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FROM THE AUTHOR: National Public Radio's nationally-syndicated Diane Rehm Show will rebroadcast the hour-long interview with me on Seabiscuit on Thanksgiving, November 22, from 10-11:00 AM EST. Tune in while you cook! Thank you to all the readers who wrote to Diane asking her to rebroadcast the show!
Laura Hillenbrand
Washington, DC USA - Wednesday, November 21, 2001 at 17:19:55 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: I finished Seabiscuit a couple of days ago and I had to tell you how much I enjoyed it -- and how much I admire your work. The profiles of all those involved were extraordinary, to say the least. I've earned my living as a writer for the past 40 years, so I'm a tough audience. You have my total admiration. I've called many friends to tell them what a joyous experience lies ahead by reading Seabiscuit, even if they've never been to a race. Thank you for providing so much pleasure.
Nino Banome <Nbanome@aol.com>
USA - Wednesday, November 21, 2001 at 17:07:40 (EST)
Dear Laura, What a great book! I read it two times and have recommended it to many friends. As a former racehorse owner and fan your, narritatives about the races made me feel like I was in the crowd holding my breath to see who wins. I can't wait for the move and hope that it does your book justice. Again GREAT BOOK, hoping it becomes a smashing hit movie!! Mel Keserich Salida, CO
mel Keserich <selectgp@chaffee.net>
Salida, CO USA - Wednesday, November 21, 2001 at 13:40:12 (EST)
FROM THE AUTHOR: National Public Radio's nationally-syndicated Diane Rehm show will rebroadcast an hour-long interview with me on Seabiscuit on Thanksgiving, November 22, from 10-11AM EST. Tune in while you cook! Thanks to all my readers who wrote to Diane asking for a rebroadcast!
Laura Hillenbrand
Washington, DC USA - Wednesday, November 21, 2001 at 10:50:51 (EST)
Hello Laura. I am 41 years old and have been an avid reader since third grade. I had to write and tell you that your book is one of the finest I have ever read. As an added bonus, I often felt my deseased grandfather sitting beside me as I read. Sometimes I could actually "see" him at Suffolk Downs in a sea of fans urging Seabiscuit on. My grandparent divorced when I was young. We never developed a relationship. However, I know that he boxed in his early years and always loved "the ponies." Thank you for bringing Seabiscuit and my grandfather back to life. It was a magical experience I shall never foget!
Lisa Ketner <lketner@megalink.net>
Norway, ME USA - Tuesday, November 20, 2001 at 07:59:38 (EST)
Hi Laura, I want to thank you so much for writing your book. When I was 9 years old (forty years ago)I read "Come on Seabiscuit" and fell in love with him from that day forward. Over the years I would think of that book off and on and then I heard about your book. I couldn't wait to buy and read. I loved it!! Your research was impeccable and your admiration and love for this great horse comes through admirably yet not overwhelming which is a great balance and tribute to you. I have been in touch with John Pollard and he also said he had emailed you and commended you on your rendition of this great time in history. I myself am a true Seabiscuit collector now and just got back from the exhibition in New York. It was excellent. Thank you again for being such a contributor to Seabiscuit's memory. You do him great justice. I can't wait for the movie and PBS special to come out. Do you know when yet, on either one? If you ever need an assistant to help you in any way I hope you will consider me. I am one of Seabiscuit's most loyal fans. Thank you again - Mary Ellen Quinn
Mary Ellen Quinn <mequinn16@mediaone.net>
Brockton, ma USA - Monday, November 19, 2001 at 19:30:28 (EST)
Dear Laura: I gave your book to my 89 yr. old father who is a former Ist team player Polo player, in Jamaica, West Indies. HIS Dad still holds the record for the most triple crown winners in the history of Jamaican racing. My Dad moaned when the book came to an end, and he "missed his Seabiscuit" for days! My husband wept, he was so moved by your story! We are giving your book to our 11 year old niece for her birthday. Have you thought of compiling a book of all your articles so far in other publications? I think you'd have another best-seller! Congratulations! Liz Keeling Carter
liz keeling carter <lizandclark@earthlink.net>
baltimore, md USA - Monday, November 19, 2001 at 10:24:13 (EST)
Laura, "Seabiscuit, An American Legend" was the highlight of my summer reading. I enjoyed it so very much that it was my selection for my book club. I have already gotten positive feedback from the group re my choice of books! We will be meeting on November 29th, and I had hoped that you might have some additional information that might give the group something special from you. I am also aware of the article in the November issue of the Ladies Home Journal. This issue is already off the newsstands. It takes three weeks for the magazine to get a copy to me, due to the Anthrax scare with the U.S. mail. Is there any way to simply get a copy of the article? Thank you for a reading treasure. Thank you too for help in locating the article. A very Happy Thanksgiving to you. Debbie Streiber
Deborah Streiber <debsaqt@earthlink.net>
Pacific Palisades, CA USA - Monday, November 19, 2001 at 09:27:47 (EST)
Dear Laura: I am a graduate of Kenyon College, and fellow CFS sufferer. (I became sick a couple years after my graduation in 1995.) I greatly enjoyed reading the inspiring article about you in the Kenyon Alumni Bulletin, and am so amazed and impressed by all that you have accomplished despite contracting such a debilitating illness. You have an incredible ability to inspire others through your life and writing...I commend you for continuing on in the face of adversity! Good luck and best wishes. Sincerely, Jennifer Marcellana
Jennifer Marcellana <capache@prodigy.net>
Attleboro, MA USA - Monday, November 19, 2001 at 09:10:07 (EST)
Ms hillenbrand, I just finished reading one of the greatest books I have ever read or will read. I have only one request, please dont let hollywood ruin this incredibly touching, humorous and uplifting story. Thanks again
jim angello
tx USA - Monday, November 19, 2001 at 01:49:46 (EST)
What an awesome book! I can't wait to see the movie. This book was extremely well written and I really liked how you detailed each person's life and revealed how they all eventually wound up together. Too bad today's history books aren't written as well for schools. I have been hooked on horses my entire life and became a race horse fan after seeing seattle slew in 1977. I noticed that Billy Turner was mentioned in your credits. I have unsucessfully tried to reach him to verify the authenticity of a saddle cloth that I have. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to email me as my search is at a stand still. Thank you for your time and for writing such an encredible book. Sincerely, Julie
Julie <KYDERBYDVA@aol.com>
IN USA - Sunday, November 18, 2001 at 22:44:03 (EST)
Laura. I'm originally from New Zealand and grew up around horses (mostly Standardbreds). Your wonderful book renewed a passion in me I have put on hold for too long. I remember being nine and whispering "run... you can do it!" into the ear of my best friend - a racehorse named Pontus, as he stood, shaking with fear ready to go out onto the track for the first time. He won. It was magic. So was your book. Thank you for the story and for the memories you invoke...
Hayley <hayley_hc@hotmail.com>
Syracuse, NY USA - Sunday, November 18, 2001 at 19:06:15 (EST)
I read Seabiscuit on the train from Chicago to Saratoga in August and thought the most amazing book on Racing or any other sport i've ever read. Good luck for next Monday's award ceremony here in London!
Jeremy Edge <jeremy39uk@yahoo.co.uk>
London, UK - Sunday, November 18, 2001 at 17:15:17 (EST)
Thank you Ms. Hillenbrand for such an extraordinary story. The excitment of the races, the jokey injuries...all the emotions, the scenes were described in such detail that I felt I was experiencing the event of that moment. I highly recommend this book, and look forward to seeing the movie in the near future. Josette
Josette Veltri-Arceri <jveltri2@optonline.net>
Massapequa Park, NY USA - Sunday, November 18, 2001 at 16:50:34 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, Thank you for writing such a fascinating book about Seabiscuit. I agree wholeheartedly with the opinions of the other readers of your book. Your work is superb. I really enjoyed reading the book. I don't know if I am allowed to mention it here but if anyone wants to acquire Seabiscuit memorabilia, they should check out the on-line auctions. I have seen some great (and not so great) items listed. Yes, I do have a beautiful, old lithograph of Seabiscuit racing around a track. It is in an on-line auction which ends on November 27, 2001. It was created by C. W. Anderson. Thank you for looking at it. Ms. Hillebrand, Thanks again!
Himalayanhikers <himalayanhikers@aol.com>
USA - Sunday, November 18, 2001 at 01:13:07 (EST)
Laura, I can't express enough how much I enjoyed your book. At times I was so enthralled by the action you put into your writing I would actually start skipping sentences just to read the outcome of the described event!!!! Your book was writing excellently and by reading your acknowledgements I only appreciate more your hard work and dedication... I can only imagine how overwhelmed you must have felt at times. You seemed to include every detail and nuance that made the book complete and I whole heartedly appreciate that. I can not wait for the movie... I am sure if you have a say in the making that it will be quite excellent. Once again thank you!!!!
Liz <collinseg12@hotmail.com>
Bronx, NY USA - Saturday, November 17, 2001 at 19:37:50 (EST)
Hello Laura,I just finishing reading the book. I'm not much of a reader, but I felt compelled to keep turning the pages. Thank you for inspiring me to push on. I have always felt like an underdog. Nothing seemed to have ever come easy to me. But now I finally can relate to someone else's story. Thanks
Michael <mikya317@yahoo.com>
South Amboy, NJ USA - Friday, November 16, 2001 at 21:42:06 (EST)
Dear Laura: Just read the book and thoroughly enjoyed it. My wife (who also read the book) and I were born and raised in southern California to parents who enjoyed horseracing. We spent much of our 20's and early 30's at Santa Anita, Hollywood Park and Del Mar. I often stopped to admire the statues of Seabiscuit and George Woolf while prowling the grounds at Santa Anita. Since we moved to this part of the country a number of years ago we have not had the opportunity to go to the races as often as we would like (although we have taken our children during spring vacations to Keeneland, a wonderful place). While horseracing is no longer the major sport it once was, there is nothing like the atmosphere at the track or the thrill of watching your horse take the lead in the home stretch. Thanks for bringing Seabiscuit to life and for rekindling memories of wonderful afternoons watching the most beautiful animals on earth. Ralph Christiana
Ralph Christiana <r_christiana@yahoo.com>
Chattanooga, Tennessee USA - Friday, November 16, 2001 at 18:38:08 (EST)
I have read reviews in magazines and I have read this whole site and the book looks excellent! I love horses and I ride atleast twice a week, so I feel like I can relate to the story somewhat. I have read books on Seabiscuit and he is one of my favortie horses in history ever because he is such a strong, intlligent, persevering horse. I can't wait to read the book and see the movie! Jennifer
Jennifer E. <nickverhart@peoplepc.com>
- Friday, November 16, 2001 at 18:37:01 (EST)
Dear Laura, I have just finished reading your excellent book on Seabiscuit, and enjoyed it very much. Since I live in Willits, I have heard of Seabiscuit often, and know the story of how Howard Memorial Hospital came to be. Our Willits museum has received three reels of home movie film from the Doctor Babcock family for use in our up-coming special exhibit of Seabiscuit. The film is now over 50 years old and is showing signs of deterioration. One reel concerns the casting of the full-size bronze Seabiscuit statue for Santa Anita, another is from the classic race of Seabiscuit and War Admiral, and the third shows Doc Babcock working around the horses at the ranch here in Willits. I was wondering if you thought any of your contacts from researching the material for your book would be interested in helping us fund the restoration and preservation of these films. We are exploring sources of funds locally and may need more than is available here. Please let me know if you have any ideas. Any interested readers may contact me if you would like to participate. Sincerely, Robert W Terry rwterry@saber.net
Robert Terry <rwterry@saber.net>
Willits, CA USA - Friday, November 16, 2001 at 13:57:27 (EST)
After 25 years of Art directing/designing record covers, posters and rock and roll photography books (The Photographers' Led Zepplin") my professional opinion regarding the dust cover of your compelling biography on the Legendary Seabiscuit, is that it's completely inferior! I want to see the horse, not the horses ass, the egotistical owner or his self abusive jockey. What's wrong with this picture? Your publishing company has has done more than edit the printed word. Tell them to place their 20% off sticker over their logo instead of croping Seabiscuits' head off. Who is this BOOK about anyways. SEABISCUIT is the HERO of this story. And if your publishers don't know that, let them read MY comments!!!
