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Comments by Joseph Gural on Monday, July 02, 2001 at 04:20 IP Logged
I recently read your Seabiscuit book. Best race track book I have ever read, bar none. My brother, a former horse trainer, left a scrapbook from the Seabiscuit years and there is a newspaper photo and article which you might be interested in. My daughter has the computer and would furnish me the information where to forward if you are interested.
Berwyn, IL USA

Comments by Joseph Gural on Monday, July 02, 2001 at 04:05 IP Logged
I recently read your Seabiscuit book. Best race track book I have ever read, bar none. My brother, a former horse trainer, left a scrapbook from the Seabiscuit years and there is a newspaper photo and article which you might be interested in. My daughter has the computer and will furnish me the information where I might forward this to you if you are interested.
Berwyn, IL USA

Comments by Richard A. Moore on Monday, July 02, 2001 at 03:49 IP Logged
What a wonderful book!!! I bought it because of the reviews. They were full of praise but after reading it, they did not do it justice. This is a story of majestic proportions and it has found it's Homer. I am a writer myself and, perhaps more importantly, a long time fan of good writing. You blew me away. I think in terms of Joseph Mitchell and A.J. Liebling. You are that good. One question I have. Through out the book you quote David Alexande, who was a journalist who was a friend of Red Pollard. I am a mystery writer myself and am familiar with a David Alexander who wrote many mysteries in the 1950s and 1960s. He was a good writer, unfortunately forgotten today. From what I know of his background, it is the same Alexander you quote. David Alexander (1907-1973) was managing editor of the New York Morning Telegraph from 1930-40 and publicity director of the California Jockey Club (1941-43) and a free lance writer after that but that included work as a columnist for Blood-Horse and Thoroughbred Record. I think it has to be the same guy. Am I right? Richard A. Moore
Alexandria, VA USA

Comments by George J. Polizio on Monday, July 02, 2001 at 03:19 IP Logged
Dear Laura, I just finished reading Seabiscuit for the third time and just wanted to tell you this is the finest book i have ever read. I felt as if i was right along Tom and Red living with the Biscuit. I hope the movie turns out half as good and it will be a winner. How about David Caruso playing Red, George Clooney playing George Woolf and maybe Gary Sanise playing Tom Smith? Anyhow thanks again for writing such a wonderful book. P.S. I gave the book to my sister a huge Secretariat fan and she was shocked to learn about such a great horse! Thank You.
Astoria, NY USA

Comments by Sharon George on Monday, July 02, 2001 at 03:13 IP Logged
The country is mesmerized by Seabiscuit again, thanks to your book. I saw a segment about Seabiscuit on the NTRA program on CBS June 10. It was a really nice segment. Unfortunately, I did not tape it. Does anyone know how I can get a copy of it? CBS says it was part of a package provided to them. I could never get a response from NTRA. Thanks!
Wichita, KS USA

Comments by Neil Guttler on Monday, July 02, 2001 at 03:03 IP Logged
What a wonderful book!! I went to the beach for a couple of weeks and a friend brought the book. I started reading it and couldn't put it down. I kept rereading the races over and over again. Laura, this is a great story and I hope that the movie does it justice. I think it should be made into a mini-series, similar to Pride and Prejudice. The story needs to be told completely over at least six episodes. I'm afraid the movie will leave too much out. I saw that horror of a movie "The Story of Seabiscuit" with Shirley Temple before I read your book. PLEASE make sure they do it right. Your book is so rich in language and characters. It is the best book I have read in sometime. Thank you for telling such a riviting true story. I too would like to get an autographed copy of the book if possible.
Reston, Va. USA

Comments by Neil Dorsman on Monday, July 02, 2001 at 01:56 IP Logged
I just finished reading your book on Seabiscuit. GREAT is all I can say. I have been a horse racing fan for over 35 years and have seen the likes of Secretariat, Forego, Affirmed, Alydar, Ruffian and many more. After reading your book, I felt like I can also include Seabiscuit on that list. He and his connections came alive. Thanks for bringing his story to life for all those born too late to experience his great career.
Wilsboro, NY USA

Comments by Bill Fleming on Monday, July 02, 2001 at 01:31 IP Logged
Among other superlatives your books is great social history. There was more to the 30's than the dust bowl. I envy your adventure in writing this book. Your notes on sources are almost as good as the book. Do you have a horse? Mine is Bruce a nice old thourghabred who has a personality like you know who.
Doylestown, OH USA

