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Comments by John Abraytis on Wednesday, April 04, 2001 at 05:31 IP Logged
Thanks for the privilege of allowing me to make the acquaintance of both Seabiscuit and War Admiral.
Melrose Park, IL USA

Comments by Leonard Bennett on Wednesday, April 04, 2001 at 04:56 IP Logged
"Seabiscuit" is almost impossible to put down. Congratulations on New York Times #1 ranking. You must be very proud of your wonderful book.
USA

Comments by J. Walsh on Wednesday, April 04, 2001 at 04:30 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I thouroughly enjoyed your book on the great Seabiscuit. As I learned to play the ponies (under my father's tutelage)at Charlestown, Shenendoah Downs, Bowie, Timonium, Laurel and Pimlico, I recalled my Dad's story of his first hand encounter with Seabidcuit at Suffolk Downs. Your prose conducts that electrifying feeling, that only a lover of thoroughbred horse racing can feel, when two horses hook up for the stretch drive. It is spine tingling.
USA

Comments by bill person on Wednesday, April 04, 2001 at 03:51 IP Logged
ms. hillenbrand, thank you for writing a wonderful book.
williamsburg, va USA

Comments by wilf jones on Wednesday, April 04, 2001 at 03:49 IP Logged
Many thanks for a well researched story of an extraordinary horse. It is the folklore of racing and the largerthanlife figures that inhabit the game that will forever be racing"s great strength.I have already mailed my copy to a successful trainer in Australia and i guarantee that he will not put it down til the end.Let"s hope Hollywood stays true to the story and makes a film worthy of the horse.
morriston, fl USA

Comments by Tom Dickens on Wednesday, April 04, 2001 at 02:53 IP Logged
Ms Hillenbrand, I first heard about your book, Seabiscuit, through a review I read in Newsweek. I picked up a copy to send as a gift to my ex-wife. But before I could get it packed and shipped; I read the preface and was hooked. I resolved to read it over the weekend before passing it on to her. I'm very glad I did. I thoroughly enjoyed it even though I'm not into pari-mutuel wagering, my interest in thoroughbred racing did not survive my marriage, and I discovered last May that I'm physically unsuited to riding. (It a long story not worth the digression.) I do like both animals and history so those were the aspects that first appealed to me. Before long I was completely engrossed in the story. I mention all this only to give you some way of assessing my appreciation of your work for I have a favor to ask. I'd like to get your signature on the two copies I now have. (I have another friend, who I expect will enjoy it as much as my ex-wife, and she has a friend who is a trainer in San Francisco.) Now for the hare-brained part of the whole scheme. Coincidentally, Easter weekend I'll be visiting yet another friend who lives in Reston. If you happen to be doing a book signing somewhere in the vicinity that weekend; I'd like to arrange to stop by and collect your signature. If not, would it be possible for me to ship my two copies to you for you to sign and return to me? I'll gladly pay for the round trip postage in advance. Given the sorry state of today's world, alarm bells are probably going off in the heads of any one reading this. So I'll just close by thanking you for introducing me to Red, Tom Smith, Mr Howard, George Woolf, and the amazing Seabiscuit. Without you, I'd probably never have learned about them. You made them all come alive. Appreciatively, Tom Dickens
Phoenix, AZ USA

Comments by Carl Myers on Wednesday, April 04, 2001 at 00:45 IP Logged
Laura,Thanks for the great ride-I mean read. You have given me a great history lesson on a sport I love to watch and wager. Can you provide Seabiscuit's career racing chart along with track odds for his most famous races?
Montvale, NJ USA

Comments by Michael Mallory on Wednesday, April 04, 2001 at 00:05 IP Logged
Dear Laura, I just finished your book. Wow! It's an amazing story and so beautifully told. Thanks for writing one of the best books I've read in the past 20 years! Seabiscuit is my new hero. Having had orthoscopic knee surgery three years ago, I particularly related to Seabiscuit's injury and his spectacular come back. I should have such handlers! It was inspiring. Michael.
Minneapolis, MN USA