Kathe Schreyer <kathezone@aol.com>
Sherman Oaks , CA USA - Friday, November 16, 2001 at 13:46:59 (EST)
I read a lot and this is one of the best books I have ever read. I only wish my mother who loved horse racing and was pretty good at picking winners could have lived long enough to read it. I too came down with Chronic Fatigue Syndrom about fifteen years ago. It was not diagnosed until 1991 when I was finally able to get Social Security disability. One thing that showed up was that I had Ebstein-Barr (whatever it's called) that showed up in my blood. I woke up one morning with very achy muscles and thought I had flu. However, this flu would not go away. I came down with multiple symptoms such as spastic color but no real disease with it and ulcer-like symptoms but no ulcer. I found that many of these were caused by allergies and helped by allergy shots. Treatments such as sauna baths, taking Niacin, etc. to take the poisons out of my body also helped. I have a theory that Chronic Fatigue syndrom may be caused by the body being overstressed...in short, perhaps by pushing yourself to do too much for too long. I had smoked for 30 years and never took vitamins. Especially not Vitamin C during a winter with very little sunshine and a diet that included very few foods that contain Vitamin C. I did not really get a good diagnosis until I went to Dr. A. Robbins in Boca Raton, Florida, who is an expert in Environmental Medicine. Thank you for one terrific book. Patricia Scott Fernandez
Patricia Scott Fernandez <tonybays@aol.com>
West Palm Beach, FL USA - Friday, November 16, 2001 at 05:07:46 (EST)
dear laura: a wonderful tale with colorful characters and an extraordinary horse! i was drawn right into the story...made me wish i could travel back to the time of "seabiscuit"!
v. seitz
ridley park, pa USA - Friday, November 16, 2001 at 01:50:17 (EST)
Dear Laura, I gave Seabiscuit to my sister in-law for her birthday and she just loved it. She lent it to me and since than it's been passed around to several people and every one of them love it. I recently bought a horse and that story inspired me. After I read that book I couldn't stop thinking about that wonderful horse and those wonderful people who took care of him. Fate, how lucky for that horse that such a thing exsits.
Laura Giese <lgiese@power-engineering.net>
Alameda, CA USA - Thursday, November 15, 2001 at 16:38:05 (EST)
FROM THE AUTHOR: National Public Radio's Diane Rehm Show will rebroadcast its hour-long feature on Seabiscuit on Thanksgiving, November 22, from 10:00-11:00 AM EST. Tune in while you cook! Thank you to all my readers who wrote to Diane requesting a broadcast.
Laura Hillenbrand
Washington, DC USA - Thursday, November 15, 2001 at 13:10:15 (EST)
Excellent research, excellent details, excellent writing, excellent story. This is one of the best in a long time. You have crafted an insightful, educational, empathetic and entertaining chronicle. I caught your interview on Good Morning America a while back and, being a horse lover, thought I'd pick up the book. Well, I did pick it up and couldn't put it down. Thank you for the effort it took to create such a jewel.
Debi Wade Jordan
Bowling Green, Ky USA - Wednesday, November 14, 2001 at 23:48:09 (EST)
I am reading your book and find it very charming. I would never have chosen a book about a race horse except for your interview on the show on PBS a couple months ago. Your telling of the story of Seabiscuit compelled me to buy the book the next day for my husband and of course I could borrow it! The book is every bit as entertaining as you made it sound. Thanks for the pleasure in learning about Seabiscuit and his world!
Susan Portas
St. Louis, MO USA - Wednesday, November 14, 2001 at 21:59:48 (EST)
Dear Laura, It's interesting that 60 years later in 1998, Americans would be following Mark McGwire's every move, while plowing money into their 401Ks. Your beautifully written story was an engrossing and welcome respite from today's headlines.
Ron Ziskin <ron.ziskin@gte.net>
Los Angeles, CA USA - Wednesday, November 14, 2001 at 15:09:13 (EST)
Dear Laura, I bought your book for my Dad (a race horsing fan)last Father's Day after I heard your interview on NPR. He fell in love with the book, then I fell in love with it. You tell a beautiful story, and my family looks forward to more of your books. PS. I hope this finds you feeling well.
Kathy Accorsi <kaccorsi@att.net>
Eatontown, NJ USA - Wednesday, November 14, 2001 at 14:01:39 (EST)
Dear Laura, Loved Seabuiscuit. Thanks for telling a wonderful story.
walter crane <skitzo425@yahoo.com>
Clevland , Tn USA - Wednesday, November 14, 2001 at 12:40:36 (EST)
Dear Laura: This is the sort of book I wish I could write! I have tremendous respect for (and love) what you have done with this wonderful story. I spent the first 8 years of my life on Greenspring Avenue in Baltimore County, Maryland -- less than 5 miles from Sagamore Farm. I am so proud to know how much you thought of Mr. A. G. Vanderbilt. I never met him, but visited his beautiful farm as a child. I am glad to know what a kind man he was. Thank you for bringing the horses, people, and places of Seabiscuit's time to life in your book, and for keeping me company for a week. All the best to you -- good health, energy, and much, much happiness -- Your friend, Jackie King
Jacqueline J. King <jking@state.pa.us>
Mechanicsburg, PA USA - Tuesday, November 13, 2001 at 16:00:08 (EST)
I just finished reading your book and thought it was GREAT! As a child I read all sorts of horse stories and had read about Seabiscuit. Your book made him and all those involved around him come alive again. I would like to know when you write another book.
Bonnie Lind <blind@fremont.k12.ca.us>
Hayward, CA USA - Tuesday, November 13, 2001 at 15:17:52 (EST)
hi HAVE READ WITH INTEREST THE ARTICLES ABOUT YOU AND YOUR FINE BOOK. SAW ON GUEST BOOK YOU GET ALL KINDS OF INFO ABOUT HOW TO FIGHT CFS. I'VE TRIED MOST OF THAT STUFF TO NO AVAIL. I,M SUPPOSE TO BE ONE THE WORST CFS PATIENTS. HAD IT FOR 25 YRS, NOW IN 1974 WAS HEALTHY ENOUGH TO RUN ACROSS THE USA AND WAS NATIONAL RANKED DISTANCE RUNNERTIL I GOT ILL. HAD TO BE PUSHED AROUND IN A WHEELCHAIR A YEAR AGOTILL I STARTED A PROCESS THAT HAS MADE MY CFS NON-EXISTENT, JUST RAN A 5K RACE SUNDAY, I BROKE DOWN CRYING WHEN REFLECTING ON HOW FAR I HAVE COMEBACK FROM THIS AGONIZING PROBLEM, HAVING PRACTICALLY ALL YOUR SYMPTONS IN THE PAST.CFS SUPPORT GROUP I WENT TO WAS FLABBERGASTED AT THE CHANGE, SOME PEOPLE HARDLY RECOGNIZED ME. AT ONE TIME I WAS CONSIDERED THE WEAKEST OF THE WHOLE BUNCH, AND NOW I CAN'T RELATE TO CFS FOLKS. OUR LEADER SAY YOU CAN'T ARGUE AGAINST RESULTS. WHAT I DO IS ACTUALLY PRETTY SIMPLE, SEEMS TO SIMPLE TO SOME TO GET THESE KIND OF RESULTS. BUT DOES TAKE TIME AND SOME DISCIPLINE, BUT IT'S BETTER THAN LIVING WITH THE HORROR OF CFS LIKE I HAVE HAD TO. THE SPECIALIST WHO HAS HELPED SAYS HE FEELS THERE IS NO TRUE CFS, IT'S BASICALLY A SYMPTON PROBLEM. HE SAYS LET'S GET TO THE ROOT . I DISAGREED AT IST BUT NOW I CAN SAY PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING I GUESS. HOPE YOU ARE DOING WELLAND CONTINUED SUCCESS, HOPE YOU DIDN'T MIND ME TELLING OF MY EXPERIENCE. REGARDS HW
heinz wiegand <runheinz@aol.com>
new hope,al. , al USA - Tuesday, November 13, 2001 at 10:31:21 (EST)
Dear Laura, I just finished the book this afternoon. I am still tense with the excitement of Seabiscuit's race against War Admiral and his last in the Santa Anita Handicap. I can't wait for the movie. Some months ago I heard you on WAMU being interviewed, I believe by Diame Rehm. Your own personal story and perseverance drew me to the story more than anything else. Your love of these characters, the horse and the story make it evident that your heart is as large as Seabisuit's. Thank you.
Steve Roszel <sarozel@netscape.com>
Alexandria, VA USA - Monday, November 12, 2001 at 15:39:29 (EST)
Laura: "Seabiscuit" was loaned to me by a friend who said he couldn't put it down. After three late night sessions I finally put it down, totally taken by the detail and passion of your story. Only after reading the acknowledgements, did I realize how much you put into this work. We have lived in Lexington for almost 40 years but have not been a part of the horse world. I now have a better understanding of the pure genius that goes into the making of a winner. Thank you.
