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I may read one book in 5 years, but your book on Seabiscuit I had trouble puttingdown. What a fantastic story. Do you know when the movie is planned to be finished? Thank you for such good writing on such a grat subject. Steve frm Ct.
Steve Bland <>
USA - Tuesday, August 21, 2001 at 23:29:54 (EDT)
Bravo Ms. Hillenbrand and long live Seabiscuit.
bill steen <>
crofton, md USA - Tuesday, August 21, 2001 at 18:20:05 (EDT)
Laura: I bought this book for my husband's 76th birthday --he's an avid horserace person. I saw you on "The Early Show" about this book and FLIPPED, because I knew he would think this the best gift EVER! Little did I know that I too would read, with excitement, the book as well. Reading the accounts of the races themselves was as thrilling as being there in person. Knowing the stories behind Seabiscuit's owner, trainer, and jockeys enhanced the story three-fold. We are telling everyone we know to BUY this BOOK and enjoy your stunning writing abilities. Thank you! :-)
Dick & Carol Carlson <>
Vancouver, WA USA - Tuesday, August 21, 2001 at 14:14:11 (EDT)
Laura: The book was wonderful. My father was a jockey who was starting his career in the same timeframe as the book. I later grew up around the racetrack when he retired from racing to become a outrider then a track official. Reading your book was like being back at the racetrack of my youth hearing all the stories of the horses and meeting all the wonderful characters. After reading the book I bought a copy for my father and told him there was not a better place to grow up than around the racetrack. Thanks again.
Bill Brinson <>
Edwardsville, Il. USA - Tuesday, August 21, 2001 at 13:17:02 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I belong to a reading group that meets once a month at our local library to discuss a book of our choice.This month we meet on August 28 to discuss SEA BISCUIT.I cannot express adequately how much I enjoyed your book.I will be singing your praises every chance I get. I would be thrilled if you would send me an E-Mail to share with the group concerning you and SEA BISCUIT. Whatever Thank You! Best Wishes! Jane Mckeel 1109 S. Ricky Rd. Kennett,MO 63857
Jane McKeel <>
Kennett, MO USA - Tuesday, August 21, 2001 at 13:03:52 (EDT)
Unamious!! our senior citizen book club loved the book. Outstanding writing and a story we could all relate to in some way as we were all alive when the Buiscuit was. Our club likes to know more about our authors and I am writing to ask if you could tell us some more about you. When did you get interested in horses? Is some on in your family in the business? Do you ride? Any anything else you would share with us to truly complete the picture. Sorry most of us missed the interview on Book Notes and hope they will do it again. It would be great if they could send a tape around to the book clubs. I personally want to comment on how warm, and impressed I was with the way you thanked all the people you interviewed. I felt like I was right there with you. I have one question. How did Seabiscuit get his name? How are names picked for race horses? This will be on our top ten list for years to come. Thank you for writing it and thank your family for supporting you. Gloria O'Donohoe
Gloria O'Donohoe <>
Burbank , CA USA - Tuesday, August 21, 2001 at 12:46:42 (EDT)
I admit that I had no intention of reading your book. My sister-in-law sent it to me for my birthday with a cryptic note that she remembered me talking about horse racing when we were on vacation in 1981. I did not remember the conversation (no surprise) and although there was a time when I did occasionally go to the race track, I stopped going years ago. So I was surprised at this gift and thought to myself, well at least it's not a shirt or tie that I would never wear. I try to read for pleasure but am afraid I don't have much time for it. The last book I had read was Founding Brothers by Ellis (a truly brilliant work). Before that I had read "U.S. Grant's memoirs", "Churchill" by Martin Gilbert and "No Ordinary Time" by Doris Kearns Goodwin. A book about a horse was not high on my reading list and the book sat for some time in my den. One nite when I thought I might enjoy a change and had some time after finishing the paper I picked up Seabiscuit. I read it straight through. Now, I am taking the time to write just to say; Nice Work, I enjoyed Seabiscuit thoroughly. As well written and researched as any other book that I have read.
Mark Roessel <>
Cambridge, MA USA - Tuesday, August 21, 2001 at 09:41:59 (EDT)
Dear Laura and fellow readers, I feel that "Seabiscuit" captures all of the great things we know about racing; and reminds us of all those we forgot. What other sport gives us crooked-legged heroes? What other animal transcends social class like a racehorse does? One of the greatest poets my country has produced; A.B. Patterson, put it this way: "There are a great many things in life that cannot be explained, and a great racehorse is one of them." How true, when we reflect on the career and the begetting of Seabisucuit. There was a similar style of horse that was bred and trained in New Zealand a few years back by the name of Rough Habit. He came to Australia 6 seasons on end and was simply too good for our best horses. He carried big weights and won on right and left-handed tracks in wet and on hard tracks over distances from 6 to 12 furlongs. Reading "Seabisucuit" reminds me alot of watching Rough Habit race. Perhaps Rough Habit's only poor run was when he was placed at the tail of the field in the Hollywood Gold Cup the year Best Pal won; in about 1993, I think. He just didn't like your American horses kicking dirt in his face. On turf, maybe it would have been another story, but he did his best anyway. Congratulations to Laura, and I look forward to the movie with great anticipation. Maybe Rough Habit could star as The Biscuit? You'd have to paint over his crooked blaze... Regards, Chris Peart.
Chris Peart <>
Bolton Point, NSW Australia - Tuesday, August 21, 2001 at 07:07:01 (EDT)
Ms. Hildenbrand, I am only about 100 pages into your most wonderful book, but I absolutely love it. I was born in 1937 and at the age of nine in January 1946, my family and I visited Ridgewood in Willits, CA and had the great pleasure of actually seeing Seabiscuit at his final home. As I began to read your book, I realized that I had an old photo of myself taken at Ridgewood. It means so much more to me now. I can't wait to continue my journey through your book and I will be sad when the story has ended. Thank you for giving us such a wonderful trip into the life of a wonderful racehorse and all those people who made his life so special and helped him reach his potential.
Carole Hughes <>
Alexandria, VA USA - Monday, August 20, 2001 at 22:30:39 (EDT)
It will be hard to top this story! I am in awe of your extensive research and how you wove it together into a true spellbinding tale. I am a fan of Saratoga Race Course and couldn't stop thinking about all the horses that race throughout America and end their careers, shall we say, unceremoniously. What really made this book was the human devotion and love for the horse, his achievements being secondary. And his effect on those close to him - giving them hope, amusement and affection. Even if Seabiscuit hadn't won Santa Anita, I imagine Howard would have retired the horse to the same high quality of life on his ranch. I am so glad this horse that worked so hard for its owners was treated with dignity. Thank you for memorializing one of the greats.
Arla Altman <>
Ellicott City , MD USA - Monday, August 20, 2001 at 15:39:12 (EDT)
Great Book.., Thank you! Your appearance on CSPAN-2's Book- TV provoked me to immediately get on the web and purchase your wonderful and extraordinary Seabiscuit narrative. It read so easily and fast, that I have a deep vacuum to fill now that the book has been devoured. You and William Nack have transformed me with your horse writing. (Too bad you couldn't get Carroll Bollard to direct the film)! Thanks again for a wonderful experience and a sleepless night.
