101 Dalmatians

( 35 )

Overview

The book that inspired the animated movie classic!

When Dearly's Dalmatians have their first litter of pups—fifteen in all—everyone is delighted. But their joy is shortlived, for the pups are kidnapped! Scotland Yard is baffled, but the keenest canine minds are on the case—and on the trail of Cruella de Vil, the most fiendish person to ever covet a fur coat.

Pongo and Missis would give everything they have to bring their puppies safely home... ...

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101 Dalmatians

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Overview

The book that inspired the animated movie classic!

When Dearly's Dalmatians have their first litter of pups—fifteen in all—everyone is delighted. But their joy is shortlived, for the pups are kidnapped! Scotland Yard is baffled, but the keenest canine minds are on the case—and on the trail of Cruella de Vil, the most fiendish person to ever covet a fur coat.

Pongo and Missis would give everything they have to bring their puppies safely home... but will they succeed in rescuing them from the cluthes of the evil Cruella de Vil?

"A tale full to overflowing with those prime requisites of a good story—warmth and humor, imagination and suspense."—Chicago Sunday Tribune

"Superb reading. The puzzle of the hundred and one is delightful.... Highly recommended."—SLJ

Pongo the Dalmatian and his wife Missis undertake a daring expedition to rescue their fifteen puppies from the clutches of the vicious Cruella de Vil.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Most kids know well the Disney versions of 101 Dalmatians, but few are familiar with Dodie Smith's original novel of the same name published in 1956. Now comes the audio interpretation, read with just the right amount of sophistication, exuberance and humor by British actor Martin Jarvis. (Feb.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
From Barnes & Noble
Pongo and Missis had a lovely life. With their human owners, the Dearlys, to look after them, they lived in a comfortable home in London with their 15 adorable Dalmatian puppies, loved and admired by all. Especially the Dearlys' neighbor Cruella de Vil, a fur-fancying fashionplate with designs on the Dalmatians' spotted coats! So, when the puppies are stolen from the Dearly home, and even Scotland Yard is unable to find them, Pongo and Missis know they must take matters into their own paws! The delightful children's classic adapted twice for popular Disney productions. Ages 8-11
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140340341
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/28/1989
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 412,834
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 830L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.07 (w) x 7.69 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Meet the Author

Dorothy Gladys "Dodie" Smith (1896-1990) is a beloved children's book author whose works continue to entertain children to this day. Her best known works are I Capture the Castle and The 101 Dalmatians, which was adapted into an animated motion picture classic by Disney, entitled One Hundred and One Dalmatians.

Biography

Before Dodie Smith died in 1990, she asked the novelist Julian Barnes to be her literary executor. As Barnes later told The Guardian, "She said she didn't think I'd have much to do as her literary executor -- in the last years of her life she was only earning around £12,000 from her books -- but since her death her career has revived in a spectacular way."

Indeed it has. Smith was once best known in the United States for her children's book The Hundred and One Dalmatians, which inspired an animated film from Disney -- and, later, the live-action movie starring Glenn Close. Her other major work, the 1948 novel I Capture the Castle, was out of print here for many years (though it has always had a following in Britain). But with the book's 1998 reissue, and the 2003 release of a film version from BBC Films, modern readers are rediscovering Dodie Smith.

As a young woman, Smith's first ambition was to be an actress, and she enrolled at the Academy of Dramatic Art (later the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art) with hopes of going on the stage. But at five feet tall, she was "too short and not attractive enough," in her own words, so she gave up acting and took a job at Heal's in London, where she became the store's toy buyer. She still loved the theater, however, and in 1929 she wrote and sold a very successful play, Autumn Crocus. Smith followed it with several more hit plays, including Dear Octopus, which starred John Gielgud.

During World War II, Smith and her pacifist husband, Alec Beesley, moved to America to avoid the British draft. She wrote screenplays for Paramount and formed "great friendships" with other writers, including Christopher Isherwood. Although Smith missed her home, she and Beesley stayed in America for many years after the war ended -- they didn't want to put their Dalmatian dogs through the six months' quarantine that was then required to bring pets into England.

