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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.
Having read Unbroken, Seabiscuit was a must read for me. The vivid, sweeping characterization that Laura Hillenbrand employsis uunparalleled in current books. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Chris Salzer
very insightful about that era. took me into a world I knew nothing about- horse racingPublished 2 days ago by wyopoke
Watched with my tween daughter and son and we enjoyed very much! We recommended for a family night time.. it's inspirational, true event and some of the USA history too. Love it!Published 2 days ago by Kindle Customer
I read long before movie came out & I loved it. I highly recommend it.Published 5 days ago by Craig Baker
Excellent book. I absolutely loved this book about the life of Seabiscuit. It made me feel like I knew the characters and was at the actual races. Long but we'll worth it!Published 8 days ago by Cynthia K. Freeman
What a phenomenal writer she is! Horse racing has never been a subject I had much interest in nor knew much about, though I do love horses (from afar). Read morePublished 9 days ago by Wendy R
A great history of courage, determination and love shown by both humans and animals.Published 9 days ago by Evelyn D. Wright
The author's detailed descriptions helped me understand the times, the horse and the people involved with making this horse a legend. An amazing author and an amazing story!Published 10 days ago by Teresa Reynolds