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Comments by Lyn on Thursday, November 08, 2001 at 08:08 IP Logged
Ms. Hillenbrand: Your book is truly remarkable. Touching, informative, and interesting. It was well thought out and well written. You have put a lot of time and effort into your book and you should be very proud of it. Best of luck in the future.
Avenel, NJ USA

Comments by John Berger on Thursday, November 08, 2001 at 04:30 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hilenbrand: I just want to thank you for your wonderfully readable and thoroughly researched book. I must say that I was initially drawn to your book about Seabicuit after I read about you and your travails (I hope you're feeling better!)in the Washington Post style section feature story. Aperson totally uninterested in horse racing as sport, this is a book I could recommend to practicaly anyone. I was particularly interested in some of the general information about the sport, I wonder how you were able to recreate some of the racing scenes after all these years. In sum, you book was a great read and an eye into a period of tiem and subject that I would not otherwise have delved into.
Arnold, MD 21012

Comments by Pat Kirk on Thursday, November 08, 2001 at 02:53 IP Logged
Miss Hillenbrand, Terrific book! You wrote this book with love and poesy. Yes, I shed a tear or tow for not only this game horse, but for the three idiosyncratic men who were so special in the Biscuit's life. Your researach was meticulous and, as a result, the book circumscribed an intriguing journey of three men and a pegasus-hero. What horse racing needs now is another hero like Seabiscuit, Whirlaway, Citation, Secretariat, Native Dance or Seattle Slew. Sadly, with our horsemen breeding for sprinters who break down after eight races, it will be a long time before we see a truly game horse that will run his heart out year after year instead of being consigned to the stud farm. Thank you for a riveting, poignant and informative book. Loved it.
Aiken Aiken , SC USA

Comments by Mark Jenkins on Thursday, November 08, 2001 at 01:32 IP Logged
Laura - Wonderful job on the book. Couldn't put it down. Grew up going to Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, AR. I also noticed the accolades regarding your agent, Tina Bennett, and was wondering if you would mind forwarding her my e-mail address. I am in search of a good, reputable agent to help me market a sports and history related book that I researched and wrote with the help of the country's division I colleges. Spent over two years getting the licensing agreements to use their trademarks and logos. A small first printing sold very well and I am seeking a publisher with expertise to take it to the next level. I would of course be more than happy to send you both sample copies if interested. Thank you very much for your time - Mark T. Jenkins.
Orlando, FL USA

Comments by Joan K on Thursday, November 08, 2001 at 00:50 IP Logged
WRITE MORE!! Didn't want the Seabiscuit story to end. When it did I felt like I lost close friends and family. Would like information on your personal apprearances. Work with a major campus student organization that features interesting authors, politicians, celebrities etc. In the past we've had Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Robert Kennedy Jr, Dr. Ruth, Madame Sadat, Bruce Vilanch, Elie Weisel and many many more!
Columbus, OH USA

Comments by Elisabeth Lundberg-Karlsson on Wednesday, November 07, 2001 at 04:38 IP Logged
Dear Ms Hillenbrand, It would be nice to get in touch with you in some way. You see, I am a Swedish translator and am right now working on your book Seabiscuit. I must say that I really appreciate the book and it is not easy to to make it as good in swedish as it is in english. I am doing my best anyway and it is very amusing, I simply love doing it! Would it be possible for me to put some questions to you every now and then, if there are parts that are difficult to understand. I am interested in horses, live on a farm with my husband and my two children. We have horses, but no race horses, though. That is why I need to ask you some question sometimes. Best wishes, Elisabeth Lundeberg-Karlsson
Gnesta, Sweden

