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LAURA: HI! I am so proud of you for writing what's now a #1 NY Times best-seller- and no book truly deserves that ranking more. My folks are waiting for it to come from the local library- if it doesn't show, I'll loan them mine. Though I haven't been an avid racing fan in recent years, I agree with all on this board that the book truly reminds anyone why they loved the track- or even if they didn't. Recently heard via e-mail from Linda McCoy Murray, widow of the legendary columnist and horse lover Jim Murray. I told her that your book was something he would have loved. She's in LA- the setting for so much of your story. You're doing an interview with Diane Rehm? Wonderful woman. I read her book "Finding My Voice" a while back. She has a great and courageous story of her own. I'm sure that will bring you even more response- if you haven't gotten enough already! If you make it to the Boston area, I'll be the first to come and meet you. Meanwhile, good luck and Godspeed. You, your book, and that marvelous race horse are truly inspirational to all. Warmly- Jonathan Cohen, Brookline, MA
Jonathan Cohen <>
Brookline, MA USA - Saturday, April 14, 2001 at 22:13:31 (EDT)
Thanks for this book. It's terrific. You should feel very proud for you accomplishment.
Bill Ludel
USA - Saturday, April 14, 2001 at 21:18:11 (EDT)
Yesterday at Sam's Club, I read the Preface to your very fine book. Today, I had to go back and buy it so I could read the book itself. It sounds most interesting.
Roy D. Schickedanz <>
Glenwood, Illinois USA - Saturday, April 14, 2001 at 18:06:03 (EDT)
Your fine book brought tears to my eyes!thank you.
susan swanberg <>
helena, mt USA - Saturday, April 14, 2001 at 17:21:01 (EDT)
What a great story. What a great book. What great real American characters. I couldn't put it down. Thank you for sharing this with us. And don't let them screw up the movie please. Thanks again for a fabulous, and fabulously written book.
richard hoppe <>
washington, dc USA - Saturday, April 14, 2001 at 17:07:16 (EDT)
Wonderful, wonderful book about a brilliant horse and a fascinating sport. As a fan of the Black Stallion books since childhood, I loved discovering that the "Black"'s trainer Henry must have been modeled on Tom Smith; they shared the same methods! Thanks, Ms. Hillenbrand, for the terrific, moving book. I hope it and the subsequent movie can help bring new fans to the sport of kings.
Christina Getrost <>
USA - Saturday, April 14, 2001 at 16:59:17 (EDT)
What a wonderful story you unraveled for all of us to enjoy. I wish that I could eloquently compose a gracious comment, but I think that others have used up all of the words. Although I knew how the story ended, I hung on each syllable, becoming agitated and excited each time I read a race. My husband heard me audibly gasp and cry out when Red was injured, something he said he had never observed before (and I am an avid reader!). I read aloud the description of the end of the Tijuana track, and we laughed and laughed at your wonderful descriptive phrase "a mighty shit Godzilla." No doubt I've read your excellent writing in Equus, but from this point forward I shall sit up and take notice. Thank you for the wonderful book. Peg
Peg Rozhon <>
DeKalb, IL USA - Saturday, April 14, 2001 at 13:44:42 (EDT)
I've read thousands of books.Your writing style ranks with the greatest I've ever read.Superb job.And such a story.Seabiscuit is the number one horse of all time in my books for the combination of guts and glory.What a read!
Robert Doyle <>
Creston, B.C. Canada - Saturday, April 14, 2001 at 12:59:53 (EDT)
I got your book yesterday and read the whole thing in 1 sitting. Absolutely brilliant writing, fantastic horse. I grew up around the racetracks in England and have always loved racing due to my Mum's lifelong passion of it. Moved to America 6 years ago & must confess that I never really got into the American racing scene very much, I think after reading this book that will change now! I've sent a copy of Seabiscuit to my Mum in England, she's very excited about reading it. Since I told her about it she's been doing some research on him, herself. I overnighted it to her so I expect she'll get it today. Have you ever thought of writing a book about Ruffian? I think you would do a marvelous job at it! Thank you for a great book!