Justus Bauschinger <>
Yerington, NV USA - Monday, August 20, 2001 at 11:29:47 (EDT)
Laura, I have just read every single comment. My you must be absolutely overwhelmed by the out pouring of peoples love for you, your body of work and The Biscuit and his world... I can not begin to express my awe at your devotion in creating this masterpiece. This a is a subject I know nothing about. My relatonship with anything "horsey" is riding the Up Country in Maui on vacation...and one horse race 25 years ago.. I opened your book and I left this earthly bound, traveled the trains and felt the mudon my face, heard the clacking on the tracks, felt the pain and guilt of keeping secrets, frustrated by countless set backs and then the electric rush and he thrill of winning. I was there, it was magical, I saw it all,heard the roaring cheers an tasted the champagne. You will win that ole' Pulitzer, You have arrived and to be reckon with !!!!!
patricia m. geary <>
Crockett, CA United States of America - Monday, August 20, 2001 at 03:36:48 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I too just finished reading today your outstanding biography of Seabiscuit. I have been an avid reader since childhood and, in particular, adore non-fiction and biographies. "Seabiscuit" is the best book I have read in ages and a true "page-turner." You have captured in words the heart and soul of an era as well as the heart, soul, courage, and sacrifice of the persons who loved and assisted this astonishing horse and captured the essence of Seabiscuit himself. Thank you for this fabulous journey - I felt like I was there!
Melissa Luce <>
Los Gatos, CA USA - Sunday, August 19, 2001 at 23:40:07 (EDT)
This is such a great book!! I am a horse fanatic, and this book was a dream to read. Laura, thanks for brining the legend of Seabiscuit to life. It's like reading the Blank Stallion, only better, because it's real!
Elisa Auckly <>
Kansas City, MO USA - Sunday, August 19, 2001 at 23:25:40 (EDT)
I just finished your book and I must say that it was fantastic. I am not much of a racehorse fan but I sure learned alot. You beutifully explained the lives of these hero's of sports. I was at the edge of my seat during the raceing chapters. Thanks again for a great novel. I can't wait to see the movie!
Mark Polseno <>
Beacon Falls, CT USA - Sunday, August 19, 2001 at 19:09:19 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I recently most enjoyed your thrilling tale of the wonderful Seabiscuit. I have a personal connection to your story. My grandfather, Orville Roscoe Vaughn, was a practicing attorney in San Francisco during that era, and was C.S. Howard's attorney. My father recently passed away, but before he did, gave me some memorabilia. Included were several Seabiscuit Christmas cards, stationery from one of Mr. Howard's car dealerships, my grandfather's admittance as a "Kentucky Colonel",(by the governor with the sublimely corn pone name of "Ruby Lafoon") with invitations to a subsequent big Southern barbeque, and also, oddly, a copy of C.S.'s last will and testament. Although my father did speak of Mr. Howard, indeed, he almost drowned in the estate's pool while his attorney father was meeting with C.S, and had to be fished out by the butler, he never quite told me the whole story of Seabiscuit. But around the house there were Seabiscuit objects-- Seabiscuit with his jockey, a brass representation or Seabiscuit, and some bookends of the famous horse's head wearing his requisite red and white "blinders". Anyway, thank you for fleshing out the story for me, and making that era come alive for was a most enjoyable trip! Best Regards, Susan Rebert
Susan Rebert <>
Hillsborough, CA USA - Sunday, August 19, 2001 at 12:38:43 (EDT)
While trying to understand why my son was having some difficulty in school I learned the signs/symptoms of ADD. I also realized at that point that I probably had it to some degree. This is important because it is probably responsible for the reason I watch way too much TV and read too little. I have alot of what I call 50 pagers on the shelf. Yup, books that I started and just couldn't get past the first 50 pages before becoming bored with them and accepting the the fact the were headed to book pergatory. Inexplicably my mother, who is also an author, and is a 77 grey haired little old lady living in sunny south Fla., sent me your book about Seabisciut for my fifty-first birthday. Dumfounded, I called and thanked her for her gift but asked why she did this knowing that I wasn't an avid reader. I should note here that I am not an illiterate-I have to read a great deal for business but that is required. In any event she answered by saying she had seen it in Barnes and Noble and knew it was on the "NYT Best (should have been Beast in this case)Seller List" and thought I would like it. The fact that it was on sale my also have contributed to here decision..... The book sat on my coffee/cocktail table (depends upon the time of day) for weeks. Finally recognizing that I have two avid readers in my office I gave it to them to read as a friendly gesture. They both read it and it was returned to me with great thanks and high praise-by the way do I owe you anything for loaning the book out??? "Now what" I said to myself? With the awareness of my less than succesfull "track record" of completing reading tasks I finally mustered up enough courage to open the cover of yet another hard bound book, not pulp fiction, your book about Seabiscuit! It was engrossing from the first moment my eyes rested on the first page. Your ability to use your well honed craft of writing describing the remarkable events that took place and the cast of characters that played them out is, well-----remarkable. My attention issues abated completely and I was off like Seabisciut going"wire to wire". You should be aware that I like story's like this. I love the History Channel. I enjoy the reounting of the human drama-of stuggle -failure and then success. It could be about sport, as you have so eloquently have done, or in any of the other significant endevors man has undertaken. In your book you have done more than recount the events. You have successfully reminded us of the many aged old proverbs that remind us not to quit! Seabiscuit was a great horse. My first major awarness of great race horses was Secretariat whom I thought was the greatest of all time but I 'll let the experts decide that. Its not important. Seabiscuit was great for more than just winning-it was how he won! His support staff, shall I say was remarkable-brilliant and lucky.... Your book was a great joy to read! I will never look at a race horse, trainer or jockey the same way. It kept me up reading till 2:00 AM on occasion. I felt my heart pound as you described the drama of the races. I closed the book with a tear in my eye as you aptly described the passing of the Biscuit, his owner, trainer and jockeys. Bitter sweet as all things must and do end..I wished there was more. After completing the book I commented to the others who read it that it should be a movie-(ADD self interest speaking there) Today I was pleased to learn that just such a project is under way...... Thank you P.S. I am not responsible for any missplelling or grammatical errors as the features of a good word proccessor which makes all of us better writers than we actually are, is not available in this format.....
Albert Zayat <>
Hackensack, NJ USA - Sunday, August 19, 2001 at 11:46:43 (EDT)
thrilling. lyrical. i loved it. thanks.
rob austin <>
new york, ny USA - Sunday, August 19, 2001 at 11:19:19 (EDT)
There's not much to say that other readers have not expressed. I have been enamored by many racing greats. In fact, my dog, Kinchem, is named after a famous Hungarian horse whose name means " my treasure. This is my first experience with your writing and to be laconic;WOW! I don't know if you have ever written anything about the great Phar Lap if not you should! Your talen and attention to detail would make this reading wonderful. Good luck and congrats.!
