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336 pages, Hardcover
First published September 27, 2011
“I want to grab you by the collar,” she [Susan Orlean] told a group of students at Columbia recently, “and say, ‘I know you’re not interested, but it’s interesting!’”She’s right. It very definitely is. Susan Orlean unleashed.
Could it be that we fill out our lives, experience all that we experience, and then simply leave this world and are forgotten? I can’t bear thinking that existence is so insubstantial, a stone thrown in a pond that leaves no ripple. Maybe all that we do in life is just a race against the idea of disappearing. Having children, making money, doing good, being in love, building something, discovering something, inventing something, learning something, collecting something, knowing something: these are the pursuits that make us feel that our lives aren’t flimsy, that they build up into stories that are about something achieved, grown, found, built, loved, or even lost.She begins the book with
He believed the dog was immortal. “There will always be a Rin Tin Tin.”While Rinny lasted a good long time, and while this book is likely to revive the sleeping dog, I suspect that Rinny has jumped his last wall, snarled at his last bad guy and saved his last person in distress. What Orlean offers is a warm look back at a remarkable animal, his loyal friend, and their singular careers. Even without an immortal Rin Tin Tin, or even a fully vibrant Rinny brand, there is still plenty of meat on this bone.