Homesickness helped inspire Smith's first novel, I Capture the Castle, which evokes a peculiarly English version of genteel poverty. The 17-year-old narrator and her family, who live in a dilapidated house built onto a ruined castle, belong to "that odd class of intelligent and cultured people who are also unskilled and unemployable," as Salon writer Charles Taylor put it. From its much-quoted opening sentence ("I write this sitting in the kitchen sink") to its bittersweet ending, Smith's witty coming-of-age tale has captivated adolescent and adult readers alike. Writers from J. K. Rowling and Susan Isaacs to Armistead Maupin and Erica Jong have praised it for the merits Penelope Lively summed up as "a good story, flourishing characters, and the most persuasive narrative voice."

Smith's other well-known work, The Hundred and One Dalmatians, was published in 1958 and is now considered a classic work of children's literature, though not all fans of Disney's 101 Dalmatians realize that the movie was based on a book. (Smith's sequel to Dalmatians, a fantasy titled The Starlight Barking, bears no resemblance to the Disney film sequel 102 Dalmatians). Towards the end of her life, Smith produced four volumes of autobiography: Look Back with Love: A Manchester Childhood, Look Back with Mixed Feelings, Look Back with Astonishment and Look Back with Gratitude.

A few of Smith's plays are still produced occasionally, but she remains best known for I Capture the Castle and The Hundred and One Dalmatians. To Smith's fans, this is no small accomplishment -- as Sue Summers pointed out in The Guardian, "Two prose classics in one lifetime is more than most writers achieve."

Good To Know

Though Smith's books have a cozy, old-fashioned charm, Smith herself was a bit of an iconoclast. After several youthful love affairs, she fell in love with a co-worker, Alec Beesley. For the first few years of their relationship, they lived in separate London flats but shared a weekend cottage in the country. After they married and moved into one house, Smith attributed their years of happy domestic life to their habit of keeping separate bedrooms.

Pongo, the canine hero of The Hundred and One Dalmatians, was named after the first of Smith's own much-loved Dalmatians. Smith said she began to get ideas for the story after a friend joked that a Dalmatian would make a good fur coat.

Disney once planned to film I Capture the Castle as a vehicle for child star Hayley Mills, but script problems kept the movie out of production. Years later, Smith's estate got the movie rights back from Disney in exchange for permission to make a live-action version of 101 Dalmatians.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Dorothy Gladys Smith (full name); C. L. Anthony
    1. Date of Birth:
      May 3, 1896
    2. Place of Birth:
      Whitefield, Lancashire, England
    1. Date of Death:
      November 24, 1990
    2. Place of Death:
      Uttlesford, Essex, England

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 35 )
Rating Distribution

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(33)

4 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 35 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2012

    One of the best books I ever read

    It is fun to read over and over! My favorite part is where they are trying to escape from the de Vil mansion and the Cadpig walked out backwards so she could watch the tv to the very last moment before leaving. The Disney movie doesn't catch the humor and joy of this book. A classic book that should not be missed.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2012

    As good as I remember

    I read this book over and over and over when I was a kid. My copy was taped together. I was excited to see this available but was afraid I wouldn't enjoy it and that my memories would let me down. No fear! This book is still delightful for an adult audience. There is much humor and fun in the dogs. The Disney version can't compare to the original.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 31, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    The movies may have been kinda' corny, but don't let them spoil the book for you. The original novel is GREAT!!!!

    The 101 Dalmatians contains a lovable pair of Dalmatian parents as they set out on a difficult and exhausting quest to rescue their fifteen pups from the evil clubs of Cruella. The book is full of exicting events that keep you on the edge of your seat, the writing of a great author, and even some funny happenings that will make you laugh out loud! I highly enjoyed this book from begining to end, and, (if you read it), I hope you do too!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2002

    THEY SHOULD MAKE A MOVIE ABOUT IT!!!!! Wait a second....