Helm Roberts <helm@helmr.com>
Lexington, KY USA - Monday, November 12, 2001 at 09:24:13 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: I have been a lover of horses all my life but never much of a race enthusiast. Having read some of the terrible things that go on in the racing world, namely the abuse and sometimes brutal murder of horses for high priced insurance policies. A friend offered me your book and I couldn't put it down. Your style of writing really does make it seem more of a novel than a biography. The description of the races made me feel as though I was actually watching them and found myself breathing hard and reading faster to see who won! Have also always been a champion of the underdog, especially one who has had to work extra hard to make the grade and the team of Seabiscuit, Howard, Pollard and Smith certainly filled the bill. All I could think was what a great movie this would make but with the hope that the excitement, integrity and facts would not be sacrificed to make a Hollywood hit. With you as the consultant, I feel certain that will not happen. I look forward to reading more of your work and will search my old Equus magazines for your name and look for it in the future. Bravo on a magnificent accomplishment and for further immortalizing a team in American history that needed recognition. I always knew my own horse tries her best when I ask her to try something new or give me that little bit more when I want it. Others say I have a vivid imagination but she and I know better. Kudos to you and thank you for a terrific read!
M. C. MacKenzie <rn911@sprynet.com>
Redlands, CA USA - Monday, November 12, 2001 at 02:05:19 (EST)
Dear Laura: Your book was wonderful and inspired me to send you a note. I was a 'racetracker' from 1971 until this year when I retired from training thoroughbreds at Belmont and Aqueduct Racetracks. I would like to inquire about somethings relating to my grandfather: George Frederick Alpers, a leading gentleman rider in the early 1900s. I have aquired his scrapebook, some riding programs (including General Patton), a list of signatures of the members in his Cavalry unit and a book "There's a Fox in the Spinney: Memoirs of fox-hunting, racing and publishing" by Stuart Rose, who fought and rode with my grandfather.Is it possible to inquire about the method needed to try and contact some of these families listed in his unit? Also, is there someone I can contact to preserve these newsclippings which are now close to a century old? Thank you for any help you can offer. I am using my sister's computer. If you can contact me at this email address, I will be glad to send you my own home address for further correspondence. My appreciation for the perfect book to enjoy and for any assistance with my questions.
Sue Alpers Mondello <dbduck72@coastalnet.com>
New Bern, NC USA - Sunday, November 11, 2001 at 18:12:57 (EST)
Dear Laura: Just a quick note to tell you how much I enjoyed your book. I have never been to a horse race AND I have never written a fan letter. You really opened up my eyes to a world I knew nothing about. What an assortment of characters. I enjoyed reading every word tears rolled down my face when I read the Epilogue. I still laugh when I think about that wonderful phrase "shit godzilla!" Thank you so much for an enjoyable read. So when is your next book coming out?
Wally Broege <wbroege@optonline.net>
Wading River, NY USA - Sunday, November 11, 2001 at 14:36:10 (EST)
Dear Laura, thank you for a beautifully written book about an endearing "litte horse". I have never seen a runner race, but through your incredible account of Seabiscuit's races I felt as if I was there in the stands. I couldn't wait until the finish, but as I grew closer to the end of the book Ii didn't want it to end. Thank you again for a truly wonderful gift. Linda Tink
linda tink <myron1924@yahoo.com>
farmington hills, mi USA - Sunday, November 11, 2001 at 13:13:57 (EST)
I picked this book because I needed a book for my English book report and I like reading about horses. The reason i like reading about horses is because i have a few of my own. Anyway I saw your book thought it looked good and bought it. I could never put it down. The detail and description you put in it is amazing.You describe everyone. I like the fact that the book really took place. It makes you think more about your life. Those three men worked hard and they got to their dream. I really liked the book and I hope you right more books about horses.
K im W <kwallace43@hotmail.com>
Canada - Saturday, November 10, 2001 at 18:52:56 (EST)
I haven't finished reading a book in a very long time. I barely get through the daily paper. I used to love horses - even worked as a vet assistant through college. I was there to see Secretariat win the Triple Crown at Belmont. I was there when Secretariat lost to Onion at the Travers Stakes in Saratoga Springs. As a kid I read a book called "Old Bones", about a horse named Exterminator who ran with Man O' War. I forgot about all of that. Then I saw Laura's interview on Good Morning America. I wanted to read her book. I had to wait three weeks to get it from the library. Finally I got it, and within pages of reading it I couldn't put it down. It brought back my memories of my love of horses. the book was so vivid in detail that I felt like I was there, just under the surface. At this time following 9/11, it felt great to get lost in the story, and relive those years of the 1930's and 1940's. The combination of man and horse that brought Seabiscuit to his full potential was a story that few people today would know about. Thank you Laura for bringing this to life today. There are many lessons that can be taken from those days, and applied to life in the 2000's. I hope more and more people read your book. It truly is one of the best ever!!! Congratulations!
Mary Ann Schmidt <schmidt1@worldpath.net>
Center Harbor, NH USA - Friday, November 09, 2001 at 19:49:00 (EST)
I am in the middle of reading 'Biscuit for the SECOND time. Just a GREAT book. I interviewed Laura for my web cast at www.turfnsport.com a couple of months ago and I am replaying that interview on this week's Turf 'n' Sport Radio Network (direct link using Real Audio is www.turfnsport.com/turf.ram). It will be up from today til 11/16. I can't wait for the movie! Laura, I hope you are feeling well!!! Michael Dempsey www.turfnsport.com www.trackmaster.com
Michael Dempsey <turfnsport@aol.com>
Falls Church , VA USA - Friday, November 09, 2001 at 17:27:02 (EST)
I have not read a book this good in a long time , your book is a Master piece of description , it was like I was there looking over the shoulder of the characters. We live close to Del Mar race track and you took us to the track when it was THE place to go during race season ! BRAVO !!!
Ted Purcell <Ted Purcell@aol.com>
San Diego, CA USA - Friday, November 09, 2001 at 12:18:51 (EST)
Laura, thank you for writing this wonderful book. I just finished it and only work and sleep kept me from it. It reminded me of times in the forties when we played a horse racing board game with a spinning dial in the center. I always took Seabiscuit for my horse and I'm sure Seabiscuit and I always won. Thanks again for your dedication to telling a wonderful story.
David White
Fresno, CA USA - Friday, November 09, 2001 at 00:51:58 (EST)
Miss Hillenbrand, Terrific book! You wrote this book with love and poesy. Yes, I shed a tear or tow for not only this game horse, but for the three idiosyncratic men who were so special in the Biscuit's life. Your researach was meticulous and, as a result, the book circumscribed an intriguing journey of three men and a pegasus-hero. What horse racing needs now is another hero like Seabiscuit, Whirlaway, Citation, Secretariat, Native Dance or Seattle Slew. Sadly, with our horsemen breeding for sprinters who break down after eight races, it will be a long time before we see a truly game horse that will run his heart out year after year instead of being consigned to the stud farm. Thank you for a riveting, poignant and informative book. Loved it.
Pat Kirk <horsecrazypk@cs.com>
Aiken Aiken , SC USA - Thursday, November 08, 2001 at 22:53:11 (EST)
Ms. Hillenbrand: Your book is truly remarkable. Touching, informative, and interesting. It was well thought out and well written. You have put a lot of time and effort into your book and you should be very proud of it. Best of luck in the future.
Lyn <SNLChryss@AOL>
Avenel, NJ USA - Thursday, November 08, 2001 at 18:08:38 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hilenbrand: I just want to thank you for your wonderfully readable and thoroughly researched book. I must say that I was initially drawn to your book about Seabicuit after I read about you and your travails (I hope you're feeling better!)in the Washington Post style section feature story. Aperson totally uninterested in horse racing as sport, this is a book I could recommend to practicaly anyone. I was particularly interested in some of the general information about the sport, I wonder how you were able to recreate some of the racing scenes after all these years. In sum, you book was a great read and an eye into a period of tiem and subject that I would not otherwise have delved into.
John Berger <jrb1497@aol.com>
Arnold, MD 21012 - Thursday, November 08, 2001 at 14:30:51 (EST)
Laura - Wonderful job on the book. Couldn't put it down. Grew up going to Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, AR. I also noticed the accolades regarding your agent, Tina Bennett, and was wondering if you would mind forwarding her my e-mail address. I am in search of a good, reputable agent to help me market a sports and history related book that I researched and wrote with the help of the country's division I colleges. Spent over two years getting the licensing agreements to use their trademarks and logos. A small first printing sold very well and I am seeking a publisher with expertise to take it to the next level. I would of course be more than happy to send you both sample copies if interested. Thank you very much for your time - Mark T. Jenkins.
Mark Jenkins <mtj@myexcel.com>
Orlando, FL USA - Thursday, November 08, 2001 at 11:32:58 (EST)
WRITE MORE!! Didn't want the Seabiscuit story to end. When it did I felt like I lost close friends and family. Would like information on your personal apprearances. Work with a major campus student organization that features interesting authors, politicians, celebrities etc. In the past we've had Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Robert Kennedy Jr, Dr. Ruth, Madame Sadat, Bruce Vilanch, Elie Weisel and many many more!