Kellie <>
Des Moines, IA USA - Saturday, April 14, 2001 at 12:52:22 (EDT)
I have a pari-mutuel??? ticket that my mother kept from her childhood. It says ZENDA Handicap and lists six horses including Seabiscuit and Phar Lap. The bottom stub is still intact, as it was never used. From this information can someone tell me when and where this race occurred, and which horse won? Thanks.
Bruce Richey <>
Medford, OR USA - Friday, April 13, 2001 at 20:19:48 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: This is the first time that I had to write to an author to say THANK YOU! There aren't enough superlatives available to describe it. Congratulations and best wishes.
Lisa Strom <>
Odessa, FL USA - Friday, April 13, 2001 at 19:31:17 (EDT)
My dad rode with Mr. Woolf and Mr. Pollard in the 1930's. His name was Joseph Sylvester. I would love to hear from you. Your book is wonderfully written, and gave me a window to what my father's life was like as a young boy alone just trying to survive. I have clippings and items that I would liketo share with you.
Anthony J. Sylvester <>
mendham, nj USA - Friday, April 13, 2001 at 13:08:19 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand: My opinion on your book, mirrors those individuals who have already commented--it's fantastic. What I find more appealing was hearing a story the other day on the national evening news about your personal story. Mainly, your condition in which you have chronic and constant fatigue. Given your accomplishments in light of such a severe hurdle, that was simply amazing and clearly a trait that you share with Seabiscuit--bucking the odds against those who gave you both little chance to succeed. I surmise that you are an extremely busy individual given the fact that your book is now #1 on the N.Y. Times list, but if you do have a moment, I would like to hear back from you on how it is that you've managed to continue a day-to-day living with your condition. I wish you all the best and much of it well deserved.
Phong Phan <>
Austin, Tx USA - Friday, April 13, 2001 at 10:54:24 (EDT)
Just finished reading Seabiscuit. I felt as if I was actually at the races, my heart pounding. Thank you. Can't wait for the movie. Also looking forward to your next book!
Linda Prochnow <>
Hartford, WI USA - Friday, April 13, 2001 at 08:22:01 (EDT)
hi laura,my wife heard you talking about your book the other day on talk radio in hartford ct,and thought it would be a nice easter gift for me.I came home to find a wrapped present waiting for me.opening it up i think she saw the doubts in my eyes,but laura i have to tell you, i started reading it last nite and i cant put it down!Laura it is the nicest gift i have ever recieved,I do love to read and i do love sports very much,but i dont do much reading regarding sports.Laura your writing from the first page just kept me glued to the book.Laura i have heard about Seabiscuit in the past, but to know the events leading up to his fame are incredible,and i think this is going to be the best read i have ever had,i cant wait to finish it ,and do look foward to anything you will put out in the future.Laura if possible can you tell when the movie will come out.I also cant wait for that.Once again Laura terrific job!...thx again...jeff
jeff olson <>
bristol, ct USA - Friday, April 13, 2001 at 08:02:58 (EDT)
Laura, I have just finished reading your wonderful book, Seabiscuit. I wish it did'nt have to end, it was quite entertaining. I was saddened to read he only lived to age 14. Your discribing life at the race track brought back some memorable times for me when I purchased my first and only thoroughbred in 1986, Willie Whitesocks. Willie was no Seabiscuit and in six tries he only managed a second at New York's Aqueduct race track. In his 6th race he sustained an injury and was sidelined for six months. He did become a Seabiscuit in the show ring winning many blue ribbons,he will be seventeen on April 23rd. If you ever write another book (fiction) on thoroughbred racing you can use Willie's name, maybe he can even break his maiden. All the girls who have rode him throughout the years would be thrilled to see his name in print. I am recommending Seabiscuit to a my friends and will be buying additional copies as gifts.October 27th the Breeders Cup will take place at Belmont, you should look into having a book signing during that time,I would love for you to sign my copy.
Don J. Martello <>
Wallingford, Ct USA - Thursday, April 12, 2001 at 23:03:14 (EDT)
Hello -- your book brought back many memories of many fun times spent with Linn Howard in the mid-70s. I lost contact with him when I moved away and I haven't been able to find out about him since returning to San Diego 10 years ago. Would you be so kind as to give me an update.
