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Comments by Rick Kessler on Friday, January 04, 2002 at 02:56 IP Logged
Thanks for a great job of research and writing. I was quite involved in racing as an owner and breeder from 1958 through 1991. My first trainer was Harry Richards and I later had horses with Keith Stucki so I read the Seabiscuit drama with added interest. Thanks again, Rick Kessler
Westlake Village, CA USA

Comments by Shelley on Friday, January 04, 2002 at 02:36 IP Logged
I have a perfectly legal addiction. I love books; I must have a good book available at all times. Since childhood, I have read many excellent and diverse books, even memorable ones, but at midage, I only remember the books that are beyond excellent. I will never forget SEABISCUIT! I will never forget his team. I will never forget Laura Hillenbrand, a master of words, character development and storytelling. I know little about horses and racing. The several horses I have ridden were old and gentle. Thanks to this extraordinary book, I feel as if I had actually ridden a race horse...my chest pounded, my breath alternatively slowed and accelerated. as I read this book. Every race was as if it were happening anew, in the present tense. I hated and loved that the I could not put the book down. It was over so fast. I loved the characters, especially seabiscuit and his quiet trainer, Tom Smith. Tears fell rapidly as I finished the last page. I miss being with them as I was for 3 nights. Thank you for recreating a wonderful, American story in a decade that was otherwise not so exciting or wonderful.
Providence, RI USA

Comments by Joseph Paolo Schramek on Friday, January 04, 2002 at 01:46 IP Logged
To Laura Hillenbrand I was already sold on Seabiscuit, by your enthusiasm as you spoke about it on NPR. I had to buy it when you said you are challenged by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The easiest way for me to explain why I write to you is by sharing a letter I wrote last year. www.DIRECT-MS.org January 5, 2001 I was diagnosed with MS in 1992, and became involved in MS research in 1993. I was treated with several experimental medicines until their efficacy ran out in 1997. In January 1998, an MRI revealed 67 enhancing lesions in my brain, the worst my neurologist had seen. I received many doses of chemotherapy for three months, and spent the rest of 1998 hospitalized by the side effects-bedsores and infections, one to the bone. I terminated my involvement in research and committed to a strict vegetarian diet when I returned home in January 1999. In August 1999, my friend, Cecilia, urged me to try a program she said was improving her health dramatically. I added her program to mine in September and by November, I felt ‘nutritionally complete’. A recent blood test confirms that my vitamin and mineral levels are normal. My latest MRI scan on October 26, 2000 shows NO enhancing lesions in my brain! I am thrilled with DIRECT-MS, and will do everything in my power to help raise the money needed, I thank you dearly for your work and I pray for the success of DIRECT-MS. Joseph Schramek Cecilia Cusimano may be contacted at 602-230-0265 Strict vegetarian or vegan means I do not eat animal eggs or milk. I added fish to my diet in March 2001 The fatigue that came over me immediately following my first experimental protocol was definitely chronic. The fatigue I experienced after my first urinary tract infection the next summer was even more chronic. I am not a medical doctor, and cannot determine where to draw the line between chronic fatigue and the poisoning I felt with chemotherapy. The only thing I know for certain is that since my friend, Cecilia, introduced me to a nutritional program, I am able to hold my head up for several hours and write a letter on my computer. I was not able to stay up more than an hour, before. I hope you will call Cecilia at 602-230-0265. She told me the program works for chronic fatigue syndrome, also. I have Seabiscuit and I feel extremely motivated to read it, simply because of your enthusiasm. My best to you, Joe Schramek 1930 Columbia Rd., NW #820 Washington, DC 20009 (202) 332-0211 jschramek@att.net
Washington, DC USA

Comments by Susan Ginsberg on Friday, January 04, 2002 at 00:49 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hilldebrand, I wanted to let you know that my book group, which meets once a month in Arlington, VA, is reading your book this month. I just finished it and loved it. Our meeting is this Thursday, and I thought you might like to know that we've been reading your book. Thanks for a wonderful book....
Washington, DC USA

