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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.
This book was written like you knew the people. Brilliant writing where you developed feelings for all the people and horses in this wonderful book. Read morePublished 7 days ago by LeGayle
Laura Hillenbrand has created a wonderful snapshot of a great pastime. Thank you for the adventure! Keep up the good work!Published 15 days ago by Teresa Hriczak
I read UNBROKEN first then SEABISCUIT. I loved the history and the details that brought both stories alive.
Very well written.
Hillenbrand's books are fantastic. This one is on par with Unbroken, a fantastic read as we'll. We'll worth your time.Published 20 days ago by John Galt
A marvelous story of courage and determination. Of many people coming together to help a horse(it could have been a person) achieve its potential.Published 25 days ago by John Moore
As with 'Unbroken', Hillenbrand gives excellent back story information, so you can be totally immersed in the characters in her books. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Janine
I absolutely loved this book, both historical side and comical side. There were some serious type stories in this book and there were some really comedic stories. Read morePublished 1 month ago by kd
True story written with so much rich detail about the life of a jockey and the racing world. Couldn't put it down, and have read it several times. Read morePublished 1 month ago by K. Hudson
Thank you Ms. Hillenbrand for your impeccable research and excellent storytelling. Seabiscuit has touched my heart and life. So inspiring.Published 1 month ago by Mark Kislingbury