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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 the Hardcover edition.
The book was just as it said it was going to be in the description but I was very happy when I got it much faster than the recommended delivery date.Published 4 days ago by Nicole Cullen
I enjoyed this book very much. It appears to be as accurate as something written many many years after the fact can possibly be. Read morePublished 22 days ago by SCD
Enjoyed the simplicity and power that came through in the historical writing of what sea biscuit could do and who allowed / trained him to do it.Published 23 days ago by Jen M
Detailed story regarding racing and difficulties that jockeys had with their careers. A beautiful description of a great horse!Published 1 month ago by Carole A. Callahan
Loved the book, loved the movie, love the story, love the horse, love the fact that it's a true story from back in my grandmother's day.Published 1 month ago by Penny Wagner
An absolutely amazing book. So much research and so well written. It was extremely interesting. I could hardly put it down. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Pauline W
Even though I was alive at the time the happenings in this book took place I was not at all aware of the horse racing circle. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Johns Yvonne
An OK book but not as good as Unbroken, the author's earlier book.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer