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Seabiscuit: An American Legend | [Laura Hillenbrand]

Seabiscuit: An American Legend

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

“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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (782 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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4.6 (618 )
5 star
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3 star
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1 star
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Story
4.6 (617 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (48)
2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Renee Waianae, HI, United States 01-03-15
    Renee Waianae, HI, United States 01-03-15 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Extraordinary!"

    I thought this was an incredible story and well written. It's become one of my favorites and I'm sure I'll listen to it again. I thought the narration was perfect for this type of story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer USA 01-02-15
    Amazon Customer USA 01-02-15
    ratings
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    2
    2
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    "Loved it!!"

    Just take a listen, you won't be able to stop. Laura is a very talented author and I will read anything she writes after this wonderful and excellent story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Stone 07-06-14
    David Stone 07-06-14
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    "What a Ride!"
    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Well, duh! The horse.


    Any additional comments?

    An exciting story told in all it's detail. If you liked Unbroken, as pretty much everyone did, you can expect a similar pleasure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeanne 05-23-13
    Jeanne 05-23-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    10
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    Performance
    Story
    "Worthy of 10 Stars!"
    What did you love best about Seabiscuit?

    The story and narration fully entrancing. Don't know how Hillenbrand did it, but kept me at full attentiveness through entire book. Thorough, engaging. Descriptions of Seabiscuit, owners, riders, horses, races, scenes, historical times - all perfect!. Learned much about not just Seabiscuit but horse racing, the sport during those times, and horses.


    What other book might you compare Seabiscuit to and why?

    Can't compare to others. Unique.


    Have you listened to any of George Newbern’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    One of the best narrators ever! Excellent enthusiasm, seriousness, emphasis, sentence and paragraph breaks. Felt like I was at a storyteller's convention. He was superb!
    This would be a good read in book form, but it's a MUST Audible book!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The races themselves. Literally sat on the edge of my seat during each one. Felt like I was at the race. As enthusiatically engaging as current Triple Crown endeavors. Loved it!. Found it hard to stop listening to do other things.


    Any additional comments?

    Would put in my Top 10 Favorite Books list. Parents were married in 1937. This book particularly highlighted the Thirties which made book even more enjoyable. Kudos to Laura Hillenbrand! Would read anything she writes! Seabiscuit is a must read and makes a perfect Audible read! Thanks, Laura!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather Berkeley, CA, United States 05-11-13
    Heather Berkeley, CA, United States 05-11-13
    ratings
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    2
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "Why did I wait so long to read/listen to this?"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Amazing story. Great writing. Wonderful narrator. Loved every single minute of it.


    What other book might you compare Seabiscuit to and why?

    Unbroken because it is also by Hillenbrand and an amazing true story.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Edge of my seat


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    HeyHeather Ocean Park, ME, United States 05-06-13
    HeyHeather Ocean Park, ME, United States 05-06-13 Member Since 2009

    I have been reading since before I started school. I am not sitting in front of a book someone is reading it to me!

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    "You have got to read this!"

    Laura is an amazing author. The research and time that she puts into writing these books is unbelievable. The quality of the writing keeps you interested in the book as you just relax and get to the story cause you aren't worried about other distractions.

    I loved this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Strauss 09-25-12
    R. Strauss 09-25-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Pretty Good Historical Account"
    What did you love best about Seabiscuit?

    The tricks the trainer played on the press.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The trainer...he was so clever!


    What does George Newbern bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Not sure. He seemed to be an average reader. He did a good job, but wasn't hugely expressive.


    Any additional comments?

    This is more of a historical account of what occured than a novel - in my humble opinion.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Molly Goshen, IN, United States 05-12-12
    Molly Goshen, IN, United States 05-12-12

    Wazoo Books

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Down and OUT horse becomes a depression Hero~"

    down and out horse becomes a depression era hero~ 5 STAR story

    Seabiscuit was broken in body and spirt and captures the eye of Smith who works for wealthy Mr. Howard. Smith is the last of the great cowboys has en eye for horses. He meets Mr. Howard who hires him to start his race horse stables. Smith sees a broken pathetic horse. Seabiscuit was out of winning royality being the GRANDSON of Man O War of the the best race horses ever. Howard and Smith sees a horse who is neurotic and wild. Working to calm the horse with the aid of a huge barn buddy plow horse named PUMPKIN the "BISCUIT" improves with good food and kindness. The final person in the trio of the story is a jockey named RED POLLARD who is angry with the world. Pollard is able to see the good side of the roudy colt and soon the horse and Jocky become a winning team win. Howard has two goals win a "match race " with the BEST horse in the USA triple crown winner War Admiral and to win the HUNDRED GRANDER (Santa Anita Handiap) race. the Biscuit is very plain for a racing horse and his "common looks" capture the heart of a depression era nation and soon 60 MILLION people listen to the race on the radio where the Biscuit takes on War Admiral and wins~ making him the most popular winning horse in the USA. This is a story about second changes which the horse, bitter jockey and Howard who remarries about the death of his son. this is an excellent story and moves along very well. GREAT audio for a family trip. based on the BEST seller and very good reader. 5 STARS all the way~

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    History Reader MISSOURI CITY, TX, United States 04-17-12
    History Reader MISSOURI CITY, TX, United States 04-17-12

    High school American history teacher from Texas

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "As thrilling as a triple crown battle"
    What did you love best about Seabiscuit?

    The stories behind the owner, trainer and jockey. With the horse, of course, being the glue (no pun intended) holding it all together.


    What other book might you compare Seabiscuit to and why?

    Secretariat for obvious reasons although this book focuses even a little more on the people behind the scenes than the former book.


    What does George Newbern bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    A heightened sense of excitement


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I couldn't wait to see how certain races played out


    Any additional comments?

    As good as this book was, I do feel that Unbroken was a better story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda R. Brown 03-25-12 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    6
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    "Horse race the jockey fell, each healed. Repeat."
    What would have made Seabiscuit better?

    Seabiscuit would have been better as a short story. After the first part when reporting on the life of the jockey, it was repetitive and dull. I couldn't wait for it to be over. Additionally I felt sorry for Seabiscuit. The owner, trainer and jockey just wouldn't let the horse rest until it stopped winning


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    I may listen to the second book of Hunger Games.


    What about George Newbern’s performance did you like?

    Performance was o.k. Not much emotion but then not much emotion wasn't needed.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Seabiscuit?

    I would have cut details of each race and each of many times Seabiscuit was cut from the race because of rain.


    Any additional comments?

    Unless you are especially fond of horseracing, I'd pass this one up.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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