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Comments by Dianne McLean on Thursday, August 16, 2001 at 05:32 IP Logged
Kudos to Laura. Fiction couldn't have come up with a better cast of characters than Howard, Smith, Pollard, Wolff and, of course, Seabiscuit. I was riveted from the start and found it difficult to put the book down. As the typical American girl, I was passionate about horses and during the late 50's, early 60's avidly followed thoroughbred racing. Besides Man 'o War, my champion was a little colt called Carry Back. His jockey, Johnny Sellers was a favorite as was John Rotz. Your delightful story of horse racing along with the people who make it so special certainly brought back wonderful childhood memories. Thanks for bringing the Biscuit to life again.
Westminster, Md USA

Comments by mr. phil bledsoe on Thursday, August 16, 2001 at 02:46 IP Logged
Laura Hillenbrand, You have had many devoted fans send you so many thank you e-mails, that it only elevated my fondness and respect to one of todays brilliant writers who has opened my mind and heart to the art of horse racing. I had no knowledge of the past that involved so many magnificent characters. You deserve every praise that comes with such determination to research a monsterious task. We all owe you our deepest thanks to being so gifted. I am looking towards the horse races that are in my area, Santa Anita Park and Del Mar for starters. Lets all hope that your inspiration about Seabiscut and the men and women who basically gave their livelihood, continues to spread into everyones heart and the movie brings it all to life as you so brilliantly did in your writing of Seabiscut.I thank you,we all thank you, for being so kind and gifted in giving so much of your time along with your partners. Hope to meet you in person one day in Santa Monica,CA. for a book signing, hopefully! Until we might meet I toast you with a fine glass of my favorate red wine. God bless you
Santa Monica, CA USA

Comments by Andy Conn on Wednesday, August 15, 2001 at 08:38 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: There were tears in my eyes, along with Marcela Howard, as I absorbed your incredible word pictures of the victory of Seabiscuit over War Admiral -- right here up the street at "Old Hilltop." Since I was only three years old at the time of that race (and living then in Silver Spring, Maryland), and having never been a racing fan ( I have lived within walking distance of the Pimlico track for almost 40 years -- and have never yet been inside) -- I thererfore had no idea which of these famous (yes, I had of course heard their names) horses would win that contest. You made it so alive -- I felt I was there! And, among a zillion other nifty facts in your marvelous book, you taught me the origin of that nickname for this old track. I'd always assumed it was because Pimlico Racetrack stood at the top of the huge hill of Old Pimlico Road -- where each Preakness Day the local young men "borrow" carts from nearby supermarkets, and hire themselves out to assist patrons of the sport. These carts are hired to help with the transporting of those awesome quantities of beer up that fierce hill -- to be guzzled all that always-hot day in the infield. These racing fans then watch the rerun of the Preakness race on TV that evening -- to find out who won -- after they have rolled themselves down that big hill and somehow make it home. I want to join in with so many others in congratulating you on your incredible research, and on bringing so totally back to life all of those amazing characters -- two and four legged. And for giving me -- as I sat there enthralled and frequently moved to "shining eyes" on the sands of Rehobeth Beach, Delaware yesterday -- the best book I have ever read! THANK YOU !! Andy Conn Baltimore, Maryland
Baltimore, MD USA

Comments by David S Snock Jr on Wednesday, August 15, 2001 at 03:46 IP Logged
Laura I am an avid fan of horseracing and reading your novel placed me into a time and an era that I truly could never see. It felt like I was riding right on top of the biscuit.I am wondering if you have ever visited race tracks such as Saratoga or Del Mar tracks that have enormous history and wonderful stories. Have you ever thought about writing about them? Thank you for a great read you have captured the minds of many horseplayers young and old. I am looking forward to you next writing adventure. David
Las vegas, Nv USA