    FANTASTIC!!!!!EXELLENT!!!!!SUPERP!!!!! When I saw the Disney movie when I was a little, I was enthralled. Back then I had no idea that the book existed, and when I got my hands on it, I was even more enchanted. I was even a little mad at the movie makers; the book was SO much better and it was changed so the movie would seem better. So that's my little speech on DON'T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS MOVIE. The original book is way better, and you'll see why when you read it. I highly recommend it!!!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2000

    A Great Adventure For All !!

    This is my favorite childhood book, a loving and thrilling story that will capture one's imagination. Please beware of the hacked-up version from Disney, this novel is the one to read, children and adults.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2013

    The world of dogs comes to life

    This is a must read for every animal lover. The movie has nothing on this story. It is rich and full of life as Dobie Smith weaves an intricate tale of love, life, and loyalty to family. As in every rich story, the villain allows you to hate her and be glad she gets her just rewards. You will cheer, sit on the edge of your seat, and pull along as the Pongos make new friends.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2012

    The Real 101Dalmations

    This is a great book I have been looking for this book for 30 years. It is not in print anymore that i have found. It is one of the reasons that I purchased a NOOK Tablet.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 20, 2011

    i love dogs

    i enjoy reading books about dogs and hope that you would too. hope enjoy it too.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2009

    My son loves it~

    Great condition! Will buy from this vendor again! Thanks!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2002

    From a mother of two who loves children's books

    After having read this book as a child, and having seen the movie as an adult, I was thrilled to find that I could obtain the original story still. It seems odd to talk about character development about dogs, yet Dodie Smith gives Pongo and Missis true personalities and makes of them believable, helping to make the book a true joy to read. It's a wonderful book, and it leaves the movie in the dust.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 3, 2014

    Fun Book on Which the Disney Classic is Based   It¿s a double we

    Fun Book on Which the Disney Classic is Based
     
    It’s a double wedding for Pongo and Missis and their pet Mr. and Mrs. Dearly.  The new couples are settling in to their life in London, and even more exciting, Missis is expecting puppies.
     
    However, the newlyweds are living down the street from Cruella de Vil, an old school mate of Mrs. Dearly.  Cruella loves furs so much she actually married a furrier.  And after seeing Pongo and Missis, she’s decided that a Dalmatian coat would be lovely.  So when the puppies go missing soon after they are born, Pongo suspects he knows who stole them.  But can they find them in time?
     
    This is the book that inspired Disney’s movie of the same name, and if you’ve seen the movie, you have a broad outline of the story.  Obviously, there are some difference (Perdita plays a different part in the book, for example), but there is much to enjoy.  The characters are good and the plot moves along quickly.
     
    The biggest change for me is in the humor.  While the movie’s humor is broad and slapstick, the book is more subtle and more focused on how dogs see the world versus how we do.  It was amusing and fun.
     
    So if you are a fan of the movie, I recommend picking up this book and enjoying the first version of this classic story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2013

    IM

    SEXY AND I KNOW IT!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2013

    Flameclaw

    Oh yah

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2013

    PUPPIES!

    Cute... full of,"puppy love". ;)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2012

    Pear

    This is the med den

    -Pear

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 12, 2011

    I loved this book and you will too!

    101 Dalmations is the best old book i' ve ever read!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 16, 2011

    cool asome

    You would love it,

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2004

    I thought this book was exquisite!

    this is the best book i ever read! it is way better than the movie. i think it is exciting and exquisite and so... so... AWESOME! I give it 10 thumbs up! If you ever need something to read, this is the book for you!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2003

    WHOA!

    WHOA! This was an awesome book! It created a movie like picture in my mind; which is what the author is supposed to do. I recomend this book to all ages.Acspeacialy if you love dogs!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2003

    Great book

    I loves this book because there was so much excitment and adventure. Don't get the releases from disney they are just trash they mix everything up. This is easy to read and follow dont be confused with disney stuff this is the right book!

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