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Comments by John V DOMmisse MD on Sunday, January 06, 2002 at 07:16 IP Logged
Dear Ms Hillenbrand, Thank you so much for the extensive research you did to give your readership such an informative book. It is written with the 'economy of language' that I first saw in Hemingway, and every line is filled with powerful new facts, yet woven into a novel-like tapestry. I seldom get the opportunity to read a long book (too busy consulting to chronically-fatigued patients from every state in the union, by phone!). I have never been a horse or betting person but thrilled to the movies 'The Black Stallion' (many times!), 'National Velvet', 'International Velvet', etc., and then, 6 yrs ago, my wife Bettina and I bought some timeshare vacation units at Del Mar in Cal. - because of the beach, not the race track - and have now started getting hooked on watching some of the races there each summer. Bettina bought me your book for my birthday in Oct. and I finally had the opportunity to read it over Xmas: Now I am absolutely hooked on 'the mystique of the horse' and sat at my computer until the early hours of this morning reading everything I could on the Internet about Seabiscuit, Secretariat, Ruffian, etc., etc., and ordered >$200-worth of books and movies from Amazon.com (more to follow!). I look forward Very Much to the movie of your book as well. What a remarkable achievement for someone suffering so greatly from CFS! You are a Seabiscuit! With very best wishes for your full recovery and for future books about horses!
Tucson, AZ USA

Comments by Chip Abernathy on Sunday, January 06, 2002 at 06:21 IP Logged
Laura, I just finished reading SEABISCUIT; what a fine, fine book. Before reading your book, I had always been relatively indifferent to horse racing. I now have a much keener interest in it and a much greater appreciation of it. My mother has always had a great love of horse racing. She grew up during the depression, during the years that racing had much more mass appeal than it does today. I now see why she has the emotional attachment to racing that she has. I am a psychotherapist and addiction counselor. I wish I could have worked with Red; he would have loved recovery. It may be somewhat bold of me to ask, but I wonder if you would be willing to send an autographed copy of your book to my mother. She would love it, and would appreciate it more than anyone I know. If so, email me and let me know how to send you the money for the book and the postage. Her name and address: Doris Abernathy, PO Box 124, McCaysville, GA 30555. If that's too much trouble, I understand. Thanks again for the great book.
Marietta, GA USA

Comments by Hank Rehrer on Sunday, January 06, 2002 at 02:14 IP Logged
Ms. Hillenbrand- this ranks as one of my favorite books of all time! I am a huge sports fan and thought that's what this book was going to be about, another great racehorse. My heart would not stop pounding until I knew who won the Seabiscuit/War Admiral race!! Little did I know though... how much Seabiscuit would move me emotionally. It is truly an amazing story about the relationships and lives of so many tied together by this amazing animal! I shed several tears during your final few chapters, more out of joy and happiness for this wonderful story that you pieced together. Thank you for such a splendid masterpiece! Are you ever in the NJ-NYC area for a signing? Best wishes!
Cranford, NJ USA

Comments by Erin on Sunday, January 06, 2002 at 01:44 IP Logged
My mother loaned me her copy of "Seabiscuit". I've finished reading it and I doubt she'll get her book returned! The writing was superb and I learned more about racing and Thoroughbreds. As a child, I got to see the old Seabiscuit movie and enjoyed it. I now see how parts of the movie were similar to the actual story and how some were fictional. I hope the upcoming version follows the true story. Thank you for writing such a wonderful book.
Rutherfordton, NC USA

Comments by Tracy Des Combes on Sunday, January 06, 2002 at 01:19 IP Logged
I loved your book! I even read portions out loud over breakfast this morning to my husband and three sons, who especially enjoyed the story of poor Whiskers the goat! There's nothing in life so wonderful as enjoying a book so much that you don't want it to end, and Seabiscuit's story was one of those books. I never imagined myself sitting with tears running down my cheeks as I finished reading a book about a famous racehorse, but that's just what I was doing this evening. Thank you for your beautiful book. What a winner!
Long Beach, CA USA

Comments by John Grazier III on Saturday, January 05, 2002 at 09:41 IP Logged
I am really enjoying reading your book. I wonder if you will enjoy my paintings as much. Please check out my web site and see my latest work, "Dream of the Piebald Mare." I think you will like it. Please let me know your reaction.
Coburn, PA USA