Bev <>
San Diego, CA USA - Thursday, April 12, 2001 at 18:32:42 (EDT)
I'm about halfway through the "Biscuit" and am enjoying it thoroughly. Like many girls, I loved horses; unlike many girls, I also loved horse racing. The first race I saw on TV was when Dancer's Image sort of won the Kentucky Derby (I was pulling for Forward Pass, anyway). Were you aware there's a children's book on Seabiscuit's life? It's called "Come On, Seabiscuit" and, of course, I read it, like I did almost anything with a horse on the cover. I've recently taken to scouring antique shops and used books stores for the books I read as a child and I found "Come On, Seabiscuit." I've yet to re-read it, from what I remember, that book is surprisingly accurate having many of the same incidents you describe. Some things, though, are given a nicer spin, more suitable to the child audience. I recall Seabiscuit letting competitors catch up is portrayed as him not wanting to embarrass them rather than him taunting them. Thanks for the book and making me remember why I love horses. Cora Weisenberger
Cora Weisenberger <>
University Park, IL USA - Thursday, April 12, 2001 at 17:41:13 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, I noted in the Sunday, April 8, 2001 Atlanta Journal-Consitution newspaper a short phase stating, the author (you) of Seabiscuit suffers from CFS and vertigo. As a 59 year old active marathon runner, bicycle racer and athletic coach, I have learned a great deal about health related problems. CFS and vertigo were experienced by me first hand and I amazingly found a cure for both outside the confines of the medical community. If this e-mail reaches you please allow me to share with you the simple solution I tried that worked for me. I look forward to purchasing a copy of Seabiscuit, your number one best seller, in hardback and nonfiction. As a child I throughly enjoyed the 1950's Holloywood movie version of the legendary race horse. Aaron Jermundson- #706-236-2249 - more info on home pages listed below.
aaron jermundson <>
mount berry, GA USA - Thursday, April 12, 2001 at 14:13:41 (EDT)
Laura,I'm a breed to race owner of 16 years who began or was enabled in racing by a personal tragedy. Last weekend, I lost a beautiful foal to fescue red bag, and at the same hour, a 5 year old, who one ex trainer said was finished, won at Thistledown courageously, trained by a young man who loves the horse with love you grasp. My horses teach the truthes and principles that make life the roller coaster ride of passion it is. I cried when I read your first story in "American Heritage". I appreciate your work very much. You touch the truths of racing and of the people who many times make it special.If there is a way I could get one of my copies of your book signed to add to my first addition racing/breeding collection, I would be thrilled. My one original filly has been joined by a Seattle Slew/ Nashua, and Halo/Round Table mares - each 20 years old and not in foal. but carrying the genes of champions. The hopefullness of breeding and racing at any level, touches the core and brings out the wonder of life its itself. Thanks so much for your work. I would very much enjoy meeting you. Best regards...I hope making the movie is great fun for you, it will be very special.
Don Dean <don.k.dean>
Potomac, Md USA - Thursday, April 12, 2001 at 12:37:43 (EDT)
Have read half the book. I must compliment you on making feel as if I were in the pack, watching Seabiscuit run for the line. For years, Seabiscuit was a cartoon character that who turned up in old Warner Brothers' cartoons. Usually named "Teabiscuit", the horse would show up behind the cartoon Bing Crosby who would say, "Not now, boy." Your book has fleshed out a champion in every sense of that word and I greatly admire your accomplishment.
Ed McGrath <>
Levittown, PA USA - Thursday, April 12, 2001 at 12:26:19 (EDT)
I just finished your book, having read it cover-to-cover (even the back matter) in two days. Although I am not at all knowledgeable about horses or racing, I found the book to be extremely informative and entertaining. Given the significant amount of time that has passed since the events you relate, I was immediately reminded of the style of James Michner. If you have a moment to respond to this message, I would appreciate your comments as to whether you have in fact been influenced by his style. It is a great talent to be able to take an arcane and complex subject and make it both understandable and entertaining for the general reader. Congratulations.