Comments by julie christiano on Wednesday, August 15, 2001 at 03:21 IP Logged
Ms.Hillenbrand, You have just made my summer. As a child over 30 years ago, I read about horses constantly and met Seabiscuit and friends through the book, "Come On Seabiscuit". I even started had a collection of articles and facts on him. As I got older, I still enjoyed learning about this special horse and the people who surrounded him. One of the first biographies that I read was one on Grantland Rice, who I had become familiar with through my childhood Seabiscuit interest. I am behind the times because I only recently learned of your book as I read the Times non-fiction list. My jaw dropped and I ran out to purchase the book. I sat in the parking lot of the Barnes and Noble store and began reading. I hugged your work to me as I realized what a treat was in store for me. Thank you so much for choosing these subjects and bringing them and their times to life so perfectly. Thank you for making this vibrant sport clear on every page through writing so strong and good that it can be inhaled. And thank you for giving me a companion piece/experience that I will cherish even more that a young horse crazy girl did "Come on, Seabiscuit". Julie Christiano
buffalo, ny USA

Comments by philip rynn on Wednesday, August 15, 2001 at 01:37 IP Logged
Laura, this is an incredible book. The tears waited until I put the book down, but spoke for everything that you captured in this story: the history, the simplicity of the times, the real era that my father often spoke about, but that I didn't understand as well as I do now. He saw Seabiscuit run as a young man, and it fed his racing passion, which he passed on to me. After 30 years of owning horses, and seeing the highs and lows on the track, you managed to bring me back to the things that I found romantic and seductive about this great sport, and these wonderful creatures. Thanks again, I will recommend this book to all of my friends, and though the upcoming movie will have the impossible task of meeting the images that we have conjured while reading this book, at least it will bring todays "pop culture" a glimpse of what American thoroughbred racing, and what this country was all about in its heyday.
pembroke pines, fl USA

Comments by pam burke on Tuesday, August 14, 2001 at 09:37 IP Logged
Dear Laura I just returned from my annual visit with my sister who had seen your book and , knowing my love of horses and racing bought if for me. What she failed to realize about the book is that it is also an excellent history and beautifully written. I didnt stop until I finished. Growing up in the forties Seabiscuit was always the horse that I pretended to be. My father, a horseman from birth, always said that Seabiscuit was the greatest. Your book explains how and why this horse captured the American imagination. Thank you.
Penacook, Nh USA

Comments by Sharon Manzo on Tuesday, August 14, 2001 at 07:28 IP Logged
Ms. Hillenbrand - My husband and I were listening to NPR one Saturday morning on our way to the grocery store. You were being interviewed and clips from one of Seabiscuit's race was featured. We sat in the parking lot to hear the out come of the race. I decided at that time, I NEEDED your book. Highly recommending it, first because of the way it was written, secondly because of the story, I recommended it to my husband. He enjoyed the read as much as I. We would like to ask if we may mail our copy to you, including a self-addressed, stamped envelop, will you sign and return it to us. We have a small collection of auto- graphed books by William Bennett, Homer Hickam, Anna Smucker, Denise Giardina, to name a few. You may reach me at my e-mail address. We very much enjoyed loving an American legend through your eyes.
Athens, wv USA

Comments by Christopher Guerriero on Tuesday, August 14, 2001 at 04:58 IP Logged
My father, who neither follows racehorsing nor reads frequently, passed your book to me during a recent visit that I made back home, raving about it. I have never in my life paid attention to horse racing, but it was the first time that my father had ever recommended me a book, so I just had to see what it was about. Your book is a miracle. I read a great deal, but only rarely have I found myself so engrossed that I literally did not want to put the book down. You have crafted a true treasure, there is no other way to describe it. I will now await the movie with great expectation, but I will be awaiting your next piece even more eagerly. Thank you for a truly remarkable book.
Santiago, RM Chile

