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Comments by Audra Bezio on Monday, July 30, 2001 at 08:48 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, You are a woman after my own heart! I LOVED your wonderful book & I am eagerly anticipating its movie version! So far, (to me, at least), the only good horse racing movie has been "Phar Lap," and that, I believe, was made in Australia-by good, I mean it's the only technically correct movie about thoroughbreds & racing in general. With your guidance, I think the adaptation of your book could equal or surpass it. I sobbed at the end of your book-I did not realize that George Woolf died such a grisly death, nor did I know about the harrowing life of Red Pollard. Also, it tore me to pieces to read that Tom Smith died such a lonely death & that he was suspected of crooked racing practices by people in the industry who should have known better. That he was supported by Elizabeth Graham and other contemporaries was cold comfort. He didn't deserve to be treated the way he was at the end. Additionally, I sobbed even harder when I realized that Eddie Arcaro, Lucien Laurin and other racing titans I adored as a young girl are gone now. But, your book will keep them alive, thanks to your lightning prose. I think Grantland Rice & Damon Runyon would be right proud of you & your work. I wish you continued success in all endeavors. Thank You for keeping the spirit of a hard-knocking handicapper & his connections alive. Sincerely, Audra Bezio
Colorado Springs, CO USA

Comments by Lynne McGrath on Monday, July 30, 2001 at 08:38 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: I'm yet another horselover who found your book engrossing and rewarding. I'd heard of Seabiscuit of course, but you've done real service in writing about his inspiring connections as well. Did Tom Smith ever get in the trainers' Hall of Fame? If not, it's shameful. The film to come is of great interest too ; how about James Cromwell or John Mahoney to play Charles Howard? Many of your corres- pondents are concerned about your health--add my good wishes to theirs.
Pasadena,, CA USA

Comments by Robert Woodrow on Monday, July 30, 2001 at 07:54 IP Logged
I just finished your wonderful book on Seabiscuit. I have been a follower of the Triple Crown ever since Secretariat, and found your history of Seabiscuit very entertaining. You might want to research a book on the Labrador Retriever NAFC, NFC Super Chief. He belonged to the August and Louise Belmont of Easton MD. Augie and Louise were acquaintances of mine during my field trial days, and the story of Super Chief would be a great one to make public. The Belmonts are the same ones of the Belmont track winner of recent years. When Augie purchased that horse we were at a field trial in Jacksonville, Florida. Louise was partially disabled at that time but never let it slow her down. If you want another good story, do a bit of research on them and their success in the world of Retriever Field trials. It would make a good story.
Asutin, TX USA

Comments by Maryellen Lake on Monday, July 30, 2001 at 06:17 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: Just finished reading "Seabiscuit." I hated to put it down, even for the little time it takes to cook dinner or do dishes! When I was a kid of nine or ten back in 1938-39, even though no one in my family or in my surrounding small New England town was interested in horseracing, we all knew who Seabiscuit was. I loved the book, which gave me so much drama and insight into the racing world of which I was almost totally unaware. I shed tears at the end, perhaps selfishly, because I was too young and not in the "right" cultural world to truly appreciate what a wonderful lift it gave the whole country. Here were four "losers," three human and one horse, who proved to a desperate population that all was not lost. Your book is a marvel. I only hope that Hollywood has the good sense not to try to hoke it up too much with the Pollard romance, etc. There is plenty of drama and pathos in the book to make several excellent movies. Good luck with it. I look forward to seeing it. In the meantime I am telling everyone who has not read the book to drop everything and get hold of a copy! It's been a long time since I have read anything that touched me as deeply as this story. Thanks for writing it.
Becket, MA USA

Comments by thomas chase on Monday, July 30, 2001 at 04:44 IP Logged
Ms. Hillenbrand, I spent a most enjoyable vacation on the beach in North Carolina w. your book. Like you, I developed my love for horse racing at Charlestown/Shenandoah Downs. My closest friend, to this day, lived on a T'bred farm. They bred 2 Tri-State Futurity Horses, Softly and Cojak, the latter who ran in the Kentucky Derby/Preakness in the 70's. More to the point, I enjoyed the book immensely and look forward to reading it again. Your efforts were most emphatically appreciated by one who has spent time in the breeding barn, backside and rail. Thanks again.
frederick, md USA

