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.
About the Author
Susan Orlean has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1992. She is the author of seven books, including Rin Tin Tin, Saturday Night, and The Orchid Thief, which was made into the Academy Award–winning film Adaptation. She lives with her family and her animals in upstate New York and may be reached at SusanOrlean.com and Twitter.com/SusanOrlean.
Praise for Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend…
“Deeply moving . . . Unforgettable.”
“Epic . . . Heartfelt . . . An enormously satisfying story about a dog and the man who believed in him.”
“Fascinating . . . Sweeping . . . Expertly told . . . [Orlean] may persuade even the most hardened skeptic that Rin Tin Tin belongs on Mount Rushmore with George Washington and Teddy Roosevelt, or at least somewhere nearby with John Wayne and Seabiscuit.”
“A story of magnificent obsession. Nearly a decade in the making, combining worldwide research with personal connection, it offers the kind of satisfactions you only get when an impeccable writer gets hold of one heck of a story.”
“Stunning . . . Truly exceptional . . . A book so moving it melted the heart of at least this one dogged Lassie lover . . . . Calling Rin Tin Tin the story of a dog is like calling Moby-Dick the story of a whale.”
“Susan Orlean has written a book about how an orphaned dog became part of millions of households, and hearts, in a way that may reveal the changing bonds between humans and animals, too. . . . One of the many pleasures of this book is the historical breadth of the story.”
“An improbably fascinating tale of one of the first canine celebrities, the times that catapulted him to fame, and the legacy that endures.”
“Brilliant . . . If there were any book she was born to write, it's this one. The product of years of dogged research, it's her magnum opus, a work filled with fascinating stories . . . [and] stunning prose that is both compassionate and perceptive.”