin Tin Tin, did not know Susan and I also liked, I'll find other books of this author for this weekend
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
good idea
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Really interesting
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Interesting look at the Rin Tin Tin phenomenon from the silent film to talkies to the tv show. The book explores Rin Tin Tin’s original owner, Lee Duncan’s life, from at one point being abandoned by his mother in an orphanage to finding the German Shepherd puppies in a bombed out kennel in WWI Germany. Duncan’s attachment to the dog is extraordinary, so much so that at one point his first wife named the dog as correspondent in their divorce. Duncan’s determination to tell the story of the dog by knocking on doors in Hollywood and finally getting picked up by Warner Brothers is the typical Hollywood star discovery story but in this case, it was true. However, after the success of the films, the stories did not transition as well to the sound era but Duncan never seemed to give up. He continued breeding the dogs, looking for another that had the personality of the first, but never seeming to find it, and eventually died broke. He always wanted to tell the original story of the finding of Rin Tin Tin in that bombed out kennel and Rin Tin Tin's rise to fame but never got to. The story transitions to Herbert Leonard who produced the Rin Tin Tin tv series and always wanted to produce another tv series once the original one was cancelled. Then there is Daphne Hereford, who started with 4 puppies who were descendents of the original Rin Tin Tin and who is continuing the blood line with Rin Tin Tin XII. It is a fascinating story as the author visited many of the locations where Rin Tin Tin and/or Duncan were connected to the small town in France where Duncan found the puppy to the Corriganville ranch where the tv series was shot to the Riverside library where all of Duncan's papers from his "Memory Room" are stored. Interviews with Duncan’s daughter and those involved in the tv series as well as Daphne Hereford gives the book a well-rounded look at the story of Rin Tin Tin from WWI to the present day. I found the initial part on the original Rin Tin Tin the most interesting as well as Duncan’s persistent in keeping the legend of Rin Tin Tin alive. Once the book got into the television series, it seemed the people involved were more concerned about making money than preserving the Rin Tin Tin legacy. Additionally the book did wander off into the history of dogs in American homes in the 20th century, some of which had no relation to the Rin Tin Tin story at all and could have been covered in another book. Additionally, I would have liked lots more photographs as they were barely existent in the book. A complete filmography, tv list of all the appearances Rin Tin Tin or dogs called Rin Tin Tin would have also made the book more complete.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
What baby boomer doesn't remember Rin Tin Tin from the early days of television? That & the fact that I really liked Orlean's book, The Orchid Thief drew me to this book. The story of the original Rin Tin Tin being found in war-torn France during World War I is interesting, but even more interesting is the affect of the dog (and his subsequent incarnations) on his owner and others who were involved in advancing the dog's legend.The book falls apart at the end as the author tried to ferret out all of today's connections to "Rinty," but the first two-thirds of the book are fascinating.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I've liked other books by Orlean much better. There wasn't so much meat here as I expected, somehow. The official story of Rin Tin Tin is odd, full of half-truths and outright lies, strange characters and broken hearts. There's nothing cheerful anywhere- not the dogs, not the owners, not the companies promoting same. I liked the original story of how the original puppy was found, but the rest was pretty grim reading.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I so wanted to love this book because I'm a big fan of Susan Orlean's work and I love dogs. But there was too much Susan and not enough Rin Tin Tin.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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 strugglingThe 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 herFavorite 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 this4 Dewey'sI received this from Simon and Schuster in exchange for an honest review
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I can't recall ever seeing a Rin Tin Tin film or television episode but I was somehow aware of the phenomenon like Lassie, Benji and other famous pooches. Orlean's offers a fascinating and engrossing story about how Rin Tin Tin went from being an actual dog by that name to a legend embodying the personality and virtues any german shephard with the right look, training and talent could portray.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
