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Comments by Kathy Pratte on Tuesday, May 22, 2001 at 06:29 IP Logged
Laura, what can I say that hasn't already been said? I too bought the book after listening to your NPR interview. It was better than expected. I was so emotionally involved that with only 50 pages to go, I stopped reading for a week, I was filled with mixed emotions and then when I found the courage to pick it up again -- I cried when it ended. I may have a flair for the dramatic, but this story warmed my heart -- thank you so much -- what a wonderful talent you have -- thanks for sharing!
St. Louis, MO USA

Comments by john murphy on Tuesday, May 22, 2001 at 04:15 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, Thought you might like to know that I just sent a copy of your excellent book to the Pulitzer prize winning American composer, William Bolcom, on the occasion of his 63rd birthday. I am a pianist who recently recorded his complete "Rags for Piano" (Albany Records), one of which is entitled "Seabiscuits."
new orleans, la USA

Comments by Laura Lee Samford on Tuesday, May 22, 2001 at 03:33 IP Logged
Laura, I don't know what I could possibly say that you haven't already heard. I sat at my kitchen table while it poured down a spring rain, savoring each page and then it ended and I was sobbing. The rain made me feel as though I had gone back in time, when in your book, they were always waiting for the rain to stop. I am touched deeply. My mother, my uncle and now I have read your book. I ride and show American Saddlebred horses. I've never take any interest in horse racing. But now... I watched the Preakness and scan the sports section of The New York Times just to see if they have anything on horses or horseracing. If you ever take an interest in Saddlebreds, let me know. Or better you might want to come see the World Championship Horseshow for our breed in August in Louisville, Kentucky. Thank you for this amazing book, it will be the first time I've read a book twice. Laura Lee Samford
Birmingham, AL USA

Comments by Sarah Hundt on Tuesday, May 22, 2001 at 02:55 IP Logged
As an avid reader I am enthralled by this book Like Secretariat, Seabiscuit rose above the human players of his time. Secretariat the troubled times after the Vietnam War and Watergate Seabiscuit, the Depression and rising war clouds in Europe. I applaud this book and wish the author would write this same type of book about my hero Secretariat
La Crosse, Wi USA

Comments by Bruce Lehman on Tuesday, May 22, 2001 at 02:38 IP Logged
Ms. Laura... As inspired as I was by reading your wonderful book, I also got goosebumps watching your web page open up! I have always loved horses and have had a little experience caring for them, but now my sense of appreciation/admiration has reached a new height. Seabiscuit, and the story of those who cared for him, provided unbridled (pun intended) pleasure. I even asked my Aunt (86 and counting) what she knew about "Pops" and she coould tell me that "He was well-known and quite popular." I am so grateful for all the work and passion you provided and will cherish and share the book for years to come. Peace, Bruce
Fort Wayne, IN USA

Comments by David B. Brode on Tuesday, May 22, 2001 at 02:22 IP Logged
Laura --- So they're doing a movie? Plse don't let some mope Hollywood-type screw-up your poetry. Your characters are classical heroes --- even down to Pumpkin. To paraphrase Pollard, "...don't let (Hollywood) fuck it up like (they) usually do...". ---David Brode (again)
Glencoe, IL USA

Comments by Robert H Starnes on Tuesday, May 22, 2001 at 01:02 IP Logged
I heard you on NPR talking about your book and i immediatly put it on reserve at the local library(sorry I didn't buy it). Its a great human interest story and also great social history of the times. Growing up during the depression I remember well the exploits of Seabiscuit and other great horses of the time even tho horse racing was available in NC. Don't let the movie people mess with the true import of the history of these great people and the great horses. Thank you.
Charlotte, NC USA

Comments by David Beltran on Monday, May 21, 2001 at 08:47 IP Logged
Growing up in and around Agua Caliente, I could not help but remembering my childhood. I've been spending the last 2 years compling data on both Tijuana, and Caliente. And your depictions on Mexico during "that", only brought more focus to the history that took place in the little town of TJ. Today, Tijuana racecourse is gone, lost under the concrete that makes the ZONA RIO. And Caliente, is falling apart from the neglect. The people that were there, are in the same category as WW2 veterans, the are dying, and with them,their account on what went down in T-town. Your book shed light on many things, the risky work of a jock, their struggles, and their suffering to make weight. I just wanted to thank you, for your work, this is a timepiece, that is both timeless, and priceless. David, the friendly Mexican
Chula Vista, CA USA