Comments by Franklin G. LaCava on Monday, July 02, 2001 at 00:30 IP Logged
What a goood reading book.whew!.. I'm still "sucking wind" and breathless...Now for the second lap. Thank you for the great story and for your perserverance in presenting Seabiscuit
Euclid, Oh USA

Comments by Ann Archambault on Monday, July 02, 2001 at 00:07 IP Logged
A Friend mentioned she hear an add for the book on the radio and said it was a book that was right up my alley. I loved every bit of the book and can't wait to read it again. I read most of the book on the plane going to and from a business trip. I oftened talked out loud, cheered and felt sad everytime Seabiscuit was hurt. Your writing style made be feel like I was physically in the stall next to Seabiscuit or actually riding him in the big races. My Father called the horses to the post playing the bugle at Narrangsett Rack Track for many years. I was thrilled when reading the book to the local reference of Suffolk Downs and Narragensett. I wish my father was still living so I could ask him if he remembers anything about the greatest horse ever. I have told everyone I know about the book and can't stop thinking about Seasbiscuit. The only sad part of the book was this great horse died at a young age and his blood line for champions wasn't continued. Congratulations on a great story. Its the best book I have every read.
Smithfield, RI USA

Comments by Joylynne Harris on Monday, July 02, 2001 at 00:06 IP Logged
Laura, my mother gave me this book for my birthday this year because she had heard such good things about your work. I am an avid horse lover, and ride horses regularly. You did a wonderful job with this book, and continued to hold my attention until the very end of the book. Great job! I would love to read more about other historical race horses. I just hope that the books will be as well put together as yours has been! I will continue to enjoy Seabiscuit for a long time. Thanks for the great story! I will pass on the great experience I had in reading this book to many other people. Joylynne
Lubbock, TX USA

Comments by Marcia on Sunday, July 01, 2001 at 09:39 IP Logged
Thank you, Laura, for Seabiscuit. You generously thanked so many for their help and encouragement, but unless you yourself had not initiated and then implemented the undertaking we would not have Seabiscuit. Nor would we have it without your talents and gifts. I would venture to say that even if all that research had been handed to any other, we still would not have Seabiscuit. I think you might enjoy this anecdote: I had already read the book when I happened to be watching my husband reading it on the patio. Usually he assumes a relaxed posture while reading, maybe even dozing off, but now I noticed that he was sitting on the edge of the chair and soon he was crouching forward (almost in jockey position). Suddenly he tossed the book onto the table saying he couldn't take it anymore. The suspense and excitement was just too much tension. Yours is not the book you just can't put down, but, at least for my husband, the book you MUST put down. Should we ever get to Santa Anita again, the experience will have new life and meaning for us. In fact, as long time fans of horse racing, horse racing is forever changed for us. And so has our conception of Seabiscuit. Thank you!
Waukesha, WI USA

Comments by Jonathan Jaivin, M.D. on Sunday, July 01, 2001 at 09:31 IP Logged
Just finished your wonderful book. I enjoyed it very much and understand why it is doing so well. I will never look at a horse race the same again. That sounds trite but to me it is the highest complement I could give an author- please take it with the depth that it is offered. Have you read The Orchid Thief? I was similarly impressed by that book in so far as that I could never look at an orchid in the same way. You have enriched my (and I suspect many) lives with your book. Enjoy your success and I await your next project!
Encino, CA USA

Comments by John DeMetropolis on Sunday, July 01, 2001 at 09:02 IP Logged
Dear Laura: This is a great way to comment on someone's work. I do hope someone reads it. I've been a horseplayer since 1968 when I hit the Daily Double cold at Belmont on Belmont Stakes day. My $2 bet turened into $22 and I've been a fan since. Started the read the book. My friend tells me there's a list just printed by the newspaper Newsday which lists the top 10 movies for each sport. Racing only has two movies produced in the past 20 years. So, by all accounts, the book and the movie are welcome to give the sport a long needed awareness. One question and criticism: How do you produce such a book and NOT include the lifetime past performances? Did Crist and the gang at The Daily Racing Form refuse you and your publisher? This is a MAJOR omission. As I said, I just started the book. By all accounts of what I've read, it will be the ONLY omission. Good luck. We all need it. John...
Wantagh, NY USA