Kevin Gillespie <>
woodbine, md USA - Sunday, August 19, 2001 at 10:24:21 (EDT)
ST. PETERSBURG, FL USA - Sunday, August 19, 2001 at 08:43:18 (EDT)
Hi Laura, My mother heard about you and your struggle with CFS. She said that you seemed depressed and quite concerned that you hadn't been able to make much progress in trying to recovery from the illness. I have been living with CFS for almost 5 years now and have endured the entire spectrum of symptoms, life-altering circumstances, experiments, treatments, and therapies, etc. While my life had taken a major turn for the worst at my sickest point, I have since made incredible progress. I now consider myself somewhere close to 90% recovered from what I was pre-CFS. If you would like to contact me, I would be happy to share with you the knowledge and information that I have found to be effective for me. I hope you are getting better and I wish you well.
John Lewis <>
Miami, FL USA - Saturday, August 18, 2001 at 23:34:54 (EDT)
Laura: Wednesday morning I cried. I cried for Seabiscuit who led a magical life, who's bones are now buried under a magical oak tree. I cried for Mr. Howard, whose heart broke the day his horse died. I cried for Red Pollard, whose pain in life was never as intense as the pain in his heart when he could not ride the greatest of horses. And I cried for Tom Smith - whose death was largely ignored and his funeral was scantly attended. Don't get me wrong, I cried in celebration of getting to know all these people and of this great horse that I was so unfamiliar with. I hadn't followed horse racing since the 70's when horses like the South American horse, Canero II and the great Secretariat ran. Thank you for his story. Everyone should be reading it.
Linda Bush <>
Pittsburg, KS USA - Saturday, August 18, 2001 at 18:27:36 (EDT)
The relationship between a trainer and an animal can be incomparable. My Seabiscuit was a black labrador retriever named Carbon. I won't forget her and, thanks to you, I'll not forget the Biscuit. Great job!
mac campbell <>
pueblo, co USA - Saturday, August 18, 2001 at 15:30:11 (EDT)
My, my, what a horse, what a cast of people, what a book and what a writer. Okay, Hillenbrand, you've set your book standard about as high as it can go. You are going to have a devil of a time topping Seabiscuit. I can't tell you how close I feel to the people and animals you write so well about. Your ability to "call" a horse race in print is uncanny. Clem MacCarthy never did it better. An especially notable accomplishment is your recreation of the "feel" of the times, the 30's. They were desperate days when nearly all American were in the same boat. The miracle of such extraordinary figures such as the Biscuit was they gave one hope, made the day brighter and gave one reason to look forward to our "ship coming in." I don't think you fully realize how close to the American heart you have come. Bless you my girl, and bless the Biscuit, where ever he is.
Richard W. Galloway <>
Long BeachM, MS USA - Saturday, August 18, 2001 at 14:00:31 (EDT)
Laura: Currently reading your book on Seabiscuit. I love the story so much that I don't want the book to end. During my travels across the US been telling people to read the book and wished they made a movie on Seabiscuit. Now I just found out thru your website that a movie is on its way. I can hardly wait. Thanks for the great story. When I was a young boy there was a horseracing game with all the famous race horses on it Citation, Whirlaway, War Admiral, Man of War, and my favorite Seabiscuit.
DAN prasil <>
Scottsdale, Az USA - Saturday, August 18, 2001 at 01:47:20 (EDT)
Laura: While visiting Santa Anita Park in 1964, I saw the large bronze statue of Seabiscuit at the entrance and wondered about it; nobody seemed to know who he was. Then, in 1999, a replica of that statue came to my hometown, Saratoga Springs, NY, and was erected in front of the National Racing Museum down the street from the race track -- and I again wondered about this horse. Now, you have answered all my questions and more . . . thank you for giving me such a vivid insight into the life of the brave little horse and the people who loved him and lived through the Depression era. I didn't want the book to be over -- what a magnificent biography! Seabiscuit apparently never got the recognition he earned, because after reading your book, I went to my "Field of Dreams" painting by Jennes Cortez, of the greatest racehorses of all time in a "dream" race at Saratoga, and was surprised to see War Admiral, but not Seabiscuit. I can't help but wonder if this isn't because Seabiscuit was a "westerner" -- and knowing the long-standing prejudice "easterners" have against them! I just ordered the Shirley Temple video of "Seabiscuit" and can't wait to see the film of the match race with War Admiral, as well as the 1940 Santa Anita Handicap.
Katherine Peaslee <>
Ballston Spa, NY USA - Friday, August 17, 2001 at 21:16:38 (EDT)
Not since I was a little girl reading "Old Yella" have I felt so intimate with, and emotionally attached to the animal in the story. Even though I know practically nothing about thoroughbred racing, I devoured your book, reading late into the night for the solid week it took me to finish. My chocolate labrador was the lucky recipient of many hugs and kisses while reading your loving, brilliant descriptions of the Biscuit and his relationships with Howard, Smith, Pollard and Wolff. A lucky dog, albeit a weak substitute, indeed. I grieved as I read the final chapter. It was if his death had occurred today rather than 54 years ago. Thank you for your gifted story. Your eloquence allowed me to lose myself in another world for a time....
Pam Lord <>
Farmington, NH USA - Friday, August 17, 2001 at 20:48:01 (EDT)
Amazing book!!!! Since a small child after seeing the original movie on Seabiscuit i could not get this courageous little horse out of my mind.....Your book brought back so many memories, I felt like I ran every single race with him, and never really understood the racing world like you have brought to life in this book... I was spellbound from the beginning to the end.... Thankyou for so much love you poured into this book which I will treasure always....
Phyllis Allen <>
Conroe, Tx USA - Friday, August 17, 2001 at 17:30:24 (EDT)
I have been a racing fan for over 30 years and i have read alot of books etc. on the subject. Seabiscuit is by far the best one yet. I read another book on him called Come On Seabiscuit but this one is the best. He sure never got the attention from the horse people like he should have. Even now when they talk of the great ones his name is not often mentioned. Maybe this book will remedy that. Thanks for the best read ever.
Debbie Stevens
Dansville, MI USA - Friday, August 17, 2001 at 15:12:48 (EDT)
Ms.Hillenbrand, I really enjoyed your book. The last couple of chapters left me either with goosebumps or tears. The underhorse Seabiscuit so deserved his fame. I would love to have a poster of Seabiscuit. Is anything like that available? And/or even t shirts!! I've told the story to some of my friends and feel honored that I know it. I thank you. Teece Pilcher Loganville, Georgia/ Mohnton, Pa.
Teece Pilcher <>
Mohnton, Pa USA - Friday, August 17, 2001 at 11:51:40 (EDT)
As a native Kentuckian and with friends and family in the horse business there, I want to thank you for this exceptional book and what it has done for horses and racing. For myself, I find myself going back over and over to the three Hundred-Grand races and the Match Race... your eloquent descriptions of these continue to bring tears to my eyes... it is like being there - in that time and place - and feeling the same emotions that I'm sure the people of this country, both at the track and by the radio, felt at that time. Thank you for one of the best reads I've had in years.
Jim McCann <>
Annapolis, MD USA - Thursday, August 16, 2001 at 19:49:29 (EDT)
Reading this book was a very emotional experience for me. I loved every page. Seabiscuit was the greatest racehorse ever. I'm looking forward for the movie.