John S. Bain <>
Coppell, TX USA - Thursday, April 12, 2001 at 11:08:00 (EDT)
heard you on the radio WHAS out of louisville and enjoyed what I heard and plan to buy the book.
michael powers <>
lexington, ky USA - Thursday, April 12, 2001 at 10:31:58 (EDT)
BETHESDA, MD USA - Thursday, April 12, 2001 at 09:11:17 (EDT)
Here's my story. In sixth grade I read The Black Stallion and learned of the role of Arabia in the history of thoroughbred racing. When I grew up and started reading The Daily Racing Form, I noticed a track in Omaha named Ak-Sar-Ben which I concluded was named after some esoteric Arabian presence in the history of the sport. Thirty years later, I learned from your book that it's Nebraska spelled backwards. Oh, well. Great book. It's like a non-fiction Horse Heaven!
jim pascover
USA - Thursday, April 12, 2001 at 09:07:27 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I am half-way through BISCUIT, and with my CFS reading pace of about 10 pages day, this is a near miracle. But what I want to tell you is that when I read the race scenes you portray, and whether BISCUIT wins or is nosed-out at the finish line, my heart pounds just like it does on Derby day when the announcer yells, "and down the stretch they come!" That's how alive your book is. I just wish my Dad were still alive to read it. This book he would treasure just as I do. Thank you.
Nancy <>
Madison, WI USA - Thursday, April 12, 2001 at 00:12:00 (EDT)
Laura, I signed already but my e-mail address and web address did not go through. I am the editor of the new book Stricken: Voices from the Hidden Epidemic of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, called by one reviewer "the single best book I have read that honestly and fully describes the CFIDS experience." I am not writing to offer any cures or suggestions to you, but just to say I'd be very interested in speaking with you. We are not only about the same age (I'm 32), but both became sick at small colleges in Ohio around the same time. I wish you continued success with your book, and again appreciate all the informed comments you have made about CFIDS in the press.
Peggy Munson <>
USA - Wednesday, April 11, 2001 at 23:50:01 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, Thanks you for writing one of the finest books on courage and heart and overcoming doubt.Your book makes one think of all the Seabiscuit's in this world who we past by as we zip along life's journey to busy to stop and think of the possibilities, be they man or beast. I want to wish you all good thoughts and much continued success on your path along a beautiful journey that your book will so deservedly bring! God bless, Nick Kentala
nick kentala <>
plainfield, il. USA - Wednesday, April 11, 2001 at 22:43:13 (EDT)
Hello Laura: Am currently on page 329. Was in the library a few days ago and I chanced upon a copy of Seabiscuit - It was given priority placement, since it was a new volume. I remembered Seabiscuit featured in television cartoons - I am 48 - I did not realize he actually existed. Having been born wanting a horse, and having read every horse book available in my school libraries, I chuckled to myself as I checked your book out. I was not prepared for what awaited me: you have great style, darlin', and I love your attention to detail!!! I bet you remember the Fairfax County Pony Ring - my first equine experience was at that ring!! I am heavily promoting your book to all of my friends and acquaintances. It is a must read. Respectfully, Shar
Shar Smith <>
Dobbin, Tx USA - Wednesday, April 11, 2001 at 21:29:55 (EDT)
Laura: I just bought your book today. Charles "Doc" Strub has 19 living grandchildren and great grandchildren too numerous to mention.We are all so proud of him. Three of his five children are still alive and would have photos and old movies to share with your film endeavor. A sad article appeared in House Beautiful this month about the glory days of Santa Anita being over. Thank-you for this wonderful tribute to horse racing, from the world of car racing. Sorry, I don't get it. The tracks aren't parks. There is no food, no dress-code, no glamour (that I respond to). We were all raised at the track and had many a glorious afternoon. I hope the pendulum will swing and your book gives our dying world momentum. Liz Morten
Liz Morten <>
Winston-Salem, NC USA - Wednesday, April 11, 2001 at 20:54:57 (EDT)
What a wonderful, wonderful book. Thank-you, for the great writing and for introducing a baby-boomer to the Biscuit
Tom Martin
Tampa, Fl USA - Wednesday, April 11, 2001 at 20:45:25 (EDT)