Comments by Page Winstead on Monday, July 30, 2001 at 03:45 IP Logged
Hi Ms. Hillenbrand, I am thoroughly enjoying reading Seabiscuit right now and what I want to know is: Seabiscuit is the son of Hard Tack who was the son of Man O War and War Admiral was the son of Man O War, right? So... if I've got that right, they are first cousins, once removed. I was just curious about that. I'm not at all a horse afficionado, but my uncle whom I spent alot of time with was August Belmont, the grandson of August Belmont II. Later in my uncle's life, he got into horse racing and I spent a few weekends with him driving to places to look at his colts etc. His best horse was Caveat, who I watched win at a Belmont race many years ago. Anyway, the book is great and you deserve all the praise you received for it. (I also happen to live right off of Chevy Chase Circle, which I gather is close to you) Page Winstead
Chevy Chase, MD USA

Comments by Don Benvenuto on Monday, July 30, 2001 at 03:23 IP Logged
Laura, I really loved your book. Easily the best one I ever read. Everyone on my Christmas list will get a copy this year. Thank you for bringing Seabiscuit to life. I will never forget him, or you. Thank you again.
Chester Springs, PA USA

Comments by steve ladin on Monday, July 30, 2001 at 02:13 IP Logged
dear ms. hillenbrand - since hearing your interview on npr, reading Seabiscuit: An American Legend was something i had to do. the way you talked about the horse and his world was so interesting and entertaining. i wasnt disappointed. it was more than a story about a racehorse - it was a story about an america and a culture which doesnt exist anymore - its a history as a history should be written. there are so many things i can say about the book, i think the entries in the guestbook echo my thoughts. i was also touched by how youve managed to complete the herculean task of writing the book while being afflicted with chronic fatigue syndrome. i am a fan of keith jarrett, a jazz/classical musician also afflicted, who has not been able to fully practice his art - a loss for all of us. i hope you can continue to create - you have a breath taking talent. thank you for giving me such pleasure from your book--
new paltz, ny USA

Comments by Jim Mayor on Monday, July 30, 2001 at 01:57 IP Logged
I guess I am out of step! I was looking forward to something DIFFERENT after hearing your wonderful interview on NPR. When I finally finished your bokk I truly wondered who did that interview, it sure wasn't the author! The book is a typical history of egos and money and, unfortunately, those who make both at the expense of animals. I will file your book with the others like it, destined for the trash heap. Sorry!
South Albany, VT USA

Comments by lindamthorpe on Monday, July 30, 2001 at 01:57 IP Logged
the cover picture was a grear disappointment. thank god i didn't judge the book by it's cover. it would have been nice to see seabiscuit's face as well as tail end on the cover

Comments by Ann Self on Monday, July 30, 2001 at 01:25 IP Logged
Dear Laura, Finished the book last night and loved it. Both my sisters will be getting it for Xmas and I'm e-mailing my friend Patty down in Texas about it as soon as I finish talking to you. (She spent her first 5 years of life Whinnying instead of talking. In spite of her poor mother's attempt to get her counseling, she is still a horse nut.)I had heard of your book through BOMC, and thought it sounded interesting, but didn't buy it. But it lurked in the back of my mind, as some books do, whispering that I was missing something. (Maybe I need Patty's dr.!) I saw it sitting on the new book shelf at the library and pounced on it! As I was reading it, My husband would laugh at me making little exclamations and saying "C'mon, c'mon" under my breath during the race scenes. I call them scenes because your writing made me see what was happening in my mind. I hope you will have control over the movie, so Hollywood won't have the chance to ruin another great story. I also enjoyed reading your notes at the end of the book. They solved a little mystery for me. There is a jug band around these parts called the Juggernaught Jug Band. They play jug music from the 20's and 30's. Excellent band. Anyway, one of the member's of the band goes by the name Roscoe Goose. I always wondered where that name came from. Now I know it was the name of the 1913 winning Kentucky Derby jockey! I can't wait to dazzle Roscoe with my new found knowledge! Thank you so much for a wonderful book. It will stay with me for a long time and find a place in my permanent collection. My long-suffering hubby groans when he hears this. At this rate we're gonna need a bigger house! Keep writing and I'll keep reading!
corydon, Ind. USA

Comments by Karol Andrews on Sunday, July 29, 2001 at 07:40 IP Logged
Laura: I have just finished reading your book, "Seabiscuit, An American Legend." Thank you so much for writing it and bringing Seabiscuit and all those associated with him alive for me. I have tears streaming down my face as I write this. I'm at a loss to explain why it has affected me so. I enjoy thoroughbred racing at Del Mar where my son is a professional handicapper -- "Deuce Bruce." But other than admiring the horses and betting on them, I was ignorant of their personalities, spirits, and hearts until your book. I can't thank you enough for all your efforts in researching and writing such an inspiring masterpiece. Karol Andrews
San Diego, CA USA

