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101 Dalmatians (The Hundred and One Dalmatians #1)

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  24,413 ratings  ·  495 reviews
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 smartest dogs in London are on the case -- and on the trail of the fur-loving Cruella de Vil, who will stop at nothing to have a Dalmatian fur coat
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Published January 28th 2002 by Listening Library (first published January 1st 1956)
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Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
This review has been revised and can now be found at Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud.
Jan 03, 2008 Kelly rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
Such a beautiful children's tale. You can watch my full review here -
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
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 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
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 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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!
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
Colin Kinlund
May 13, 2007 Colin Kinlund rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
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.
C.A. Schmidt
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
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
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
Jennifer Selzer
This is one of my all-time favorite books and if you've only ever seen the Disney movie, in any form, animated or otherwise, you truly don't know what you are missing. The Hundred and One Dalmations is an actual novel, and yes, it's a children's novel, and does follow the same basic premise as the movies. However, the story is rich with detail, alive with voice and emotion from the dogs' point of view, and the sweetness between the characters-particularly the dogs-is well worth mentioning. I usu ...more
Forget everything you know about the 101 Dalmatians via Disney and read Dodie Smith's original novel.
I am not a dog lover and I certainly have a bad track record for reading and enjoying books that are about animals but I was actually pretty charmed by this book.
The characters! So well drawn. Pongo and Missis, the Dearlings, Nanny Butler and Nanny Cook, Perdita and all the wonderful dogs and other animals who make appearances throughout the novel. And of course, Cruella De Vil. All these great
This is a classic, which I first read when I was about ten. The plot is well-known due to the Disney movie version. Two dalmations go to rescue their stolen puppies, and find rather more than they were expecting. However Disney took some liberties, one of which was to call the adult dalmations Pongo and Perdita. In the book, Pongo's wife is called Missus, and Perdita is a stray dog who fosters some of their puppies.

Re-reading it, I found it unexpectedly moving in several places, as well as enjoy
I had forgotten how cute and charming this book was. I love the movie, but I love parts of the book too, especially the stuff that didn't make it into the movie, like the real Perdita and her husband, the church the puppies visit, the two Nannies, and the boy with the little blue cart. The only thing that really annoyed me was the sexism. Yes, dog sexism. Missis, the mother dog in the book, is repeatedly presented as charming and pretty, but dumb. She can't tell her left from her right, even aft ...more
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
If I had to describe my childhood with one word, it would be: Dalmatians. Ever since I had seen the Disney cartoon (and subsequent) I was positively obssessed. My bedsheets were Dalmatians, my bags were Dalmatians, my lunchbox was Dalmatians... I even made my father get me a spotted goat and named him Pongo and took him for walks around our yard. I was in love. To this day, if you were to ask me what my favorite dog was, I'd say: Dalmatian.Twenty years later, I finally had the chance to read the ...more
This story was much more of an adventure than I expected it to be. It can also be quite scary and I would not recommend it for very young children or sensitive children or sensitive adults! We all pretty much know the story from the Disney movie (though the movie strays quite a bit from the book, plot, character, etc.) but it's tough to listen to the bad guys talking about skinning the dogs alive and the dogs contemplating revenge by murder. Of course, neither of these things happen, giving the ...more
As a child, I read this book so many times the cover fell off my little Disney tie-in paperback. I loved everything about the story, and I'm happy that, even all these years later, it has lost none of its charm. Listening to it now, I can appreciate it in a different way, and admire how cleverly Dodie Smith created her dog's eye view of the world. This book deserves to be better known than it is.
It feels a bit dated but it is still a great read. My favorite line is when Mrs. Dearly spots her old classmate Cruella De Vil on the street and comments that "she was expelled for drinking ink."
This book was one of my favourites as a child, and it's still awesome today. I remember when I got this book--I was at the thrift store with my mom, and I'm afraid that I begged for the quarter to buy it because I wanted it so desperately. (I had seen the movie and liked it.) Then I read the book and enjoyed it so much. The dogs have so much character, and they are all so different. I must confess, I didn't understand the sarcasm with the first reading, or even until I was older; I was truly puz ...more
This was quite lovely. I didn't read this because it was a Disney movie, but if you want a comparison, this book blows all the movie versions out of the water.

Dodie Smith does a wonderful job capturing the voices of Pongo and Missis. Smith was a great dog lover, as she was the 'pet' of 9 dalmatians, and it really shines through her writing. I just can't express how enjoyable this was to read. I also really liked Michael Dooling's pencil illustrations that were added to this reprint.

Her narrativ
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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)
I Capture the Castle The Starlight Barking (The Hundred and One Dalmatians, #2) The New Moon With the Old The Town in Bloom It Ends with Revelations

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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.” 4 likes
“Mr. Dearly wasn't exactly handsome but he had the kind of face you don't get tired of.” 2 likes
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