Nancy Morgan <>
Weatherford, Tx USA - Thursday, August 16, 2001 at 18:03:02 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I finished your book yesterday crying through the last 2 chapters. I found myself choked-up reading earlier parts to my husband, and saw him react the same way. I have told everyone I've talked with to read the book. It is fabulous! I totally agree with all the praise other guests have written--everything from not being able to put the book down, to feeling as if I am sleeping in the stall with Seabiscuit, and to feeling I know Pollard, Smith, Howard and all the people of whom you so masterfully wrote. You truly have captured the FEEL of the Depression through the story of Seabiscuit. Thank you for the gift of this book--thank you for all the effort you put into writing it. I am 53 years old today. I had never heard of Seabiscuit until I read about your book in EQUUS Magazine. I have loved horses since I was 12, but always lived in cities, and never had one until my husband and I bought a 10 month old thoroughbred filly in January 1997. She is the granddaughter of Vaguely Noble. Later that year we bought a great grandson of Seattle Slew as a college graduation gift for our daughter. We now have 2 other mares, one is of the lineage of War Admiral and Man 'o War, and our little stud colt is great, great, great grandson of Bold Ruler. We love them and are so proud of them all! I could relate to so many thoroughbred horse-traits and needs as I read your book. You really KNOW YOUR HORSE! My mother was born and raised in Saratoge Springs, NY, and she and my father retired in the Bay Area--so many of the places you wrote of are so familiar to me. I know you are swamped with entries from people who've loved your book and are intertwining you into their horse experiences, so I will cease. Seabiscuit is a wonderful book. I know the movie will never do it justice--I have little respect for Hollywood and don't even own a TV--but I am anxious to see it anyway. Many thanks for a great book. I definitely will re-read it.
MaryBarbara McKay <>
Pleasanton, KS USA - Thursday, August 16, 2001 at 17:41:28 (EDT)
Kudos to Laura. Fiction couldn't have come up with a better cast of characters than Howard, Smith, Pollard, Wolff and, of course, Seabiscuit. I was riveted from the start and found it difficult to put the book down. As the typical American girl, I was passionate about horses and during the late 50's, early 60's avidly followed thoroughbred racing. Besides Man 'o War, my champion was a little colt called Carry Back. His jockey, Johnny Sellers was a favorite as was John Rotz. Your delightful story of horse racing along with the people who make it so special certainly brought back wonderful childhood memories. Thanks for bringing the Biscuit to life again.
Dianne McLean <>
Westminster, Md USA - Thursday, August 16, 2001 at 15:32:13 (EDT)
Laura Hillenbrand, You have had many devoted fans send you so many thank you e-mails, that it only elevated my fondness and respect to one of todays brilliant writers who has opened my mind and heart to the art of horse racing. I had no knowledge of the past that involved so many magnificent characters. You deserve every praise that comes with such determination to research a monsterious task. We all owe you our deepest thanks to being so gifted. I am looking towards the horse races that are in my area, Santa Anita Park and Del Mar for starters. Lets all hope that your inspiration about Seabiscut and the men and women who basically gave their livelihood, continues to spread into everyones heart and the movie brings it all to life as you so brilliantly did in your writing of Seabiscut.I thank you,we all thank you, for being so kind and gifted in giving so much of your time along with your partners. Hope to meet you in person one day in Santa Monica,CA. for a book signing, hopefully! Until we might meet I toast you with a fine glass of my favorate red wine. God bless you
mr. phil bledsoe <>
Santa Monica, CA USA - Thursday, August 16, 2001 at 12:46:58 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I just finished reading your book. After being so emotionally moved by your piece I am compelled to share with you my experience. First-I was introduced to Seabiscuit by a piece aired on NPR. Thank you for that. Secondly, you had me from the start. This is such a piece of work, that I had to literally restrain myself from indulging through it all at once. I didn't want it to end, I was there with them and wanted it to go on and on. I found it difficult to be in one of his many races and not jump to the end of the chapter to see if he won and to make sure that he was ok-not hurt. This was such an enjoyable, emotional experience for me-it made my Summer. Unfortunately, it has left me wanting even more. I realize that you are working on a film-what is the progress on that? Estimated release dates? I really would like to view footage of there any way possible? I read that you were able to view some in your credits...I can't thank you enough! I will continue to look for your future works and hope that they will be in line with other wonderful stories about our legends. Your long hard work certainly paid off in such a wonderful piece of history-what a tribute to all of those who were involved with Biscuit!
Terrie Nelepovitz <>
Clarksville, NH USA - Thursday, August 16, 2001 at 09:17:33 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: There were tears in my eyes, along with Marcela Howard, as I absorbed your incredible word pictures of the victory of Seabiscuit over War Admiral -- right here up the street at "Old Hilltop." Since I was only three years old at the time of that race (and living then in Silver Spring, Maryland), and having never been a racing fan ( I have lived within walking distance of the Pimlico track for almost 40 years -- and have never yet been inside) -- I thererfore had no idea which of these famous (yes, I had of course heard their names) horses would win that contest. You made it so alive -- I felt I was there! And, among a zillion other nifty facts in your marvelous book, you taught me the origin of that nickname for this old track. I'd always assumed it was because Pimlico Racetrack stood at the top of the huge hill of Old Pimlico Road -- where each Preakness Day the local young men "borrow" carts from nearby supermarkets, and hire themselves out to assist patrons of the sport. These carts are hired to help with the transporting of those awesome quantities of beer up that fierce hill -- to be guzzled all that always-hot day in the infield. These racing fans then watch the rerun of the Preakness race on TV that evening -- to find out who won -- after they have rolled themselves down that big hill and somehow make it home. I want to join in with so many others in congratulating you on your incredible research, and on bringing so totally back to life all of those amazing characters -- two and four legged. And for giving me -- as I sat there enthralled and frequently moved to "shining eyes" on the sands of Rehobeth Beach, Delaware yesterday -- the best book I have ever read! THANK YOU !! Andy Conn Baltimore, Maryland
Andy Conn <>
Baltimore, MD USA - Wednesday, August 15, 2001 at 18:38:57 (EDT)
Laura I am an avid fan of horseracing and reading your novel placed me into a time and an era that I truly could never see. It felt like I was riding right on top of the biscuit.I am wondering if you have ever visited race tracks such as Saratoga or Del Mar tracks that have enormous history and wonderful stories. Have you ever thought about writing about them? Thank you for a great read you have captured the minds of many horseplayers young and old. I am looking forward to you next writing adventure. David
David S Snock Jr <>
Las vegas, Nv USA - Wednesday, August 15, 2001 at 13:46:16 (EDT)
Ms.Hillenbrand, You have just made my summer. As a child over 30 years ago, I read about horses constantly and met Seabiscuit and friends through the book, "Come On Seabiscuit". I even started had a collection of articles and facts on him. As I got older, I still enjoyed learning about this special horse and the people who surrounded him. One of the first biographies that I read was one on Grantland Rice, who I had become familiar with through my childhood Seabiscuit interest. I am behind the times because I only recently learned of your book as I read the Times non-fiction list. My jaw dropped and I ran out to purchase the book. I sat in the parking lot of the Barnes and Noble store and began reading. I hugged your work to me as I realized what a treat was in store for me. Thank you so much for choosing these subjects and bringing them and their times to life so perfectly. Thank you for making this vibrant sport clear on every page through writing so strong and good that it can be inhaled. And thank you for giving me a companion piece/experience that I will cherish even more that a young horse crazy girl did "Come on, Seabiscuit". Julie Christiano
julie christiano <>
buffalo, ny USA - Wednesday, August 15, 2001 at 13:21:40 (EDT)
Laura, this is an incredible book. The tears waited until I put the book down, but spoke for everything that you captured in this story: the history, the simplicity of the times, the real era that my father often spoke about, but that I didn't understand as well as I do now. He saw Seabiscuit run as a young man, and it fed his racing passion, which he passed on to me. After 30 years of owning horses, and seeing the highs and lows on the track, you managed to bring me back to the things that I found romantic and seductive about this great sport, and these wonderful creatures. Thanks again, I will recommend this book to all of my friends, and though the upcoming movie will have the impossible task of meeting the images that we have conjured while reading this book, at least it will bring todays "pop culture" a glimpse of what American thoroughbred racing, and what this country was all about in its heyday.
