Friday, April 17, 2015

The One Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith...

Title- The One Hundred and One Dalmatians (audiobook).
Author- Dodie Smith.
Publish date- 1956, 2006.
Publisher- BBC Physical Audio.

Review time...

(A Brief) Synopsis:
One Hundred and One Dalmatians is the story of a husband and wife dog and their journey across the British countryside to rescue their puppies that have been stolen away from them. They may return with more than eight or twelve or even fifteen puppies.

What I thought:
Dodie Smith, author of one of my most favourite books, I Capture the Castle, was someone whose work I wanted to explore much more widely, but interesting fact: it is rather difficult to find One Hundred and One Dalmatians, which you wouldn’t think. I eventually got a copy of the audio from my local library and it was rather shocking. I watched the Disney film a number of times growing up, mostly because my siblings liked it, I believe, and know it well enough to be struck by how very brutal the book is. It’s kind of like Treasure Island, which is very violent for a children’s book if my memory serves me right.

The dogs, Pongo and Mrs., get more of the story, and there’s another dog- Perdita, who has rather a sad backstory- and one of my favourite things was the way the dogs see themselves as the owners of their humans, who they chose, in just the way we so often think of “our” pets. Another thing I loved was the coming together and fantastic community that the dogs made as they all helped try to find the missing puppies. There was also a staffy, which had an Australian accent, I think, which was rather amusing as I’m partial to the breed and Australian myself.
And note this: if there was a fictionalised version of the blogging community, I think it could be the dogs in this book. They’re absolutely fantastic and completely heartwarming.

But the downside of this enjoyable adventure story? Cruella de Vil. She waa violent as anything! And quite stomach turning, all her talk of ways to remove the puppies skins and kill them. It felt, maybe, too real for comfort.

Rating: Neither Poor nor Ooh, Very Good, but somewhere generally inbetween.
Exciting! Heartwarming! Bizarre! Scary! Fairly great, really.


  1. I found a copy at a book sale and really enjoyed it. I Capture the Castle is one of my dearest favorites too.

    1. Dodie Smith is just such a... special writer, isn't she? The kind of writer who makes you treasure and really appreciate the world. x

  2. Oh wow was this originally a book! I had no idea. To be honest, I really don't remember the movie storyline at all though...been so long since i watched it!

    1. It's interesting to look into what were originally books and what were original scripts- so many movies I'm surprised to learn were actually books first. It's really interesting with these old ones, too, because usually they're SO DIFFERENT. xx

  3. Wow, I didn't think the book would be very violent! It's good there is a Disney version then! I am curious about how the story was told originally though - I hope I can come across a copy!

    1. It can certainly be pretty gruesome! Cruella is incredibly vivid in her suggestions, I'll say that. I hope you do give it a try! It's rather great, and I'd like to hear your thoughts on it! xx


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