Joan K
Columbus, OH USA - Thursday, November 08, 2001 at 10:50:40 (EST)
MS. Hillenbrand: Congratulations on this terrific book. Baby boomers like me cannot fully appreciate the trauma of those depression years and your book gives us perspective on that period before television and ubiquitous sports news of all types. Living here in Burlingame also added to the enjoyment of the book. I probably drive past the Tanforan shopping center every day and have attended Bay Meadows several time. Much of the Bay Meadows property (the practice track and stable area) is now being developed. Further, the stories about Crosby stir memories for all of us golf nuts who have followed the golf exploits of his son Nathaniel who is a fine gentleman. Your book has been one of the most enjoyable sports books I've ever read. Best regards
Al Jamieson <jamiesonusmc@home.com>
Burlingame, CA USA - Thursday, November 08, 2001 at 08:39:30 (EST)
Dear Ms Hillenbrand, It would be nice to get in touch with you in some way. You see, I am a Swedish translator and am right now working on your book Seabiscuit. I must say that I really appreciate the book and it is not easy to to make it as good in swedish as it is in english. I am doing my best anyway and it is very amusing, I simply love doing it! Would it be possible for me to put some questions to you every now and then, if there are parts that are difficult to understand. I am interested in horses, live on a farm with my husband and my two children. We have horses, but no race horses, though. That is why I need to ask you some question sometimes. Best wishes, Elisabeth Lundeberg-Karlsson
Elisabeth Lundberg-Karlsson <elisabeth.lk@brevet.nu>
Gnesta, Sweden - Wednesday, November 07, 2001 at 14:38:44 (EST)
Dear Laura: It is hard to find any new accolades which haven't been entered into the guest book yet . . . but I'll try. I heard about the book on NPR and couldn't wait to take a look. I sat down with a coffee at the bookstore, and by page 12 I was up at the counter buying the book [even though my mother had just gotten it from the library]. It is a fabulously written, front to back. Thank you for a glorious job. And to add, I also suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome and admire your tenacity in getting this monumental task done in spite of that illness. Congratulations! You took me on a journey that I didn't want to end. All very best, Lynne Larkin
Lynne Larkin <larkinl@earthlink.net>
Vero Beach, FL USA - Wednesday, November 07, 2001 at 12:44:10 (EST)
Dear Laura, I'm not in the habit of writing fan letters, but wanted to tell you personally how much I enjoyed reading your inspirational book about Seabiscuit. Though I make my living in television (ironically, for a company called Pegasus), one of my extracurricular passions is horseracing. In 1969 at the age of ten, I watched a horse with a curious name, Arts and Letters, win the Belmont Stakes. I watched lots of television then, despite the dearth of channel choices before cable, but had never watched horseracing. Four years later, along with the rest of the world, I sat riveted as the greatest horse of our generation ran into the record books in the same race. I was irrevocably hooked on the sport. When I got to the chapter detailing the match race between Seabiscuit and War Admiral (I was late for an appointment so I could finish it), I felt the same giddiness I had while captivated by "Big Red" on the tube in 1973. What a thrill it must have been for you to do the interviews, gather the stories and retell the tale in glorious, lyrical prose! Last year, my husband and I realized one of our long-standing dreams and now enjoy the privilege of being thoroughbred owners. We have a share of a young stallion called Unbridled Jet, who stands at Maryland's oldest breeding facility, Country Life farm. Probably not far from where you are in DC. We also have a 4 year old gelding named Danesfort (by Silver Ghost), an enormously self-absorbed, handsome, promising distance runner. We share ownership of a 4 year old Cozzene filly named Cozzy Rhythm, also grey, also a talented runner and broodmare prospect. We just sold our other retired runner, a 5 year old Relaunch mare named Fantasy Land, out of a mare called Tizna. Lastly, we just bought two yearlings, a bay filly by You and I, who will be named You Two, and another grey filly, shockingly pushy and smart (must be the color), by With Approval. Her name will be Withorwithoutyou. Yes, I have a terrible weakness for grey horses. Must be my Hibernian roots. All are housed with our trainers, Travis and Wendy Kinnamon, at a beautiful place called Breakaway Farm in Lancaster County, PA, about 15 minutes from the Maryland border. Travis and Wendy are up and coming young trainers (primarily turf) who specialize in breaking young horses, rehabilitating broken horses, and pampering ours beyond reason. Wendy's parents have one of the most successful breeding and racing operations in PA, called Sylmar Farm. Congratulations on your success with the book and the movie adaptation. I'm sure you'll be busy as the screenplay's developed and location shooting begins, but if you ever have time and want to make the trek up the highway into PA to meet some of the good folks in the horse business up here, let me know. We'd love to introduce you to our four-legged family and their friends. Thanks again for a marvelous read. Best regards, Denise Rolfe VP, Broadcast Operations Pegasus Communications Bala Cynwyd, PA
Denise Rolfe <Denise.Rolfe@pgtv.com>
Wyncote, PA USA - Tuesday, November 06, 2001 at 16:43:38 (EST)
SEABISCUIT DESERVES THE COVER - He is the hero!!!!!
Debbie
Kansas City, MO USA - Tuesday, November 06, 2001 at 14:50:43 (EST)
I really enjoyed this book, I'm a fan of racehorses so this was by far the best
Lisa <nellie@mormons.com>
Delta, Oh USA - Tuesday, November 06, 2001 at 13:24:39 (EST)
FROM THE AUTHOR: In reply to the previous note concerning the origin of the word "upset," for years it has been lore in racing that the use of the word to mean the unexpected defeat of a favorite originated with Man o'War's loss to the racehorse Upset. It's a great story, but unfortunately, it doesn't hold up. According to Dorothy Ours, who is currently writing the definitive Man o' War biography, Chain Lightning, this race has nothing to do with that use of the word "upset." She was able to locate numerous incidences in which the word was used by journalists in this sports context prior to that race. Indeed, when Man o' War lost, journalists covering the race pointed out the remarkable coincidence that he lost to a horse named Upset. I wish I could say that Man o'War changed our language, but he did not. Laura Hillenbrand
Laura Hillenbrand
Washington, DC USA - Tuesday, November 06, 2001 at 09:35:49 (EST)
I am most of the way through the book and am very impressed at by the way you succinctly capture racetrack lexicon and the way we "backsiders" see the game. However, there are two things I must mention. Early on, you speak of Man'o War getting beat by a horse "coincidently named Upset." It was no coincidence as there was no such sports term (upset) prior to Man 'O War's defeat. Secondly on page 152 you refer to "Conway" (War Admiral's trainer George Conway) without any first reference. We learn his first name on page 200. A great book, these are just notes for the reprint.
John Maloney <smuteye@msn.com>
Arvada, CO USA - Tuesday, November 06, 2001 at 01:51:33 (EST)
I am most of the way through the book and am very impressed at by the way you succinctly capture racetrack lexicon and the way we "backsiders" see the game. However, there are two things I must mention. Early on, you speak of Man'o War getting beat by a horse "coincidently named Upset." It was no coincidence as there was no such sports term (upset) prior to Man 'O War's defeat. Secondly obn page 152 you refer to "Conway" (War Admiral's trainer George Conway) without any first reference. We learn his first name on page 200. A great book, these are just notes for the reprint.
John Maloney <smuteye@msn.com>
Arvada, CO USA - Tuesday, November 06, 2001 at 01:50:19 (EST)
FROM THE AUTHOR: In reply to the earlier note about speed in quarter horses, Pratt's finding of 56 mph was a recording of top speed, not average speed. Average speed would indeed be slower. Laura Hillenbrand
Laura Hillenbrand
Washington, DC USA - Monday, November 05, 2001 at 23:08:19 (EST)
Laura, I am no horse racing fan, but just finished listening to "Seabiscuit" on tape during a trip in the car. I saw you on Good Morning America and decided to buy the tapes...I'm glad I did! I like to mention the word "Seabiscuit" to older adults (I'm 40). They ALL have heard of him of course. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and look forward to the movie and the PBS documentary. Please let us know via your website when the PBS show will air. Congratulations and Well Done! Sara in Ohio
Sara Grimm <grimmts@wadsnet.com>
OH USA - Monday, November 05, 2001 at 21:14:24 (EST)
I just finished your book Seabiscuit, An American Legend, and fell in love with Seabiscuit all over again. I still have my children's book Come on Seabiscuit by Ralph Moody. As a child I read any and all books I could find about horses. Thank you for this wonderful account of the life of Seabiscuit. I'm no literary critic, but you have a wonderful way with words!
Joan Renner <renner@futureone.com>
Prescott, AZ USA - Monday, November 05, 2001 at 20:44:30 (EST)
Laura: I want to thank you for writing a masterpiece. Seabiscuit was truly enjoyable. Even my wife said, "that Seabiscuit most be a good book because you hardly ever read." I also want to thank you for providing me with an education. I work in the industry as a pharmaceutical representative with both small animal and equine responsibility. Our company purchased and provided us with a copy of your book in order to provide us with an insight into the racing industry. What amazes me is that it hasn't changed that much over the years. You provided excellent insight about an industry that is relatively new to me. Thank you. I'm looking forward to the movie! Greg
Greg Osmun <greg.osmun@pharmacia.com>
Indianapolis, IN USA - Monday, November 05, 2001 at 20:10:17 (EST)
I used to work in Ukiah in the 30's and followed Seabiscuit along with the Mission Reds baseball team, which later became the Hollywood Stars. Your book was great, and brought back many memories of the times. I hope you are able to get the Movie to stick with the facts and not be a bomb like the Shirley Temple Feasco. I will be looking forward to the movie. Give it a "G" rating as I would like to be able to take my Grand, and Great Grand children to see it. Thank you Andrew Robertson
Andy Robertson <louandy19@hotmail.com>
Lafayette, In USA - Monday, November 05, 2001 at 19:00:36 (EST)
Great, great book. As a boy growing up near Santa Anita in the 40's, my father picked me up from school during the week to catch the eighth race (back then an 8 race card was standard) almost daily. Saturdays were spent at Santa Anita and Hollywood Park. On occasion, we drove to Del Mar. His stories about Seabiscuit, War Admiral, Chas. Howard, Red Pollard, Tom Smith and others jumped back in my mind as I read your wonderful biography of this great racehorse. In the late forties and early fifties I'de hang out at the Arcadia bowling alley where many of the Jockeys played pool in the evenings. Neves, Longden, Arcaro and of course, The Shoe, are names that were part of my youth. Later I was priviledged to watch another great racehorse campaign in Southern California, Citation was the greatest I ever saw personally. His match race with Noor will never be forgotten. What a job you did researching this wonderful story!! Bob Powell Santa Fe, NM
Robert Powell <rpowell@grouppowellone.com>
Santa Fe, NM USA - Monday, November 05, 2001 at 14:59:13 (EST)
Dear Ms Hillenbrand, Anything praise I could heap on your book would not do it justice. It was in a word, superb. I have been a horse player for 45 years and have known men around tracks for many of those years. They all had interesting stories to tell but none approached yours for detail and almost oracular insight you exhibited in your book. I have argued for many years that jockeys are the bravest atheletes of all and your book overwhelmingly proves it. So thank you very much for writing SEABISCUIT. I shall treasure it forever. Please do not take this next as a criticism but this fellow George Pratt who told you that a quarter horse can run 55 miles per hour is just dead wrong. In order to run a quarter mile at 60 miles per hour a horse would have to run 440 yards in 15 seconds. 15 seconds. If you divide 60 by 55 tou get 1.090. When you multply 15 seconds by 1.090 you get 16.36 seconds. The present record for 440 yards is 20.94 seconds. This math shows that quarter horses can run about 42.97 miles per hour. That aside your book is still by far the greatest tome on racing ever written. John Sjoquist
John Sjoquist <seabranch@zianet.com>
Las Cruces, NM USA - Monday, November 05, 2001 at 12:46:05 (EST)
My dad loved your book. I thought a nice present for him would be to find a print of Seabiscuit. I have had absolutely no luck. Do you have any ideas. Thanks Scott
Scott Brockway <brockway@outlawnet.com>
Bend, Or USA - Sunday, November 04, 2001 at 20:38:35 (EST)
NAPA VALLEY-SUNDAY MORNING "SEABISCUIT(just)SAILED INTO HISTORY(again)...RUNNING EASY" THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES.EXQUISITE!
