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101 Dalmatians
Dodie Smith
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101 Dalmatians (The Hundred and One Dalmatians #1)

4.10  ·  Rating Details  ·  26,596 Ratings  ·  550 Reviews
Read by Martin Jarvis
Approx. 4.5 hours
3 cassettes

When the Dearly's dalmatians have their first litter of puppies-fifteen in all-everyone is delighted. But their joy is shattered when the pups are kidnapped! The humans don't have a clue as to who the culprit is, but the trail of the fur-loving Cruella de Vil, who will stop at nothing to have a Dalmatian fur coat!

Martin Jarv
Paperback, 208 pages
Published January 1st 1982 by Avon Books (Mm) (first published January 1st 1956)
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Homer Threesixthreetwo 199 pages in my paperback Avon Edition printed in May 1976

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Stacey (prettybooks)
This post is part of the 2015 Classics Challenge.

“Like many other much-loved humans, they believed that they owned their dogs, instead of realizing that their dogs owned them."

Cruella de Vil is enough to frighten the spots off a Dalmatian pup. But when she steals a whole family of them, the puppies’ parents, Pongo and Missus, lose no time in mounting a daring rescue mission.Will they be in time to thwart Cruella’s evil scheme, or have they bitten off more than they can chew?

WHEN I Discovered Thi
Richard Derus
Dec 27, 2012 Richard Derus rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been revised and can now be found at Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud.
Jan 03, 2008 Kelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: kids
Recommended to Kelly by: my grandmother
When I was little, I got a copy of this book from my grandmother. It was old, the cover was falling off, and the edges of the pages were stained red. I adored it, and read it several times.

Later came the various movies, first the animated version, which was enjoyable, and then the live-action movie, which was awful. None maintained what captivated me most about the story - the inner life of the dogs and their complexity.

Anyway, I was suddenly seized by the need to read it again, and couldn't fi
The part of this book I liked best was the Starlight Barking. Since reading it at age 9 or so, I have observed the phenomenon innumerable times. It's comforting to know what the dogs are really doing. Thank you, Dodie Smith, for explaining it so well.

Three or four years ago, while I was living in Sunnyvale, I saw a remarkable example of how useful the Starlight Barking can be. My friend Beth Ann has two very smart Dobermanns. Late one evening, both of them suddenly started yelping furiously, for
Feb 25, 2012 Phil rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A delightful children's book that I read as a kid (many times) and haven't read since. I decided to read it again to see if it held up and was still fun. It definitely was an entertaining read.

When I was looking it up, I was surprised to see so many Goodreads reviews complaining of sexism or anti-feminine views presented in the book. This was certainly never anything I noticed as a kid, but then, how many kids are clued in to that sort of thing? I found myself reading to enjoy, and also to exami
Nov 07, 2014 Lesley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a beautiful children's tale. You can watch my full review here -
Sep 10, 2015 Joca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Que coisa mais fofa :3
Jun 01, 2008 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh the joy of it. I don't remember seeing the movie as a kid (though I'm told it's the very first movie I ever saw, at a drive-in, at age 4...!) But I vividly remember reading the book when I was in 4th or 5th grade and just loving it. And I wasn't even a "dog person" as a kid (or as an adult, until the past year or so).

Anyway we read it aloud as a chapter book for bedtime last week and it was just as terrific as I remembered. The story is so delightfully British... there is something about the
Sep 26, 2007 D rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who wants a brilliant, brilliant read
O happy day when during a free-reading period in Mrs. Chismar's fifth-grade class I opened an old, dog-eared (as it were) edition of this masterpiece. Smith's ability to evoke a scene and pen enchanting but vulnerable characters earns her a place among the greats. The image of the ancient colonel sharing tea with his Old English Sheepdog in their sound Suffolk country home before a crackling fire on a stormy night is my standard for domestic comfort (Mmm, hot buttered toast). I have only read tw ...more
Nov 20, 2014 Nikoleta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Το βρήκα σε ένα παλαιοπωλείο σε μια απίστευτα ταλαιπωρημένη ελληνική έκδοση του 1969. Μου κίνησε την περιέργεια να δω το γνωστό έργο του Disney σε πιο μυθιστορηματική μορφή, άλλωστε αυτή είναι κ η πρωτότυπη μορφή του. Όταν το διάβασα το ερωτεύτηκα. Υπέροχο. Ο ύμνος του σκυλόφιλου! Τρυφερή περιπέτεια. Μιλάει για την οικογένεια, για τη δύναμη της φιλίας και φυσικά για τη γενναιότητα, γιατί μπροστά στην αδικία δεν πρέπει ποτέ να τα παρατάς Τέλειο για τα παιδιά. Μακάρι να εκδοθεί και πάλι!
Sep 16, 2015 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good fun adventure story, lots of peril on the dogs journey. Quite educational too, lots of tips on how to look after dogs, did you know a big male Dalmatian loves to be punched?

