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Book Reviews

Book: Seabiscuit
Written by: Laura Hillenbrand Campbell Scott
Publisher: Random House Audio
Average Customer Rating: 5.0 / 5

Rating: 5 / 5
I decided to buy this book after having seen to the movie a couple of times. The movie sparked my interest in Sea Bicuit, Red Pollard, Charles Howard and Tom Smith. Well the book was all I could have hoped for and more. The movie was very true to the story but the book provided more background, more substance, more of an insight into how it really was in depression times. The photos are just brilliant. I would thoroughly recommend this book to all racing enthusiasts, all people interested in horses and all people interested in history. A story about a tough horse who pulled a nation together in depression times and the people associated with him.

Converted confirmed novel reader to non-fiction! - A+++
Rating: 5 / 5
Prior to November 2003, non-fiction only entered my reading choices in sporadic occasions. In November 2003, a pioneering member of my book club was the first to choose a non-fiction book instead of a novel. That book was Seabiscuit.

Even though I have always loved horses, I had avoided reading Seabiscuit. I just couldn't believe that all the hype was real. So many times I had picked up a non-fiction book on a topic that I was really curious about, and either put it down unfinished or forced myself to slog through it. Despite my interest in the subject matter, the writing would drive me crazy - too technical, too boring, too text-book like. In fact, as one of those over-achieving students who always completed college reading assignments, and I would have to say that many textbooks were better reads than the average non-fiction book I'd found on store shelves.

Seabiscuit, I was happy to learn, was a complete surprise to me. The hype was real. No wonder it had sold so many copies. It really does read like a novel, and yet it is so deep - Ms. Hillenbrand has really explored her topic and passes on all the details to us. There is a section where she describes the jockeys' experience of riding in a race that is one of the best pieces of prose I have ever, and will ever, read. I read it over and over. She really puts you in the saddle, it's so visceral, plus the prose is beautiful in and of itself. Another reason for the success of this novel is her success at placing the events therein in their historical context. She not only puts you in the saddle, she takes you back in time.

This was one of the universally best-received choices we've read in book club. Everyone loved it, whether or not they cared at all about horses or sports. And ever since then, I've given non-fiction more chances, and with better luck, than ever before. Sometimes I still put one down unfinished, but now that I know how they can be, I try more often.

I highly recommend Seabiscuit to any of the following people:
anyone who has the slightest interest in horses or sports,
anyone who thinks jockeys have an easy job,
anyone interested in American history,
anyone with no interest in horses who just loves good writing,
anyone who thinks non-fiction is dull and would welcome a surprise,

Thoroughly interesting
Rating: 5 / 5
I saw the movie first, then had to get the book. It was throughly captivating. I couldn't put it down till I finished it. It told a lot about racing in the "older days" that I had never realized was happening, and plan on reading it again. The author did a splendid job.


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