Comments by Sue Brooks on Saturday, January 05, 2002 at 09:36 IP Logged
Laura: Thank you for a wonderful, warm, and carefully written book! I learned a lot about horse racing, and as a result of your loving masterpiese, I learned a lot about Seabiscuit. Thank you for a great reading experience! Sue Brooks
Vero Beach, FL USA

Comments by Richard Schultz on Saturday, January 05, 2002 at 06:34 IP Logged
WHAT A FANTASTIC TELLING OF A FANTASTIC HORSE!!! The only question I have is, after reading this, why on earth is War Admiral ranked 13th best racehorse of the 20th century and Seabiscuit waaaay down at 25? Cuz of the Triple Crown? I don't think Man O' War won the Triple Crown, yet he was ranked #1. See the site www.bloodhorse.com/tb_champions/top_100_list.html and you will find other "errors." GREAT JOB LH!
Atlanta, GA USA

Comments by Mike Herbst on Saturday, January 05, 2002 at 03:53 IP Logged
I read your account of The Race between Seabiscuit and War Admiral at breakfast. Your description of that race was so vivid and riveting that my food got cold; that's okay, I need to make weight for my next race. That will be racing to the theater to see the movie of "Seabiscuit: An American Legend". You brought back to life long gone characters, human and equine, in a story I will never forget. Please accept my best wishes and respect for what you have given us.
Mount Vernon, Wa USA

Comments by Tom Speier on Saturday, January 05, 2002 at 03:01 IP Logged
Ms. Hillenbrand, I have never ever written to an author after reading a book and in fact only once or twice even felt like doing so. As a boy my mother introduced me to "The Black Stallion" and "My Friend Flicka" which inspired a love of horses and of racing. Now in my middle years your book has re-awakened many of those feelings but with a great deal more emotion. Your writing made all of the characters spring from the pages and into my heart. I was left with the observation that the collision of these characters in history produced a story that we will only see once. You made it clear that without each of these people "Seabiscuit" would have been just a horse. Many thanks for the vivid and enthralling pictures you painted and the many memories you have left with me. If an author writes to touch then you have.
Houston, TX USA

Comments by Laura Tom on Saturday, January 05, 2002 at 02:32 IP Logged
My sister, after reading your book, slipped it to me before my huge-race-fan brother could get to it. I was entranced! While reading Seabiscuit on my commuter train each day, I found it very difficult to sit still in my seat! Thanks--looking forward to the movie.
Wheeling, IL USA

Comments by Shadi Shahkhalili on Saturday, January 05, 2002 at 00:52 IP Logged
Ms. Hillenbrand, I am a 15 year old Iranian girl. I am passionate about horses and I am working towards reaching my goal of becoming a horse trainer. I currently live in Paksitan, due to my parents' work in the United Nations, but I go back home every summer. I first noticed your book in Amazon.com, and was hooked on reading it straight on. It took me a very long time to search for it in a bookstore in Canada. Last summer I took it with me back home, and read it on the roof of our house, where I spend many memorable hours enjoying the view of home and also to get away from thing awhile. It is most definitly one of my favorite books of all time. I found it very hard to put down. I got so involved in the story, it was as if I was there in every page with Red, Tom, Charles and Seabiscuit. During the races I clutched the book from excitement, my heart pounding. After I read the last page I stopped and thought for a long time about all of it, how these three men and this horse overcame very hard times to reach their goals. I nearly cried. Not any movie, nor surely an book has ever made me feel like that. I was sorry that all of these facinating people were no longer among us. And I learned so many things about the racing world and jockeys' lives. For me, it was much more than an entertaining read, or a 'good' book. when I read that a movie was being made from it, I jumped in excitement. I can't wait to see it. I've read many many books about famous horses, but this by far stood out of the crowd. I was very impressed by your investigations and research. Now after I read the other comments in your guestbook and learned of your CFS, I am amazed at your will and power. Good luck to you, and thank you for making my lonely summer hours, each an exciting ride.
Islamabad, PK

Comments by Tim Nobes on Friday, January 04, 2002 at 08:25 IP Logged
Exhilirating stuff - grabs you by the seat of your pants and leaves you with your heart thumping to get out of your chest...brings tears to the eyes and makes the hairs stand up on the back of your neck...pure enjoyment
Plymouth, UK