The book has one major difference to the movie, in the book it is Pongo and Missus, Perdita is there but as a minor character, I found I had to keep explaining to my daughter that perdita was a different dog. There was one other thing that kept bugging me during the book... the maths... I was sure there were only 100
May 18, 2010 Jet rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: female-author, 2010
This was one of the most sexist books I have ever read. Worse, I first read it when I was ten or so and didn't notice the sexism, which means that its ridiculous list of 'male' and 'female' attributes went into my psyche unchallenged.

According to Dodie Smith, men and male dogs are stronger, don't feel the cold, understand both numbers and words better, have a sense of direction, possess deductive powers, are inventive, loyal and brave.

Women and female dogs can't tell their left from their righ
Feb 27, 2008 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 06, 2013 A. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-the-girls
Look, I have nothing against Disney. Their movies are fun and entertaining. But I just wish maybe they would give more credit to the original works that inspired them for their stories. Most people I know don't even realize that so many of their movies are based on actual books. Really, really good books.

I mean, Perdita doesn't even show up until maybe chapter 3, and she is NOT Pongo's wife. His wife's name is Missus. Why did they have to cut out Missus, that brave soul? Poor Missus. She's adora
Like so many other kids, I was first introduced to the spotted dogs when I saw the Disney movie. Thinking about it now, I think part of the reason why I liked it and The AristoCats (1970) was the animation style. The sketch-like style achieved with the cheaper Xerography technique made them slightly rugged, and the only contemporary animated films I've seen that have the same tone are the ones by Sylvain Chomet. Being a cat person, I don't think I ever cherished the 101 Dalmatians (1961) as much ...more
Colin Kinlund
May 13, 2007 Colin Kinlund rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who despise Disney adaptations
A tale (har har) both sweet and tense, sinister and haunting, pure and whole-hearted. Disney reduced this minor masterpiece to the thinnest frame of its foundation. In this story you can sense the despair, feel the December frost, taste the buttered toast. Also, Mr. Dearly (who is happily married), is a brilliant accountant and mathematician who has been pardoned from income tax for life due to his services to England’s treasury, which I always found vastly more unique and interesting than some ...more
Rebecca McNutt
Kind of humorous during some scenes, but much of this novel was just filler and "cute puppy" moments; if you haven't read this book, believe me, you haven't missed much unless you're an avid fan of repetitive canine stories and animal tales. I liked the author's writing style though, really descriptive, poetic and vibrant.
The perfect story for teaching children about goodies, baddies, and the power of cooperation and teamwork. This edition is also to be cherished for its copious and beautiful illustrations – and perhaps the longest-necked cat I’ve ever seen (on pg. 137).

