Seabiscuit was one of the most electrifying and popular attractions in sports history and the single biggest newsmaker in the world in 1938, receiving more coverage than FDR, Hitler, or Mussolini. But his success was a surprise to the racing establishment, which had written off the crooked-legged racehorse with the sad tail. Three men changed Seabiscuit's fortunes:
Charles Howard was a onetime bicycle repairman who introduced the automobile to the western United States and became an overnight millionaire. When he needed a trainer for his new racehorses, he hired Tom Smith, a mysterious mustang breaker from the Colorado plains. Smith urged Howard to buy Seabiscuit for a bargain-basement price, then hired as his jockey Red Pollard, a failed boxer who was blind in one eye, half-crippled, and prone to quoting passages from Ralph Waldo Emerson. Over four years, these unlikely partners survived a phenomenal run of bad fortune, conspiracy, and severe injury to transform Seabiscuit from a neurotic, pathologically indolent also-ran into an American sports icon.
Author Laura Hillenbrand brilliantly re-creates a universal underdog story, one that proves life is a horse race.
©2010 Laura Hillenbrand (P)2010 Random House Audio
“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.” (Sports Illustrated)
“Remarkable...Memorable...Just as compelling today as it was in 1938." (The Washington Post)
Will move you, educate you, entertain you and make you feel part of this amazing adventure and the intriguing people involved. When finished, check UTube to watch actual footage of the races. The story of Seabiscuit will stay with you for a long time. More than worth your credits.
I would recommend this listen. The narrator is excellent and the story is engaging. I knew nothing of horse racing but wanted to gain a bit of knowledge before my trip to Churchill Downs. It was well worth my time.
This book and this audiobook has everything a reader can ask for: Classic Hero's Journey to the very end and for all of the major players, skilled and exciting research and storytelling (written and spoken). Should be required in history curriculum in all schools.
Laura Hildebrand has the rare gift to tell a good story while being vigilant in maintaining historic accuracy and literary grace.
The performance is excellent and the production is flawless.
This is a must listen and a must read.
Wonderful reader, wonderful story. Laura Hillenbrand is a treasurer. Detailed, moving, exciting, and full. Without much knowledge of horses in general, and racing specifically, I learned a lot, too. A must-listen!
Danny E Sieg
A moving biography of a great race horse. I've been aware of SeaBiscuit since my days in grammar school, but not the interesting details about a classic athlete's capture of an entire nation. Enjoyable Audible listening selection.
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