Comments by Bill Heller on Tuesday, April 03, 2001 at 09:27 IP Logged
Dear Laura, I just wanted to congratulate you on your magnificent book. It's the best on horse racing I've ever read, and I, as a fellow free-lancer for some of the same publications you write for, have read a lot of them. You should be very proud of your work
Albany, NY USA

Comments by Susan Hirsch on Tuesday, April 03, 2001 at 05:54 IP Logged
I finished your wonderful book last night, and cried through the last three chapters. I work at a library, and read hundreds of books a year, but yours is one of the best I have ever read. Thanks for being such a good story teller.
Richardson, Tx USA

Comments by Karen Soupcoff on Tuesday, April 03, 2001 at 05:31 IP Logged
Hi Laura, I've written you before to tell you how wonderful your book is. I have since given it to someone elso to read and bought 3 copies as gifts. Everyone who reads it loves it. I am curious about the cover. Why is the horse's head not in the picture? thank you again for writing this story. Karen
Richmond Hill, On Canada

Comments by Susan Bond on Tuesday, April 03, 2001 at 04:39 IP Logged
Dear Laura, I just received my signed copy of "Seabiscuit". It is my very first autographed bestseller! When I was very young, I read (and reread) "Come on Seabiscuit" which helped get me interested in racing. My favorite part of your book is the comparison of the manure pile at Tijuana to Godzilla. I hope someday you'll take up the story of Holy Bull as it has the same poor boy makes good theme. I can't wait to hear more about the movie. Your Aunt Jean and I are working on the casting. Thanks for writing this wonderful book which will bring the sport of horse racing to a wider audience. Sincerely, Susan Bond
East Syracuse, NY USA

Comments by marco perella on Tuesday, April 03, 2001 at 00:59 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: I just finished Seabiscuit and immediately started reading it again. I haven't done that with a book since Lonesome Dove. I find myself telling everybody I meet to go out and buy it. I am a writer (my book Adventures of a No-Name Actor will be out in June from Bloomsbury) and actor and I just wanted to congratulate you on this wonderful accomplishment. You bring credit to the lives of your wonderful characters. Your time machine is well-tuned and you get inside this story and ring it like a gong. I met Mr. Ross at a film festival in Austin. I think he is the perfect man to bring this story alive. At least he is if he follows your book! Tell him to get Robert Duval for Tom Smith. Duval loves horses. I wish you the greatest pleasure and celebration of your achievement. Long Live Seabiscuit!...Marco Perella
georgetown, tx USA

Comments by Mark Barger on Tuesday, April 03, 2001 at 00:32 IP Logged
Laura, outstanding book! I picked at up just on a hunch to read on a long 6 hour flight. I was hooked after 10 pages. I found myself embarrased to be wiping tears from my eyes on my flight, pretending I had a cold! Your book touched me like very few books ever have. I can't stop telling my friends about this book, they think I have gone mad. A truly wonderful book that grabs the reader on so many different levels. I am at a loss to explain how much I enjoyed this book, I found myself rationing it so it wouldn't end. Good luck in whatever else you do, this will be hard to top. You truly have a gift.
Chapel Hill, NC USA

Comments by drew mollica on Monday, April 02, 2001 at 09:58 IP Logged
LAURA, GOT THE BOOKS TODAY AND I'M THRILLED. CALLED T.D. IN ITALY AND HE IS HEAVEN AND HONORED BY YOUR NOTE. HE'LL CALL UPON HIS ARRIVAL STATESIDE. I REMAIN IN AWE OF YOUR BRILLIANT BOOK AND RECOMMEND TO ANY AND ALL WHO WILL LISTEN. YOU BRING THE HISTORY OF OUR GAME TO LIFE AND HAVE WRIITEN A BOOL OF MONUMENTAL PROPORTIONS. HOPE ALL IS WELL AND YOU ARE FEELING BETTER, GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR REMARKABLE TALENT. LOOK FORWARD TO CHATTING SOON. ALL THE BEST, DREW M
garden city, ny USA

Comments by sir james on Monday, April 02, 2001 at 09:32 IP Logged
so far, galloping along splendidly...pg. 89...Gallant Sir 1933 won Agua Caliente...Gallant Sir 1934 set to defend title...Pollard rode flawlessly and won. Gallant "SIX" won $23,00 plus.
clearwater, fl USA