Comments by Tom Rooney on Sunday, July 01, 2001 at 07:22 IP Logged
Ms. Hillenbrand:- The comment in your spendid book,about the wrong horse winning the movie race, reminded me of the following: For some twenty years, following retirement from academia, I have been an actor performing in plays and musicals across the country. In between, I have performed in NYC in movies and soaps as an extra as I did for the film "A Bronx Tale", directed by Robert DeNiro based on a one-man, one-act play, written by Chaz Palmenerri(spelling is wrong I know). There had been rumors in the trade and in the general press that mob money had been used to get the movie produced. I was on location one day at the "BigA" to watch ,as an extra, a horse race to be won by the(movie) mob horse; but in the reality of the script won, alas by another. The tech director was Eddie Arcaro. We were seperated into cheering sections, some for the mob horse, some for the ultimate winner. The horses were started at the far mid pole and the finish line was in front of us. "Action" was called and the horses were off with the two groups cheering and reacting to what was supposed to happen, only it didn't. The wrong horse won. The extras, who were happy, whooping it up and cheering, looked rediculous, of course, because the horse they were cheering for had lost, yet they were reacting as if it had won. People were moved around, cameras relocated. and after about an hour and a half, a new set of horses was ready to run. In conversation with a fellow actor sitting next to me, I was told that he was certain that(real-life) mob money had been used."See that big, tall, dark, mean looking SOB, down there?", he asked. "I've seen him any number of times around an Italian deli in Queens with those three other tough guys standing with him. They're all mafia, every last one of 'em. Trust me." By this time I had become accustomed to performers speaking in superlatives about matters they knew little, so I thought no more about it. The second race was shot and again the wrong horse won. Broke for lunch. Shot again. Same wrong result. Went home with a day's pay. Left in another week to tour in a show and forgot about it. About six months later, I noticed a revue of the film in the NY Times with a picture of the author and star of "A Bronx Tale". It was (surprise, surprise) that"tall, dark, mean-looking, SOB, member of the mafia" ,Chaz Palminnneri!!( who , to the best of my information,has never been in Queens) So much for "eye" witness at a Queens deli!!(Another one of the "tough" guys also was not from Queens. His brother was spotted at Jones Beach by the film's casting director, asked to audition, refused, but said he had a brother who wanted to be in films.The brother acepted and has since become a star.) All the best, and thank you for turning your considerable talents to the exposition of an extraordinary champion while spinning a fascinating tale I shall always cherish. Tom Rooney
New Hyde Park, NY USA

Comments by Ariel Shaker on Sunday, July 01, 2001 at 06:00 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, Hi! My name is Ariel Shaker. I am a thirteen year old girl and I just finished your book, Seabiscuit. I really enjoyed it. I loved Seabiscuit. He must have been a really cool horse. I loved the fact that he was just a fat little horse with shaky knees, and short legs. Yet, even though his body is not perfect, he manages to beat every perfectly built opponent that comes his way. That is how someone once described my little mare, Surprise. They said that her name fits her perfectly. She goes into a show ring and doesnít look like much, but when she jumps, tucking her knees up to her ears, you pay attention. Thatís how I think of Seabiscuit. He doesnít look like much, but he sure is good at what he does. Do you own a horse? Do you ride english or western? Do you show in any disciplines? I ride english, and I just got my horse last summer. I have started doing some really small three day eventing, dressage, and hunter jumper showing. I am trying everything and I havenít decided what disciplines I want to really settle into. I am in a mother Daughter book club, and I am going to have Seabiscuit be my book when I get to chose one. I was wondering if you could answer some questions that I have that would help me out with the book club. When I write, I usually find the research for my report to be deadly boring, but the writing is fun. What was writing Seabiscuit like? How did you find out about Seabiscuit? Was it always fun to write and research Seabiscuit or was it hard and boring some of the time? Are you planning to write any other books? I really enjoyed Seabiscuit and I would love to read another book about a horse. I find that it is really hard to find a good book about horses. Most of the horse books that I have read all end happily ever after with the main character getting her horse through some rather corny situation that would only happen in a book. It was great when I read Seabiscuit and it wasnít corny or stupid. If you could answer some of my questions that would be great. My email address is Thank you- Ariel