Robert Steinberg <sherfund3@yahoo.com>
St.Helena, CA USA - Sunday, November 04, 2001 at 13:30:20 (EST)
i just want to thank you for this book and wonderful story you have brought into our homes across the country. red pollard was my great uncle and hearing the story growing up through the family was always interesting---my grandpa and red's brother used to play fight with us when ever we visited in the summertime, but not once did i ever meet red in person. my mom on the other hand did. we grew up thinking our grandfather was a heroic figure because of his canadian boxing career and of course just simply bieng our grandfather. red has a lot of family out here in california and we have all read the book---i just finished and i must say i swept through that book in about four days, i couldn't put it down. not only from the story and time period in history but the fact that you took a peice of my family and shared it with me and the rest of my family in detail i just wanted to thank you personally. not sure if you'll ever get to read this but i can tell from the work you've displayed you already know how grateful we all are.thank you
jason patrick alg <r8rcountry@aol.com>
fairfield, ca USA - Sunday, November 04, 2001 at 06:48:22 (EST)
Wow. Thanks Pam Athena (below) for your beautiful, sad, inpiring story. It seems like Seabiscuit really is your horse. I borrowed "Seabiscuit" from the library after my acupuncturist saw the author interviewed on TV. I, also, have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, so "Seabiscuit" is doubly inspiring to me: writer with CFS beats the odds and writes a magnificent, inspiring, obviously labour-intensive book. Seabiscuit teaches us the power of "heart." What a horse!
Jennifer Lunden <jennifer.lunden@webmail.une.edu>
Portland, ME USA - Saturday, November 03, 2001 at 23:54:13 (EST)
Seabiscuit, My Patron Saint and why. I was born in NYC 1970, a product of a 16 year old mother and an 18 year old father, bound for college in Florida. They married under shotgun circumstances and their relationship was not a happy one to say the least. After the wedding, my father continued on to college and left my mother behind, still living with her parents. Throughout the time that my father was not present in my life, my mother was close to me and taught me to read by age 3. This would later turn into the greatest gift she had ever given me. When my father returned to NYC from school in Florida, he and my mother resumed their relationship, and my Grandparents moved away to North Carolina. Soon, my two younger brothers were born, a year apart. My father had his own share of emotional problems and was physically abusive to my mother. My father became an alcoholic and compulsive gambler, often losing whole months of salary on horseracing, and taking his losses out on my mother's body. From my earliest memories, I loved horses. A horse crazy girl, I'd talk about my dreams of one day becoming a jockey. This brought fear and panic to my mother who connected my love of horses and racing with my father's gambling habit and abuse. I was discouraged at my mother's insistence to stop being so wrapped up in horses. 1975, I was 5 years old and my mother could not take my father's abuse any longer and they divorced. My mother was not a strong woman at that point in her life, now single, 21 years old with 3 kids, and no immediate family in the state. She enrolled in welfare and got us food stamps and tried to give us a stable home. However she became gripped in a terrible, deep depression with manic episodes and several nervous breakdowns. I had to grow wise beyond my years and assist my mother with daily chores, eventually shouldering many more responsibilities than any child ever deserved. From changing diapers to preparing basic meals for my brothers and myself, while my mother locked herself in the bathroom to sit on the floor and cry for hours at a time. Living in the city, apartment prices aren't cheap. The higher the apartment, the cheaper the rent, so subsequently all the apartments I had ever lived in were on the 3rd or 4th floor, old buildings with no elevators. Flight after flight of stairs. My mother became deeply disturbed and manic and was so wrapped up in her own personal depression that I was forced to do laborious tasks to keep the family functioning. She stayed home with my younger brothers and I had to take over the tasks that required leaving the apartment. Several times a week I was made to walk 5 blocks to the nearest Laundromat and wash 3 hampers full of clothes. I could not carry all three hampers at once so I was forced to make multiple trips back and forth, while one load was washing, I was trekking back to pick up the second load, toss the second load into the washer, first load goes into the dryer, then back to my home for the third load, etc. Each trip taking me up 4 flights of stairs to boot! Sometimes I walked a total of 60 blocks. I became the workhorse of the family. Walking city streets with a small rickety metal 2 wheeled shopping cart, loaded with up to 8 full paper bags of groceries from my mothers exacting lists. Dragging and hauling loads back and forth up the flights of stairs, along city blocks day in and day out. Then the responsibility of household duties, schoolwork, homework was at many times more than the average person could bear. To revisit this part of my childhood, even now is sad and depressing. My young life back then knew only work. I began to experience knee pain right around the time I turned 7 years old. No amount of crying or complaining could convince my mother that there was actually something physically wrong with me. I used to sit in a hot bath before collapsing into bed at night, throbbing in my knees keeping me awake, never getting enough good rest. I would beg her to not make me walk so much, but to no avail. I was labeled a complainer, whiner...or that I was experiencing 'growing pains' . I still had years ahead of me as far as the physical demands my mother and our life put on me. The groceries needed buying, the laundry needed washing and it was always up to me to get it done. My only true escape was in my reading. When I had free time, which wasn't often, I would hole up in the local library and immerse myself in reading about my glorious horses. I had big dreams of being a jockey and one day escaping the drudgery to be sitting on a horse in the winners circle!! Every book on jockeys and horses became fodder for my imagination and a temporary escape from my pain. One day, about 1977, in my little nook in the library, I set down with a copy of 'Come on Seabiscuit' by R. Moody. I had always heard the name Seabiscuit in passing, but never really knew much about the horse or his story. I began to read that book and sat unmoving, devouring it cover to cover. In my child's mind I felt like I had just met a kindred spirit. Seabiscuit's bad knees, overworked and unappreciated life, before Charles Howard, Oh how I felt that was so much like me! Seabiscuit then became my mental friend, my companion and my driving force to carry on. No matter how much it hurt, no matter how much I thought I could not go on, thoughts of him would come to me and give me the extra bit of courage I needed to complete whatever task was at hand. I even started taking care of my own knees in ways that I read Tom Smith had helped heal Seabiscuit. I would cover my legs in liniment and bandages, and hold my weight off them whenever I could. Soak in hot water at night, or chill my knees in icewater bandages. Sometimes my self treatments would provide me with temporary relief, enough for me to carry on. Over the years I continued to nurture my love for horses. Magazines, movies, sporting events, books...anything and everything horse I could get a hold of. I oozed 'horse sense'. No one in the City could understand why I dreamed of rolling pastures and livestock. Images from TV and the Kentucky Derby, showing gorgeous bluegrass farms and paddocks with foals was what I dreamed of being a part of. Traveling pony ride companies would set up shop at local school carnivals and while the students and my classmates held their nose and screeched about manure stink, I always found it strangely comforting and inoffensive. In 1984, I turned 14. Dreams have a way of changing and deep in my heart I knew I could never really be a jockey, being that I was already 5'5" and just over 100 pounds. Being a city kid who had only seen horses in person through the local mounted police didn't help my case! It never thwarted me from wanting a deeper and closer relationship with horses or racing. Throughout this time, my mother had started therapy and had mostly come out of her depressive shell, and had begun to take on more responsibility as a parent. It was at this point in my life that I got the courage to stand firm and demand medical treatment for my knees. I went to visit my grandparents in North Carolina and they took me to Duke University Medical Center. It was here I got the horrible diagnosis. I had full blown osteoarthrits in both knees due to chips and fragments of bone that had almost completely worn away all of my cartilage. Bone against bone for years, compounded by the workload I had to endure had done its damage. Then began the surgical portion of my life. To date, I have had 9 surgeries on my knees and still have 3 more to go. I am currently undergoing cartilage tissue transplants that we hope will buy me time so that I can get my knees artificially rebuilt in several years. Eventually, my entire family left the city and settled in North Carolina to be closer to my Grandparents. During a brief period of 'moderate pain' I took a job at a local horse farm. The deal was, riding lessons for muck work and miscellaneous odd farm jobs. No one mucked harder!! The lady of the farm, who gave me the lessons, turned out to be Paula Turner, former spouse of Billy Turner. Her house was covered with pictures of Seattle Slew and she would tell me all sorts of stories and anecdotes. I learned a lot, had great hands on experience and was thrilled to be actively involved in what I had always wanted to do. Since that time in my life, I have gone on to live out in the country and owned several horses of my own. I am 31 now and I live among the rolling hills and pastures of 'Hunt Country' Northern Virginia. I do not currently own any horses, due to the 3 upcoming surgeries, but I know now that its only a year or two away before I involve myself in horses again. Due to my physical restrictions, I'm looking forward to raising and showing Fallabella Miniatures. My true love, on a smaller scale, I think will work out perfect for me! Till this day, Seabiscuit still has a special place in my heart. I am an artist by trade and horses are a staple of my artwork. I have made a gorgeous ceramic carousel racing horse, that I have painted to be Seabiscuit in the Howard colors. My Prized possession is an Ebay purchase of a thick black 78rpm record of Joe Hernandez calling both the San Antonio and the great Santa Anita Handicap. I can't listen to it without welling up with tears of both happiness and sadness. The joy in the victory, the excitement, the screams of the crowd, how the Howard's must have felt.... the sadness being the fact that this horse that I love so much, this horse that helped me through my darkest days and gave me courage when none was to be found, has been long gone and I'll never know him. Until your book. I have read your book twice now. It has given me the eerie feeling of being there. Unless time travel becomes possible, you have done the next best thing. I completely forget what year it is when I turn those pages. The depth and insight you have given the characters is unsurpassed. Your research is simply astounding. I would love to see the movie materialize. I am sure with you involved in the screenplay, the movie will do the justice to this story, that it so richly deserves. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for creating this masterpiece.
Pam Athena <seabiscuitchick1@aol.com>
Hunt Country, VA USA - Saturday, November 03, 2001 at 21:27:46 (EST)
I fell in love with Seabiscuit and reading in the 7th grade when a school librarian recommended the book "Run, Seabiscuit, Run". I have never forgotten that story, and tried to find the book for my own kids, but I suppose it is out of print now. Your book is like the grown up version of what I read as a kid, and it is fantastic. I never knew about the people associated with Seabiscuit, and I admire all the heroes in the story. Thanks again for the great read and bringing back these wonderful moments in history.