Comments by Nina on Monday, May 21, 2001 at 07:04 IP Logged
Laura, For 15 years after an IBM career I "raised Thoroughbreads" on oats, corn, barley, raisins,etc. It was an outlet for my interest in the great racehorses and the people who shared their greatness. Foolish Pleasure is another one of my favorites..such a star crossed life, particularly having another horse's name called as Foolish crossed the Kentucky Derby wire first! He died in Wyoming after a short time of freedom. I visited him a few times and attended his induction into the Hall of Fame at Saratoga. I've done quite a bit of research but it's back in Wyoming, on hold while I care for my aging Mother. One of your Guests owns Dancing Pleasure. I hope to connect with his owner and add to my research about Foolish. He was a dear and was treated poorly from what I gather. HIs final owners did not attend his induction to my disappointment. Thanks for Seabiscuit and an age when the great horses hung around for a while. I've only just begun your book and look forward to making it last as long as I can. Nina
USA

Comments by Tom Coyle on Monday, May 21, 2001 at 06:27 IP Logged
After I read your book, I can now understand why the lifesize statue of Seabiscuit resides outside the National Racing Museum and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, NY. I first heard about the book while viewing the Sports Reporters on ESPN. Can't recall whether it was Dick Shaap or Mike Lupica who gave it a glowing review, but I do remember it was the week Seabiscuit, An American Legend replaced the OReilly Factor as the Number 1 selling Non Fiction Book. I have been going to Saratoga every year since 1985, and am now fortunate that I have been able to go for the entire 6 weeks of the meet since 1997. I especially look forward to the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies each year. If the Board of Directors do not invite you to speak this August at the Induction Festivities, I may have to boycott the ceremony this year. Nevertheless, I will bring my copy of your book in the hopes that you will somehow be there during the meet, to autograph it. Tom Coyle
Dayton, Oh USA

Comments by Judy Boyt on Monday, May 21, 2001 at 05:05 IP Logged
Dear Ms Hillenbrand, I recently read a glowing and enthusiastic report about your book on the legendary Seabiscuit. (The Daily Telegraph, written up by afriend of mine Brigadier Alan Mallinson.) Now I have had the good fortune to have been sent a copy and am avidly devouring it. It is beautifully written. Well done. I am a follower of the racing legends having worked on one of our racing legends from the '30's - Golden Miller. I would very much like to get in touch with you concerning a possible project I have in mind on Seabiscuit - and this would involve you. Please conact me on my email - I will be out in Washington in June and would be keen to meet up and discuss.
Devizes, Wiltshire UK

Comments by Alex Cansino on Monday, May 21, 2001 at 04:18 IP Logged
Muchas Gracias,Muchas Gracias, Muchas Gracias. Just a wonderful book. Having been a racing fan for over 50 years I had no problem putting myself up in the stands watching the marvelous races as you described. Thank you again.
San Francisco, CA USA

Comments by Steve Lipke on Monday, May 21, 2001 at 04:05 IP Logged
Dear Laura, For many years I was involved in the sport of Thoroughbred Racing as a barn foreman, assistant trainer, farm manager, and stable agent meeting some very unique "characters" along the way. During all of my years, history has been my hobby and Thoroughbred Racing my sporting passion. Many of the legends of this sport have never been presented to the general public as you have here with Seabiscuit; your book is a gem. You have brought to my attention many terms, conditions, and traditions of the sport that I had never been able to discover on my own. The history of this sport is rich but not well documented to the general public, and as generations pass many of the heroes and prime figures are glossed over or rarely mentioned. I love this book, it places me right there at that time in all of the action. Thank you for bringing Seabiscuit to us, and enriching our knowledge of the times and Thoroughbred Racing in America in the late 1930s.
La Grange Park, IL USA

Comments by Ira Shatzman on Monday, May 21, 2001 at 03:52 IP Logged
I found "Seabiscuit" a marvelous story. My godfather was an avid racing fan; he would often tell me about the joy and excitement of seeing the horses run. He would give me the racing tickets to collect. Now I understand his love of the sport. Your racing sequences left me breathless. I was in tears in so many sections of the book. I pray that Hollywood does not spoil your book. Hopefully your being present will maintain the integrity of your superb narrative. I intend to re-read the book soon. Thank you for providing hours of pleasure to me.
Santa Fe, NM USA

Comments by Ron Snyder on Monday, May 21, 2001 at 03:50 IP Logged
Dear Laura, what a wonderful book. I have a question: did Seabiscuit participate in a Triple Crown race, and if not, why not?
Indianapolis, IN USA

Comments by mark stapleton on Monday, May 21, 2001 at 02:59 IP Logged
Laura: Having reviewed the other email responses, I could not add to the eloquence and power of those responses. Suffice to say that your book will remain one of my finest literary experiences. I intend to read it again. Anyone that can recreate a sporting event that causes goosebumps, though the event being described occurred more than sixty years ago ranks with the very best prose/storytelling stylists. I have many more thoughts and questions that I will address in the future. Tonight I will recall the courage, committment, and indominatable spirit of Howard, Red, Mr. Smith and above all , Seabiscuit. Wishing you good health and continued success. Mark Stapleton
chico, ca USA