Comments by Lynne Larkin on Wednesday, November 07, 2001 at 02:44 IP Logged
Dear Laura: It is hard to find any new accolades which haven't been entered into the guest book yet . . . but I'll try. I heard about the book on NPR and couldn't wait to take a look. I sat down with a coffee at the bookstore, and by page 12 I was up at the counter buying the book [even though my mother had just gotten it from the library]. It is a fabulously written, front to back. Thank you for a glorious job. And to add, I also suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome and admire your tenacity in getting this monumental task done in spite of that illness. Congratulations! You took me on a journey that I didn't want to end. All very best, Lynne Larkin
Vero Beach, FL USA

Comments by Laura Hillenbrand on Tuesday, November 06, 2001 at 09:35 IP Logged
FROM THE AUTHOR: In reply to the previous note concerning the origin of the word "upset," for years it has been lore in racing that the use of the word to mean the unexpected defeat of a favorite originated with Man o'War's loss to the racehorse Upset. It's a great story, but unfortunately, it doesn't hold up. According to Dorothy Ours, who is currently writing the definitive Man o' War biography, Chain Lightning, this race has nothing to do with that use of the word "upset." She was able to locate numerous incidences in which the word was used by journalists in this sports context prior to that race. Indeed, when Man o' War lost, journalists covering the race pointed out the remarkable coincidence that he lost to a horse named Upset. I wish I could say that Man o'War changed our language, but he did not. Laura Hillenbrand
Washington, DC USA

Comments by Denise Rolfe on Tuesday, November 06, 2001 at 06:43 IP Logged
Dear Laura, I'm not in the habit of writing fan letters, but wanted to tell you personally how much I enjoyed reading your inspirational book about Seabiscuit. Though I make my living in television (ironically, for a company called Pegasus), one of my extracurricular passions is horseracing. In 1969 at the age of ten, I watched a horse with a curious name, Arts and Letters, win the Belmont Stakes. I watched lots of television then, despite the dearth of channel choices before cable, but had never watched horseracing. Four years later, along with the rest of the world, I sat riveted as the greatest horse of our generation ran into the record books in the same race. I was irrevocably hooked on the sport. When I got to the chapter detailing the match race between Seabiscuit and War Admiral (I was late for an appointment so I could finish it), I felt the same giddiness I had while captivated by "Big Red" on the tube in 1973. What a thrill it must have been for you to do the interviews, gather the stories and retell the tale in glorious, lyrical prose! Last year, my husband and I realized one of our long-standing dreams and now enjoy the privilege of being thoroughbred owners. We have a share of a young stallion called Unbridled Jet, who stands at Maryland's oldest breeding facility, Country Life farm. Probably not far from where you are in DC. We also have a 4 year old gelding named Danesfort (by Silver Ghost), an enormously self-absorbed, handsome, promising distance runner. We share ownership of a 4 year old Cozzene filly named Cozzy Rhythm, also grey, also a talented runner and broodmare prospect. We just sold our other retired runner, a 5 year old Relaunch mare named Fantasy Land, out of a mare called Tizna. Lastly, we just bought two yearlings, a bay filly by You and I, who will be named You Two, and another grey filly, shockingly pushy and smart (must be the color), by With Approval. Her name will be Withorwithoutyou. Yes, I have a terrible weakness for grey horses. Must be my Hibernian roots. All are housed with our trainers, Travis and Wendy Kinnamon, at a beautiful place called Breakaway Farm in Lancaster County, PA, about 15 minutes from the Maryland border. Travis and Wendy are up and coming young trainers (primarily turf) who specialize in breaking young horses, rehabilitating broken horses, and pampering ours beyond reason. Wendy's parents have one of the most successful breeding and racing operations in PA, called Sylmar Farm. Congratulations on your success with the book and the movie adaptation. I'm sure you'll be busy as the screenplay's developed and location shooting begins, but if you ever have time and want to make the trek up the highway into PA to meet some of the good folks in the horse business up here, let me know. We'd love to introduce you to our four-legged family and their friends. Thanks again for a marvelous read. Best regards, Denise Rolfe VP, Broadcast Operations Pegasus Communications Bala Cynwyd, PA
Wyncote, PA USA