Comments by Michael Sloma on Tuesday, August 14, 2001 at 03:59 IP Logged
Dear Laura, Today is August 14, 2001 and I just finished reading Seabiscuit. I truly enjoyed reading about this wonderful racehorse and the interesting people that were a part of his life. I believe that Tom Smith was truly the inspiration that Seabiscuit needed in life. Also, page 88 of your book was by far, the greatest piece of writing that I have read in my life. Finally, thank you for all of the hard work that you put into this book. I am a fan for life. Regards, Mike
Lewiston, NY USA

Comments by Pam Miller on Tuesday, August 14, 2001 at 02:46 IP Logged
My dad read this book and said it was great and gave it to me, since I love horseracing. That my dad, who from time to time questioned my love of horses, gave me the book I read the jacket and sat down and strated reading one of the greatest books ever. Your style of writing made the whole story come alive and I felt like I was there. In the barn, looking out at the rain and hating it. My fahter and I have shared a couple of discussions over the book, including my silly call when Seabisquit won the hundergrander. It was exciting and I thank you for you brilliant piece of work. My dad says thanks too!
Arlington Hts, IL USA

Comments by Michelle Bannon on Tuesday, August 14, 2001 at 01:15 IP Logged
I have, at this very moment, completed reading your wonderful book. Thank goodness I heard the segment on NPR which lauded your work. I feel as though I have been granted a visit to the past - to a time when I was not alive, and which I know mainly of being a period of economic despair and impending war. Although the 1930's were a difficult time for many, your book shows us that there are always exceptional people who persevere against all odds and by their actions bring incredible joy to others and serve as an inspiration for years to come. Thank you for your incredible book.
Augusta, GA USA

Comments by Bruce C Boatwright on Monday, August 13, 2001 at 06:59 IP Logged
I picked this up by chance at the library and found it absolutly riveting. As an animal lover who knows next to nothing about horses, I was spellbound from beginning to end. What larger than life people! What a horse! Thank you for a great book, you were right, people should know about those men and those times. Thanks again. Bruce
Madison, SD USA

Comments by Don Colangelo on Monday, August 13, 2001 at 05:01 IP Logged
Hi Laura, I seldom read books, usually only when I vacation at the Jersey Shore with my family. I received your book for my birthday and it was the highlight of my afternoons under an umbrella in Ocean City, NJ. Being a casual racetracker who is now finished with your book, I am interested in seeing things like Seabiscuit's racing forms or more photos of the races. Thank you for a great book and special thanks from my wife who was pleased to have her husband reading with her on the beach. Sincerely, Don Colangelo
Wayne, PA USA

Comments by Jim Beattie on Monday, August 13, 2001 at 03:25 IP Logged
Thanks for the enjoyment I've had reading this grand book.I've come to love and respect this little stallion. I grew up a few miles from Suffolk Downs , and went to races there.Seabiscuit has always been a familiar name. Your book brought him and his wonderful "crew" to life. thanks again.
Dunwoody, GA USA

Comments by Cathleen Tiner on Monday, August 13, 2001 at 03:21 IP Logged
Although I live very close to the Del Mar Racetrack, I really knew nothing about horse racing until a neighbor lent me your book. I must say I have been spellbound. You write beautifully. I feel as if I have ridden every race along with Pollard and Woolfe, as if I have slept alongside Seabiscuit in his stall, as if I were an intimate of Smith's and was offered exceptional access to his training methods. Your novel reads like a suspense novel. It is a real page turner. Thank you for this wonderful book....I can hardly put it down. I intend to buy a copy for my collection and recommend it to everyone I know.
La Mesa, CA USA

Comments by Laura's No. 1 fan on Monday, August 13, 2001 at 02:06 IP Logged
Laura, please keep us updated on when PBS will air the special on Seabisquit. Thanks for the time you put into this wonderful book. I have had the book about 5 months and have read it a few times . Can't wait to see the movie. Also, below I saw questions about Grog after Seabisquit retired and was curious if he died relatively early like "The Bisquit"?
Everwhere, USA