Janine Ablan <janibanker@msn.com>
Phoenix, az USA - Saturday, November 03, 2001 at 13:47:31 (EST)
Dear Laura, Thank you for your wonderful story about Seabiscuit. I grew impatient waiting for my turn to read your book from our local library, so I bought my own copy - then bought one for each of my two sisters and my daughter for Christmas. I first became interested in your story watching/listening to a TV interview. I admire your courage and dedication in researching and writing this story, especially knowing you suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome. May God bless you and keep you in His care.
Margaret Proctor <mdproctr@usmo.com>
Camdenton, MO USA - Friday, November 02, 2001 at 19:18:25 (EST)
Dear Laura, Thank you for your wonderful story about Seabiscuit. I grew impatient waiting for my turn to read your book from our local library, so I bought my own copy - then bought one for each of my two sisters and my daughter for Christmas. I first became interested in your story watching/listening to a TV interview. I admire your courage and dedication in researching and writing this story, especially knowing you suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome. May God bless you and keep you in His care.
Margaret Proctor <mdproctr@usmo.com>
Camdenton, MO USA - Friday, November 02, 2001 at 18:47:20 (EST)
Ms. Hillenbrand, Thank you so much for your book, Seabiscuit. An American Legend. Your words touched me deeply. I was born and raised in Glendale, California and spent many days of my youth accompanying my grandfather to the races at Santa Anita, Hollywood Park and Del Mar. I remember frollicking, as a 10 or 12 year old kid, through the paddock area at Santa Anita, seeing the George Woolf and Seabiscuit statues. After reading your book, I wept for my ignorance and simple youth at not knowing that I was romping over hallowed ground. Before I die, I will return to the beautiful track "14 miles east of Los Angeles, at the foot of the beautiful San Gabriel Mountains," as Joe Hernandez used to describe Santa Anita every evening during his race re-cap radio program. And, when I do return, I will spend a quiet moment in tribute to just a couple of racing's legends. Your book made them mean so much more to me now. I have seen thousands and thousands of thoroughbred horse races in my life. I've saw Johnny Longden win his last race, Willie Shoemaker win his only three mounts on the day he returned from a serious injury at Santa Anita, Alvaro Pineda die in the Santa Anita starting gate, and I was on my way to the track the day Joe Hernandez was kicked by a horse in the barn area and eventually passed away as a result. No other sport can cause me to wax nostalgic as thoroughly as "the sport of kings." Thanks again for your tribute to "Pops". I would love to visit Ridgewood someday just so I could say I was somehow closer to such a champion. Vince LaRocco
Vince LaRocco <v_rock_1999@yahoo.com>
Florence, Or USA - Friday, November 02, 2001 at 14:52:00 (EST)
To people wishing to see Seabiscuit in action, Laura H. gave us a very strong hint when she wrote of the problems the directors had when making the Shirley Temple movie about Seabiscuit. They had to use actual Seabiscuit film footage to show the race scenes. I purchased a copy of this film for about 9 bucks on EBAY and while I'm not sure the practice sessions are Seabiscuit it does have footage of his biggest races.
Bearer of that "DUH" feeling
Everywhere , USA - Friday, November 02, 2001 at 08:17:22 (EST)
Dear Laura, Your book has touched me like no other. I'm placing it on my bedside table and never taking it off. Every day I look down at this book, I will get the pleasure of having lived your words. I was there. Thank you, Susan Mattei Ruidoso NM
Susan Mattei
Ruidoso, NM USA - Thursday, November 01, 2001 at 22:53:51 (EST)
Dr. August M. Alfieri 68 Amsterdam Road Smithtown, New York 11787 631-265-7142 Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I enjoyed your book as many others have and will comtinue to do. I am writing to ask your advice. I have recently completed "Cast A Giant Shadow,"a biography of Joe Lapchick, who was a legendary hall-of-fame basketball player as well as a famous professional and college coach. I played for Mr. Lapchick and I feel I have a good book. As I read your book I saw the similarities between both books. Joe Lapchick goes back to the pre-war period and is long gone even though in his time he was one of the most written about sports figures in New York. We both have resurrected the past with our books. My book is presently being shown in all the major publishing houses in New York by my literary agent Philip Spitzer, but while I wait I want to help my cause. You explained how you were encouraged to develop an American Heritage piece into what became a bestseller. What happened after you wrote it and your agent shopped it around? What did you do to help sell your book? This is my first book and I want to see it published. I admired your efforts at research that you shared in your acknowledgment.You seemed a bulldog, following every lead. I guess we all love that part of writing. That's what made your book so effective. You showed the reader what the period was about. My Ph.D.is in American Cultural History and I appreciated your careful contextual efforts to allow the reader to understand your human character's setting. It made it easier to understand Seabiscuit. I'm sorry for getting off my subject. I would appreciate any tip that might help. I have recently contacted a dozen top people in my sports field to read parts of my manuscript and invited them to offer a comment of the book. If there is any advice it would be appreciated. I see Seabiscuit is to be a film. A great idea. I had the same idea for my old coach. Good luck. I remember an old coach who used to say "I'm the luckiest guy in the world, the harder I work, the luckier I get." I'm sure that applies to you, too. Sincerely, August M. Alfieri 68 Amsterdam Road Smithtown, New York 11787 631-265-7142
Dr. August M. Alfieri
USA - Thursday, November 01, 2001 at 15:42:22 (EST)
You probably receive tons of suggestions for the film. It may be a fantasy to think that any of them are actually taken into consideration. However, the other morning while I was visiting the workouts at Santa Anita, a horse stepped onto the track, and my heart thumped. At first I was struck by how sweet and loveable he looked; I wanted to rush up and throw my arms around his neck. Then I realized that he resembled Seabiscuit. He even had kind of funny knees. A beauty he was not. I asked the exercise rider about him and she said his name is Free World. He's a nine-year-old who's probably nearing the end of his racing career. Dumb me forgot to ask whose barn he belongs to. His blanket bore the initials SM. Of course, he could be in another barn tomorrow, for all I know. I have no idea how they're going about casting Seabiscuit. I know that usually more than one animal is used to portray a single character in films. Free World certainly doesn't possess the racing skills Seabiscuit had, but he could be used in other scenes. This is a long shot (pun intended) suggestion, I know, but I couldn't resist giving Free World a mention. Who knows what his future holds? As for human casting, John Mahoney would be credible as Tom Smith, and, if he can handle drama, small, red-headed Seth Green is a possibility for Red Pollard. I wish I had Hollywood pull! I do hope you are given the control you deserve.
Elizabeth Barrow
Altadena, CA USA - Thursday, November 01, 2001 at 14:25:18 (EST)
Dear Laura-I just finished reading Seabiscuit and cannot remember having read such a powerful book in a long time. Thank you for providing me with many pleasurable hours. But I have a question and am hoping that if you don't have the answer, perhaps you can point me in the right direction to research this myself. When I was a sophmore in high school in Hillsborough CA (1957), I became friendly with a new student who had moved in down the street from where I lived in Atherton. Her name was Jacqueline Carroll and she and her mother were living with a "Mr Howard." It wasn't clear to me then whether her mother was married to the man or not. I never met the mysterious Mr Howard as he was either resting, or he and Jackie's mother were at the track. Does any of this sound familiar? Would there be some way I could research this period of time to find out whether this Mr Howard and The Charles Howard are one and the same, or somehow related? Any help you could give me would be greatly appreciated.
crissi goldman <crissig@aol.com>
lafayette, ca USA - Thursday, November 01, 2001 at 00:49:23 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: I just finished reading your book and LOVED it. It had everything in it - humor, sadness, excitement. We own a horse that my daughter shows in local hunter shows. Despite my great love of horses, I really knew nothing about horse racing. Your book was thoroughly entertaining and educating. I felt like I was there for the races and couldn't read fast enough to find out who the winner was. I look forward to the movie and hope it does honor to your book. I will recommend your book to horses people and non-horse people alike. Thank you. Becky Remillard
Becky Remillard <bremy26@aol.com>
Levittown, PA USA - Wednesday, October 31, 2001 at 20:38:46 (EST)
Laura: I absolutely loved your book. It made me laugh and it made me cry. It is the best book I have read this year. As a little girl growing up I read all of the Black Stallion books and this brought it all back to me. During these trying times we need another Seabiscuit. Your vivid descriptions put me there at the time of the story and I could not wait to find out who won the race. I anxiously await the movie and lets pray they do it justice. If possible I would like to find a poster or picture of Seabiscuit to frame for my house, can you help? Thanks for the wonderful story of a wonderful little horse.
Lisa Morgan-Wilson <lmorgan@lawingfinancial.com>
Kansas City, MO USA - Wednesday, October 31, 2001 at 18:11:20 (EST)
Dear Laura, I have a novel coming out this December, my first. I had a bad bout of CFS, and I am about 80% recovered, but I just wanted to make contact with you and tell you I admire you for working with this. If there's any support I can give you, please let me know. Anne
Anne Ursu <anneursu@yahoo.com>
Mountain View, CA USA - Wednesday, October 31, 2001 at 15:47:29 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: Thank you so very much for Seabuscuit An American Legend. I loved most of it but was disappointed with the audio version. Reason being, I have been the Mayor of San Mateo, CA twice, served on the council for 8 years and should be the Mayor again in 2003. In the audio version the reader, Scott Campbell, refers to Bay Meadows being located in San Francisco. Every time he said San Francisco, it was like scratching on a blackboard. I knew about and heard about Sea Biscuit all my growing up years in San Mateo because my mother did laundry for the Black grooms at Bay Meadows as many laundries in San Mateo during the 30's would not do the laundry of Black people. Before my mother started doing the laundry, My Aunt, Texana Cullen Guidry Sisson was the cook and her husband Grafter Guidry was the butler for the Kine family who had an important role at Bay Meadows. The one in San Mateo. ((=: Other than the reference to San Francisco, the book was fantastic. It was recommended by the music teacher at Hillsdale High School, Mr. Jackson and my middle daughter who couldn't put the book down. Unfortunately the audio book was an abridged version and left out some of the richness about Howard Avenue in Burlingame being neamed for the Howards, but it still was good listen. Thank you. Claire Mack
Claire L. Mack <macattck@aol.com>
San Mateo, CA USA - Wednesday, October 31, 2001 at 15:47:11 (EST)
I just finished the book & I loved it. I love horses & I was inspired by Seabiscuit's spirit & the people that loved him & trained him. It was also a learning experience for me as I did not know much about the sport of horseracing. Since I do love horses, I can only hope that all the horses are treated with kindness & love even tho they might not all be winners like Seabiscuit. The ending, with his inevitable death did bring me to tears but they were happy tears. Thank you for writing such a beautiful book.
