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)
A true cliff hanger, a fabulous rendition
Of a wonderful group of characters from the grooms sneaking food
To the dieting horse to the owner so
Nervous it takes 4 matches to light his
Cigarette, to the rough treatment of
The jockeys, agony of rain, the decision to scratch the horse, the inside workings of horse racing, the timings, the records, the amount of the winnings, and, of course, the races!
I felt as though I was part of the
Thousands listening to the radio broadcast of the races.
Great Horse ~ Great Book ~Great Voice
Well told story about a great horse. This book was comprehensible even though I know nothing about horses or racing, and Hillenbrand was able to keep the race sequences lively even though they are inherently repetative. This story gives a hood historical perspective as well, and makes me want to look up Seabiscuit's descendants to see how the line is holding up.
The story is Seabiscuit is astonishing. I didn't know what was doing to happen, and I was gripped from start to finish. The performer does a very good job distinguishing characters and conveying the mood and narrative tension. I recommend this for anybody.
I can understand learning who all the human characters are. But it takes until the 6th chapter before the story gets good. Then when it does, it gets really good. I'd recommend YouTubing each of the final races then watch the race before and after you read about that particular race.
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