Comments by Mrs. Barbara A. Eddy on Sunday, July 29, 2001 at 04:33 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, We loved your book; thank you for sharing Seabiscuit’s story with us. My husband and I read it together, and now I am going through it again for a second time. We now have a much greater appreciation for the sport and history of thoroughbred racing, and a very special place in our hearts for Seabiscuit. We should like to have copies of several of the prints from your book to hang in our home library. Could you possibly provide me with a contact name, mailing address, phone number, e-mail address or any other suggestion as to how I might obtain each of the seven prints noted below? We are, of course, willing to purchase each print, and they will be used solely for our own personal enjoyment in our home, and not duplicated in any manner. Thank you again for your beautiful book. Sincerely, Barbara A. Eddy Three Island Lake HC01, Box 3178-D Manistique, Michigan 49854 beddy@up,net Phone 909-573-2699 PRINTS WE WISH TO PURCHASE (as taken from your book): 1. page 30, Smith and Seabiscuit AP/WIDE WORLD PHOTOS 2. page 182, Seabiscuit, Tom Smith, and C. S. Howard BETTMANN/CORBIS 3. page 198, …and Seabiscuit (Seabiscuit and Red Pollard) BETTMANN/CORBIS 4. page 216, Seabiscuit and his walker visit with Red Pollard… BETTMANN/CORBIS 5. page 250, …Woolf and Seabiscuit streak over the Pimlico track… MORGAN COLLECTION/ARCHIVE PHOTOS 6. page 302, At Seabiscuit’s stall… (with Red Pollard) LOS ANGELES EXAMINER 7. Jacket Photo, owner C. S. Howard, Seabiscuit, and jockey Johnny "Red" Pollard, Arcadia, California, March 5, 1940. BETTMANN/CORBIS
Manistique, MI USA

Comments by Amanda Ford on Sunday, July 29, 2001 at 04:00 IP Logged
I see this country beginning to broil with excitement over your sensational book. The stock market is going to go up and a fervor will build towards a new theme in horse racing. Your writing and strength of heart will help lead the nation in a time of searching for better health and well being thru creativity. I send you is the greatest power in the universe and yours is very apparent, touching thousands. Sincerely, Amanda Ford
Charleston, s.c. USA

Comments by Tom Brenholts on Sunday, July 29, 2001 at 01:22 IP Logged
Thank you for giving me this opportunity to tell you how much joy you have given me by writing your book.
Mountain Top, PA USA

Comments by Barbara Lynch on Sunday, July 29, 2001 at 00:39 IP Logged
Dear Laura, Thank you sooo much for your wonderful book. I hated for it to come to an end. I met you a few years back at Paabo where I have worked for over l8years. My hat is off to you for a wonderful book it was a thrill to read.
Rockville, Md. USA

Comments by Wesley McCaughan on Saturday, July 28, 2001 at 07:01 IP Logged
Christopher Reeve said of me in his book "Still me" that I had taught him how to read (not quite true) and that my story-telling in his reading class had led him to think of becoming an actor one day. Would that I had had a copy of "Seabiscuit" in my hands 40 years ago from which to have read excerpts to Chris and his classmates. "Seabiscuit" is one of the finest books I have read in all of my 76 years.

Comments by STONEY on Saturday, July 28, 2001 at 03:40 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand. Greetings from the other side of the water. Yes, the exploits of Seabiscuit have made it all the way to the UK.As a racing fan, your book was a real page-turner. I'd loved to have been there! During reading each race was awaited like a real classic. I also enjoyed the insight into a country during a time of great change. Industry, depression and even prohibition! Whatever next? Of course, war was just around the corner. I was a little disappointed to discover that the people who had triumphed through so much adversity appear to have drifted apart, and even more sad at the plight of Tom Smith. It does seem that if you don't have much to say, someone else will say it for you! Anyway, congratulations on a great read. I saved the last 30 or so pages for a special session- sure evidence of a real winner. ******For all you racing fans in the US, our English and Irish Derby winner, the Colt Galileo, has today won the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at Ascot. He'll have a couple of runs now before hopefully coming to Churchill Downs in October to challenge Point Given at the Breeders Cup. Take care.
London, UK