Comments by Margy Cassidy on Friday, January 04, 2002 at 04:13 IP Logged
Laura, thank you so much for writing this wonderful book. I received it for Christmas and reading (devouring) it was the high point of my holiday break! I know next to nothing about horse racing, having been to the races only once, many years ago, in Louisiana. However, "Seabiscuit" is a story for all people, horse racing fans or not. I am in awe of your talent in bringing your subjects so vividly to life. You portrayed the highs and lows, personality glitches, and humanity of Charles, Red, Tom, and George so well I feel as though I know them--and Seabiscuit--through your book. Their intelligence, dedication, and humor shine out on every page. As monumental an achievement as this book is, I found it even more so when I learned of your illness. How someone with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome could find the energy to conduct such massive amounts of research and then write with such vivacity is beyond me. All I can say is brava, Laura, and I am begging for more! You are an inspiration, and American treasure!
Sunnyvale, CA USA

Comments by Rick Kessler on Friday, January 04, 2002 at 02:56 IP Logged
Thanks for a great job of research and writing. I was quite involved in racing as an owner and breeder from 1958 through 1991. My first trainer was Harry Richards and I later had horses with Keith Stucki so I read the Seabiscuit drama with added interest. Thanks again, Rick Kessler
Westlake Village, CA USA

Comments by Shelley on Friday, January 04, 2002 at 02:36 IP Logged
I have a perfectly legal addiction. I love books; I must have a good book available at all times. Since childhood, I have read many excellent and diverse books, even memorable ones, but at midage, I only remember the books that are beyond excellent. I will never forget SEABISCUIT! I will never forget his team. I will never forget Laura Hillenbrand, a master of words, character development and storytelling. I know little about horses and racing. The several horses I have ridden were old and gentle. Thanks to this extraordinary book, I feel as if I had actually ridden a race horse...my chest pounded, my breath alternatively slowed and accelerated. as I read this book. Every race was as if it were happening anew, in the present tense. I hated and loved that the I could not put the book down. It was over so fast. I loved the characters, especially seabiscuit and his quiet trainer, Tom Smith. Tears fell rapidly as I finished the last page. I miss being with them as I was for 3 nights. Thank you for recreating a wonderful, American story in a decade that was otherwise not so exciting or wonderful.
Providence, RI USA

Comments by Joseph Paolo Schramek on Friday, January 04, 2002 at 01:46 IP Logged
To Laura Hillenbrand I was already sold on Seabiscuit, by your enthusiasm as you spoke about it on NPR. I had to buy it when you said you are challenged by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The easiest way for me to explain why I write to you is by sharing a letter I wrote last year. www.DIRECT-MS.org January 5, 2001 I was diagnosed with MS in 1992, and became involved in MS research in 1993. I was treated with several experimental medicines until their efficacy ran out in 1997. In January 1998, an MRI revealed 67 enhancing lesions in my brain, the worst my neurologist had seen. I received many doses of chemotherapy for three months, and spent the rest of 1998 hospitalized by the side effects-bedsores and infections, one to the bone. I terminated my involvement in research and committed to a strict vegetarian diet when I returned home in January 1999. In August 1999, my friend, Cecilia, urged me to try a program she said was improving her health dramatically. I added her program to mine in September and by November, I felt ‘nutritionally complete’. A recent blood test confirms that my vitamin and mineral levels are normal. My latest MRI scan on October 26, 2000 shows NO enhancing lesions in my brain! I am thrilled with DIRECT-MS, and will do everything in my power to help raise the money needed, I thank you dearly for your work and I pray for the success of DIRECT-MS. Joseph Schramek Cecilia Cusimano may be contacted at 602-230-0265 Strict vegetarian or vegan means I do not eat animal eggs or milk. I added fish to my diet in March 2001 The fatigue that came over me immediately following my first experimental protocol was definitely chronic. The fatigue I experienced after my first urinary tract infection the next summer was even more chronic. I am not a medical doctor, and cannot determine where to draw the line between chronic fatigue and the poisoning I felt with chemotherapy. The only thing I know for certain is that since my friend, Cecilia, introduced me to a nutritional program, I am able to hold my head up for several hours and write a letter on my computer. I was not able to stay up more than an hour, before. I hope you will call Cecilia at 602-230-0265. She told me the program works for chronic fatigue syndrome, also. I have Seabiscuit and I feel extremely motivated to read it, simply because of your enthusiasm. My best to you, Joe Schramek 1930 Columbia Rd., NW #820 Washington, DC 20009 (202) 332-0211 jschramek@att.net
Washington, DC USA