Comments by John Collier on Monday, April 02, 2001 at 09:18 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: Finished your remarkable book last night, and just had to write to you. I don't know how you did it, but it is as if you were listening to all those great stories my father use to tell me about his youth. My dad, Edward Collier was one those "bug boys" who worked their trade up and down the West Coast during the 30s and 40s. He worked for C.S. Howard (always "Mister Howard" in his stories) and he knew George Woolf and Doc Babcock (who if my memory serves me correctly, patched my father up more than once). I can only assume that he worked for Tom Smith and knew Red Pollard. That you would rescue the stories of these largely forgotten men and give them their due after all these years is just phenomenal. My dad's early days pretty much reads like Mr. Pollard's. He was born in 1923 in American Falls, Idaho and after a typical (for the time) Dickenesque childhood probably started riding around '35 or '36 in those "bull rings" up in Gresham, Oregon. You captured it all perfectly, from the dirty tricks, the low pay,the deaths, to the chariot races and so much more. In every word and story you wrote, I hear his voice. I won't bore you with his stories, but I will leave you with just a bit of family history. When Pearl Harbor was bombed, my father was nursing a hangover in a stall at Santa Anita. His brother,my uncle was on the Arizona and died that day. Too busted up from racing my dad couldn't get into any of the armed forces and pretty soon after,they turned the tracks into the infamous internment camps. He shipped out with the horses and ended up at Belmont, wintering over in South Carolina. Some time later,(while working as an exercise boy for Count Fleet) he caught the eye of a pretty little local girl ( my mom). And the rest they say is history! I can't thank you enough for bringing this unique era of history alive and for letting a son (and my children) understand what times were like both my father and a whole generation. You captured the times perfectly. Best regards, John Collier
New York, NY USA

Comments by John Markham on Monday, April 02, 2001 at 08:04 IP Logged
Dear Laura, As a rule, I read mostly mysteries and "serial-killer-on-the-loose" thrillers. But SEABISCUIT was so highly recommended to me by a friend that I realized I had to read it (though I have no interest in horse racing)! I was hooked from the start! The wonderful background stories in 1906; the San Francisco earthquake; the terrible lives the jockeys lived through; on and on, I was captivated. By the time I got to Chapter 8: FIFTEEN STRIDES, I was getting gooseflesh tingles. Some of the most exciting moments were (please bear with me): Page 119: "Smith knew he had the best horse in America." Page 144: "They drew near the Fitzsimmons barn, Seabiscuit's old home. A silent procession of stable hands came out and solemnly gazed at the horse they had let slip away. Regret was evident on every face. Stucki said nothing but kept on going." Page 175: "Someone in the crowd below looked up and recognized him... Soon the whole grandstand was cheering wildly. Pollard straightened himself up and bowed." Page 179: "They recognized it all at once: Seabiscuit, under a tremendous load....accelerated." Page 216: "His right leg was nearly sheared off below the knee." Page 268: "...The horse was coiling up." Page 322: "A thought pressed into Pollard's mind: We are alone." These moments, cited above, were so exciting I had shivers, and on several occasions, my eyes welled up. You've taken a subject and brought it so alive, especially considering it's not a subject I would ordinarily read about. Thank you for a magnificent job. SEABISCUIT deserves to rise to the #1 Bestseller spot, and stay there! I'm doing my part, recommending your book to anyone I know who likes to read. Sincerely, John Markham P.S. Even the acknowledgments were fascinating reading. The opener, about SIR! magazine, hooked me, and I read all the way through. How many people read the acknowledgments, unless they expect to find their own name mentioned?
Atlanta, GA USA

Comments by Denny Hilderbrand on Monday, April 02, 2001 at 06:03 IP Logged
Dear Laura, I thought you might be interested in learning what your surname means if it is related to mine (which I believe it is). It means "battle sword" in German. I have spoken with people who says there are many Hilderbrands in Ireland. A large chocolate company in Germany is named "Hilderbrand Chocolaten." This all may bore you but it is true.
Greensboro, NC USA

