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Seabiscuit: The Saga of a Great Champion Paperback – August 1, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 66 pages
  • Publisher: Westholme Publishing (August 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594160007
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594160004
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 10.1 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #384,117 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Originally published in 1940, this oversized edition once again hits the shelves, hoping to ride the coattails of last year's Seabiscuit, by Laura Hillenbrand, and this summer's movie based on the book. Written in the over-the-top style that is typical of mid-century sportswriting ("A silver sword of daylight rent the mantle which draped the furrowed contours of the Sierra Madre"), the prose is more reminiscent of 1940s newsreel voiceovers than of Hillenbrand's restrained lyricism. Beckwith's use of hyperbole and omniscient narration makes Seabiscuit's remarkable story seem more like a Greek myth than a true-life tale. For instance, Seabiscuit is described as "one whose hoofbeats will echo in the hallowed halls of time till the last post bugle has sounded, and great horses gallop no more on this earth." This unbridled passion gives today's reader some insight into just how popular this rags-to-riches, undersized horse was in his heyday. The highlight of this timely reissue is the artwork, which includes illustrations by Howard Brodie and 23 b&w photos-the latter give a glimpse of the true beauty of the champion and provide some breathtaking wire-shots from the 1937 and 1938 Santa Anita Handicaps.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"The best racing book published since Hillenbrand's. . . . Beckwith was there and understood what bonded Seabiscuit to his fans." -- Paul Moran, Newsday

"The highlight of this timely reissue is the artwork. . . a glimpse of the true beauty of the champion." -- Publishers Weekly

"Those who have read Hillenbrand's book or have seen the movie will appreciate the story even more by reading this." -- Cindy Pierson Dulay, Horse-Races.net

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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The photos and sketches are wonderful as is the timeliness (1940) of the writing.
Reuel A. Smith
You can see the 'Biscuit's personality come through, especially when he's looking out of his personal railroad car at all the fans and cameras, and in several others!
Alan F. Balch
Seabiscuit was my favorite book in elementary school and still rates high amongst a handful of favorites.
cscolvin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
I had no idea that there was a book about Seabiscuit before Hillenbrand's, until someone told me about this reissue. The book is alive with voices and scenes from the past -- I was especially interested to read how Tom Smith actually talked, and what he had to say about the Biscuit. The description of Seabiscuit's birth is really interesting; I found out that he wasn't even named for awhile, because his original owners were too busy with their more promising-looking colts! Little did they know...
The race descriptions have a feeling of exhilaration about them, as if Beckwith can scarcely believe that he was privileged enough to see this great horse in action. And it's very touching to read what people of the time thought about Seabiscuit, and how the man in the street talked about him as if he were a well-loved personality, whose every win is celebrated, and every loss commiserated. You can really see just how important this fiesty little racehorse was to the country.
Highly recommended!
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 28, 2003
Format: Paperback
Anyone interested in the actual story of Seabiscuit and racing in general should own this book. Not only is it beautifully produced, it is an authentic account of a bygone era, the "proof" for the claim that Seabiscuit was indeed immensely popular in pre-WWII America. In fact, it is only because of that World War that Seabiscuit was forgotten for so long.
This is the original story of Seabiscuit written by a track writer who knew the main characters personally, Charles Howard, Red Pollard, and especially Tom Smith. Beckwith's book is the source for many of the quotes made famous in Hillenbrand's best seller and in the movie, such as Tom Smith saying to Seabiscuit, "I'll see you again." It is great to read these quotes in context. I also enjoyed the terrific line drawings by Howard Brodie--the one of Seabiscuit sleeping on his side is priceless!
Beckwith's book was an important source of information for the story of Seabiscuit and it is so great to be able to go back in time and enjoy this moving story with all the excitement and energy of the moment it happened. Five Stars. I highly recommend it without reservation.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By David Augustine on July 24, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
With all the popular hoopla surrounding the story of Seabiscuit, this new book provides an interesting "contemporary" perspective from writers who were alive and covering this amazing story at the time of all the action. This new high quality re-print of the original book provides an insight and a "voice" to the story which is simply unavailable to any writer today. The preface by Grantland Rice is worth the entire price of the book. I highly recommend it.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Alan F. Balch on September 27, 2003
Format: Paperback
I knew B.K. Beckwith personally, and worked with him the last ten years of his life at Santa Anita. He was our television commercial spokesperson for the Santa Anita Handicap for several years, recounting remembrances of Seabiscuit. He was a consummate horseman turned journalist and writer, and had been at Santa Anita from the opening on Christmas 1934. He also wrote "The Story of Santa Anita," which was never published commercially, but used the same heroic and emotional Grantland Rice style that you enjoy in his Seabiscuit book. His memory was a treasure, and since he wrote this book contemporaneously with events, you can feel the horse come alive, as well as the people and the places. This is SO GREAT to have the publisher find this work of art, enjoyable for anyone who loves horses, or racing, of any age. The drawings by Howard Brodie -- who went on to great fame otherwise -- are superbly reproduced, and so are the historic photos. You can see the 'Biscuit's personality come through, especially when he's looking out of his personal railroad car at all the fans and cameras, and in several others!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 2, 2003
Format: Paperback
Good for all ages.
Step back in time and stand with the crowds to watch the Biscuit fly down the track. Beckwith takes you there again as he did when he wrote this book more than 60 years ago. The writing style, the photos, and the fabulous drawings all help immerse the reader in the late 1930's time period. I particularly enjoyed seeing the real Seabiscuit and hearing what the owner, trainer, and jockey had to say at the time.
If you enjoyed the movie and/or Laura Hillenbrand's book, you will treasure this wonderful piece of tangible history. I recommend this edition highly. Don't miss your opportunity to own this gem!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Virginia P. Ponder on September 18, 2003
Format: Paperback
Owner of Ponder Publishing Company, LLC, my first response after reading was `I wish I had found Beckwith's story before this publisher did!' I was there! I heard Seabiscuit breathing. I saw him sweat, felt his determination, smelled the liniment. You could taste the air of early last century, to anguish and rejoice with one horse's determination to Keep on Keeping on, despite all adversity. Here, love touches a reader, as it touched the crowds who flocked to admire the Biscuit, in the flesh, his ample flesh. My Christmas shopping is done this year!
[...]
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
Inspiring story placed in compelling historical setting. Beautifully done by someone who knew the main characters well.
Nothing to find fault with here. Terrific read.
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