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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.
I thought it was a good book and very informative but way TOO LONG. All the background information was very interesting but TOO MUCH. Read morePublished 3 days ago by B. Ringquist
I was really torn up with the passing of Seabiscuit
and his loyal and loving owner Howard.
If you love horses, this is a great book.
Laura Hillenbrand expertly researched the life of the racehorse, Seabiscuit. I am not a horse racing fan, but I began to love Seabiscuit. Read morePublished 5 days ago by O. Snow
I loved the movie. As always, I knew the book would be far better. However, I saw the movie and did not want to read the book while it was fresh in my mind. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Paul R. Province
This is a magnificently well-researched, meticulously written account of one of sports' most surprising talents. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Chris Gregory
I really enjoyed this book, even though I couldn't remember half of the details. I'm not into horse racing but this was different in that it got you all caught up in the... Read morePublished 7 days ago by Lyn