In movies and on television, the German shepherd known as Rin Tin Tin seemed almost human. As Susan Orlean reports in her excellent book "Rin Tin Tin," the dog often seemed almost human in real life, too. Consider:- The dog's name and number were once listed in the Los Angeles telephone directory.- He earned more for his movies than human actors did, once making $1,000 a week for a silent picture when the lead human actor made only $150.- Rin Tin Tin was named a co-respondent in a divorce case, a position normally taken by the other woman.- In Academy Awards voting one year, Rin Tin Tin got the most votes in the Best Actor category, although Emil Jannings was eventually given the Oscar.Rin Tin Tin's entire story is an amazing one, starting with his discovery, along with other puppies, on a French battlefield at the close of World War I by Lee Duncan, an American soldier. Duncan brought the dog home with him at the end of the war, trained him and eventually turned him into one of the biggest stars of the silent era in Hollywood. Decades later, one of his descendants using the same name became a huge star in a popular television series (although other dogs actually appeared on the screen).Yet Orlean's book is not just the story of a famous dog. It is also the story of the less famous people behind the dog, including Duncan, who made Rin Tin Tin the center of his life; Bert Leonard, a colorful Hollywood producer responsible for "The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin" on television in the 1950s (he also produced "Route 66" and "Naked City"); and Janniettia Brodsgaard and Daphne Hereford, two Texas women responsible for keeping Rin Tin Tin's breeding line alive.Of course, to that list must now be added the name of Susan Orlean, whose long research and excellent story-telling ability have brought Rin Tin Tin back into the public eye.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Rin Tin Tin as "dog" is a minor part of the story. The people who loved him, his story, and what they felt he stood for are at the center of the marvelously researched tale. It begins with the adoption of a war dog puppy in World War I and ends in obsession and, in the American Way, in litigation. Orlean includes herself in those obsessed by the Rin Tin Tin phenomenon, and it has led to a true treat of a book for all of us.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Before this book, my one vague memory of Rin Tin Tin was that short scene in 101 Dalmatians where the puppies are watching it on TV. Yet, I somehow knew that Rin Tin Tin was a dog, and even had a blurry picture of a German Shepard in my mind, and knew that he was a famous dog actor back in the day. So even me, who was born decades after Rin Tin Tin was last on the air, knew of him. I found Orlean's dedication to her research and her ability to bring back to life the history of Rin Tin Tin and those around him. I sped through most of the book in one sitting, and probably would have finished it then if the plane hadn't landed.After reading the book I found that a) I wanted to watch some of the original Rin Tin Tin silent movies, and b) get a German Shepard. Despite not having grown up with Rinty, Orlean made me fall in love with the dog and want to be a part of his legacy.A great book for any dog lover, or any movie history buff.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
An interesting story. Rin Tin Tin was a Hollywood wonder, a happily ever after fairy tale, for a while. A good story, interesting people, the kind of thing that supposedly can't happen anymore. You certainly wouldn't get the feel-good, stories with morals that you got back then. Fairly well written, but especially toward the end, the author can't help inserting herself into the story. She should have stepped back a little.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book is a fascinating account of the real life Rin Tin Tin and his owner Lee Duncan, as well as the early days of the entertainment industry from silent film and vaudeville reaching all the way to television. We also learn of the immense contributions of animals to the war effort of WWI and WWII, with the United States finally bringing in the use of trained dogs in WWII. Susan Orlean has done an amazing job of research for this book and has tied it all together in a compelling narrative. Certainly the bond that Lee Duncan had with Rinty is the stuff legends are made of. Long live Rin Tin Tin!
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
f
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
:)
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
the best book that I read
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Hi,
I am very Fond fo reading such type of books. Since very long I was searching for some good material and I found its just awesome. ! Great Book.
keep Posting. :)
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
http://www.viettelhochiminh.vn/dich-vu/25/cap-quang-viettel.html
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Adarsh and company is the best manufacturers and suppliers of multiple output gear boxes. Find details on twine output gear boxes in Ghaziabad India
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
ytytj
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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