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Comments by Sarah Edwards on Monday, May 14, 2001 at 00:17 IP Logged
Dear Laura - so the toe chopping off story IS true!, I too, like my cousin Tom had no idea my great great grandfather Tom Smith was so famous! I am loving your book SEABISCUIT so much that I can't put it down! My father, (who is the grandson of Jim Smith) has told me stories of his childhood, growing up in So.Cal and visiting the race tracks with his grandpa Jim and being around celebrities all the time. I truly loved the chapter "the Lone Plainsman" I see a strong resemblance in my father(lookswise)to silent Tom- I'm getting him a grey felt fedora and some glasses!- We have some pictures of Seabiscuit and some memorabelia- but your book has really brought it to life- I wish I could have known my great great grandfather better and your book has given me a glimpse into his remarkable and "enigmatic" life. Thank you once again for recounting in such a wonderful way, this true American Legend! I look forward to the movie and if you could find the time to email me about my g.g.grandfather I would LOVE it! Thank you so much again for SEABISCUIT! Warmly, Sarah Edwards
Santa Rosa Beach, FL USA

Comments by Robert Blythin on Sunday, May 13, 2001 at 08:36 IP Logged
One of those rare books you can't put down, especially if you're a horse racing fan. I grew up in Kentucky, around horse racing. I so much enjoyed family outings to Keenland and Churchill Downs. My grandfather used to talk about Seabiscuit as the greatest runner he ever saw (he witnessed the contest with War Admiral). Because of that, we could never get him to concede that Secretariat was the greatest of all time. Your book made me understand why he felt that way.
Newport Beach, CA USA

Comments by David Dinerman on Sunday, May 13, 2001 at 07:36 IP Logged
Wow, Lauren. You wrote the book of your life! I just finished reading your book, in the shadow of Del Mar, which is dangerously close to my house and frankly, once I started it, I could not put it down. I actually was cheering out loud (for Seabicuit, of course) while reading the chapter on Seabiscuit and War Admiral's'match race. I remember having a board game and Seabicuit and War Admiral were two of the horses on the game (can't remember the others),and now I know why. The movie should be a smash..kinda like a Charriots of Fire. Good lock with it. PS Tom Merritt is an od friend of mine.
San Diego, CA USA

Comments by Susan Reierson on Sunday, May 13, 2001 at 03:46 IP Logged
Just finished reading your book Laura and enjoyed every minute of it. Even found myself tearing up at several parts especially the match race. I attend Del Mar every summer and was especially thrilled to see the chapter on Seabiscuits's time there. What magnificent writing this book is and I can only hope it will be made into a movie soon. Saw your story on the news one night and had to get the book and am so glad I did.
San Marcos, CA USA

Comments by Laura Mitchell on Sunday, May 13, 2001 at 03:38 IP Logged
Thank-you so much for writing this book. As a 40-year-old equestrienne with chicken pox, I can tell you few things make me happy when I'm forced out of the saddle for more than a day. Your book did the trick. My seat has mended, your book has ended, and I can't wait for the movie!!
york, Me USA

Comments by Juliane Jay on Sunday, May 13, 2001 at 02:17 IP Logged
This is the first "horse story" I have read where I cried as much for the humans as for the horses! My husband heard the interview on NPR and sent me out for the book immediately. He was so excited as he read the story, that I had to leave the room to keep him from revealing the details to me as he progressed in the book. When my turn came, I was transfixed...until the chapter before the match race. When I knew the race was truly on, I had to close the book and rest for a day before I could continue! What a great read! My husband trains dancing horses and has his roots with the great circus trainers of Europe. I would love to let your words bring one of those glamorous stories to life! Just as with Seabiscuit, you must hurry, the links in the chain are dying off fast. Again, thanks for bringing us this book...you allowed us all to ride a great racehorse!
Grass Valley, CA USA

Comments by Phil Howerton on Sunday, May 13, 2001 at 01:44 IP Logged
LAURA: Your book, and especially the chapters on the two key races, reminds me of what once was said about a Pavarotti aria (Salut Domnere) that it was the most perfectly prepared high C in all opera. What a great job. What a wonderful book. Thanks. Phil
Charlotte, NC USA

Comments by J. Michael Rainey on Sunday, May 13, 2001 at 01:31 IP Logged
This is, hands down, the best story...and one of the best books...I've ever read. What a refreshing, uplifting account of devotion, committment and triumph over adversity. Thank you, Laura, for your dedication and painstaking research to capture the true grit of this horse and those who were touched by him. Thanks to you, his courage and their dedication have been reborn to inspire us all.
Leavenworth, WA USA