philip rynn <>
pembroke pines, fl USA - Wednesday, August 15, 2001 at 11:37:39 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Today is August 14, 2001 and I just finished reading Seabiscuit. I truly enjoyed reading about this wonderful racehorse and the interesting people that were a part of his life. I believe that Tom Smith was truly the inspiration that Seabiscuit needed in life. Also, page 88 of your book was by far, the greatest piece of writing that I have read in my life. Finally, thank you for all of the hard work that you put into this book. I am a fan for life. Regards, Mike
Michael Sloma <>
Lewiston, NY USA - Tuesday, August 14, 2001 at 23:59:01 (EDT)
My dad read this book and said it was great and gave it to me, since I love horseracing. That my dad, who from time to time questioned my love of horses, gave me the book I read the jacket and sat down and strated reading one of the greatest books ever. Your style of writing made the whole story come alive and I felt like I was there. In the barn, looking out at the rain and hating it. My fahter and I have shared a couple of discussions over the book, including my silly call when Seabisquit won the hundergrander. It was exciting and I thank you for you brilliant piece of work. My dad says thanks too!
Pam Miller <>
Arlington Hts, IL USA - Tuesday, August 14, 2001 at 22:46:51 (EDT)
I have, at this very moment, completed reading your wonderful book. Thank goodness I heard the segment on NPR which lauded your work. I feel as though I have been granted a visit to the past - to a time when I was not alive, and which I know mainly of being a period of economic despair and impending war. Although the 1930's were a difficult time for many, your book shows us that there are always exceptional people who persevere against all odds and by their actions bring incredible joy to others and serve as an inspiration for years to come. Thank you for your incredible book.
Michelle Bannon <>
Augusta, GA USA - Tuesday, August 14, 2001 at 21:15:48 (EDT)
Dear Laura I just returned from my annual visit with my sister who had seen your book and , knowing my love of horses and racing bought if for me. What she failed to realize about the book is that it is also an excellent history and beautifully written. I didnt stop until I finished. Growing up in the forties Seabiscuit was always the horse that I pretended to be. My father, a horseman from birth, always said that Seabiscuit was the greatest. Your book explains how and why this horse captured the American imagination. Thank you.
pam burke <>
Penacook, Nh USA - Tuesday, August 14, 2001 at 19:37:11 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand - My husband and I were listening to NPR one Saturday morning on our way to the grocery store. You were being interviewed and clips from one of Seabiscuit's race was featured. We sat in the parking lot to hear the out come of the race. I decided at that time, I NEEDED your book. Highly recommending it, first because of the way it was written, secondly because of the story, I recommended it to my husband. He enjoyed the read as much as I. We would like to ask if we may mail our copy to you, including a self-addressed, stamped envelop, will you sign and return it to us. We have a small collection of auto- graphed books by William Bennett, Homer Hickam, Anna Smucker, Denise Giardina, to name a few. You may reach me at my e-mail address. We very much enjoyed loving an American legend through your eyes.
Sharon Manzo <>
Athens, wv USA - Tuesday, August 14, 2001 at 17:28:42 (EDT)
My father, who neither follows racehorsing nor reads frequently, passed your book to me during a recent visit that I made back home, raving about it. I have never in my life paid attention to horse racing, but it was the first time that my father had ever recommended me a book, so I just had to see what it was about. Your book is a miracle. I read a great deal, but only rarely have I found myself so engrossed that I literally did not want to put the book down. You have crafted a true treasure, there is no other way to describe it. I will now await the movie with great expectation, but I will be awaiting your next piece even more eagerly. Thank you for a truly remarkable book.
Christopher Guerriero <>
Santiago, RM Chile - Tuesday, August 14, 2001 at 14:58:18 (EDT)
Although I live very close to the Del Mar Racetrack, I really knew nothing about horse racing until a neighbor lent me your book. I must say I have been spellbound. You write beautifully. I feel as if I have ridden every race along with Pollard and Woolfe, as if I have slept alongside Seabiscuit in his stall, as if I were an intimate of Smith's and was offered exceptional access to his training methods. Your novel reads like a suspense novel. It is a real page turner. Thank you for this wonderful book....I can hardly put it down. I intend to buy a copy for my collection and recommend it to everyone I know.
Cathleen Tiner <>
La Mesa, CA USA - Monday, August 13, 2001 at 23:21:31 (EDT)
Laura, please keep us updated on when PBS will air the special on Seabisquit. Thanks for the time you put into this wonderful book. I have had the book about 5 months and have read it a few times . Can't wait to see the movie. Also, below I saw questions about Grog after Seabisquit retired and was curious if he died relatively early like "The Bisquit"?
Laura's No. 1 fan
Everwhere, USA - Monday, August 13, 2001 at 22:06:25 (EDT)
I am originally from I truly enjoyed the book. As I read about the various races that SeaBiscuit won and I wondered if your research provided much incite into the wagering that was put down on the various races and the amounts returned for all the winning he did. It would also have been interesting to contrast a little more about Pollard and Woolf and the competition between them...kind of like Pat Day and Gary Stevens of this decade. Great book!!!
Lester Demaree <>
Murfreesboro, TN USA - Monday, August 13, 2001 at 21:42:30 (EDT)
I picked this up by chance at the library and found it absolutly riveting. As an animal lover who knows next to nothing about horses, I was spellbound from beginning to end. What larger than life people! What a horse! Thank you for a great book, you were right, people should know about those men and those times. Thanks again. Bruce
Bruce C Boatwright <>
Madison, SD USA - Monday, August 13, 2001 at 16:59:04 (EDT)
Hi Laura, I seldom read books, usually only when I vacation at the Jersey Shore with my family. I received your book for my birthday and it was the highlight of my afternoons under an umbrella in Ocean City, NJ. Being a casual racetracker who is now finished with your book, I am interested in seeing things like Seabiscuit's racing forms or more photos of the races. Thank you for a great book and special thanks from my wife who was pleased to have her husband reading with her on the beach. Sincerely, Don Colangelo
Don Colangelo <>
Wayne, PA USA - Monday, August 13, 2001 at 15:01:44 (EDT)
Thanks for the enjoyment I've had reading this grand book.I've come to love and respect this little stallion. I grew up a few miles from Suffolk Downs , and went to races there.Seabiscuit has always been a familiar name. Your book brought him and his wonderful "crew" to life. thanks again.
