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Comments by Carole Hughes on Monday, August 20, 2001 at 02:30 IP Logged
Ms. Hildenbrand, I am only about 100 pages into your most wonderful book, but I absolutely love it. I was born in 1937 and at the age of nine in January 1946, my family and I visited Ridgewood in Willits, CA and had the great pleasure of actually seeing Seabiscuit at his final home. As I began to read your book, I realized that I had an old photo of myself taken at Ridgewood. It means so much more to me now. I can't wait to continue my journey through your book and I will be sad when the story has ended. Thank you for giving us such a wonderful trip into the life of a wonderful racehorse and all those people who made his life so special and helped him reach his potential.
Alexandria, VA USA

Comments by Justus Bauschinger on Monday, August 20, 2001 at 01:29 IP Logged
Great Book.., Thank you! Your appearance on CSPAN-2's Book- TV provoked me to immediately get on the web and purchase your wonderful and extraordinary Seabiscuit narrative. It read so easily and fast, that I have a deep vacuum to fill now that the book has been devoured. You and William Nack have transformed me with your horse writing. (Too bad you couldn't get Carroll Bollard to direct the film)! Thanks again for a wonderful experience and a sleepless night.
Yerington, NV USA

Comments by Mark Polseno on Sunday, August 19, 2001 at 09:09 IP Logged
I just finished your book and I must say that it was fantastic. I am not much of a racehorse fan but I sure learned alot. You beutifully explained the lives of these hero's of sports. I was at the edge of my seat during the raceing chapters. Thanks again for a great novel. I can't wait to see the movie!
Beacon Falls, CT USA

Comments by JAMES P. LAPOLLA on Sunday, August 19, 2001 at 08:43 IP Logged
WONDERFUL BOOK. MASTERFULLY WRITTEN
ST. PETERSBURG, FL USA

Comments by Melissa Luce on Sunday, August 19, 2001 at 03:40 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I too just finished reading today your outstanding biography of Seabiscuit. I have been an avid reader since childhood and, in particular, adore non-fiction and biographies. "Seabiscuit" is the best book I have read in ages and a true "page-turner." You have captured in words the heart and soul of an era as well as the heart, soul, courage, and sacrifice of the persons who loved and assisted this astonishing horse and captured the essence of Seabiscuit himself. Thank you for this fabulous journey - I felt like I was there!
Los Gatos, CA USA

Comments by Elisa Auckly on Sunday, August 19, 2001 at 03:25 IP Logged
This is such a great book!! I am a horse fanatic, and this book was a dream to read. Laura, thanks for brining the legend of Seabiscuit to life. It's like reading the Blank Stallion, only better, because it's real!
Kansas City, MO USA

Comments by Susan Rebert on Sunday, August 19, 2001 at 02:38 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I recently most enjoyed your thrilling tale of the wonderful Seabiscuit. I have a personal connection to your story. My grandfather, Orville Roscoe Vaughn, was a practicing attorney in San Francisco during that era, and was C.S. Howard's attorney. My father recently passed away, but before he did, gave me some memorabilia. Included were several Seabiscuit Christmas cards, stationery from one of Mr. Howard's car dealerships, my grandfather's admittance as a "Kentucky Colonel",(by the governor with the sublimely corn pone name of "Ruby Lafoon") with invitations to a subsequent big Southern barbeque, and also, oddly, a copy of C.S.'s last will and testament. Although my father did speak of Mr. Howard, indeed, he almost drowned in the estate's pool while his attorney father was meeting with C.S, and had to be fished out by the butler, he never quite told me the whole story of Seabiscuit. But around the house there were Seabiscuit objects-- Seabiscuit with his jockey, a brass representation or Seabiscuit, and some bookends of the famous horse's head wearing his requisite red and white "blinders". Anyway, thank you for fleshing out the story for me, and making that era come alive for me...it was a most enjoyable trip! Best Regards, Susan Rebert
Hillsborough, CA USA