Comments by Don Allen on Friday, January 04, 2002 at 00:30 IP Logged
Laura, I've been a racing fan for about 15 years now but I never knew or bothered to find out any history. I was really lucky when my wife gave me your book as a birthday gift. It was a great book, and it has piqued my interest. In that regard, you made statements about Seabuscuit being in Life, Newsweek, Time, etc routinely. I would like to see/read some of these articles. Could you possibly provide me with dates of when some of these articles appeared. Many thanks..don allen
bowie, md USA

Comments by Rebecca on Thursday, January 03, 2002 at 09:37 IP Logged
Wow! This book was given to me for Christmas by one of my riding students. I expected either a schmaltzy tale or a dry, boring recitation of long-ago facts. I was delighted and completely absorbed in the book. You have truly written a book that will contribute to the world for long after we are all gone. Though I never knew any of them, may I thank you on behalf of Smith, Howard, Pollard and Seabiscuit for making sure that they never fade from the world's memory. And a huge thank you from me for making them live for me, too.
Cypress, TX USA

Comments by Craig Gray on Thursday, January 03, 2002 at 07:43 IP Logged
This fabulous piece of American racing history, superbly recounted by LH, has made it over 'The Pond'. I bought this book for my horse owning wife, as part of her Xmas goodies after it won William Hill Sports Book of the Year award, and managed to intercept it yesterday from her bedside(Wed 2nd Jan), to soothe the post New year blues. I have now finished the book 2 days later and it was absolutely fabulous. I 've hardly spoken to my wife since I picked it up!! It is such an emotional book. A real rollercoaster. I have never much cared for horses in the past but I can honestly say that my perception of them has changed for good and for the better. Thanks for easing me into 2002 with a real cracker of a book.
Kinross, Scotland

Comments by Tracia Nunnally on Thursday, January 03, 2002 at 06:53 IP Logged
Laura, I remembered reading about Seabiscuit in grade school. I was amazed that this magnificent part of history was so little known. Now I know Seabiscuit, and the remarkable people who cared for him, will be remembered by many generations to come. Your characterizations were so moving, I felt as if I were with them. I laughed and cried through their experiences. If only the magic could have lasted for them all. I will never forget their courage, strength, and undying faith. To the Howards, Mr. Smith, the Cougar, the Iceman, the Biscuit, their loved ones, and all the other racing pioneers; I salute you!! Good luck Laura, keep the movie people true to the story! I'm thinking it will be an Oscar/Blockbuster! P.S. I hadn't thought of Mr. Hackman for Mr. Smith (good choice), but you might consider Robert Duvall as well. Heck, maybe Mr. Hackman could be Charles Howard since they both liked to race cars! Or what about Paul Newman (Mr. Smith) and Robert Redford (Charles Howard)? Yikes!! You have quite the project ahead of you. But judging by your research notes, you'll do a great job. God bless you Laura!
Hermiston, OR USA

Comments by Chris Veech on Thursday, January 03, 2002 at 03:27 IP Logged
As a child I remember the stories of Seabiscuit and the races! I was born in 1933, so I was quite young, but the radio news was on and drove our lives. I always wanted to raise race horses, and reading your descriptions of those famous races, I now know why I felt that way as a youngster. I never did, but I still love horses... Thanks for making those days come alive for me at this time. Those simpler days when we came together as a country over horse races, not terrorism. Bless you.
Commack, NY USA

Comments by Karol Ballard on Thursday, January 03, 2002 at 03:06 IP Logged
Dear Laura, As a former exercise rider, I appreciated your book about Seabiscuit on a very personal level. I am now a screenwriter, and have adapted a book about post-Civil War and its ramifications. Jodie Foster's Egg Pictures held it for a few months before deciding to pass on my script's Civil War theme, since Jodie had already done "Sommersby". I would like you to read the script called "The Secessionist." With both my track insight and screenwriting skills, I know I could produce the absolute best adaptation of your wonderful book. May I send or email you the script? Thanks for your time, Laura. Sincerely, Karol Ballard
sierra madre, ca USA

