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Seabiscuit: An American Legend (Ballantine Reader's Circle) Paperback – March 26, 2002
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From The New Yorker
Horse stories are staples of young-adult fiction. Hillenbrand, a veteran equestrian writer, attempts something quite different: a full-length biography of the Thoroughbred Seabiscuit, a California racehorse who became one of the sporting world's biggest celebrities in the late thirties. Because her subject left behind few interesting interviews, the author fills out her portrait with people who helped guide Seabiscuit to glory: his owner, Charles Howard; his trainer, Tom Smith; and a hard-luck jockey named Red Pollard. While fans waited for a horse-to-horse showdown with War Admiral, the darling of the Eastern racing establishment, Seabiscuit set several records and battled various injuries. Unfortunately, many of the races are recounted in breathless, melodramatic prose. Far more interesting are the sections that detail the gruelling, hazardous life of a jockey; Pollard, a failed prizefighter with a taste for literature, emerges as the story's true hero.
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker
“Fascinating . . . Vivid . . . A first-rate piece of storytelling, leaving us not only with a vivid portrait of a horse but a fascinating slice of American history as well.”
–The New York Times
“Engrossing . . . Fast-moving . . . More than just a horse’s tale, because the humans who owned, trained, and rode Seabiscuit are equally fascinating. . . . [Hillenbrand] shows an extraordinary talent for describing a horse race so vividly that the reader feels like the rider.”
“REMARKABLE . . . MEMORABLE . . . JUST AS COMPELLING TODAY AS IT WAS IN 1938.”
–The Washington Post
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