Comments by Fred L.Carroll on Monday, April 02, 2001 at 05:27 IP Logged
Dear Mrs. Hillenbrand: My mother, Louise was married to C.S.Howard Jr for the last twelve years of his life until he died in the late 60s. I read your book with particular interest and thoroughly enjoyed it.For some reason I have ended up with several momentos of Seabiscuit's career including one of his hooves (now an ashtray) and the original Seabiscuit painting with George Wolfe up. If you are ever in San Francisco my wife and I would be delighted to host a lunch for you and/or show you some of these interesting artifacts from a fascinating story. Thank you for telling it. Sincerely, Fred Carroll
San Francisco, Ca USA

Comments by Katie Oxford on Monday, April 02, 2001 at 02:44 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I have never enjoyed reading a book more. And it was more than reading. I felt as though I lived it! Often times my face flushed, my hands sweat, I would feel my heart hammering out at my chest as if it were me up there not Pollard! Other times I could smell things, see and feel the textures of those times, the stalls, the rain, the mud, the carrots! Like Smith & Howard, I became so attached to the horse that I became incensed at Woolf myself..."why did you do it? George, why did you do it?" After each reading I felt physically and emotionally spent, spiritually rejuvenated. Like wanting to continue a dream and not wake up, I simplly wanted to read on and never come to the end. What a horse and what a book! Made me want to go outside and run like hell myself! Thank you for giving us Seabiscuit again. You've allowed The Biscuit to once again...not only fill the hearts of a Nation...but remind us that we still have one!
Houston, TX USA

Comments by sam ludu on Monday, April 02, 2001 at 02:22 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: As I write this your book is #2 on The New York Times Best-Seller List for Nonfiction. I suspect you are a pace-stalker, very much like Seabiscuit, and I look forward to seeing you blow by The O’Reilly Factor next week and widen your lead. I’m only adding to the chorus of praise when I say you’ve wriiten a singularly remarkable book. Your empathy and love for the Howards, Tom Smith, Red Pollard, George Woolf and so many others more than matches the empathy and love they all felt for Seabiscuit. Your ability to heighten the drama of races whose outcome I was alreadyquite familiar with was astonishing. Your detailed evocation of the hardships jockeys endured during that time was fascinating. I was particularly moved by the portrait of Tom Smith, his almost extrasensory perception of horses and his painstaking care with individual horses, a quiet rebuke to those trainers who today run their stables like multinational conglomerates. Some of your sentences left me positively giddy (“He had a colorless translucence about him that made him seem as if he were in the earliest stages of progressive invisibility.” Congratulations on a wonderful book, something that will surely do more to spark interest in racing than any carefully planned NTRA marketing campaign.
baldwin, ny USA

Comments by Joe Boccolini on Monday, April 02, 2001 at 01:04 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand-Recently purchased your book as agift for my father who owned and trained Standardbreds (trotters).he enjoyed it so much that he gave it back to me to read.What a book! I am an avid reader of all types of books and I have to say that this was one of, if not THE, best story I have ever read.You have brought to life a long-lost era so completely that I was immersed in the sounds,sights and smells of the track.Unbelievable! You have managed to bring all sorts of emotions,from great triumphs to heart-breaking tragedy to the page.Thank you for a great book that I plan to recommend to all my friends.God bless you.
Beverly, Nj USA

Comments by Mary Davis on Monday, April 02, 2001 at 00:50 IP Logged
DANCERS IMAGE. By Native Dancer, out of Noors Image. Any relation to Seabiscuit? Owned by Peter Fuller, won the KY Derby in the '70's, I think. My dad and I caught him before the Derby at Laurel. He was a little, scrawny horse, but GREY and I liked his pedigree. Convinced my dad to put a bunch of money on him, and we went out to dinner that night. But this horse would give you a heart attack, if you didn't know that he liked to come from behind. Your book brought back many great memories. Dad, Dancers Image gone now, but thanks for the reminder. I would like to know, however, if Noors Image is related to Seabiscuit.
Woodbine, MD USA

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