Jim Beattie <>
Dunwoody, GA USA - Monday, August 13, 2001 at 13:25:36 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Thank you for bringing to life the story of Seabiscuit and all those who loved him. As a little girl who read everything I could get my hands on about horses, I am emotional about them. I was given the book by my oldest daughter who is a senior Equine Management major at Texas A & M and who wants to go into some aspect of the Thoroughbred Racing industry. I'm thankful that she has inherited my love of horses and horse racing. The story of Seabiscuit speaks to the courage, heart, and intelligence of all horses. This year my husband and I attended the Kentucky Derby for the first time. What an awesome experience. Two weeks ago we returned from our first trip to Del Mar. Reading your beautiful story equalled those experiences. I wish you the best and hope that you will continue writing about other great horses.
Carol Lander <>
Dallas, TX USA - Monday, August 13, 2001 at 01:35:26 (EDT)
I finished reading your book last night with tears streaming down my face - the same reaction as many of your readers, I see. The final pages describing the ends of these lives were so moving in your eloquent and beautiful writing. In my opinion you have not just written a book but have created a work of art. I truly look forward to reading more of your work. I am one reader who thinks the jacket photograph is absolutely perfect in composition and especially in what you see in the two men's faces. Is there any way to purchase a copy of this picture? Santa Anita racetrack has always been a special place for me since my dad started taking me there when I was 12. Next time I go I know it will be even more so after reading your book. Thank you so much. I would be happy to hear from you if you have any time to reply. Best wishes, Kerry Jones
Kerry Jones <>
USA - Sunday, August 12, 2001 at 16:42:16 (EDT)
Dear Laura, What a wonderful read. I am not into horses, or racing but heard from friends about your book. Like others, I wanted it to go on and on. I can't wait for the movie. Are you aware of the typo (wrong verb tense) on page 305? "Sandy Graham, throw (thrown) from a horse...." I was not aware of your work on behalf of Tom Smith to get him into the hall of fame-long overdue. Congratulations on a wonderful book and I hope you find another subject to tell us about. greg gilbert
greg gilbert <>
Bainbridge Island , WA USA - Sunday, August 12, 2001 at 14:48:33 (EDT)
It is Sunday morning and I just finished reading this treasure. I had hoped the story could go on forever. Thank you for timeless tale of heart
Andrew Gillespie <>
Los Angeles, Ca USA - Sunday, August 12, 2001 at 13:10:12 (EDT)
Laura, Thanks for a wonderful and moving story. Your research was extensive and very professional. Thanks also for your help in finally getting Tom Smith into the Hall of Fame. While I know it will be difficult to duplicate the book on the screen I wish you the best. I am hoping to locate Seabiscuit's past performances and read the book again. I know they are at the Hall of Fame and the Form had them in around Derby time. I am looking forward to more of your work. Good Luck with your health & Best wishes! All of the letters on this site are certainly a tribute to your ability and hard of the best racing stories ever written!! Thanks
John Nizlek <>
Easton, CT USA - Sunday, August 12, 2001 at 13:02:24 (EDT)
What a ride !! I do not ride or follow horse racing , I am still cheering Biscuit on !! write more books ! Thanks .
David Layman <>
Cherry Valley, CA USA - Sunday, August 12, 2001 at 12:34:55 (EDT)
Laura,I doubt I have or will ever again read a book as exceptionally researched and eloquently delivered as yours.It is an inspirational read, with the race sequences amongst the most enthralling tracts of literature I have come across anywhere.I hope you are receiving the rewards this Herculean effort richly deserves.....P.S. couldnt agree more about the crassness of the Shirley Temple vehicle, and why o'why did she and her father/trainer have to be Oirish ??!!
Donal O'Mahony <>
Dublin, Ireland - Sunday, August 12, 2001 at 06:28:53 (EDT)
Thank you very much for a wonderful book. I learned so much and the story moved me deeply. Congratulations on a job well done.
Maria Di Pasquale <>
Arlington, VA USA - Saturday, August 11, 2001 at 14:44:33 (EDT)
Congratulations on a superlative achievement. The most emotionally charged and engrossing book I have read in along time.I ride, train, and breed dressage horses so it was unigue to see the word in print in your book. I grew up in San Francisco and the south peninsula where much of the history of Seabiscuit took place as, of course, you know. The great horse Pharlap died on my family's propery. You may have come across the name of my uncle, Bill Gilmore, in you research of Tanfaran Racetrack. Call me at 805-237-9892. I would like to meet you and discuss a novel I am working on currently. I think you would enjoy visiting the ranch and exchanging some historical information Kent Gilmore
kent gilmore <>
paso robles, ca USA - Saturday, August 11, 2001 at 14:05:02 (EDT)
Laura: Your book "Seabiscuit: An American Legend" was marvelous. I'm an American history teacher and usually read only political, economic, and military history. However, the jacket cover of "Seabiscuit" caught my attention and I started reading. I couldn't put the book down. Thank you for telling an extraordinary, unforgettable story. You had me in the palm of your hand. Harry Frick
Harry D. Frick III <>
Culver, IN USA - Saturday, August 11, 2001 at 13:03:23 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I am a former teacher at Grace Episcopal Day School where your nieces attended last year (I taught 6th Grade). After seeing your article in the Washington Post, my husband bought Seabiscuit as a surprise for me. I've just finished reading it and can't wait for my husband and other family members to read it. There were lots of key passages read through tears on the metro! Thank you for writing such a wonderful book. Dick Francis is coming to Mystery Books in Dupont Circle in September--and I'm going to ask him if he's read your book! Have a great summer and thanks once again for such an inspirational story.--Lisa
Lisa Mohan-Ram <>
Washington, D.C. USA - Saturday, August 11, 2001 at 09:22:25 (EDT)
You wrote a wonderful book. Could'nt put it down. Now for the movie: I nominate Bridges as Howard, Hackman as Smith, and Duval as Pollard.
Ed Richardson <>
Indianapolis, IN USA - Saturday, August 11, 2001 at 02:16:53 (EDT)
as a long time racehorse owner/breeder i want to thank you for the best read i've had in a long while! cheers to you for giving this wonderful story life & credit to all those involved. i didn't want the book to end & cried at the bittersweet ending.i cannot wait to see the movie & found myself 'casting' it as i read along! i'm always pleased when a four legger gets the headlines! thanx again for this great pleasure!
jann gath <>
long beach, ca USA - Friday, August 10, 2001 at 17:32:42 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I just finished reading your book and I immediately went to the jacket to look for a way to contact you. I laughed and cried and learned so much about that period of our history. Thank you for bring Seabiscuit back to life in such a wonderful story. I can'rt wait for the movie. Forget about finding actors to play Howard, Smith, Pollard, and Woolf. Who's going to play "The Biscuit"?
