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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.

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

Comments by jwolit on Friday, May 11, 2001 at 02:50 IP Logged
As a teen, I read a book by Ralph Moody about Seabiscuit, and have never forgotten this horse. Ms. Hillenbrands book is certainly more adult, if no less interesting.

Comments by William Kaup on Friday, May 11, 2001 at 01:23 IP Logged
This is a great book! I have been a racing fan for over 30 years and got started when writing a research paper on Man O War while attending Rutgers back in the 60's. Your research skills are obvious as you told this story in such detail that I felt the events surrounding Seabisquit's life were unfolding as I read the book. I just hope you have another book in the works because you've got me as a customer. Thank you for writing this book!
Lutherville, MD USA

Comments by Paul Lutz on Thursday, May 10, 2001 at 09:05 IP Logged
I have read several thousand books over the course of my life, which began in 1938, the year Seabiscuit hit his full stride. I have never read a book that so thoroughly the people, the events, or the times so well. I could not put it down. Thanks, Laura for your meticulous research and for your descriptive gifts. I know that you agonized over every word, as all writers do; please know that you have created a masterpiece.
Shrewsbury, MA USA

Comments by maggie van ostrand on Thursday, May 10, 2001 at 08:36 IP Logged
This is the first audiobook I ever bought that can't be played while driving. It's so exciting (each time!) that it would surely cause an accident. I don't remember ever being so amped over a book...ever. Thank you!
pine mountain, ca USA

Comments by joanne hughes on Thursday, May 10, 2001 at 08:25 IP Logged
Dear Laura, Excellent job. We have just finished your book "Seabiscuit". I am a trainer of a small private racing stable based at Bowie Training Center. My husband, Bill Brasaemle, is a chart caller for Equibase on the Maryland/Virginia circuit. We both enjoyed your book immensely. You did a wonderful job depicting the true flavor of life on the backside. The picture you painted of the hard life that trackers knew during the depression was thought provoking. It makes me wonder over and over about the small value that was given to human life in those hardest of times. The hard ships the horses endured was equally note worthy. Knowing the inside story about a star like Seabiscuit renews the awe I feel everyday about the thoroughbred horse in general and the ones I train specifically. This story gives my job a new perspective. Glimpsing racing in that era makes me look at my barn in a new light when I look down the shedrow in the morning. Your extensive Acknowledgments and Notes where also commendable. What a gift you have. Thank you for sharing it with us. We wish you good health and please know that our prayers are with you. Bill Brasaemle and Joanne Hughes
sykesville, md USA

Comments by Bill Grau on Thursday, May 10, 2001 at 07:00 IP Logged
Laura, As a long time racing fan and Saratoga native I absolutely thoroughly enjoyed your book. The role of Mr. Vanderbilt in pulling together the match race at Pimlico brought back my memories of him-perhaps the kindest man I have ever met. Each year I return to Saratoga for several days and up until his death in 1999 I enjoyed chocolate chip cookies with him while watching the workouts on the backside each morning. After finishing the book I saw in your acknowledgements the reference to you doing the same at Belmont Park. You have done a miraculous job of portraying horse racing at its peak. Every time I go to Pimlico I will think of Seabiscuit roaring down the stretch leaving War Admiral in his wake. Thank you for this book.
Glenwood, MD USA

Comments by rosemary johnston on Thursday, May 10, 2001 at 06:33 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hildebrand: Just finished reading about the marvelous "Seabisket" and had to rush to my computer and open your site. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed your story with all the local details and the pictures with each chapter. They brought a visual reference and timeframe to the words and made the horse world and Seabisket in particular come to life for me. Very well done! Rosemary Johnston
Tequesta, FL USA