Comments by James H. Stovall on Sunday, May 13, 2001 at 01:03 IP Logged
I read in the Wall Street Journal a review of "Seabiscuit:An American Legend" and shortly afterward heard the NPR interview you gave about the book. Both experiences stimulated me to get the book. The recording of the call of the match race with War Admiral moved me tremendously, as you said it always does, you, too. Where could I go to get a recording of it to share with my wife? I bought the book from the book club I belong to and read the preface to my wife. It hooked us both immediately, and over the course of the next several evenings I read the entire book aloud so we could enjoy it together. I had a hard time reading through laughter that your telling of the story often evoked, and an especially hard time reading over the lump in my throat as you brought the story to a close. What a powerful book! I bought another copy for my son and daughter-in-law after I had them read the preface in Barnes and Noble. Your work will certainly deserve all the accolades it will undoubtedly earn. May you triumph over your bout with CFS. Our prayers are with you. Other horses have risen to remarkable heights from humble beginnings (e.g. Seattle Slew), but do you think any other story could touch so many people the way your telling of Seabiscuit's story (and Seabiscuit's very life) has done? Thank you for writing "Seabiscuit: An American Legend." Jim & Suzi Stovall
Neotsu, OR United States

Comments by Jimmy Cav on Sunday, May 13, 2001 at 01:00 IP Logged
How your book about a horse showed us the humanity of the times is an inspiring work on your part.I didn't start going to the track until I was two years old.I have pictures of me in the starting gate,my father holding me like he was getting me ready for the Futurity.The most difficult part of your story is finishing it.I,m 56 now and your making me miss people and a horse that you just recently introduced me to.If your goal as a writer is a certain immortality,you don't have to write another word.Rivaling "THE BISCUIT'S"best performances,this book,these people and that bad-legged,big hearted horse will be continualy brought back to life.Thank,s for a new set of memories.
Middle Village, N.Y. USA

Comments by Donna Lucas on Saturday, May 12, 2001 at 09:43 IP Logged
I am supposed to be studying for law school finals! I am reading Seabiscuit. Although I grew up riding horses in Texas, I never liked racing, because I did not see horses as naturally competitive. Your book opened my eyes on that subject. Very inspiring.
Gallatin, TN USA

Comments by Margaret Smith on Saturday, May 12, 2001 at 09:27 IP Logged
"Seabiscuit" is quite a change from Auerabach's "Wild Ride" and in different class than Schwartz's "Ruffian." I always thought Seabiscuit was a hype because of his uneven performance and eyesore confirmation; I guess as child of the computer age it never occurred to me that "heart" counts and that a trainer would actually recognize it and use it in training and racing. And that "heart" is emphatically not the same as a horse with a bad disposition. I've not a regular reader of equine publications, but I've often wondered if breeding U.S. thoroughbreds solely for speed was partly to blame for the current popularity of European warmbloods.
Los Angeles, CA USA

Comments by Eugene Dong, MD, JD on Saturday, May 12, 2001 at 08:56 IP Logged
In the midst of reading your great book which brings back very personal memories. I was a child patient in the Howard Foundation for Tubercular Children in 1944 at age 10 years. At the time there was no effective treatment for tb. Because of the segregation it was then an unhappy time for me, but I was grateful to the Howard Foundation in my adult years for the care I received. I can still remember the pictures of CS Howard and Seabiscuit in the foyer. I lost track of Seabiscuit as I pursued a medical career, now am an emeritus professor of cardiac surgery, Stanford University and also a practicing lawyer approaching a second retirement. Please accept a heartfelt thank you for allowing me to learn more about Seabiscuit and C.S. Howard in a most satisfying account.
Palo Alto, CA USA

Comments by Jay Patterson on Saturday, May 12, 2001 at 08:21 IP Logged
Ms. Hillenbrand: What a great yarn! Your attention to detail is extraordinary. Your description of the love of the humans for Seabiscuit is exceptional. I savored the excitement of the races. When I finished the last page, I immediately turned back and reread the narrative of the Seabiscuit/War Admiral match race. Thank you so much for providing your readers with such a treat. Two questions: First, how did you learn that Seabiscuit toyed with his opponents? Second, is there a way I can watch the video of the Seabiscuit/War Admiral race? Gratefully, Jay Patterson
Dallas, TX USA

Comments by annette osnos on Saturday, May 12, 2001 at 06:54 IP Logged
Dear Laura, My husband and I heard your interview on NPR and almost had to pull the car over because we were both crying when they played the race between Seabiscuit and War Admiral. Since then we have seen you on MacNeil-Lehrer and we have the greatest respect for what you accomplished with this book. NOt only are the characters on the page incredibly compelling but the fact that you too have had to battle such health problems added to the story. I work at BusinessWeek magazine in sales and have decided to send your book to as many of my clients as possible. I think there is an important message in the pages of your story and I want everyone to read it! Thank you again for such a superb effort!
new york, ny USA

Comments by Joan S. Byrne on Saturday, May 12, 2001 at 06:14 IP Logged
Dear Laura, I have my own Seabiscuit story! Several years ago, I hung a lithograph of Seabiscuit on my wall. It was done by a favorite artist of mine, C.W.Anderson. When my grown daughter and her family visited from MA, my daughter spotted the lithograph right away. "That's Seabiscuit," she said, as if everyone would recognize the horse who in the picture, is looking out of his stall door. "Yes," said my grandaughter(age nine at the time,) "Daddy wanted to get a boat and name it 'Seabiscuit.' I still don't know how they knew so much about this horse who is more of my era than of theirs. Sincerely, Joan S. Byrne
La Canada, CA USA