julie herring <herringj@co.delaware.pa.us>
media, pa USA - Wednesday, October 31, 2001 at 09:46:50 (EST)
Laura- You make me even more proud of our alma-mater Kenyon. Your book is poetic and compelling. You weave together the characters of Pollard, Howard and Smith so beautifully around Seabiscuit- who you canít help but fall in love with. The best moments have to be your descriptions of the races where your passion and knowledge of horses and horse racing pours out of the tightly written pages. I found myself dying to read to the end of the race to know what happens. Finally- the last race, Pollard on Seabiscuit at the Santa Ana handicap was quite moving. The description of Pollard feeling alone on the horse moved me to tears. I will recommend this book to everyone and always support your endeavors and proudly knowing that we both graduated from an excellent school in the middle of nowhere. Jesse
jesse dougherty <jessenyce@aol.com>
Philadelphia, pa USA - Wednesday, October 31, 2001 at 08:50:24 (EST)
Laura, Great book--kept me up till 2AM three nights running. I wish you would have listed ways to actually see footage of Seabiscuit, if it's available to the public. Documentaries, short subjects, etc. Now that I've read his story, I want to SEE him! (And I don't want to wait for the Hollywood movie!) Maybe you could list something on the website. Thanks for a great read, Greg Tamblyn
greg tamblyn <textex@att.net>
kansas city, mo USA - Tuesday, October 30, 2001 at 22:01:11 (EST)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand - Thank you so much for writing this book. My life long best friend's father trained thoroughbreds so she and I would go to the barns at Del Mar when her father was there and hang out with the horses. They were a bit scary to us as they seemed so large and high strung but were so beautiful. This book brought those times back and especially has lifted our spirits in such trying times in our country. I would love to find a poster or picture of Seabiscuit to hang in the family computer room, but have been unsuccessful. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Thank you so much for you book.
Cathy Schmidt <schmidtdc@hotmail.com>
South Jordan, U USA - Tuesday, October 30, 2001 at 14:28:11 (EST)
Laura, I've loved horses since I was a little girl, and of course had a roomful of horse books that I read over and over. Your book brought back the thrills I had reading about the Black Stallion and the King of the Wind. Your descriptions of the match race with War Admiral and Sea Biscuit's final magnificent comeback made me cry. What an incredible, cantankerous, brave little horse! And how amazing it was that all those diverse people came together at just the right time to make a champion. Thank you so much for writing this!
Mary Long <longm@clpgh.org>
Pittsburgh, PA USA - Tuesday, October 30, 2001 at 10:21:50 (EST)
Thank you for the fabulous book. I'm not a "horse person," but fell in love with Seabiscuit. Your writing, especially description (I had to read aloud to my husband your physical description of Tom Smith as suffering from progressive invisibility!), is masterful. You describe scores of races in the book and each felt exciting to the wire -- and different from the previous one. Your research is impeccable. You really captured the time in America, deftly weaving history with sport. The way the American people rallied around Seabiscuit is amazing -- maybe we could use another Seabiscuit now. Looking forward to the movie.
Lisa Salazar <lsalazar@hoylemk.com>
Philadelphia, PA USA - Tuesday, October 30, 2001 at 09:43:54 (EST)
Ms Hillenbrand I recently read your remarkable book about a fabulous horse. I was a small boy in the DC area when the "Biscuit" was in the news. I did not have first hand knowledge of the horse or those about him until reading your book. I thoroughly enjoyed your book and wanted to tell you so. My taste runs to stories based upon history and therefore read almost anything that Ambrose and those like him write. I will now take the same approach to your writings. Seabiscuit was well written and most entertaining. It brough excitment and a tear to the eye, and I was sorry when I came to the end. I wanted it to continue, but of course the cycles of life are such that all things come to an end and other equally fascinating things pick up and go on. I truly hope you will find a new project that we can look forward to. Thank you for a rich experience that I shall not forget. Yours, Tom Lovelace
Tom Lovelace <atlovelace@aol.com>
Clifton, VA USA - Monday, October 29, 2001 at 23:00:44 (EST)
Dear Laura: A friend of mine called me on September 12. The day before, he had escaped the 70th Floor of WTC #2 AFTER the second plane hit. (I was on the top floor of WTC #1 in '93 when the bomb went off). During our conversation, he raved about your book which I bought from Amazon while still on the phone with him. I have a "copper" thoroughbred which I ride several times a week. My daughter competes regularly on her horse. Sadly I'm almost done reading SEABISCUIT. It's a great escape from the recent news. Thank you so much for crafting and communicating a brilliant history. I used to live and ride in D.C. Ever been to Middleburg? I know you're working on the film (my heart goes out to you). Are you working on another book? All the very best to you. Joe
Joe Ellison <joe092@hotmail.com>
USA - Monday, October 29, 2001 at 20:27:22 (EST)
DEAR LAURA, I JUST RECENTLY FINISHED YOUR BOOK. I HAD BOUGHT IT AS A CHRISTMAS PRESENT FOR MY MOTHER. AFTER LOOKING AT THE COVER I KNEW DECEMBER WAS TO FAR OFF TO WAIT TO BORROW IT. ONCE ONCE I GOT THE FIRST FEW PAGES DONE I WAS COMPLETELY HOOKED. I AM SORRY THAT I'M FINISHED. THE DETAILS WERE SO OVER WHELMING THAT AT TIMES I SWEAR I COULD FEEL THE WIND IN MY HAIR AND THE RAIN ON MY FACE. GREAT BOOK!, IT DOESN'T REALLY EXPRESS EVERYTHING I COULD SAY ABOUT THIS BOOK, BUT IT SUMS IT UP! THANK YOU FOR SUCH A DETAILED LOOK AT SUCH A GREAT ATHLETE.
REBECCA <REBECCAZEE@AOL.COM>
BIRCH RUN, MI USA - Monday, October 29, 2001 at 19:12:00 (EST)
Hi Laura, (sorry about my terrible english...) in this summer I could read your book Seabiscuit in german language (easyer for me;-). I would like to say THANK YOU - THIS BOOK is great! In Germany your book have many friends;-). I hope the movie Seabiscuit came to germany. Best regards Silvia
Silvia <info@kincsem.de>
Norderstedt, Germany - Monday, October 29, 2001 at 12:31:15 (EST)
Laura, I have only completed a few chapters, but look forward to completing the book. I will be spending two weeks in Florida so that is where I should have the time. I have been aware of the great Seabiscuit's accomplishments since I was a boy. I read where you might do a children's book and I would be interested in showing you some of my artwork. I have a notecard of Seabiscuit on the market and would loke to send you a copy. Hope to hear from you soon. Your work makes for very enjoyable reading especially when it is about one of my favorite subjects. Best wishes, John
John Adessi <jeadessi@cvs.com>
Warwick, RI USA - Monday, October 29, 2001 at 09:26:07 (EST)
Laura, just finished the book and hate that it's over. I found it one of the most enjoyable, exciting, moving, enthralling reads ever. Fell in love with Seabisquit. So much that I'd really like to find a small bit of memorabilia. Heard you bought a lot on e-bay, but when I did a search there it turned up nothing -- zero! Did you buy ALL of it? Or has the popularity of the book caused the supply to dry up? If you know where else I might look, please let me know. Also, how many hands was Seabisquit? I'm sure you said in the book but I've forgotten. And finally, what ever happened to dear Pumpkin? Did he retire with Seabisquit? Thanks.
Jodie <JodieS8487@aol.com>
Los Angeles, CA USA - Monday, October 29, 2001 at 04:07:01 (EST)
Laura, I waited for the book from the library for months, once I got it I could not put it down. Loved it and have been telling all my reading friends what a great stroy it is. I love horses and have followed careers of Man of WAr Seabiscuit etc. in the past. I learned so much more esp from a jockey's point of view. And yes I had to return the library book so went out and bought my own copy so my husband could read and I can read again. Am looking forward to the movie. Mel
mel smith <smithms@umkc.edu>
kansas city, ks USA - Sunday, October 28, 2001 at 12:17:35 (EST)
I really enjoyed your book--- as they all say-- i could hardly put it down. I have been a race horse fan for over 40 years and attended races in So. Fla. on many a saturday. Could have been possible that Sunny Jim was alive in the early 60's? It seems to me that i saw him at Hialeah but that would have made him in his 90's. Those were the good days in Fla. racing. Hope you write more books.
phillis
USA - Sunday, October 28, 2001 at 01:15:47 (EDT)
Dear Laura,I am not really a "horse person" per se but I am an animal lover and probably the reason I bought your book was more the fact that you have chronic fatigue syndrome and the nurse in me was interested in that aspect when I saw you interviewed on Good Morning America. I went to the bookstore on my way to work that morning and bought your book and I can now say that it is probably one of the best books I have read. I could not put the book down and I fell in love with Seabiscuit and his stallmate Pumpkin. ( I smile everytime I think of the name Pumpkin...just something about that name that tickles me.)I also had a personal interest in George Woolf as I am a diabetic and could really appreciate what he went through with his disease. You did an incredible job writing your book and I really look forward to seeing the movie. I have given your book to many people who all feel the same way about it.....they couldn't put it down and they fell in love with Seabiscuit. Thank you so much for writing the book. I have such a new respect for horses now. I just finished reading Monty Roberts book The Man Who Listens to Horses and am now recommending that book to everyone. I do hope you are feeling well....best of luck to you Laura.
Nancy Cook <NHoberg@aol.com>
San Francisco, CA USA - Saturday, October 27, 2001 at 15:16:59 (EDT)
At age 19 I left home for the first time in a 9 horse van, on my way to a NY State harness racetrack. Over 12 years I worked on 50 racetracks in 10 states and 2 Canadian Provinces. I worked with Standardbreds rather than Thoroughbreds, but life on the backstretch was much the same. I now am a small animal veterinarian, and have left the racetrack behind me. I have been an avid reader all of my life, and had intended to teach history if thwarted in my attempt to gain admission into veterinary school. SEABISCUIT was so thoroughly researched and well written that I was moved to tears several times in the reading of it. This powerful story, masterfully crafted, made me feel that the serendipity that surrounded Seabiscuit was still working. Seabiscuit, Smith and Pollard had been rescued from certain obscurity by the joining of men and horse, and now you have preserved their stories for another century. Please accept my deepest gratitude.
Eric J. Orr, D.V.M. <orrvet@att.net>
Bradenton, FL USA - Friday, October 26, 2001 at 21:41:23 (EDT)
What a wonderful book. Not only a terrific read, but I learned alot too. I felt like I was actually there. That probably sounds hooky, but I really did. Your book put me, in my mind, right there!!! I hope you will be writing more in the future! Congrats on a GREAT book!