Comments by Albert Zayat on Sunday, August 19, 2001 at 01:46 IP Logged
While trying to understand why my son was having some difficulty in school I learned the signs/symptoms of ADD. I also realized at that point that I probably had it to some degree. This is important because it is probably responsible for the reason I watch way too much TV and read too little. I have alot of what I call 50 pagers on the shelf. Yup, books that I started and just couldn't get past the first 50 pages before becoming bored with them and accepting the the fact the were headed to book pergatory. Inexplicably my mother, who is also an author, and is a 77 grey haired little old lady living in sunny south Fla., sent me your book about Seabisciut for my fifty-first birthday. Dumfounded, I called and thanked her for her gift but asked why she did this knowing that I wasn't an avid reader. I should note here that I am not an illiterate-I have to read a great deal for business but that is required. In any event she answered by saying she had seen it in Barnes and Noble and knew it was on the "NYT Best (should have been Beast in this case)Seller List" and thought I would like it. The fact that it was on sale my also have contributed to here decision..... The book sat on my coffee/cocktail table (depends upon the time of day) for weeks. Finally recognizing that I have two avid readers in my office I gave it to them to read as a friendly gesture. They both read it and it was returned to me with great thanks and high praise-by the way do I owe you anything for loaning the book out??? "Now what" I said to myself? With the awareness of my less than succesfull "track record" of completing reading tasks I finally mustered up enough courage to open the cover of yet another hard bound book, not pulp fiction, your book about Seabiscuit! It was engrossing from the first moment my eyes rested on the first page. Your ability to use your well honed craft of writing describing the remarkable events that took place and the cast of characters that played them out is, well-----remarkable. My attention issues abated completely and I was off like Seabisciut going"wire to wire". You should be aware that I like story's like this. I love the History Channel. I enjoy the reounting of the human drama-of stuggle -failure and then success. It could be about sport, as you have so eloquently have done, or in any of the other significant endevors man has undertaken. In your book you have done more than recount the events. You have successfully reminded us of the many aged old proverbs that remind us not to quit! Seabiscuit was a great horse. My first major awarness of great race horses was Secretariat whom I thought was the greatest of all time but I 'll let the experts decide that. Its not important. Seabiscuit was great for more than just winning-it was how he won! His support staff, shall I say was remarkable-brilliant and lucky.... Your book was a great joy to read! I will never look at a race horse, trainer or jockey the same way. It kept me up reading till 2:00 AM on occasion. I felt my heart pound as you described the drama of the races. I closed the book with a tear in my eye as you aptly described the passing of the Biscuit, his owner, trainer and jockeys. Bitter sweet as all things must and do end..I wished there was more. After completing the book I commented to the others who read it that it should be a movie-(ADD self interest speaking there) Today I was pleased to learn that just such a project is under way...... Thank you P.S. I am not responsible for any missplelling or grammatical errors as the features of a good word proccessor which makes all of us better writers than we actually are, is not available in this format.....
Hackensack, NJ USA

Comments by rob austin on Sunday, August 19, 2001 at 01:19 IP Logged
thrilling. lyrical. i loved it. thanks.
new york, ny USA

Comments by Kevin Gillespie on Sunday, August 19, 2001 at 00:24 IP Logged
There's not much to say that other readers have not expressed. I have been enamored by many racing greats. In fact, my dog, Kinchem, is named after a famous Hungarian horse whose name means " my treasure. This is my first experience with your writing and to be laconic;WOW! I don't know if you have ever written anything about the great Phar Lap if not you should! Your talen and attention to detail would make this reading wonderful. Good luck and congrats.!
woodbine, md USA

Comments by Linda Bush on Saturday, August 18, 2001 at 08:27 IP Logged
Laura: Wednesday morning I cried. I cried for Seabiscuit who led a magical life, who's bones are now buried under a magical oak tree. I cried for Mr. Howard, whose heart broke the day his horse died. I cried for Red Pollard, whose pain in life was never as intense as the pain in his heart when he could not ride the greatest of horses. And I cried for Tom Smith - whose death was largely ignored and his funeral was scantly attended. Don't get me wrong, I cried in celebration of getting to know all these people and of this great horse that I was so unfamiliar with. I hadn't followed horse racing since the 70's when horses like the South American horse, Canero II and the great Secretariat ran. Thank you for his story. Everyone should be reading it.
Pittsburg, KS USA

Comments by mac campbell on Saturday, August 18, 2001 at 05:30 IP Logged
The relationship between a trainer and an animal can be incomparable. My Seabiscuit was a black labrador retriever named Carbon. I won't forget her and, thanks to you, I'll not forget the Biscuit. Great job!
pueblo, co USA