Comments by Chris Whitney on Thursday, May 10, 2001 at 06:14 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand; your book on Seabiscuit was so captivating and the connection between horse, trainer, owner and rider was so pure in their purpose that I could not read the book alone. I had to read to my husband so as to share their remarkable relationship. We both would literally get a lump in our throats and tears in our eyes at the magnificence of this horse's heart. Your narative of the actual races was putting us on the edge of our seats. I did not want this book to end. The fact that the trainer and owner were so genuinely empathic to the needs of this animal described perfectly what a partnership with an animal is all about. My husband and I own horses and are always amazed at their capacity for bonding with humans. I will never look at horseracing in the same light. It is not just all about money - it is about understanding what the horse needs to do to live its own rich life. Thank you. for the movie - perhaps you can consider Tommy Lee Jones for Howard and Chris Cooper for trainer? Chris Cooper is so under-utilized for such a fine actor. Good luck.
Redmond, WA USA

Comments by Larry White on Thursday, May 10, 2001 at 04:18 IP Logged
Laura, I read the short review of your book in Sports Illustrated several weeks ago and decided to buy it. While I am a fan of horses and horse racing, I'm not a gambler, so I don't go to the track. Most of my viewing is limited to the Triple Crown and Breeder's Cup on TV. Your book about Seabiscuit is the best non-fiction book I have ever read, and I read many books. If I didn't know it was a true story, I would have thought it was fiction. The story is almost too amazing to be true. The research you did was equally amazing. To find all the details, including such things as War Admiral's trainer finally acknowledging Tom Smith and Seasbiscuit is what made the book a joy to read. Thanks, I really enjoyed it. Larry
Overland Park, KS USA

Comments by Rob Donovan on Thursday, May 10, 2001 at 03:52 IP Logged
After finishing your book from cover to cover, I was delighted to find (on the very last page!)that you created a web page for people to contact you. And just as I suspected, you've received hundreds of thank you emails from people lucky enough to read your wonderful book. I have spent a week of traveling across the country in crowded airplanes and airports and your book made my week. Thank you very very much. It was delightful in every respect.
Seattle, WA USA

Comments by Tom Lilli on Thursday, May 10, 2001 at 03:19 IP Logged
Laura, I never had an interest in hourses, save the time I drew one for a fifth grade sweet heart, but after reading your book, I connot stop thinking about the relationship the people in your story had with that horse! Every time you wrote about Seabiscuit "running down the backstrech" and pouring it on to a win, I had a lump in my throat. And I don't get choked up about things. Thanks for a touching story and for the NPR interview. That is where you hooked me to read the book.
East Stroudsburg, PA USA

Comments by Shannon Box on Thursday, May 10, 2001 at 02:53 IP Logged
I read your book about a month ago. Fantastic. I read quite a lot of non-fiction. I believe your book is the finest I've read in the past decade. I recently reviewed your book on the political/cultural website which I run. I hope you take a look. Thanks again for a great book.
Canyon Lake, TX USA

Comments by David Landau on Thursday, May 10, 2001 at 02:23 IP Logged
I have been a racehorse fan since 1973 when I elected to spend my afternoons at Pimlico rather than playng for the high school baseball team. As you can imagine, my parents were thrilled by the choice. I loved your book but had two questions: (1) Why did the cover photo not include Seabiscuit's face? (2) Had you uncovered any rumors that Tom Smith was the first trainer to introduce the electric prod? I have heard stories that he used an "electric whip" on many of his horses, including Seabiscuit. Thank you for your response.
Potomac, MD USA

Comments by Ed Shoenbach had on Thursday, May 10, 2001 at 01:58 IP Logged
This is probably the finest book my wife and I have had the opportunity to listen to on tape during the last five years! We are both horse people and I am fortunate enough to have a one in a million horse but the story of Seabiscuit goes beyond just the horse story and touches anyone that has loved an animal and had the animal love them in return. Congratulations on a book that had us cheering and crying at the same time.
Grandview, TX USA