Cindy Scanlan <>
Osterville, MA USA - Friday, August 10, 2001 at 17:21:36 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I just finished your book and immediately went to the jacket to find a way to get in touch with you. I laughed, I cried, and I learned so much about life in the 30's. Thank you for bringing Seabiscuit back to life. Forget worrying about who will play Howard, Smith, Pollard, and Woolf in the movie. Who's going to play "The Bisquit"?
Cindy Scanlan <>
Osterville, MA USA - Friday, August 10, 2001 at 17:13:55 (EDT)
Dear Ms Hillenbrand: I received a copy of your book from your father. He knew I grew up in Southern California and was familiar with Seabiscuit and the racetracks in the area. Your father has a reason to be proud of your work. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, not only because of the wonderful story of this remarkable racehorse and the very remarkable people who were a part of his story. I wanted to tell you that I think you are a excellent writer and the way you told this story was a great as the story itself. As an American of Japanese descent, I wanted to tell you that my family was interned at Santa Anita racetrack assembly center for a year prior to their wartime relocation to a camp in Poston, Arizona. My parents would tell me stories about life in the assembly center and about having to pass the statue of Seabiscuit on their way to the mess hall for meals. I also remember a game I had as a kid, a carboard racing game with a needle that you would spin and if it landed on a specific racehorse's color, you could advance your carboard racehorse. I remember that this is where I first learned of the great racehorses like Whirlaway, War Admiral and Seabiscuit. Seabiscuit was may favorite. Again, I think you richly deserve your place on the New York Times Bestseller list. You accomplish a rare feat - a great story written by a great writer. I look forward to reading your other works.
Gene Sumi <>
Beltsville, MD USA - Friday, August 10, 2001 at 15:55:12 (EDT)
I think is my favorite horse book of all time and I've been reading horse books for over 40 years. You think you are riding the races yourself. What an exciting time to have lived. Thank you Laura Hillenband for writing such a wonderful informative book. And she looks so young.
Ilene Goulette <>
Sidney, ny USA - Friday, August 10, 2001 at 13:02:46 (EDT)
The 12th Annual Thoroughbred Charities of America Ltd. Stallion Season & Sporting Art Auction, will be held on December 1, 2001 at Candyland Farm in Middletown DE. Over the past eleven years, the TCA, an affiliate of NTRA Charities, has distributed more than $5-million in grants to non-profit organizations that work toward making a better life for Thoroughbreds. The grantees range from large well-established research hospitals to the unsung hero's who work tirelessly and often without recognition to facilitate rescue and retirement of our equine friends that have lived beyond their racing careers. Would you be interested in donating an autographed by you, Sea Biscut book to this honorable cause? Your book and contribution would get enormous exposure and would fit well at this affair. If you would like to entertain this idea, please call me, Bobby Lillis, at 410-265-6843 my e-mail address is, or Wendy Moon at: Thoroughbred Charities of America 1343 Bohemia Mill Road Middletown, DE 19709 (302)378-7192. Visit their website at . Respectfully yours, Bobby Lillis Benefits Coordinator Maryland Horsemen's Assistance Fund, Inc.
Bobby Lillis <>
Baltimore, Md USA - Friday, August 10, 2001 at 06:16:10 (EDT)
Dear Laura - thank you for bringing Charles Howard, Tom Smith and Red Pollard to life by telling their stories. I can't wait for the movie -- I see Robert Duvall as the perfect Red Pollard -- he's got the right build, he's great with horses and he's a tough guy -- just like Pollard was. Long live Seabiscuit! - TGD
Ted Duggan <>
Edgewater, MD USA - Thursday, August 09, 2001 at 21:17:48 (EDT)
Hi Laura, My mom bought me your book for my birthday this year (31!). I've been "horsey" since I was 10, an anomoly in my family. I enjoyed the story and am very much looking forward to the movie. Do you know what I enjoyed reading about as well? I love the story about how you got the information that you did. It makes me wonder if some of the things that you didn't include in the book would make good books by themselves. I think I would even read a book called, "The making of Seabiscuit", a book about how you wrote the book! Whew, what a rollercoaster ride you must be on! Hang on, and we'll be rooting for you. Take care,
Laura K. Hesser <>
Portland, OR USA - Thursday, August 09, 2001 at 19:52:16 (EDT)
As a horse racing fan, I cannot tell you how much enjoyment I received from reading your book. What a remarkable gift you gave to us all. I was also taken by the article in USA Today regarding your struggle with chronic fatique syndrome. I have some information to pass along regarding this that I believe you would be interested in recieving. Thank you and best wishes.
steve wax <>
boulder, co USA - Thursday, August 09, 2001 at 17:24:01 (EDT)
You have written a beautiful history of a beautiful animal! I usually do not read non-fiction, but because I am a thoroughbred racing fan, the book was given to me as a gift. I plan to read it again and pass it around to my friends. You did a superlative job in bringing Seabiscuit's story to those of us who love racing. I hope the movie does your work justice.
Barbara Georgette <>
Los Angeles, CA USA - Thursday, August 09, 2001 at 12:14:41 (EDT)
Radio station in San Diego to contact is 100.7 STAR. You want to speak to Jeff & Ger A great morning show that calls celebrities!!! Again your book was the greatest!!!
Terry Deneen <>
San Diego, CA USA - Thursday, August 09, 2001 at 11:29:22 (EDT)
Dear Laura - thank you for bringing Charles Howard, Tom Smith and Red Pollard to life by telling their stories. I can't wait for the movie -- I see Robert Duvall as the perfect Red Pollard -- he's got the right build, he's great with horses and he's a tough guy -- jusy like Pollard was. Long live Seabiscuit! - TGD
Ted Duggan <>
Edgewater, MD USA - Thursday, August 09, 2001 at 10:37:05 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: Your exhaustive research resulted in an extraordinary book. You endowed the major figures--including the central character-- with individual, idiosynchratic voices. Your narratives of the races were as exciting as any Clem McCarthy could have given.
Sandra Adickes <>
Dayton, NJ USA - Thursday, August 09, 2001 at 09:14:58 (EDT)
I'm a freelance writer with CFS. You inspire me!
Jan <>
Alameda, CA USA - Thursday, August 09, 2001 at 02:48:38 (EDT)
Laura: Read the book and I cried. Read the acknowledgements - you are fantastic. Ed
Ed Bryla <>
San Jose, CA USA - Wednesday, August 08, 2001 at 21:03:01 (EDT)
I'm not a horse racing fan, but for some reason I bought your book at Costco. I'm sure glad that I did, it is very well written and exciting to read. What a great animal! What interesting people. Job well done, good luck with the book sales.