Comments by Richard W. Galloway on Saturday, August 18, 2001 at 04:00 IP Logged
My, my, what a horse, what a cast of people, what a book and what a writer. Okay, Hillenbrand, you've set your book standard about as high as it can go. You are going to have a devil of a time topping Seabiscuit. I can't tell you how close I feel to the people and animals you write so well about. Your ability to "call" a horse race in print is uncanny. Clem MacCarthy never did it better. An especially notable accomplishment is your recreation of the "feel" of the times, the 30's. They were desperate days when nearly all American were in the same boat. The miracle of such extraordinary figures such as the Biscuit was they gave one hope, made the day brighter and gave one reason to look forward to our "ship coming in." I don't think you fully realize how close to the American heart you have come. Bless you my girl, and bless the Biscuit, where ever he is.
Long BeachM, MS USA

Comments by John Lewis on Saturday, August 18, 2001 at 03:34 IP Logged
Hi Laura, My mother heard about you and your struggle with CFS. She said that you seemed depressed and quite concerned that you hadn't been able to make much progress in trying to recovery from the illness. I have been living with CFS for almost 5 years now and have endured the entire spectrum of symptoms, life-altering circumstances, experiments, treatments, and therapies, etc. While my life had taken a major turn for the worst at my sickest point, I have since made incredible progress. I now consider myself somewhere close to 90% recovered from what I was pre-CFS. If you would like to contact me, I would be happy to share with you the knowledge and information that I have found to be effective for me. I hope you are getting better and I wish you well.
Miami, FL USA

Comments by DAN prasil on Saturday, August 18, 2001 at 01:47 IP Logged
Laura: Currently reading your book on Seabiscuit. I love the story so much that I don't want the book to end. During my travels across the US been telling people to read the book and wished they made a movie on Seabiscuit. Now I just found out thru your website that a movie is on its way. I can hardly wait. Thanks for the great story. When I was a young boy there was a horseracing game with all the famous race horses on it Citation, Whirlaway, War Admiral, Man of War, and my favorite Seabiscuit.
Scottsdale, Az USA

Comments by Phyllis Allen on Friday, August 17, 2001 at 07:30 IP Logged
Amazing book!!!! Since a small child after seeing the original movie on Seabiscuit i could not get this courageous little horse out of my mind.....Your book brought back so many memories, I felt like I ran every single race with him, and never really understood the racing world like you have brought to life in this book... I was spellbound from the beginning to the end.... Thankyou for so much love you poured into this book which I will treasure always....
Conroe, Tx USA

Comments by Debbie Stevens on Friday, August 17, 2001 at 05:12 IP Logged
I have been a racing fan for over 30 years and i have read alot of books etc. on the subject. Seabiscuit is by far the best one yet. I read another book on him called Come On Seabiscuit but this one is the best. He sure never got the attention from the horse people like he should have. Even now when they talk of the great ones his name is not often mentioned. Maybe this book will remedy that. Thanks for the best read ever.
Dansville, MI USA

Comments by Teece Pilcher on Friday, August 17, 2001 at 01:51 IP Logged
Ms.Hillenbrand, I really enjoyed your book. The last couple of chapters left me either with goosebumps or tears. The underhorse Seabiscuit so deserved his fame. I would love to have a poster of Seabiscuit. Is anything like that available? And/or even t shirts!! I've told the story to some of my friends and feel honored that I know it. I thank you. Teece Pilcher Loganville, Georgia/ Mohnton, Pa.
Mohnton, Pa USA

Comments by Katherine Peaslee on Friday, August 17, 2001 at 01:16 IP Logged
Laura: While visiting Santa Anita Park in 1964, I saw the large bronze statue of Seabiscuit at the entrance and wondered about it; nobody seemed to know who he was. Then, in 1999, a replica of that statue came to my hometown, Saratoga Springs, NY, and was erected in front of the National Racing Museum down the street from the race track -- and I again wondered about this horse. Now, you have answered all my questions and more . . . thank you for giving me such a vivid insight into the life of the brave little horse and the people who loved him and lived through the Depression era. I didn't want the book to be over -- what a magnificent biography! Seabiscuit apparently never got the recognition he earned, because after reading your book, I went to my "Field of Dreams" painting by Jennes Cortez, of the greatest racehorses of all time in a "dream" race at Saratoga, and was surprised to see War Admiral, but not Seabiscuit. I can't help but wonder if this isn't because Seabiscuit was a "westerner" -- and knowing the long-standing prejudice "easterners" have against them! I just ordered the Shirley Temple video of "Seabiscuit" and can't wait to see the film of the match race with War Admiral, as well as the 1940 Santa Anita Handicap.
Ballston Spa, NY USA

