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Book Reviews

Seabiscuit: An American Legend
Book: Seabiscuit: An American Legend
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Average Customer Rating: 4.79 / 5

This book expanded my horizons -- beautifully written!
Rating: 5 / 5
There are already so many outstanding reviews of this wonderful book, that I am tempted not to add another. This is a book that I almost did not read. I would never have selected it at all as a topic about which I would have any interest had I not, by chance, heard the author's interview with NPR's Diane Rehm. I was driving from somewhere to my office and arrived about five minutes before the end of the show. I was so enthralled with her telling of the amazing story of this magnificent horse that I remained in my car listening to my car radio until the end of the show.

Unlike some reviewers, as a Californian, I found the early part of the book covering the Bay Area's turn of the century history, as relevant to the rise of Seabiscuit's owner-to-be's automotive business empire, and other background information about trainers and jockeys to be very interesting as well as essential to the overall story of Seabiscuit's development into a champion racehorse.

Laura Hillenbrand is truly a master storyteller and an unmatched wordsmith. What a literary tour-de-force she has created in this book! No one could have done a better job of telling this story.

Worth a second read!
Rating: 5 / 5
I decided to go back to my favorite book from a couple of years ago, the hugely successful "Seabiscuit" by author Laura Hillenbrand. I perhaps enjoyed it even more than the first read, and look forward with great anticipation to the release of the film this summer.

Although Hillenbrand has a tendency to "over adjective" in many instances, her story of a group of also-rans, two men and a horse, coupled with two men with "the golden touch", is a deeply satisfying read. Hillenbrand couches the piece with a
heads-on review of the country in the 20's and 30's, something today's filmgoers could use an idea of! When the charismatic Seabiscuit rises from obscurity along with worn-out Tom Smith (his trainer, and one of the most interesting characters ever in this colorful sport) and down-on-his-luck jockey Red Pollard, the American public is treated to one of those rare events, a longshot who succeeds brilliantly! Backdrops of wealthy owner Charles Howard and winning jockey George Woolf also play major roles in this tale of an underdog.

But central to the whole theme is the understanding that Hillenbrand derives of the very personality of the odd horse that floundered his way up and down the rollercoaster of stardom. She has a flair for convincing you why this particular horse should be immortalized in a nonfiction book that should experience a renaissance once the film is released!

A definite must for your book collection -- outstanding read!

Good Book
Rating: 5 / 5
I WASN'T interested in horses before, or horse racing, but I still really enjoyed this book. A real page turner, excellently written.


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