Dodie Smith doesn’t only write a very good story; she also takes care to subliminally implant soundly advanced moral teaching into the mind of the reader/listener; for example “… the bad little boy [who had thrown a stone at the puppies] was only
Mar 20, 2016 Conina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Обожавам "101 далматинци" на Дисни. Гледала съм го толкова много пъти, че знаех цели реплики наизуст, при това на английски!, not that I brag, hm. Разбира се, това е било по времето на ранното ми детство, когато не съм обръщала внимание на надписи, а запленена гледах как се сменяха декорите, далматински петънца рисуваха и триеха букви и така... Пак се отплеснах! Мисълта ми беше, че попаднах на "101 далматинци" по случайност и това беше една от най-щастливите ми случайности за 2016!
Книгата е ста
Jan 11, 2013 Ingrid rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: dog lovers and people in general
Shelves: for-my-children
Amazing book. I had seen the movie, a long time ago but I decided to read this book for other reasons. On my search of books to read I came across the desire to read another one of Dodie Smith's, "I capture the castle" since my local library didn't have it I decided to this one. I am so glad I made this decision since this book is magical. The way Smith writes the book is comical in a good way, I love her prose. And about the book itself, as someone already noted in the top reviews the magic in ...more
Mar 07, 2015 Beth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
This was written by Dodie Smith. Yes, THAT Dodie Smith - the one who wrote I Capture the Castle. And - taking into account that I find Disney animations to be very well done - the Disney movie is better. Much better.
Cynthia Egbert
Mar 15, 2016 Cynthia Egbert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
What a delightful book and story! So much better than the movie. I recommend this one highly no matter what your age.
C.A. Schmidt
Sep 09, 2007 C.A. Schmidt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book when I was nine or ten years old. And then I read it again and again and again. I think that I could practically recite it by heart by the time I was thirteen. Its funny and loving and full of courage and kindness (as well as the inimitable Cruella de Vil). It is also full of irony and subtle humor that I only discovered upon reading it to my son . . . If you've only seen the movie, definitely try the book. ...more
if you've read the book, then you know that disney slaughtered it when they made the movie (both of them). the book is told from a decidedly dog perspective, but without the stupidity or cloying usually associated with talking animals. these dogs know what's up. and cruella's pretty scary and less of a caricature. good stuff.
Four out of five from me, but a full 5 from Iz, this classic children's novel is so much better than the Disney film, and even more frightening in places, though it's no spoiler to say that it all ends well.

The story is familiar - the two Dalmatians have their puppies stolen by the wicked Cruella de Vil and set off on an epic journey across south east England to rescue them, meeting a wide variety of help along the way including dogs, cats, cows, a 2 year old boy and a fragile old man. The story

This was such an adorable book! I actually liked the plot of this source material over the Disney adaptation despite constantly thinking of the film while I was reading this. I was surprised to find that Pongo's wife's name is actually Missis while Perdita was a different dalmatian entirely. I also really enjoyed the different characterization of Cruella de Vil and really liked reading about her eccentric tastes and style.

However, even though I enjoyed the overall plot, I felt that the wri
Jul 08, 2014 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theclassics, kidlit
I read this as a kid and found it to be just as delightful as the Disney film, which I still adore as well. If you have children who love the movie (cartoon or live action, really), or who love dogs, this is a very fun book. The one big difference that I recall is that the adult dogs are named Pongo and Missis, and Missis has always felt sensitive about her boring name, and so calls herself Missis Pongo (since her marriage), and lets other dogs imagine that she just doesn't choose to use her oth ...more
Not much deeper than the Disney version, but it was a lot more complex - which is pretty par for the course for a Disney adaptation.

They cut out Perdita, her husband and their children entirely. Which, of course, simplifies the plot a great deal.

Dodie Smith's version did seem a bit sexist at times, though. Missus Pongo is quite an airhead compared to her husband. She can't tell her left from her right or understand human speech or follow simple directions. Granted, Smith keeps saying that Pongo
Aug 19, 2014 Morgan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
SPOILER ALERT: Disney changes the book. Actually thats no surprise, but this one is a weird one. The first two chapters and the last chapter are really different, yet the rest of the book is kind of the same thing as the movie. However, it's not the plot that has the biggest changes it's the characters.

For starters the name Roger and Anita are nowhere to be found. The couple is in the book, but they are only given their last name Dearly. I actually like Disney's versions of the characters better
Niko Ramsey
I read this book for the first time when I was in fourth grade or so, and it was this, coupled with the Disney movie from my childhood, that instilled my absolute love of Dalmatians. Over the last few months I’ve found myself missing my late dog more than ever, and given that (by nature of my job) I’m in touch with dogs day in and day out, I’ve been giving more and more thought to the next kind of dog I want to bring into my life.

That said, the Dalmatian definitely came to mind. Given that it’s
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Born Dorothy Gladys Smith in Lancashire, England, Dodie Smith was raised in Manchester (her memoir is titled "A Childhood in Manchester"). She was just an infant when her father died, and she grew up fatherless until age 14, when her mother remarried and the family moved to London. There she studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and tried for a career as an actress, but with little success ...more
More about Dodie Smith...

Other Books in the Series

The Hundred and One Dalmatians (3 books)
  • The Starlight Barking (The Hundred and One Dalmatians, #2)
  • The Midnight Kittens (The Hundred and One Dalmatians, #3)

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“Like many other much-loved humans, they believed that they owned their dogs, instead of realizing that their dogs owned them.” 9 likes
“Mr. Dearly wasn't exactly handsome but he had the kind of face you don't get tired of.” 8 likes
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