Lad: A Dog

ISBN 13: 9781500988395

Lad: A Dog

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Lad: A Dog is a 1919 American novel written by Albert Payson Terhune and published by E. P. Dutton. Composed of twelve short stories first published in magazines, the novel is based on the life of Terhune's real-life rough collie, Lad. Born in 1902, the real-life Lad was an unregistered collie of unknown lineage originally owned by Terhune's father. Lad's death in 1918 was mourned by many of the story's fans, particularly children. Through the stories of Lad's adventures, Terhune expresses his views on parenting, obtaining perfect obedience without force, and the nature and rights of the "well-bred". Terhune began writing the stories in 1915 at the suggestion of his Red Book Magazine editor. They gained in popularity and, as Terhune was under contractual obligation to submit something to Doubleday-Page, he collected them into novel form. After Doubleday rejected the novel, he solicited other publishers until it was picked up by Dutton. After a slow start, the novel became a best seller in the adult fiction and children's fiction markets, having been repositioned as a young adult novel by Grosset and Dunlap in the 1960s and 1970s. Selling over one million copies, it is Terhune's best-selling work and the one that propelled him to fame. It has been reprinted over 70 times by Dutton, and republished by a variety of publishers since its original release, including at least six international translations. Contemporaneous critics praised Terhune's writing style and the overall story appeal, while dog breeders criticized his unrealistic canine characters. In retrospective reviews, critics considered that the novel had aged badly, and that Terhune displayed little actual writing skill, but noted that the novel was able to hold long-lasting appeal as it triggered the reader's desire to have such an ideal dog. Terhune himself considered the novel "hack writing" and did not understand why it was so popular. Because of its reception, he went on to publish two additional novels featuring Lad and one featuring Lad's son, Wolf, as well as many other fictional stories featuring dogs. Warner Brothers released a film adaptation in June 1962. A series of four children's picture books based on three of the stories from the novel were published by Margo Lundell between 1997 and 1998. Albert Payson Terhune (December 21, 1872 – February 18, 1942) was an American author, dog breeder, and journalist. The public knows him best for his novels relating the adventures of his beloved collies and as a breeder of collies at his Sunnybank Kennels, the lines of which still exist in today's Rough Collies. As a tribute to Terhune, the dog in A Boy and His Dog calls his master Albert. The 1969 novella was written by Harlan Ellison. The 1975 film was directed by L.Q. Jones.

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First published in 1919, Albert Payson Terhune's Lad: A Dog is actually a collection of immensely popular magazine stories. The hero is an extraordinary collie named Lad, "a thoroughbred in spirit as well as in blood." In each tale, Lad exhibits his pure strength of character as he fights off burglars, rescues an invalid child from a poisonous snake, wins ribbons in dog shows, and otherwise leads a dog-hero's life. This is a period piece--a threatened puppy is described, for example, as "a blinking pygmy who gallantly essayed to growl defiance"--and that touch of fustian is all part of Terhune's enduring charm. Because the stories didn't originally appear together, there's considerable repetition: nearly every story with a fight scene has the same authorial mini-lecture on the difference in fighting technique between collies and bulldogs. But Lad is a character who has poked his muzzle into a million hearts, and new generations of dog lovers will also appreciate his loyalty and courage. As Terhune himself wrote, "few... bothered to praise the stories, themselves. But all of them praised Lad, which pleased me far better." (Ages 6 and older) --Richard Farr

About the Author:

Albert Payson Terhune was born in New Jersey in 1872. After receiving a bachelor of arts degree from Columbia University, he worked as a reporter for the Evening World from 1894 to 1914. Terhune was a breeder of collies and wrote a number of books based on his own dog Lad.

Sam Savitt was a renowned equine artist, the illustrator of more than 100 books, and a fine author in his own right. Several of his horse charts are considered authoritative works and have been used by the Smithsonian Institution. For a time he was the official illustrator of the United States Equestrian Team, and he was also a founding member of the American Academy of Equine Artists.

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Albert Terhune
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ISBN 10: 1500988391 ISBN 13: 9781500988395
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