Comments by Virginia Blankenhorn on Thursday, January 03, 2002 at 02:19 IP Logged
Thank you for this terrific book. My grandfather, Frank Porter Miller, bred thoroughbreds at his ranch in Riverside California and also in Lexington, KY, and going to Santa Anita and sitting in splendor in their box with my grandparents and parents was a regular and wonderful part of my childhood in the fifties and sixties. My mother and younger sister and I would split a two-dollar show bet on some horse whose name we liked and go nuts with enthusiasm. I recall hearing my grandfather talk about many of the people mentioned in your book, and I think he knew quite a few of them. One phrase in the story, however, particularly stood out for me. I finally learned where my father got an expression he used all his life to indicate that something was decisively over: "So long, Charley!" Thank you for your own courage and steadfastness in persevering with your writing despite debilitating illness. I pray that better times will find you soon.
Beverly Hills, MI USA

Comments by Jane Kruger on Thursday, January 03, 2002 at 00:49 IP Logged
Thank you Laura Hillenbrand for such a wonderful book. I only wish my Grandparents were alive to read it. They bred Thourghbred horses in Arkansas until shortly before my grandfathers death. My grandfather loved horse racing. My grandmother is the reason I love horses to this day.Horse racing today could use a Seabiscuit or a Tiger Woods or maybe your book and subsequent movie will inspire people to go to the track. Your book came close, but there is nothing like being there in person. Jane G Kruger
Cambridge, WI USA

Comments by Sarah on Wednesday, January 02, 2002 at 08:56 IP Logged
Seabiscuit was my Christmas Vacation "read" or perhaps I should say "ride", and what a ride! Thanks for a gripping and heartfelt story. It goes to my sister next who takes horses from the racetrack and trains them in dressage. I know she'll love this book as much as I did. Happy New Year!
Waldport, OR USA

Comments by Wendy Spring on Wednesday, January 02, 2002 at 07:19 IP Logged
Dear Laura, I literally could not put down this book. Your narrative is smooth, entertaining, and dead-on - the language is perfect from a fellow horseperson's view. We are awaiting the harnesswriters pick for divisional and Horse of the Year honors that may include our filly, Bunny Lake, who is a top contender. I only wish that our current racing scene could conjure up some of the delight and excitement that you describe in your book - the idea of a match race is almost lost in our culture and to resurrect it in either discipline, thoroughbred or harness, would be a monumental undertaking. But I believe it could be done!!! In the spirit of the racehorse, I am .......Wendy Spring
Johnstown, NY USA

Comments by Patrick Taylor on Wednesday, January 02, 2002 at 07:08 IP Logged
Your book was an incredible read. When I was reading the chapter on Seabiscuit and War Admiral in their head to head race, my heart was pounding as if I was at the race and watching them coming down the home stretch. Thank you for a very enjoyable book.
stillwater, mn USA

Comments by GEORGE WILLIAM TANSILL on Wednesday, January 02, 2002 at 06:47 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, You are quite a Lady! Having been born in Woodlawn, Maryland in 1928; had a uncle, Robert "Jock" Tansill, who rode with Red Pollard and George Wolff: I can say you not only informed me that my Uncle Bob's tales he told this young man were indeed true, but made me laugh and cry. I cleaned stables For Mr. Vanderbilt at his "Sagamore" Farm at Glyndon; and stood with my nosed pressed against the cyclone fence surrounding Pimlico on that blustry November 1st afternoon 1n 1938. Thank you so much for this book. My whole family, especially my Ucle Bob's daughters still living in Maryland, loved it. God Bless you.
San Jose, CA USA

Comments by Kristy Harris on Wednesday, January 02, 2002 at 06:06 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I have been putting off finishing your book for days now because I simply do not want it to end!! This is definitely the best book I have read in a long time. I cannot recall another book making me laugh and cry--or touching my heart the way that Seabiscuit, Howard, Smith, Pollard and Woolf have done. What an incredible story. Knowing very little about horses, I picked up your book due to the critic's reviews, and I am so happy that I did. I will be recommending this wonderful read to everyone I know!
Conroe, TX USA