Comments by David Callahan on Sunday, July 01, 2001 at 05:49 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, For almost 50 years I have been an avid reader in many genres, including strong doses of Tom Ainslie and Andrew Beyer. I just finished reading Seabiscuit and consider it one of the five best books I have ever read in my life. I have laughed out loud with Woody Allen and Jean Sheperd, thrown Michener's The Covenant in anger over the genesis of apartheid, but have never cried, repeatedly, with such joy as with your narrative. My heartfelt thanks for your fine work. Sincerely, David Callahan
Sarasota, FL USA

Comments by Ricky J. Setticase on Sunday, July 01, 2001 at 03:10 IP Logged
Hello Laura, Reading the Book, I was taken back some 10 years in time when I worked as a groom in standardbred racing in Upstate New York. The Book was well researched and written in that it told the true story, not one subject to historical correctness. Have you ever heard of Dan Patch? He was a standardbred race horse in the late 1800's early 1900's that also created a national obsession. The Book is truely inspirational and I anxiously await the movie. I am not a fan of Hollywood, but with your work as a consultant, the movie is one production I will not miss. Thank you for such a remarkable story.
Overland Park, KS USA

Comments by Les Lear on Sunday, July 01, 2001 at 01:48 IP Logged
Laura Hillenbrand: You are a seductress and a siren: I couldn't tear myself away from your gripping narrative, couldn't sleep, wouldn't answer the 'phone or eat, read all night till I finally completed the book at 5:30 this morning. It totally absorbed me. I found myself at the track in crucial races, simultaneously becoming Seabiscuit's owner with all the attendant anxieties and passion, and his jockey, embracing the mud, dirt, turmoil, and danger while urging him to win, win, win. My daughter, a horse owner and lover, is forever ascribing to horses feelings, awareness, and sensibilities at which I scoffed. No more. Finally, you captured the tenor of the times so vividly. As a child of the Depression, I have repeatedly attempted, with little success, to communicate to "younger generations" the atmosphere, the insecurity, and the desparation of those days. Your book brought it all home in a way I never could. In future, when the subject of "What was it like in the 30's?" arises, I shall point to your book. I'n addition to penning a rip-roaring true story, you have done us all a great service. Thank you.
Timonium, Md USA

Comments by Kathleen Montoya on Sunday, July 01, 2001 at 01:47 IP Logged
Laura, Thank you for an absolutely incredible book. I loved every minute of it and became so emotionally involved in the story. You have a gift that really made the story play itself out vividly in my mind. Do the living Howard family members know where Seabiscuit is buried? Were you able to go to his grave? Again, thank you, thank you for the best book I have read in many years!! Kathie Montoya
Fremont, CA USA

Comments by Michael Hart on Sunday, July 01, 2001 at 01:43 IP Logged
Baltimore, MD USA

Comments by Carl Matthies on Sunday, July 01, 2001 at 01:30 IP Logged
Ms.Hillenbrand: Thank you so much for this very special book. I'm a horse-racing dilettante (I know- BOO!), but I live just a few miles down the road from Santa Anita, so I can indulge the whim easily. I think next time I'll stop and ponder those statues of The Biscuit and George Woolf... Thanks again!
Alhambra, CA USA

Comments by Beth on Saturday, June 30, 2001 at 03:52 IP Logged
You mentioned that Seabiscuit came at a time in history when we needed a hero. I must say that you, Laura, are our hero for now and for future readers of this great work! This marvelous book is joining my shelves of champion books, to be read again and again! Your writing captivated me as Heinlein did,(he was also known for his thorough research). I didn't know Seabiscuit existed until I saw the excerpt in Readers Digest. As a horse owner/lover for 40 years, I had to have it. A wonderful story! I appreciate all your hard work to bring this story to print,(and to the screen),knowing the struggles you face daily(my sister has CFS). We all need heros reguardless of the circumstances surrounding us. Thank You, thank you! I am giving you a standing ovation! (p.s: the shit Godzilla was priceless!)
Eagle Point, OR USA

Comments by Tamara Evens on Saturday, June 30, 2001 at 03:20 IP Logged
Dear Laura: When I was a young horse-loving girl, I devoured every horse book in the library. But my favorite one was a book called "Come on Seabiscuit". I must have read that book dozens of times. When I saw a review of your book I was so excited that I was going to get to read about Seabiscuit all over again. Your narrative style is wonderful and the description of Seabiscuit finally winning at Santa Anita brought me to tears. I am going to find a copy of "Come on Seabiscuit so I can read it to my little girl. Thank you so must for the gift of this book. The story of that plucky little horse with heart brings something out in me that I can't describe...
Petersburg, AK USA

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