Comments by Debbie on Tuesday, November 06, 2001 at 04:50 IP Logged
Kansas City, MO USA

Comments by Lisa on Tuesday, November 06, 2001 at 03:24 IP Logged
I really enjoyed this book, I'm a fan of racehorses so this was by far the best
Delta, Oh USA

Comments by John Maloney on Tuesday, November 06, 2001 at 01:51 IP Logged
I am most of the way through the book and am very impressed at by the way you succinctly capture racetrack lexicon and the way we "backsiders" see the game. However, there are two things I must mention. Early on, you speak of Man'o War getting beat by a horse "coincidently named Upset." It was no coincidence as there was no such sports term (upset) prior to Man 'O War's defeat. Secondly on page 152 you refer to "Conway" (War Admiral's trainer George Conway) without any first reference. We learn his first name on page 200. A great book, these are just notes for the reprint.
Arvada, CO USA

Comments by John Maloney on Tuesday, November 06, 2001 at 01:50 IP Logged
I am most of the way through the book and am very impressed at by the way you succinctly capture racetrack lexicon and the way we "backsiders" see the game. However, there are two things I must mention. Early on, you speak of Man'o War getting beat by a horse "coincidently named Upset." It was no coincidence as there was no such sports term (upset) prior to Man 'O War's defeat. Secondly obn page 152 you refer to "Conway" (War Admiral's trainer George Conway) without any first reference. We learn his first name on page 200. A great book, these are just notes for the reprint.
Arvada, CO USA

Comments by Andy Robertson on Monday, November 05, 2001 at 09:00 IP Logged
I used to work in Ukiah in the 30's and followed Seabiscuit along with the Mission Reds baseball team, which later became the Hollywood Stars. Your book was great, and brought back many memories of the times. I hope you are able to get the Movie to stick with the facts and not be a bomb like the Shirley Temple Feasco. I will be looking forward to the movie. Give it a "G" rating as I would like to be able to take my Grand, and Great Grand children to see it. Thank you Andrew Robertson
Lafayette, In USA

Comments by Robert Powell on Monday, November 05, 2001 at 04:59 IP Logged
Great, great book. As a boy growing up near Santa Anita in the 40's, my father picked me up from school during the week to catch the eighth race (back then an 8 race card was standard) almost daily. Saturdays were spent at Santa Anita and Hollywood Park. On occasion, we drove to Del Mar. His stories about Seabiscuit, War Admiral, Chas. Howard, Red Pollard, Tom Smith and others jumped back in my mind as I read your wonderful biography of this great racehorse. In the late forties and early fifties I'de hang out at the Arcadia bowling alley where many of the Jockeys played pool in the evenings. Neves, Longden, Arcaro and of course, The Shoe, are names that were part of my youth. Later I was priviledged to watch another great racehorse campaign in Southern California, Citation was the greatest I ever saw personally. His match race with Noor will never be forgotten. What a job you did researching this wonderful story!! Bob Powell Santa Fe, NM
Santa Fe, NM USA

Comments by Laura Hillenbrand on Monday, November 05, 2001 at 03:08 IP Logged
FROM THE AUTHOR: In reply to the earlier note about speed in quarter horses, Pratt's finding of 56 mph was a recording of top speed, not average speed. Average speed would indeed be slower. Laura Hillenbrand
Washington, DC USA

Comments by John Sjoquist on Monday, November 05, 2001 at 02:46 IP Logged
Dear Ms Hillenbrand, Anything praise I could heap on your book would not do it justice. It was in a word, superb. I have been a horse player for 45 years and have known men around tracks for many of those years. They all had interesting stories to tell but none approached yours for detail and almost oracular insight you exhibited in your book. I have argued for many years that jockeys are the bravest atheletes of all and your book overwhelmingly proves it. So thank you very much for writing SEABISCUIT. I shall treasure it forever. Please do not take this next as a criticism but this fellow George Pratt who told you that a quarter horse can run 55 miles per hour is just dead wrong. In order to run a quarter mile at 60 miles per hour a horse would have to run 440 yards in 15 seconds. 15 seconds. If you divide 60 by 55 tou get 1.090. When you multply 15 seconds by 1.090 you get 16.36 seconds. The present record for 440 yards is 20.94 seconds. This math shows that quarter horses can run about 42.97 miles per hour. That aside your book is still by far the greatest tome on racing ever written. John Sjoquist
Las Cruces, NM USA