Comments by Christina on Wednesday, January 02, 2002 at 05:40 IP Logged
I just finished the book over the holidays and loved it. It was one of the best books I've read in a long itme-thrilling, great background stories on the characters-just a darn good read. I especially liked that you completed the history of each of the main characters. It felt as if you finished the book and left the legend of Seabiscuit complete-so that I could imagine the lives of the people involved. I also really enjoyed the inclusion of historical facts about how the country was enthralled by the races. Couldn't be more pleased with it and have reccomended to my family and friends as my pick of the season. Thanks for your work.
Charlotte, NC USA

Comments by Howard J Bell sr on Wednesday, January 02, 2002 at 04:10 IP Logged
Great book
Zephyrhills, Fla USA

Comments by Gil Mesec on Wednesday, January 02, 2002 at 03:33 IP Logged
Never was a fan of horse racing. Your book brought it all to life, the trills, the anguish, the heartbreak, the feeling. If the movie is half as good it will be a smash. I have heard you speak on the Diane Rheem (sp?)show and know how much work and energy it took for you to write the book. You are a "SEABISCUIT" of a writer.
Hague, VA USA

Comments by Kay Langmuir on Wednesday, January 02, 2002 at 01:43 IP Logged
Ms. Hillenbrand, My profound gratitude for rescuing all this extraordinary but dispersed history of Seabiscuit and the people in his life and for acquainting new generations with an exceptional horse. They are such intelligent complex animals, but underappreciated by the non-horsey majority. Please don't let the directors do anything stupid in the movie, like dubbing in whinnies and nickers in situations where no horse would ever vocalize. The horse who plays Seabiscuit must be more than just a prop. Horses are so facially and physically expressive and reactive but I can think of very few scenes where a director let a horse show his real nature and real responses to situations. I thought it was a hoot that the Biscuit loved to sleep and eat so much. I hope they give his character room to breathe and come alive in the movie. It would be a first. You are an exceptional researcher and a gifted storyteller. My deepest thanks. Kay Langmuir, Port Perry, Ont.
Port Perry, on Canada

Comments by doyal boring on Wednesday, January 02, 2002 at 01:00 IP Logged
Your Seabiscuit is a wonderfully written story- thoroughly enjoyable-Well done. I lived very near Santa Anita and your descriptions were perfect. I can hardly wait for the movie!! Thank you. Doyal Boring
USA

Comments by A. Puckett on Wednesday, January 02, 2002 at 00:03 IP Logged
Dear Laura, I just wanted to commend you on your wonderful book. I grew up in Silver Spring and showed hunters and jumpers untill I found the racetrack at age 17. I rode my first race at Pimlico in the early eighties and met some wonderful people who were from the "old school" of racing. I left Maryland to ride at Suffolk Downs where it was a little easier for a girl to get a mount. I knew some of the stories about Seabiscuit, and now wish I had payed more attention. I met several ex riders who had their hay day in the 30's, and loved to hear their stories. I now train horses and my husband and I have started to expand our farm to strictly raise young horses. You have captured the essence of racing like no one else, you have touched the heart and soul of the race horse. And I cant get over how you are able to describe what it feels like to be on the back of one of God's most perfect creatures. Being on the track for twenty years I have seen my share of good and bad luck stories, I think Seabiscuit's story and the people who shared it is one of the best. I love to think that people who had no interest before in the race track might learn a little about something I have devoted most of my life to. I was given your book to me by a friend who rides dressage, she asked me to read it and let her know how things have changed, It amazes me how much hasnt...Keep up the good work and thankyou again.
Beltsville, MD USA

Comments by Cindy Smith on Tuesday, January 01, 2002 at 09:29 IP Logged
Dear Laura, Thank you so much for a fantastic book! My son-in-law was reading it when they were here for Christmas, and couldn't put it down. I thought it must be a great book to keep him curled up in the chair for 3 days, so I asked him if I could borrow it to read. Well, I couldn't put it down, either! I have loved horses all my life, and now own an Arabian who has been my best buddy for 15 years. Your descriptions of how hard Seabiscuit tried, and his steadfast heart, brought tears to my eyes. I remember, as a young girl, playing a racing game, one with a track and a spinner. I always wanted to be Seabiscuit! Thank you for your superb writing skills---now, bring on the movie!!!
Pensacola, FL USA

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