“Rin Tin Tin” – Susan Orlean

Susan Orlean sets out to discover and report on what’s left of the collective knowledge on Rin Tin Tin, focusing on the surrounding history that Rin Tin Tin walked through.

Rin Tin Tin

Ease of Reading(6/10): The words are easy to follow but Susan Orlean has a bad habit of going off on fairly long tangents that make you wonder why you’re still reading.  I put down the book a fair number of times due to realizing I wasn’t paying attention any more.  She has a decent writing style but her world naivety pulls you out of connecting with her(she was shocked that there’d be a lot of German Shepherds in Germany, and that there would be a lot of cemeteries remembering soldiers near the place of Rin Tin Tin’s birth).

Accuracy of Information(?/10): I know next to nothing about the topic of Rin Tin Tin so I’m not able to comment.  She seems to have done proper research however and seems to want to report on his story as accurately as possible.  She doesn’t boast to have information that she couldn’t find – and will report when findings are conflicting.  There is one major problem where partway through she becomes very opinionated on certain sensitive subjects and I found myself – once again – putting down the book in frustration as she was misquoting a few important pieces of information(not related to Rin Tin Tin), and making statements that could never be backed by fact and that were rather offensive.

Usefulness of Information(1/10): Unless you are specifically trying to learn about the movie industry/some history of the states/Rin Tin Tin – this book carries very little useful information.  There is no useful information on how to work with a dog.

Cost: The hardcover sitting in my lap shows $29.99 as the price tag. Link to Amazon.

Bottom Line: It’s a slow read that has moments of interesting material and then a few pages of history on a side topic that makes you wonder what you are doing.  Unless you are a huge fan of Rin Tin Tin, or like generic information – you may want to skip this.  I picked this up hoping to learn more about Rin Tin Tin as he’s often referred to in our society but I really didn’t get much from it.


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