Comments by Tom McDermott on Thursday, May 10, 2001 at 01:25 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand-- I'm in the middle of Seabiscuit, and it is wonderful reading. Have you been alerted yet to a lovely, whimsical piece of music, a rag by William Bolcom called "Seabiscuits"? Well worth checking out and available only on his Nonesuch LP,"Heliotrope Bouquet". If you can't find it let me know and I'll tape it. Congratulations again on your fine book. --Tom McDermott
New Orleans, La USA

Comments by Thomas Sallaway on Thursday, May 10, 2001 at 00:45 IP Logged
I recently found out that Tom Smith (my great Grandfather)is more famous than I knew about. I am very interested in knowing more about My Grandfather Who I was named after. Being very closely related to "silent" Tom Smith I would LOVE to learn more abot him. I have seen statues of him and seabiscuit at Santa Anita and have a picture of him with Seabiscuit at home but really want to know more about him. I am very interested about learning more about my Grandfather. Please Contact me at your convenience.
Lewisville, TX USA

Comments by WILLIAM M. DIMARZO on Wednesday, May 09, 2001 at 09:22 IP Logged
Upon listening to your being interviewed on National Public Radio in regard to the writing of your book, I knew immediately that I had to purchase "Seabiscuit." Barnes and Noble did not even have it in their computer yet; I had to purchase it elsewhere. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Brought back some wonderful memories. One question I have on page 338: 694 missions??? At times I often wonder if authors ever get a chance to see the jacket prior to publication. Seabiscuit must be chomping at the bit if all they could show was the better part of his rump on the cover. I have considerable reservation whether or not Hollywood will be able to capture the spell of the moment with multiple themese of the various principals. Steven Spielberg could do it. I trust that Hollywood will be able to included some appropriate music from some of the more prolific writers of that era like George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Kurt Weill and others. Seabisuit would make a great musical if handled properly; even better than "Damn Yankees." In my opinion, I believe its greatest success would come from a televised serial version of the book, and could include a good many more stories which your exhaustive research has undoubtedly uncovered. These stories have to be told, if only for posterity sake. I am sure tha a program of this caliber put the "Sopranos" on the back burner. The story line has much wider appeal and greater plot range. I also would like to compare notes with you some time on "motion problems" and eye surgery.

Comments by gary eagling on Wednesday, May 09, 2001 at 08:16 IP Logged
Robert Duvall would be an excellent Tom Smith for the movie and he is a horse owner. Sam Shepard or Clint Eastwood for Charles Howard. Am at a loss for the jockeys.

Comments by Howard L. Poertner Jr. on Wednesday, May 09, 2001 at 06:27 IP Logged
Loved the book. My great uncle was Charles S. Howard. By the by, I have an original program from the match race. Please contact if you have any additional information about my family. Thank you. HLP
Beaufort, sc USA

Comments by Dave Tidwell on Wednesday, May 09, 2001 at 06:22 IP Logged
Dear Laura: Thank you for bringing back so many of my fondest memories! My father was a racing fan and so was I. Starting in about the 2nd grade, my father would pick me up from school about noon and we would drive to Santa Anita (and later, Hollywood Park) for the races. He only took me out of school for important races, like when Seabiscuit was running. Fortunately, most of the stakes races were on Saturday. I became addicted to thoroughbred racing, and an amazingly good race prognosticator. I loved Joe Hernandez's wonderful baratone: "There they go!" instead of "They're off!". He was a great story himself. I watched Seabiscuit lose to Rosemont and Stagehand with a broken heart, but when he won in 1940 (I was nine) I actually jumped with joy. I was standing by the rail in the infield a short distance from the finish wire. Your photo on page 316 is identical to the mental image I have carried for 61 years. I would swear that Haas was holding Kayak II back at the wire, but was thrilled that Seabiscuit had won. My father and I went often to both Santa Anita and Hollywood Park until they were closed for World War II. Every evening we would listen to Joe Hernandez call the races on the radio. After the war we seldom went to the tracks. Our lives had changed, but the days of Seabiscuit bring back some of the fondest memories of my lifetime.
Meridian, Idaho USA

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