Comments by Pam Lord on Friday, August 17, 2001 at 00:48 IP Logged
Not since I was a little girl reading "Old Yella" have I felt so intimate with, and emotionally attached to the animal in the story. Even though I know practically nothing about thoroughbred racing, I devoured your book, reading late into the night for the solid week it took me to finish. My chocolate labrador was the lucky recipient of many hugs and kisses while reading your loving, brilliant descriptions of the Biscuit and his relationships with Howard, Smith, Pollard and Wolff. A lucky dog, albeit a weak substitute, indeed. I grieved as I read the final chapter. It was if his death had occurred today rather than 54 years ago. Thank you for your gifted story. Your eloquence allowed me to lose myself in another world for a time....
Farmington, NH USA

Comments by Jim McCann on Thursday, August 16, 2001 at 09:49 IP Logged
As a native Kentuckian and with friends and family in the horse business there, I want to thank you for this exceptional book and what it has done for horses and racing. For myself, I find myself going back over and over to the three Hundred-Grand races and the Match Race... your eloquent descriptions of these continue to bring tears to my eyes... it is like being there - in that time and place - and feeling the same emotions that I'm sure the people of this country, both at the track and by the radio, felt at that time. Thank you for one of the best reads I've had in years.
Annapolis, MD USA

Comments by Terrie Nelepovitz on Thursday, August 16, 2001 at 09:17 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I just finished reading your book. After being so emotionally moved by your piece I am compelled to share with you my experience. First-I was introduced to Seabiscuit by a piece aired on NPR. Thank you for that. Secondly, you had me from the start. This is such a piece of work, that I had to literally restrain myself from indulging through it all at once. I didn't want it to end, I was there with them and wanted it to go on and on. I found it difficult to be in one of his many races and not jump to the end of the chapter to see if he won and to make sure that he was ok-not hurt. This was such an enjoyable, emotional experience for me-it made my Summer. Unfortunately, it has left me wanting even more. I realize that you are working on a film-what is the progress on that? Estimated release dates? I really would like to view footage of Seabiscuit...is there any way possible? I read that you were able to view some in your credits...I can't thank you enough! I will continue to look for your future works and hope that they will be in line with other wonderful stories about our legends. Your long hard work certainly paid off in such a wonderful piece of history-what a tribute to all of those who were involved with Biscuit!
Clarksville, NH USA

Comments by Nancy Morgan on Thursday, August 16, 2001 at 08:03 IP Logged
Reading this book was a very emotional experience for me. I loved every page. Seabiscuit was the greatest racehorse ever. I'm looking forward for the movie.
Weatherford, Tx USA

Comments by MaryBarbara McKay on Thursday, August 16, 2001 at 07:41 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I finished your book yesterday crying through the last 2 chapters. I found myself choked-up reading earlier parts to my husband, and saw him react the same way. I have told everyone I've talked with to read the book. It is fabulous! I totally agree with all the praise other guests have written--everything from not being able to put the book down, to feeling as if I am sleeping in the stall with Seabiscuit, and to feeling I know Pollard, Smith, Howard and all the people of whom you so masterfully wrote. You truly have captured the FEEL of the Depression through the story of Seabiscuit. Thank you for the gift of this book--thank you for all the effort you put into writing it. I am 53 years old today. I had never heard of Seabiscuit until I read about your book in EQUUS Magazine. I have loved horses since I was 12, but always lived in cities, and never had one until my husband and I bought a 10 month old thoroughbred filly in January 1997. She is the granddaughter of Vaguely Noble. Later that year we bought a great grandson of Seattle Slew as a college graduation gift for our daughter. We now have 2 other mares, one is of the lineage of War Admiral and Man 'o War, and our little stud colt is great, great, great grandson of Bold Ruler. We love them and are so proud of them all! I could relate to so many thoroughbred horse-traits and needs as I read your book. You really KNOW YOUR HORSE! My mother was born and raised in Saratoge Springs, NY, and she and my father retired in the Bay Area--so many of the places you wrote of are so familiar to me. I know you are swamped with entries from people who've loved your book and are intertwining you into their horse experiences, so I will cease. Seabiscuit is a wonderful book. I know the movie will never do it justice--I have little respect for Hollywood and don't even own a TV--but I am anxious to see it anyway. Many thanks for a great book. I definitely will re-read it.
Pleasanton, KS USA

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