Marsha Chodnicki <mchodnicki@home.com>
USA - Friday, October 26, 2001 at 16:41:44 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I am an ex-exercise rider and screenwriter, and I've read your Seabiscuit book over and over. It is perfect! Upon reading the comments from your many fans, it is clear that the film by director Gary Ross would be well-received. Of course, it is imperative that the film remain true to the story and the spirit of the players. Because of my background in both the racetrack and scriptwriting, I believe I can write the best possible script, based on your book. If you have any say in the matter, I would like to correspond with you in regards to my adapting your book. Please drop me an e, and I'll gladly forward my phone number and references from people you worked with on the project. All the best to you, Laura! Sincerely, Karol Ballard
Karol Ballard <karolbard@aol.com>
sierra madre, ca USA - Friday, October 26, 2001 at 14:19:15 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand-what a great read! Please, please, please don't let Hollywood f--- it up!!!!!!!
Steve Zanzarella <gosevego@juno.com>
Haymarket , Va. USA - Friday, October 26, 2001 at 12:22:48 (EDT)
Laura: I have loved horse racing all of my life and just recently bought a copy of your book. I read it from cover to cover in one sitting and think it is the best sports book that I have ever read. I laughed and I cried and really appreciated the background information that you provided on the sport. Make sure they do the movie right! Thanks for a wonderful experience. Curtis Nolen
Curtis Nolen <cnolen@gvtc.com>
San Antonio, TX USA - Friday, October 26, 2001 at 10:27:10 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I have just finished Seabiscuit, your wonderful book. Besides increasing my heart rate, it has given me an interest in horse racing, a cultural activity that heretofore must have lain in my blind spot. On visiting your site and reading other entries, it looks as if you might have CFS. If so, please feel free to contact me. I'm executive producer of the Dr. Gabe Mirkin Show. If you've lived in Washington a while, you may know who he is. Dr. Mirkin is a practicing physician who (among other things - many other things) wrote the best-selling sports medicine book of all time, is the CBS Radio News medical commentator, has coached many athletes including Olympic participants, and is currently one of the leading practicing proponents of treating CFS with antibiotics. You can look over some of the material (including medical reference, scientific journals, etc.) at his website: www.DrMirkin.com. He has successfully treated chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, arthritis and other so-called autoimmune diseases with long-term antibiotic therapy. I would be happy to give you an introduction to him. (My studio # if you need it is 301-215-4587.
Evan Haning <EvanHaning@aol.com>
Washington, DC USA - Thursday, October 25, 2001 at 17:07:39 (EDT)
In your interview of a few months ago that I just read on the internet in which you attributed the popularity of the book to Seabiscuit's great story, you didn't mention the main reason I read your book even though I did not have any particular abiding interest in horses: it is a compelling read. People love to read good writing about any subject - Tom Wolfe, John McPhee, Richard Rhodes. I await their next books and now I can't wait for yours. Thank you.
Ben Eastman <BenEastman@aol.com>
Denver, CO USA - Wednesday, October 24, 2001 at 22:38:33 (EDT)
Hi -- in the 1970's we produced The American Horse and Horseman, with Dale Robertson, a nationally syndicated series about horses and horse people. One of our features was a 12 minute documentary narrated by Dale. It contained the actual race footage of the match race between War Admiral and Seabiscuit in 1938. I have bought the original b/w film off a dusty shelf in New York City. If you will provide me with a mailing address I will send you a VHS copy, as we have just released it as a home video. Perhaps you would like to market this incredible rare footage of this magical match between the son and grandson of Seabisuit! Dale gives historical background and actually calls the race as though you were there. Best regards, Sally Lasater
Sally Lasater <slasater@horse-tv.com>
houston, tx USA - Wednesday, October 24, 2001 at 13:10:55 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: I just finished reading "Seabiscuit" and congratulate you on a first class piece of research and writing. Several years ago, when my brothers-in-law still ran the food services at Churchill Downs, I fell into conversation with one of them, Bill Beam, who was worrying about the future of thoroughbred racing. I told him then that the best way to bring it back would be to have a topnotch nailbiter of a book about racing written followed by an equally thrilling movie and further spinoffs to catch the imagination of young people who've never even seen a horse. With "Seabiscuit", I think you've written the book. If the movie is even nearly as well done, you may have revived racing the way "A River Runs Through It" revived flyfishing. Being from an old racing family (Daingerfield), I hope you've done it. Thanks.
Colston Newton <echo@rivnet.net>
Haethsville, Va USA - Wednesday, October 24, 2001 at 12:31:58 (EDT)
Dear Ms Hillenbrand, I read books on tape for the LOC and am about to begin "seabiscuit" in another week. Is there any way I can talk, if not to you, then to borden, to get the pronunciations of the many names in the acknowledgements and also in the index? I understand that becuase of CFS, you don't have the energy, but any person you know who could help would be appreciated. thanks a lot annie wauters 362-6165 mornings or evenings after 8 PM
annie wauters <wauters1@aol.com>
washington, dc USA - Tuesday, October 23, 2001 at 20:57:49 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I just finished reading your book on Seabiscuit in less than a day. I just couldn't put it down. It was absolutely excellent reading. I have always loved horses and when you read this book you fall in love with Seabiscuit and everyone who was connected to him. I was on the edge of my seat when he raced against War Admiral. I felt like I was there. It was sad at the end like most good stories are but I felt that I was taken back in time and loved it.
Linda A. Godfrey <lg211109@aol.com>
Kingston, NY USA - Tuesday, October 23, 2001 at 13:49:38 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillebrand: I recently read the article about you in the Health section of Ladies' Home Journal. I just had to write to you about Chronic Fatique Syndrome. Many, many people are diagnosed with CFS when in fact they may have "Chiari Type 1 Malformation." An MRI of the brain will show this malformation. I recently was diagnosed with Chiari and have the very exact same symptoms as you have. I hope this information helps. (After reading all the good things about "Seabiscuit," I certainly plan on reading it!)
Karen Priller <kpriller@mhmlaw.com>
USA - Tuesday, October 23, 2001 at 12:02:55 (EDT)
OUR BOOK CLUB "BOOKS,BEERS&BLATHER" 12 RETIRED GUYS READ SEA BISCUIT LAST JUNE AND WAS FASINATED BY THE STORY. WE LEARNED ABOUT THIS INCREDIBLE HORSE AND THE MEN WHO BELIEVED.I JUST READ THE ARTCLE IN LHJ (NOV)AND MY HEART GOES OUT TO YOU.YOUR STRUGGLES TO CARRY ON ARE ALSO INCREDIBLE.THANKS FOR SHARING YOUR TALENTS IN SPITE OF CFS.. VERN .
VERN E. JULIAN <VEJ5@HOME .COM>
BAY CITY, MI USA - Tuesday, October 23, 2001 at 09:58:25 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand: I just finished reading Seabisuit in record time. It was so engrossing, I had great difficulty putting it down. You have a way with words that make the characters and the races come alive. I work in a Special Collections Library in Texas and intend to check our newspaper photo archives for any prints of Seabiscuit that may be in our collection. It's a dynamic story;I look forward to the motion picture film.
Shirley Rodnitzky <srodnitzky@yahoo.com>
USA - Monday, October 22, 2001 at 22:23:18 (EDT)
I've just finished the book & found it supremely satisfying. The only thing missing was a chart at the end listing all his races, the lengths, times, etc. I think that would have been really interesting. Thanks for writing it! Diana Smith
Diana Smith <monet7936@hotmail.com>
Seattle, WA USA - Monday, October 22, 2001 at 18:15:06 (EDT)
Dear Ms.Hildebrand, I would like to commend you on such a fantastic book. It was so wonderful and would love to get the tapes if you could tell me how to obtain them I would be ever so grateful. You really put the entire era of the depression into reality and made me feel like I was actually there and feeling so empathetic with every moment. It was ashame it had to end. It was the first thing in a long time that made me feel better as I have been experiencing medical issues for the past year and have not been reading as much as I would like. I am an avid horse lover and have always been intrigued and amazed by their grace and beauty and particularly their character and charm. I always wanted to own one just like Seabuscuit. Thanks again for a great ride. Don't think they get much better than that.
Linda <lindlw@aol.com>
West Orange, NJ USA - Monday, October 22, 2001 at 17:06:14 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Your book was a literary masterpiece! I was hard-pressed to put it down and cried at the end.Who wouldn't become passionate about such a magnificent and sweet horse like Seabiscuit? My associate, Gene Bresnahan, a former jockey raved "That book was so true to life - It was the backstretch!" I invite you to visit our website @ www.taxjockey.com.
Vida Beder <vida@taxjockey.com>
Dedham, MA USA - Monday, October 22, 2001 at 15:22:05 (EDT)
Laura, I just had to read your book after hearing your radio review. The book was better than I could have thought. I read it in 2 days. At the end of each chapter, I just had to find out what happened next. Then I hated that I had finished. My oldest daughter just started riding lessons this summer and it really brought a lot of things together for me. I would like to obtain an autographed copy of your book, is there anywhere I could purchase one at? Thanks, Nicole C. Allen.
Nicole C. Allen <megley72772@yahoo.com>
Tobaccoville, NC USA - Monday, October 22, 2001 at 14:16:32 (EDT)
10/22/01 Dear Laura, I just read your wonderful book, and can't wait to pass it along to my Dad, who lived through that era. I have a question which you may be able to clarify: On the list of the 100 greatest thoroughbreds of the 20th century, Seabiscuit is rated only 25th. How can this be? Sincerely, Mark Newman Anchorage, Alaska 10/22/01
Mark Newman <mn432@cs.com>
Anchorage, AK USA - Monday, October 22, 2001 at 12:16:31 (EDT)
Dear Laura Recently i was fortunate to be sent you book "seabiscuit" by friends in Napa, California. My wife and I have visited them 0on several occasions, and on one of those visits we went to the breeders cup at Santa Anita. Having reas your marvellous account of Seabiscuits career, I was able to transfer your words to my recollections of such a wonderful racecourse. I have read a great number of turf books and i must tell you , that your book was one of the best reads ever, I found myself readinf quicker in order to keep pace with your grapic account of Seabiscuits many races. I don't know if you are aware, the Racing Post (17.10.01)UK printed an article about you, your book and it being made in to a film for 2002. I look forward to seeing the production in due course, in the meantime congratulations on your 13th print run of the book and thanks again for such a fantastic account. Ken Brooke UK
Ken Brooke <suzylakes@aol.com>
Beverley, UK - Monday, October 22, 2001 at 10:23:35 (EDT)

 
   


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