Comments by Susan Ginsberg on Friday, January 04, 2002 at 00:49 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hilldebrand, I wanted to let you know that my book group, which meets once a month in Arlington, VA, is reading your book this month. I just finished it and loved it. Our meeting is this Thursday, and I thought you might like to know that we've been reading your book. Thanks for a wonderful book....
Washington, DC USA

Comments by Don Allen on Friday, January 04, 2002 at 00:30 IP Logged
Laura, I've been a racing fan for about 15 years now but I never knew or bothered to find out any history. I was really lucky when my wife gave me your book as a birthday gift. It was a great book, and it has piqued my interest. In that regard, you made statements about Seabuscuit being in Life, Newsweek, Time, etc routinely. I would like to see/read some of these articles. Could you possibly provide me with dates of when some of these articles appeared. Many thanks..don allen
bowie, md USA

Comments by Rebecca on Thursday, January 03, 2002 at 09:37 IP Logged
Wow! This book was given to me for Christmas by one of my riding students. I expected either a schmaltzy tale or a dry, boring recitation of long-ago facts. I was delighted and completely absorbed in the book. You have truly written a book that will contribute to the world for long after we are all gone. Though I never knew any of them, may I thank you on behalf of Smith, Howard, Pollard and Seabiscuit for making sure that they never fade from the world's memory. And a huge thank you from me for making them live for me, too.
Cypress, TX USA

Comments by Craig Gray on Thursday, January 03, 2002 at 07:43 IP Logged
This fabulous piece of American racing history, superbly recounted by LH, has made it over 'The Pond'. I bought this book for my horse owning wife, as part of her Xmas goodies after it won William Hill Sports Book of the Year award, and managed to intercept it yesterday from her bedside(Wed 2nd Jan), to soothe the post New year blues. I have now finished the book 2 days later and it was absolutely fabulous. I 've hardly spoken to my wife since I picked it up!! It is such an emotional book. A real rollercoaster. I have never much cared for horses in the past but I can honestly say that my perception of them has changed for good and for the better. Thanks for easing me into 2002 with a real cracker of a book.
Kinross, Scotland

Comments by Tracia Nunnally on Thursday, January 03, 2002 at 06:53 IP Logged
Laura, I remembered reading about Seabiscuit in grade school. I was amazed that this magnificent part of history was so little known. Now I know Seabiscuit, and the remarkable people who cared for him, will be remembered by many generations to come. Your characterizations were so moving, I felt as if I were with them. I laughed and cried through their experiences. If only the magic could have lasted for them all. I will never forget their courage, strength, and undying faith. To the Howards, Mr. Smith, the Cougar, the Iceman, the Biscuit, their loved ones, and all the other racing pioneers; I salute you!! Good luck Laura, keep the movie people true to the story! I'm thinking it will be an Oscar/Blockbuster! P.S. I hadn't thought of Mr. Hackman for Mr. Smith (good choice), but you might consider Robert Duvall as well. Heck, maybe Mr. Hackman could be Charles Howard since they both liked to race cars! Or what about Paul Newman (Mr. Smith) and Robert Redford (Charles Howard)? Yikes!! You have quite the project ahead of you. But judging by your research notes, you'll do a great job. God bless you Laura!
Hermiston, OR USA

Comments by Chris Veech on Thursday, January 03, 2002 at 03:27 IP Logged
As a child I remember the stories of Seabiscuit and the races! I was born in 1933, so I was quite young, but the radio news was on and drove our lives. I always wanted to raise race horses, and reading your descriptions of those famous races, I now know why I felt that way as a youngster. I never did, but I still love horses... Thanks for making those days come alive for me at this time. Those simpler days when we came together as a country over horse races, not terrorism. Bless you.
Commack, NY USA

Comments by Karol Ballard on Thursday, January 03, 2002 at 03:06 IP Logged
Dear Laura, As a former exercise rider, I appreciated your book about Seabiscuit on a very personal level. I am now a screenwriter, and have adapted a book about post-Civil War and its ramifications. Jodie Foster's Egg Pictures held it for a few months before deciding to pass on my script's Civil War theme, since Jodie had already done "Sommersby". I would like you to read the script called "The Secessionist." With both my track insight and screenwriting skills, I know I could produce the absolute best adaptation of your wonderful book. May I send or email you the script? Thanks for your time, Laura. Sincerely, Karol Ballard
sierra madre, ca USA

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