Comments by Tom Pendergast on Saturday, July 28, 2001 at 03:05 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, Well done! You are to be commeneded for your efforts in presenting this remarkable story. Thanks for breathing lfe into The Legend! Best wishes for continued success with the film. Regards, Tom Pendergast
Hazleton, PA USA

Comments by David Bordow on Friday, July 27, 2001 at 09:33 IP Logged
Dear Laura, I am the creative director for Books Are Fun. Perhaps you've heard of us. We are the largest direct marketer of books in the world, and a division of reader's Digest. I was touched by the USA Today article. I was at my company's conference in San Diego when I read the paper. Congratulations on your book! Everybody is offering you their recommendations for your CFS as I am about too! I'll make it brief... Please go to and do a search for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The nutritional supplements mentioned are from a company called Mannatech, a R&D company with a product line that is proving to be quite effective for a wide range of health conditions. CFS is being researched closely and there are many people who have been through CFS and have experienced profound results. I'll leave it at that and hope that you take a look at the website. The good news is, no matter what, I am confident that you can get relief from your disease inspite of your doctor's care (sorry for the jab, couldn't resist!!) These supplements from Manatech appear in the Physician's Desk Reference, so you can have confidence that the medical community is taking it seriously. Okay...enough said. I wish you well and great success. If you have questions, please email me.
Fairfield, IA USA

Comments by Becky on Friday, July 27, 2001 at 09:19 IP Logged
Oh to have lived in 1938!! Thank you, Laura, for taking me there and introducing me to the legend himself. And my thoughts and wishes are with you in your own personal struggle.
Alamo, GA USA

Comments by Janet Abdel-Gawad on Friday, July 27, 2001 at 08:26 IP Logged
Ms. Hillenbrand, Thank you for this wonderful book about a wonderful horse! My parents attended the race between Seabiscuit & War Admiral! I hoped that I would not go to the Delivery Room before I knew if Secretariat had become the Triple-Crown Winner! (Yes, she waited until after the race.) I had also wondered how any other race could compare to the Alydar & Affirmed rivalry? The Biscuit was a marvel; I thihk he could have beaten any other horses. Do you plan to write about Alydar & Affirmed,or Secretariat? I would look forward to reading it! Thanks again for a great book!

Comments by Laura Chester (author) on Friday, July 27, 2001 at 06:59 IP Logged
Dear Laura, My best friend gave me your book for my birthday, warning me not to buy any books that began with S beforehand. As soon as the Biscuit appeared in your pages I was conpletely enthralled. But when I headed off to Oconomowoc, WI for a family reunion I forgot it. Tragedy! My father had to buy me another copy, which I promised I would mail him for HIS birthday. What goes around comes around, yes? Anyway, I then proceeded to visit my son who is working at the Jazz Festival in Aspen, and I was so engrossed in the book, I hardly noticed the horrendous thunderstorm we f lew through from Denver into Aspen. I felt I had the bit in my mouth!Thoroughly charmed by all three main characters and the equine icon they adored I could see why Seabiscuit was the NO.1 news item. For it's not the looks but the heart of a horse. I would like to send you a copy of my book, LUPUS NOVICE, if you are interested. You might relate. There is a new edition out with a preface by my doctor, Dr. Jesse Stoff who is a leading specialist in CFS. Have you read his book? HarperCollins? Please let me know where I would send this book if you would like to take a look, or check out my website for more Thanks again for a splendid birthday read. (My husband,Mason Rose, is also a Kenyon graduate, and we enjoyed your article in the bulletin. He gets the book next. It will clearly make the rounds! Best wishes, Laura Chester
Alford, MA USA

Comments by Frank Ridge on Friday, July 27, 2001 at 06:05 IP Logged
Ms. Hillenbrand, I just got through chatting with your justifiably very proud Father. He told me about your problem. Your book was little short of remarkable. Considering the pain you endure, it makes your book all the more memorable and moving.I can now understand how you were able to write with such empathy about trials, tribulations, and injuries of Jockeys. Your book should be, correction it must be a shoo in for a Pullitzer. Heck I think you ought to get a Nobel Prize for this effort as well. For the record, I should tell you that I have lived these many 78 years and have never sent anyone a Fan Letter. Young lady you merit a million of them. My very warm congratulations and sincere best wishes and prayers for your health. Frank Ridge
Reston, Va USA

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