Laura, I do hope these messages go directly to you. I just now got the book and have only scanned it, looking for words about Ridgewood. I went back to visit Ridgewood in 1997. When I told the people who live there now that I lived there on the ranch for several years in the 1940's, they were so nice to me, and let me roam freely over the ranch. As a thank-you to them, I wrote and sent to them a little essay "Ridgewood Ranch in the 1940's" and included copies of some photos taken back then. I wrote the essay in January, 1998, and Laura, I would love to forward it to you, as an email attachment. The last paragraph on page 10 of your book is "...Ridgewwod, a model of self-efficiancy..." In 1998 I elaborated on the words you published in the year 2000! On page 18 of your book, Tom Smith is on "Tick-Tock" a fat pinto gelding that lived at Ridgewood when I did. I have a nice photo, taken by Marcela Howard, of my little sister Betty on Tick-Tock. Betty and I had access to many of Ridgewood's ranch horses, and free access to the Howard's personal olympic-sized swimming pool. Ridgewood was paradise to two little girls as they were growing up. Through this guest book, I would love to make contact with two other little girls at that time, ranch foreman Red Briar's daughter, Janet; and horse van driver Chet Griffith's daughter, also named Janet. It would also be great to make contact with some of the boys who worked at the ranch: Frank Tours, who went on to manage one of the major racetracks in Florida; Ken (Bud) Colley; veterinarian and ranch manager John W. Britton and/or his kids Mike and Johnny; or any others from the "Ridgewood Gang." I would also like to make contact with Bill Nichols. I don't think he was on the ranch when I was in the 1940's, but he may have been one of the people I met when I visited the ranch in 1997. - Laverne
Laverne Jones Booth <>
Newhall, CA USA - Wednesday, April 11, 2001 at 19:48:52 (EDT)
More, more, we need more. As a kid pouring through the library in Chattanooga, Tenn. I read of Man-O-War, Omaha, War Admiral, Seabiscuit, Whirlaway, Gallant Fox, and others. The names were fascinating and somehow became a part of those memories you have but remain locked up somewhere in a back room. You found the key and I'm now headed back to the library but I'll never find the "story" you put together for us. Other people may have books out there similar to yours on other horses and I may find them if so, but if you choose to write one or more in a similar vein, one sale is guaranteed. I hope the movie meets your expectations. Best of luck in the future.
old timer
USA - Wednesday, April 11, 2001 at 19:26:46 (EDT)
My name is Nick, and Red Polard was my great uncle. When my family heard about this website, we went to it right away. We are currently looking to find the book, and we hope to read it soon.
Nick Willis <>
Edmonton, AB Canada - Wednesday, April 11, 2001 at 18:49:50 (EDT)
Dear Ms Hillenbrand - Great Horse, Great Book, Great Author On page 21 you refer to Tom Smith on a ranch near Grand Junction, CO , my town, I would like to do furthur research as this is my area. Any other leads???? Thanks for a wonderful book- one of the best Best regards/ Jim Robb
James M. Robb <JRobb80994@AOL>COM>
Grand Junction, CO USA - Wednesday, April 11, 2001 at 17:52:57 (EDT)
Dear Laura. My daughter Pam is a great fan of yours. She visited her mother and I here in Naples last week and brought along Seabisquit. I didn't get a chance to finish it while she was here, but have since enjoyed the whole experience of your fantastic work: research, documentation, and a great writing style. I was a teenager in the Seabisquit years and didn't fully comprehend the greatness of that Thoroughbred. Thank you so much for an opportunity to relive my memories--from seeing my first race at Aksarben to the 1946 Preakness. We will complete our rotation back to southern Pennsylvania in a few days, when I will return the book to my daughter with my thanks. She may be too shy to ask, but would it be possible for you to autograph her copy some time? She lives in the Washington area and I'm sure would be thrilled if you could accommodate her. Again, many thanks.
Cliff Johnson <>
Naples, FL USA - Wednesday, April 11, 2001 at 14:38:59 (EDT)
A terrific book and a terrific story. Thank you.
Arnold Goldstein <>
Roslyn Heights , Ny USA - Wednesday, April 11, 2001 at 14:00:46 (EDT)
I live very near Santa Anita, and practically grew up at the track. However,I have not been back there in years. Your wonderful book will require me to go back to Santa Anita and revisit the beautiful statue of Seabiscuit, which I walked by so many times without paying much attention. The same holds true for Georgie's statue. Thank you very much for bringing a tremendous piece of history back to life to new generations to come. djk
Dave Kirchgessler <>
LaVerne, Ca USA - Wednesday, April 11, 2001 at 13:10:38 (EDT)
"Shit Godzilla"? Will the movie be a comedy? Best paragraph in a book I've read in years and the rest of the book wasn't bad either! As a longtime racetracker( Bowie, Pimlico, Delaware Park etc.) It amazes me what has happened to the sport. Books like this may help re-introduce the sport to the masses. 10,000 people for a WORKOUT? I am convinced that no human can watch a thoroughbred run and not come away in awe. Just have to get them out to see. Good luck with the movie and any future literary pursuits.