Comments by Sara Grimm on Monday, November 05, 2001 at 01:14 IP Logged
Laura, I am no horse racing fan, but just finished listening to "Seabiscuit" on tape during a trip in the car. I saw you on Good Morning America and decided to buy the tapes...I'm glad I did! I like to mention the word "Seabiscuit" to older adults (I'm 40). They ALL have heard of him of course. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and look forward to the movie and the PBS documentary. Please let us know via your website when the PBS show will air. Congratulations and Well Done! Sara in Ohio

Comments by Joan Renner on Monday, November 05, 2001 at 00:44 IP Logged
I just finished your book Seabiscuit, An American Legend, and fell in love with Seabiscuit all over again. I still have my children's book Come on Seabiscuit by Ralph Moody. As a child I read any and all books I could find about horses. Thank you for this wonderful account of the life of Seabiscuit. I'm no literary critic, but you have a wonderful way with words!
Prescott, AZ USA

Comments by Greg Osmun on Monday, November 05, 2001 at 00:10 IP Logged
Laura: I want to thank you for writing a masterpiece. Seabiscuit was truly enjoyable. Even my wife said, "that Seabiscuit most be a good book because you hardly ever read." I also want to thank you for providing me with an education. I work in the industry as a pharmaceutical representative with both small animal and equine responsibility. Our company purchased and provided us with a copy of your book in order to provide us with an insight into the racing industry. What amazes me is that it hasn't changed that much over the years. You provided excellent insight about an industry that is relatively new to me. Thank you. I'm looking forward to the movie! Greg
Indianapolis, IN USA

Comments by jason patrick alg on Sunday, November 04, 2001 at 06:48 IP Logged
i just want to thank you for this book and wonderful story you have brought into our homes across the country. red pollard was my great uncle and hearing the story growing up through the family was always interesting---my grandpa and red's brother used to play fight with us when ever we visited in the summertime, but not once did i ever meet red in person. my mom on the other hand did. we grew up thinking our grandfather was a heroic figure because of his canadian boxing career and of course just simply bieng our grandfather. red has a lot of family out here in california and we have all read the book---i just finished and i must say i swept through that book in about four days, i couldn't put it down. not only from the story and time period in history but the fact that you took a peice of my family and shared it with me and the rest of my family in detail i just wanted to thank you personally. not sure if you'll ever get to read this but i can tell from the work you've displayed you already know how grateful we all are.thank you
fairfield, ca USA

Comments by Robert Steinberg on Sunday, November 04, 2001 at 03:30 IP Logged
St.Helena, CA USA

Comments by Scott Brockway on Sunday, November 04, 2001 at 00:38 IP Logged
My dad loved your book. I thought a nice present for him would be to find a print of Seabiscuit. I have had absolutely no luck. Do you have any ideas. Thanks Scott
Bend, Or USA

Comments by Jennifer Lunden on Saturday, November 03, 2001 at 03:54 IP Logged
Wow. Thanks Pam Athena (below) for your beautiful, sad, inpiring story. It seems like Seabiscuit really is your horse. I borrowed "Seabiscuit" from the library after my acupuncturist saw the author interviewed on TV. I, also, have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, so "Seabiscuit" is doubly inspiring to me: writer with CFS beats the odds and writes a magnificent, inspiring, obviously labour-intensive book. Seabiscuit teaches us the power of "heart." What a horse!
Portland, ME USA

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