Comments by marsha lloyd on Saturday, May 12, 2001 at 03:16 IP Logged
Thank you for writing "Seabiscuit". My words cannot do it justice. I can't remember when I have cried reading a book. I had never heard of Seabiscuit until your book was reviewed in Time magazine. Your book has rekindled my childhood love for reading about horses. I am anxious to find "Come On,Seabiscuit".
Farimont, WV USA

Comments by Jonathan Cohen on Saturday, May 12, 2001 at 02:23 IP Logged
LAURA: HI! I heard your interview with the lovely Diane Rehm on line and loved it. Both of you are truly inspiring. I re-read Diane's book afterwards. Now, I look forward to re-reading yours, after I loaned it to my folks, who adored it. My dad's an old racing fan who used to be a regular at New England tracks. He knew Babe Rubinstein, the old Suffolk Downs announcer who must have been the guy that couldn't get the crowd to pipe down when the Seabiscuit-War Admiral matchup in the '38 Mass. Handicap fell through. For many years, and it must have started when War Admiral lost, the MassCap had a reputation as a "graveyard" race, unbroken until the likes of Cigar and Skip Away showed up here in the '90s. I spoke to my old friend Daryl Wells, the great Canadian race announcer, recently. He hadn't heard of your book, so I begged him to find it. On what planet is he? Daryl's not a great reader but I'm sure he won't be able to put it down. If and when the movie comes out, I hope I'll be able to see it because my own neurological condition has preven- ted me from seeing many movies due to graphic violence, language and emotional subjects. Whoever said "it should be a PG-13 so everyone, including kids, can enjoy it" I'm with wholeheartedly. I haven't seen a movie in a theater for over 10 years (last one: "Field of Dreams"). I'm willing to break that streak when "Seabiscuit" comes out. Thanks again for the greatest thing I've read in ages. Next year, there will be a Pulitzer for history with your name on it.
Brookline, MA USA

Comments by Lynn E Kullman on Saturday, May 12, 2001 at 01:45 IP Logged
Sadly your book came in the mail the day I had to leave with my son for Rolex 3-day Event in Lexington KY. I delayed my last minute packing to try and read a few pages before we had to leave at 3 a.m. to make the show by the next morning. BIG MISTAKE!!!! By the end of the 1st page I knew I would not be getting any sleep before the trip !Then I was fearful that I might lose the book on the trip so I decided to leave it at home. Met a friend there from southern IL and she was so excited about a book she just finished and she would loan it to me, IT was your book!!! Read a few more chapters to hold me over until we got home. Always a Equine enthusiast, I was spell bound by the book. I hope you keep good control of the reins with the movie. Robert Davaul(spelling) I think would be great as Smith ! But what ever actors they get for the picture will just have to remember who the real star is-the horse. Seabiscuit was one of my favorite thoroughbreds next to Man O War,Exterminator,and my dream horse Secretariat.Thank-you Lynn Kullman
Dekalb, IL USA

Comments by John Bigness on Saturday, May 12, 2001 at 01:35 IP Logged
Dear Laura: A great read. Loved the piece on the Match race when the Biscuit was pulling away from War Admiral and his jockey said "So long, Charley" to his rival rider.
East Greenbush, NY USA

Comments by Teresa on Saturday, May 12, 2001 at 01:00 IP Logged
Laura: Again, absolutely wonderful book! I see that most of the website comments reflect just how I felt while reading the book: Intense emotion and tears. Just a few things about the movie though: I don't know just how much of the integrity of the film version you will be able to control but here is my suggestion. PLEASE tell "Hollywood" to get some real horse people working on this film. The thought of this film coming off like other horse films in the past, with horses whinnying all the time or falling down or even worse acting like Mr. Ed , is frightening. I believe portraying personal in-depth hardships, especially those of the jockeys and trainers, juxtaposed against Seabiscuits’ ferocious will to run and win, is what the public really needs to see. Show the world the real picture of how heros evolve in even the darkest of times and people will learn and be moved at the same time. Thanks, and remember us horse people will be definitely be watching!
Newport Beach, Ca USA

Comments by Frank Loffa on Friday, May 11, 2001 at 08:26 IP Logged
Laura: Outstanding job on the book Seabiscuit. I always knew the biscuit was good, I did not realize that he was one of the finest thoroughbreds ever. Your detail in describing the various races, especially the classic showdown with War Admiral and the final 'hundred grander' had me on the edge of my airplane seat. Please fill me in on the details of the movie. Thanks again for a great story and best of luck in your future projects.
USA

Comments by Jim Perkins on Friday, May 11, 2001 at 05:22 IP Logged
I owe a deep sense of gratitude to Laura Hillenbrand for her efforts in writing perhaps the greatest book published in years. AT no less than ten times my eyes swelled with tears of emotion over the triumphs of the great "Seabiscuit". Truly one of the greatest success stories in this country's history. This book is a must read for everyone.
Atlanta, GA USA

Comments by Barbara Bell on Friday, May 11, 2001 at 03:21 IP Logged
Laura...I can't think of any words that could properly express my feelings after reading about Seabiscuit. But I can say it was the best story, fiction or non-fictuion, that I have ever read.
Memphis, TN USA

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