Steve Smith <>
Hollywood, FL USA - Wednesday, April 11, 2001 at 12:29:54 (EDT)
Dear Laura, You have gone through a lot since I last spoke with you, in 1986, when I hired you to work at the Sherwin-Williams store in Bethesda while you were in high school. I knew you were going to be successful in your career. I have just started to read the book. My oldest daughter is a horse lover and can't wait to read it also. We wish the best of luck to you and we can't wait until the movie comes out. Take care. John DiMarco 703-328-4038
John DiMarco <>
Fairfax, VA USA - Wednesday, April 11, 2001 at 11:33:01 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: Well done! I read two chapters and realized there was one person I knew who might enjoy the book more than I; my Dad, (80 years old). So, without finishing the book,I passed it along to him. He read it and returned it two days later, exclaiming. I finished the book last week, while on vacation. Dad and I are in law practice together. Our lunch discussions the last few days have been exclusively "Seabiscuit". Is there any doubt Tom Smith sabotaged that starting bell? Thanks for a fine book.
Charles Grahn <>
Indianapolis, IN USA - Wednesday, April 11, 2001 at 10:17:37 (EDT)
Thank you so much for your brilliant book. As a young girl I was taken many times to Santa Anita Racetrack and my mother had mahy stories to tell about seeing Seabisquit run. I remember how small I though the statue of him was! I had the pleasure of seeing Sea Orbit run once, and am sorry I never saw The Bisquit in person. My mother is gone now, but I remember her stories about the excitement in the stands when he ran. Can you advise where I might find some footage of a race - even THE RACE between The Bisquit and War Admiral? Thank yo again. Marvelous job!
Harriet Hill <>
Waynesville, NC USA - Wednesday, April 11, 2001 at 08:33:16 (EDT)
Laura, Joe Drape, a sportswriter for the NY Times has just writen a book about the major players in horse racing. I designed a Web site for him and he recommended your book to me. Seabisquit has been an incredible inspiration in my life, and I've recommended it to friends. Your readers who are interested to know more about horse racing might want to check out Joe's book at I look forward to your next book!
Neal Campbell <>
Dallas, TX USA - Wednesday, April 11, 2001 at 07:10:48 (EDT)
Dear Laura I haven't read your book yet, but a friend is sending me a copy, so I will be into it soon. My Dad, Curley Jones, was a horseman and worked for Mr. Howard at Ridgewood from 1941 to 1949. Our family lived on the ranch for several years. I was a little girl standing by the grave site when Seabiscuit was placed in his grave. Mr. Howard said, "He'll show them how to run up in horse heaven." My brother, Hubert S. Jones was a jockey and was under contract to Mr. Howard in the mid 1940's. He won races on some of Seabiscuit's colts. Mr. and Mrs. Howard were wonderful people. I have many happy childhood memories of growing up at Ridgewood. Please let me know if you would like me to share any of them with you. One example: When my siter and I were about nine and eleven years old, we used to climb up in a tree whose branches reached over into a pasture in a remote area of the ranch where unbroken two-year-old thoroughbbred colts were pastured. When the colts would come under the tree, we would reach down from the branch where we were perched, pat the colt's backs and then carefully slip down on the them while we were still holding on the the branch. One day Mr. Howard happened to ride past. Later on, when he saw my Dad he said, "Curley, those girls have been riding those colts." So that put a stop to that, even though we kept tellin our Dad that we weren't riding them, we were just sitting on them. Sincerely, Laverne Jones Booth Laverne Jones Booth
Laverne Jones Booth <>
Newhall, CA USA - Wednesday, April 11, 2001 at 02:43:15 (EDT)
It took awhile for me to buy your book. It was sold out in the first two bookstores! But the wait was well worth it. The story was moving and so well written. Both Seabisket and the author overcame such odds! You've become a role model with so many with this trivial sounding but debilitating illness. Please get in touch for some information for you (no, no snake salesmen!) and consider signing the petition on chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis at Gail
Gail Kansky, President, National CFIDS Foundation <>
Needham, MA USA - Wednesday, April 11, 2001 at 00:03:44 (EDT)
Dear Laura: As a member of the CFS community, I want to congratulate you on your success and tell you how proud we are and honored for you to represent the CFS community. Seabiscuit is a wonderful book written about true sportsmanship and the belief that we are never defeated except by our own lack of faith and hope. Thank you for the inspiration in your book and in your life. Sincerely, Bob Mulligan, (CFS since 1986 from Honeymoon in Lake Tahoe.)