Jim Rogers <>
Troy, MI USA - Wednesday, August 08, 2001 at 21:02:37 (EDT)
Thank you for a thoroughly engrossing book which I read non- stop. You took me back in time to an era that I remember, but more than that, you gave me a wonderful experience. I felt as if I were there! I look forward to your next book. Naomi
Naomi A. Wood <>
East Wenatchee, WA USA - Wednesday, August 08, 2001 at 20:51:34 (EDT)
DERBY, ENGLAND - Wednesday, August 08, 2001 at 18:14:14 (EDT)
Dear Laura Hillenbrand--On all fronts, you have scored a winner--for Thoroughbreds, for racing, for fine writing. I cannot thank you enough. My heart belongs to Seabiscuit now. What a hero! You're not bad yourself!--Margo Kline, Santa Barbara, California
Margo Kline <>
Santa Barbara, CA USA - Wednesday, August 08, 2001 at 13:24:56 (EDT)
I love horses and greatly enjoyed reading your book. I did wonder--perhaps you can tell me--why Seabiscuit's image is mostly hidden on the cover of the book (his face isn't visible at all)? I'm guessing someone involved in the book's production wanted to emphasize the people aspect to make it more universally appealing on the bookstore shelf. ("Not just another horse story"). True? Best wishes from someone who hopes horse racing will once again rise in popularity.
Jane Tomlinson <>
Rockville, MD USA - Wednesday, August 08, 2001 at 11:19:09 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Thank you for the greatest biography I've ever read. I was so moved by the warmth and energy of your storytelling, since biographers usually convey information with an impersonal remove from the emotions of the time. You have brought the time and the people who loved this horse and racing back to life. It is extraordinary that your writing is so filled with vitality and vividness, when you struggle with CFS in real life. In writing you completely rise above the limitations of your illness. As it happens, I also am a horse-lover, but the theme of this book has obviously touched many outside the "horse world", and made them understand the excitement and high stakes of this sport. Your contribution is worthwhile in so many ways. I hope that the many good wishes sent to you will raise your spirits and help give you the strength to fight and overcome CFS. You seem to share so much of yourself in this book, which must be why so many readers are reaching out to you as if you were a friend. Thank you again, and I hope you are cooking up ideas for another fabulous book!
Lois Lehman <>
Fairfield, Ct USA - Wednesday, August 08, 2001 at 11:17:04 (EDT)
I read a great deal, but only about once a year run across a book so extraordinary that I practically force it on all my friends. "Seabiscuit" is one of those books. Ms. Hillenbrand, you're an exceptionally gifted writer and researcher. One doesn't have to know anything about horses, racing or America in the 1930s to be completely taken by this wonderful book. I learned a great deal about all those things, but the real joy of this book is the way you bring the humans and horses to life, and the kindness, decency and honestly with which you describe them. Now--I would love to see a film of the Seabiscuit-War Admiral race!
Joyce Jensen
USA - Tuesday, August 07, 2001 at 23:54:53 (EDT)
A great read...I grew up in southern California during the days of Round Table, Silky Sullivan, Tomy Lee and Silver Spoon. I had the priviledge of riding with Clyde Kennedy, as did my 2 children before his death. I am very familiar with Del Mar, Caliente and Santa Anita. I drove my non-horse parents crazy until Dad purchased my first horse when I was 10. He was an Anglo-Arab by the Cal Poly, Pomona stallion, Taleb, out of an unregistered thoroughbred mare, Annie-Cotton-Tail. My father telephoned the breeder and discovered that the mare was by "Grog". My horse, "Champ", was the spitting image of Man O War. I loved the book...I feel my father knew more about horse racing than he let on, but he is long gone now and I will never know. So your book filled in a lot of blanks for me. I still own and show horses after 40+ years...and Dad thought it was only a phase!!!!! Thank you for the memories
Susan Moran <>
San Luis Obispo, Ca USA - Tuesday, August 07, 2001 at 19:41:41 (EDT)
Ms. Hilenbrand, This is one of the best books I have ever read on any subject. Recently I heard about your battle with CFS. This makes your book all the more remarkable. Thank you.
Hal Thiede <>
Cudahy, WI USA - Tuesday, August 07, 2001 at 17:21:44 (EDT)
I found the book very interesting and hard to put down. I am a horse racing fan and find it rare to find well written books on the subject. I have found myself going through antique shops and flea markets in an attempt to find anything on seabisquit but no luck yet. I was lucky to have seen the only undefeated triple crown winner Seattle Slew and have uncashed winning tickets of each of the triple crown races. I wonder how Sea Bisquit and Slew would have compared if they raced. Thank you for the book. It is a treasure. Sincerelly Yours, Jay Maruhnich
Jay Maruhnich <>
Johnstown, pa USA - Tuesday, August 07, 2001 at 16:07:08 (EDT)
As a former excercise rider and lifelong race enthusiast, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I felt as though I myself was riding in the match race. Laura, great work. Loved the book and can't wait for the movie. Thank you very much.
Rita Overton <>
Clemmons, NC USA - Tuesday, August 07, 2001 at 15:55:37 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I grew up hearing about Seabiscuit because my Great Grandfather wrote a beautiful poem entitled "The Comeback", which he wrote about Seabiscuit after witnessing his famous race. He felt compelled to write about the determination and grit that he saw in Seabiscuit. He was given a photograph of Seabiscuit after he shared his poem. I would love to share this poem with you. Thank you for your wonderful book.
Barbara Williams <>
Escondido, CA USA - Tuesday, August 07, 2001 at 02:29:24 (EDT)
I would like to know why Seabiscuit did not run in the Kentucky Derby or the Triple Crown? If anyone knows the answer I would appreciate hearing.
Sharon Nary <>
Dallas, TX USA - Monday, August 06, 2001 at 23:41:21 (EDT)
How do I judge a book? If it takes me there, and with "Seabiscuit" I felt the wind and smelled the hay and experienced the thrill of Seabiscuit's world. A memorable and uplifting read! I can't wait for the movie! I would love to see the Seabiscuit-War Admiral race, is there any way this is possible?
Chuck Thomas <>
Atlanta, GA USA - Monday, August 06, 2001 at 23:23:15 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: To say that I enjoyed the saga of Seabiscuit and those around him would be a gross understate- ment. While actually attending Seabiscuits races would have likely been more exciting, the emotions generated could not have been any greater than those you brought forth in your writing. It was as if I was inside both the rider AND the horse. Until you actually work with an animal such as Seabiscuit it's difficult to fully appreciate the natural drive they possess. It is wonderful to be a part of. I train a Labrador retriever, and his desire to retrieve at all costs is thrilling to watch. My daughter will read your book shortly, but she will have to get her own box of tissues. I emptied mine. Again, thank you for writing the book. It was historically enlightening and emotionally thrilling. Mark Parman
Mark Parman <>
Auburn, IN USA - Monday, August 06, 2001 at 22:10:55 (EDT)
I've just carried your book from Barnes & Noble in Augusta, Maine to my home in Bangkok - reading it all the way. I was only an 8-year old boy when the "Biscuit" was doing so well and he was well publicized in Boston, MA where I lived at the time. Does anyone remember the board game "The Long Green?" I used to play it with friends and always imagined that my horse was Seabiscuit. I only wish you had included his entire racing record in your book - it would have been a bonus indeed.
Walt MacLeod <>
Bangkok, Thailand - Monday, August 06, 2001 at 22:06:16 (EDT)