Comments by Lester Demaree on Monday, August 13, 2001 at 01:42 IP Logged
I am originally from I truly enjoyed the book. As I read about the various races that SeaBiscuit won and I wondered if your research provided much incite into the wagering that was put down on the various races and the amounts returned for all the winning he did. It would also have been interesting to contrast a little more about Pollard and Woolf and the competition between them...kind of like Pat Day and Gary Stevens of this decade. Great book!!!
Murfreesboro, TN USA

Comments by Carol Lander on Monday, August 13, 2001 at 01:35 IP Logged
Dear Laura, Thank you for bringing to life the story of Seabiscuit and all those who loved him. As a little girl who read everything I could get my hands on about horses, I am emotional about them. I was given the book by my oldest daughter who is a senior Equine Management major at Texas A & M and who wants to go into some aspect of the Thoroughbred Racing industry. I'm thankful that she has inherited my love of horses and horse racing. The story of Seabiscuit speaks to the courage, heart, and intelligence of all horses. This year my husband and I attended the Kentucky Derby for the first time. What an awesome experience. Two weeks ago we returned from our first trip to Del Mar. Reading your beautiful story equalled those experiences. I wish you the best and hope that you will continue writing about other great horses.
Dallas, TX USA

Comments by Kerry Jones on Sunday, August 12, 2001 at 06:42 IP Logged
I finished reading your book last night with tears streaming down my face - the same reaction as many of your readers, I see. The final pages describing the ends of these lives were so moving in your eloquent and beautiful writing. In my opinion you have not just written a book but have created a work of art. I truly look forward to reading more of your work. I am one reader who thinks the jacket photograph is absolutely perfect in composition and especially in what you see in the two men's faces. Is there any way to purchase a copy of this picture? Santa Anita racetrack has always been a special place for me since my dad started taking me there when I was 12. Next time I go I know it will be even more so after reading your book. Thank you so much. I would be happy to hear from you if you have any time to reply. Best wishes, Kerry Jones

Comments by Donal O'Mahony on Sunday, August 12, 2001 at 06:28 IP Logged
Laura,I doubt I have or will ever again read a book as exceptionally researched and eloquently delivered as yours.It is an inspirational read, with the race sequences amongst the most enthralling tracts of literature I have come across anywhere.I hope you are receiving the rewards this Herculean effort richly deserves.....P.S. couldnt agree more about the crassness of the Shirley Temple vehicle, and why o'why did she and her father/trainer have to be Oirish ??!!
Dublin, Ireland

Comments by greg gilbert on Sunday, August 12, 2001 at 04:48 IP Logged
Dear Laura, What a wonderful read. I am not into horses, or racing but heard from friends about your book. Like others, I wanted it to go on and on. I can't wait for the movie. Are you aware of the typo (wrong verb tense) on page 305? "Sandy Graham, throw (thrown) from a horse...." I was not aware of your work on behalf of Tom Smith to get him into the hall of fame-long overdue. Congratulations on a wonderful book and I hope you find another subject to tell us about. greg gilbert
Bainbridge Island , WA USA

Comments by Andrew Gillespie on Sunday, August 12, 2001 at 03:10 IP Logged
It is Sunday morning and I just finished reading this treasure. I had hoped the story could go on forever. Thank you for timeless tale of heart
Los Angeles, Ca USA

Comments by John Nizlek on Sunday, August 12, 2001 at 03:02 IP Logged
Laura, Thanks for a wonderful and moving story. Your research was extensive and very professional. Thanks also for your help in finally getting Tom Smith into the Hall of Fame. While I know it will be difficult to duplicate the book on the screen I wish you the best. I am hoping to locate Seabiscuit's past performances and read the book again. I know they are at the Hall of Fame and the Form had them in around Derby time. I am looking forward to more of your work. Good Luck with your health & Best wishes! All of the letters on this site are certainly a tribute to your ability and hard of the best racing stories ever written!! Thanks
Easton, CT USA

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