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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.
Spellbinding! You race through this wonderful story just like the Biscuit in the stretch. Wonderful!Published 6 months ago by paul rothwell
all the parts that make up the story that is Seabiscuit woven together brilliantly.... It's a hard book to put down and you'll be sorry to reach the end.Published 6 months ago by kim winters
We all need reminders of how it is possible to overcome seemingly impossible challenges to reveal inherent greatness. Read morePublished 6 months ago by NPon
I got this book well packed and shipped two weeks ago,,and I already felt completly lost my self in reading this book often in this two weeks. Read morePublished 7 months ago by bhavesh
It feels like you're right there, living the action. Breathtaking!
Highly recommended for anyone who's into horses, horse racing, sports, etc.
I enjoy Hillenbrand's writing and research. Here she brings to light the life and determined attributes of man and animal in striving for a goal and their willingness to give... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Nila Ipson
"SEABISCUIT" is not so much a story about a horse, but rather a story about the lives of the men which that horse changes.
Red is an orphan of the depression. Read more
This isn't the story of a great racehorse or a great jockey. That would be pretty formula. This is the story of a mediocre at best racehorse and a fairly unqualified jockey who... Read morePublished on March 2 2005