Comments by David B. Brode on Monday, May 21, 2001 at 02:38 IP Logged
As an owner & breeder of thorooughbreds, your book goes far beyond horse racing --- it's about what racing ought to be. More, it's about what we as Americans ought to be. Seabiscuit may indeed by 'an American legend', but your work glorifies all of us in the American spirit. A thousand congratulations!
Glencoe, IL USA

Comments by Dan Burgenger on Monday, May 21, 2001 at 02:36 IP Logged
Dear Laura, You know what other work your book reminded me of? IN COLD BLOOD. Not in subject matter, obviously, but in form. The literary qualities Capote gave journalistic reporting in his book you equaled in SEABISCUIT. Never was the sports page raised so high before. Dan Burgenger
Sedalia, Mo USA

Comments by David B. Brode on Monday, May 21, 2001 at 02:33 IP Logged
Dear Ms Hillenbrand, As an owner & breeder of thoroughbreds, your book goes far beyond horse racing --- it's about what racing ought to be. More, it's about what we as Americans ought to be. Seabisquit may indeed be "an American legend", but your work
Glencoe, IL USA

Comments by Craig William Dayton on Monday, May 21, 2001 at 01:39 IP Logged
Dear Laura...When I heard you on National Public Radio with Scott Simon, and felt your passion for the subjects of your book, I knew I had to buy your book. I did. There are very few books that I have stayed up late and lost sleep over, but SEABISCUIT is one such book. This book, in my opinion, will help the younger, jaded generations understand what being a true hero is and what depth of character is required, whether human or beast, to become one. Thank you for your hard work. I look forward to your next endeavor.
Hershey, PA USA

Comments by Cathi on Monday, May 21, 2001 at 01:35 IP Logged
What a book! I cried a number of times, and laughed out loud frequently. You wrote a treasure! I have never been terribly interested in horses, except when I was 13, but the outstanding reviews compelled me to read "Seabiscuit." I savored every word, the colorful portraits of the different characters, and the re-creation of a world gone by. Your passion is our bliss! Many thanks!
Seattle, WA USA

Comments by R.C. Spiegel on Monday, May 21, 2001 at 01:27 IP Logged
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I thoroughly enjoyed your book. Your style was easy to follow and incredibly visual. Being quite indifferent to horseracing, I was convinced to read about Seabiscuit because of your interview on NPR. I have one small complaint and it's not directed at you. After reading about this determined, completely likable horse, I could not believe that your publishers did not put a full shot of him on the cover illustration. Since there were several in the book, I certainly know what he looked liked but since all of the men became successful because of Seabiscuit, I thought he was done a disservice by having only half of him showing. Thank you for writing such an enjoyable story of some remarkable individuals, both human and animal.
USA

Comments by howard kronish on Sunday, May 20, 2001 at 09:55 IP Logged
What makes horse racing the great sport it is (and was) are the heroic horses and jockeys that put their lives on the line every day. But to keep thoroughbred racing alive and competitive we must appeal to the owners to keep their prized horses in training in their 4th and 5th year instead of consigning them to the breeding farm. If Mr. Howard had followed that custom you would never had Seabiscuit to wrte about. I am enjoying your book very much (have read half as of this date). I wish you had included the past performance charts of Seabiscuit and the odds he and his rivals went off at for the key races in his career. Also you haven't mentioned, as far as I have read, that secret workouts that Mr. Smith put Seabiscuit through, are now banned at most tracks. It is a disservice to the bettors to be deprived of workout info. Is there a source to obtain Seabiscuits past performance charts? Your book and Horse Heaven have provided me with great reading on a subject that I love. Thanks much
new york, n y USA

Comments by April Vossler on Sunday, May 20, 2001 at 09:21 IP Logged
Dear Laura, Got your book at the library then had to buy a copy for myself. Just finished reading it Sunday afternoon on my back porch watching my quarter horses grazing and being visited by a deer hungry for roses! Being a horse fan and living above the Alamo Pintado Equine Center where I see all kinds of horses come and go, I was held spellbound with the courage and heart of all those characters you so vividly portrayed in your wonderful book. I had to go and pull out a couple of carrots for my horse and let him know how much I appreciated the best of his kind-Sea Biscuit. I am sending a copy of your book to my father whose father used to be the foreman for WR Hearst at his Jolon ranch. My father still reminises of cattle drives to San Simeon. Thank you for writing such an exciting and enlightening book. I have to say I couldn't read a race portion to close to going to bed. It was way too exciting. Looking forward to catching the movie and your next book! In great apprectiation, April Vossler
Santa Ynez, CA USA

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