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)
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.
I loved the story, and all of the things about horse racing that I learned. The story was engaging and a part of me wished that I could have experienced it first hand. My only challenge was listening to the narrator who was a little flat toned, otherwise the book was wonderful
I've read this book probably twenty times, at least ... Laura Hillenbrand is one of the greatest writers who has ever lived, in my opinion ... and Seabiscuit, one of the greatest horses. Such an exciting, inspiring true story of just the right team coming together to bring out the best in one another. I think that, from this example, we should all look at the person next to us with "new eyes" ... of what might they be capable, if we just took the time and effort to engage them ... get to know them ... nurture them ... give them the tools and/or the venue that will help them to bloom. In so doing, we will bloom, ourselves. Thank you, Ms. Hillenbrand, for your years-long effort to fight through your own difficulty to bring this team to life for the world once again ... for this tribute to some of God's greatest gifts to us humans (our spirit, and horses, in general, whose spirits are unmatchable gifts to us) ... for immortalising them, both for your own inspiration and for the appreciation of the descendants of these people and for the rest of us.
Every moment of this read was rewarding. Thanks first to the author and then to the narrator for bringing the history and lives of owners, trainers, horses and riders to life during a time of great historical significance in this nation and the world. Especially for the character and personality of Seabiscuit.
The narrator was easy to listen to. There were times I was so into the race I could feel the excitement and times I felt tears forming. If you have a love for animals I think you will enjoy this true story.
After being totally sucked in to Unbroken (I listened to the whole thing over three days), I expected to be similarly thrilled by Seabiscuit. Alas, I was bored. It wasn't the story-telling; it was me. To enjoy this book, you really have to be interested in horses, and I'm not.
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