Today I’m giving away a copy of Rin Tin Tin, which came to me courtesy Taryn, of A Tail of Two Corgis. I won the book in a blog contest and was a little hesitant to read it, as so many of the biographies I’ve read in recent years have been disappointing. It’s not the life of the person being written about, rather the writing itself. Writing a biography has got to be difficult.
That said, I’m writing a book review of Rin Tin Tin; The Life and the Legend. And then giving away my copy. Reluctantly.
(A quick aside – I recently won Hartz Angry Birds dog toys from Dogs n Pawz. Woohoo! Will post pictures when they arrive.)
Rin Tin Tin’s story was written by Susan Orlean, author of The Orchid Thief and The Origami Lab (both of which I’d now like to read). Straight up I’ll tell you why I enjoyed this biography so thoroughly versus biographies I put down. Most biographies seem, to me, to be stilted, told from the view of a hundred little people, as well as the over-inflated view of the person in question. Typically I don’t find the author in the book.
Y’all all know Rin Tin Tin, right? The famous German Shepherd of film and television fame? Millions of children grew up watching this dog. Including Ms. Orlean. I did not. His run petered out when I was very young. But his fame was such that I felt I knew him. Rin Tin Tin’s story of fame began with his owner, Lee Duncan, who saved an orphan puppy on a battle field in France during WWI. It’s a tale that is so much larger than a single dog.
What Ms. Orlean does is take the reader not only through Mr. Duncan’s life, the dog’s life, the story of the people around him, but she inserts herself into the tale. Why does any author write a story? It’s one which needs to be told, yes. But why that particular writer? Because there’s something deeper than the surface story, something which touches the heart and life of the writer, a journey to be taken by him or her, one which needs their talented touch to be taken to the reader.
In other words, Ms. Orlean wrote Rin Tin Tin because she needed to know more about this beloved dog. Because it directly touched on her own story. As the story of the dog and his owner unfolds, so does her own story.
This book covers a century of life and change. It covers a nation changing and moving forward, their need for a hero. It tells of a child’s heart, his need for unconditional love. Of every child’s heart and need for unconditional love and loyalty. This story is beautiful for not only dog lovers, but anyone who has ever felt abandoned, unloved, orphaned.
And I’m giving away my copy of Rin Tin Tin. If you don’t win this copy, I recommend the book as a Christmas break read, or as a gift to a reading friend. If you love inspirational books, this one is for you.
Please, if you’d like a shot at this book, leave a comment. Make sure your name links back to your email and/or blog. Deadline is Thursday night at midnight, Chicago time. I’ll choose the winner on Friday morning.
Until I write again …