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Seabiscuit rose to prominence with the help of an unlikely triumvirate: owner Charles Howard, an automobile baron who once declared that "the day of the horse is past"; trainer Tom Smith, a man who "had cultivated an almost mystical communication with horses"; and jockey Red Pollard, who was down on his luck when he charmed a then-surly horse with his calm demeanor and a sugar cube. Hillenbrand details the ups and downs of "team Seabiscuit," from early training sessions to record-breaking victories, and from serious injury to "Horse of the Year"--as well as the Biscuit's fabled rivalry with War Admiral. She also describes the world of horseracing in the 1930s, from the snobbery of Eastern journalists regarding Western horses and public fascination with the great thoroughbreds to the jockeys' torturous weight-loss regimens, including saunas in rubber suits, strong purgatives, even tapeworms.
Along the way, Hillenbrand paints wonderful images: tears in Tom Smith's eyes as his hero, legendary trainer James Fitzsimmons, asked to hold Seabiscuit's bridle while the horse was saddled; critically injured Red Pollard, whose chest was crushed in a racing accident a few weeks before, listening to the San Antonio Handicap from his hospital bed, cheering "Get going, Biscuit! Get 'em, you old devil!"; Seabiscuit happily posing for photographers for several minutes on end; other horses refusing to work out with Seabiscuit because he teased and taunted them with his blistering speed.
Though sometimes her prose takes on a distinctly purple hue ("His history had the ethereal quality of hoofprints in windblown snow"; "The California sunlight had the pewter cast of a declining season"), Hillenbrand has crafted a delightful book. Wire to wire, Seabiscuit is a winner. Highly recommended. --Sunny Delaney --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
What a great story! If you like horses at all (you don't have do be a racing enthusiast), you will love this book. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Patricia Yates
I knew nothing about horse racing before I read this book and I really learned a lot! It totally kept my interest with a very readable story and many, many insider facts. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Ruthie
Wonderful story - pulled the country together at a difficult time in our history. A little horse with great achievement.Published 6 days ago by Dana Munoz
Good writer. The author really knows her craft and writes well. The reason the book only gets 3 stars is that about a third of the way into it she lost me with excessive detail... Read morePublished 6 days ago by Wordy
I'm predudish for horses so my opinion is swayed by that fact. The book was well thought out and researched to the best of possibilities for the length of time it has been since... Read morePublished 6 days ago by Brett w. Rosner
Great read and a great story. Watched the movie after I finished reading, and they left so much of the story out, the struggles and defeats. The victories. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Jane Austin
Well written detailed book for those that don't even enjoy horse racing, like me. Highly recommend this book and her other book, unbroken.Published 11 days ago by Mineshkumar P.