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Extended Audio Sample Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend, by Susan Orlean Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,186 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Susan Orlean Narrator: Susan Orlean Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Nearly ten years in the making and perfect for the holidays, Susan Orlean’s first original book since the celebrated bestseller The Orchid Thief is the publishing event of the season: a sweeping, surprising, and powerfully moving work of narrative nonfiction about the dog actor and international icon, Rin Tin Tin.

German shepherd Rin Tin Tin’s journey is the story of the twentieth century. From the discovery of Rin Tin Tin on a WWI battlefield in 1918, to the movies, radio programs, and the 1950s television show that would cement his legacy around the world, Rin Tin Tin traces the extraordinary history of the dog and his descendants over more than ninety years. Rin Tin Tin was a star (he received 10,000 fan letters a week); a worldwide sensation; a social figure (as the U.S. Army’s WWII mascot, he inspired thousands of Americans to donate their dogs for use in the war); and a baby-boom touchstone. He was also a real dog, and the book tells the epic love story between Rin Tin Tin and the remarkable people who devoted their lives to him and his legacy.

Rin Tin Tin is also Orlean’s meditation on the nature of heroism, loyalty, and memory, and how Rin Tin Tin has lasted for so many generations. “Rin Tin Tin could leap twelve feet,” she writes, “and he could leap through time.”

Like no one else, Orlean crafts brilliantly engaging, witty, and passionate narratives about her real-life characters. As The Washington Post Book World has said, her “snapshot-vivid, pitch-perfect prose…is fast becoming one of our national treasures.” A tour de force of history, emotion, and masterful storytelling, here is the ultimate tale for anyone who loves great dogs or great journalism.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Fascinating and big-hearted…This book is for anyone who has ever had a dog or loved a dog.”

    Ann Patchett

  • “Susan Orlean has produced a hugely entertaining and unforgettable reading experience.” 

    Walter Isaacson, author of Benjamin Franklin and Einstein 

  • “I adored this book.” 

    Rebecca Skloot, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Selected for the October 2011 Indie Next List
  • A 2011 Publishers Weekly Best Book
  • A Publishers Weekly Bestseller
  • One of the 2011 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Holly | 2/19/2014

    " I kinda sorta remember Rin Tin Tin. I mean, I knew who he was but he was before my time. This book is more about the history of dogs as pets in the USA. It also goes into the "animals in the movies" history too. A good book, but not a great book. It does make me want to get a German Shepherd!! I suggest you read it if you are into dogs and or TCM. Otherwise- it's good for insomnia. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Krenner1 | 2/2/2014

    " A great read for any "boomer." Not only does this tell the story of how Rin Tin Tin was found as a puppy on a French battlefield, it documents the evolution of TV, Hollywood, animal "stars" and their rights, and the decades-long in-fighting about the Rin Tin Tin brand. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Ashley | 1/28/2014

    " 5 stars for how interesting this book was, and how touched I am by stories like it. 3 stars for the lull, at times. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Linda | 1/28/2014

    " Now I understand why my father always wanted German Shepherds as pets! Rin Tin Tin became an American icon in the days right after WWI. The American public fell in love with the breed and its heroism and intelligence. It became the most popular breed of dog in the U.S. Movies were made about "him." My father was born in 1915 and was a young boy while all this was going on. My father's family had at least 2 different German Shepherds, and when I was growing up we had at least 4 different shepherds. They were all sweet and intelligent. "

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