Robert F. Mulligan,MPA, Director of GACFSA <>
Woodstock, GA USA - Tuesday, April 10, 2001 at 23:22:10 (EDT)
Dear Laura. I recently began helping a friend (who is on the Maryland Racing Commission) with an exhibit she is doing on the history of horse racing, and its connection with Annapolis. I never had any interest in racing, or shared her love of horses. But I read a review of your book in the Post and picked up "Seabiscuit" while we were meeting in Barnes and Noble a few weeks ago. I was captivated. I think you have done what my friend has been trying for years to accomplish -- generate an enthusiasm for the sport and proud tradition of horse racing. I was rivited by your narrative and the way you brought the scene to life. I jumped quickly to the chapter about the match race with War Admiral and felt transported to that time and place. I could actually experience the race from your lyrical description. Even though I knew the outcome, I still bit off every nail (and cried into my mocha latte)before the end of the chapter. I only hope the movie can do it justice. I also hope the racing industry appreciates what you have done for them. As the Triple Crown season approaches. I would be willing to bet interest in racing has escalated exponentially as a result of your bestseller. Here in Maryland we could certainly use the infusion of pride in this part of our state heritage. I hope you will be able to go to some of those functions and be acknowledged for what you have given us -- not only a wonderful read, and an inspirational story, but a new insight to a sport that deserves greater appreciation and more widespread coverage. And if your health permits, I hope you'll come to Annapolis and see the exhibit and understand the pride my friend feels in knowing it did really start here. On a personal note, I recently took up ballet. My teacher constantly reminds me I cannot go through the regimen without straightening my knees. And my knees don't straighten. I was getting very discouraged until I read "Seasbiscuit" Obviously, there is still a winner's circle for those with crooked knees. Thanks for making me understand why people love horses.
Jan Hardesty <>
Annapolis, MD USA - Tuesday, April 10, 2001 at 22:10:56 (EDT)
I want to take this opportunity to tell you how much I enjoyed your book about Seabiscuit. This is a lot coming from one who primarily reads about basketball and antigues. I have always been interested in Seabiscuit since I was a little boy watching the old Movie Tone News of Seabiscuit and War Admiral running head to head, neck and neck around tmost of the race track. Your writing about the dialogue between each jockey during the match reace was most interesting. Likewise, I thought it poignant about the involvement of Alfred Vanderbilt. As a child, I remember quite vividly "The Dancer" being beaten by Dark Star in the Kentucky Derby. If I had been a betting man, I would have won a lot of money. I would like to inquire if one could have you autograph a book or two. Your comments would be apprciated on how to achieve this. Likewise, would you be aware of any memorabilia concerning Seabiscuit, whether it be programs of the match race, tack, glasses, etc., that could be purchased. When are you going to write about Secretariat or better, Ruffian? Looking forward to hearing from you. Larry
Larry Downs <>
USA - Tuesday, April 10, 2001 at 20:56:33 (EDT)
Laura - you have come a long way from the girl I knew one summer in the '80s (@ the Potomac Horse Center) hanging out at the track. Congratulations. My wife (a non-horse person) thoroughly enjoyed your book staying up all night until she finished it. Since I have drifted away from the horse world, I found the story both compelling and nostalgic. Thanks and stay well.
Brad Worrall <>
C'ville, VA USA - Tuesday, April 10, 2001 at 17:23:49 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I heard you on NPR last Saturday. When I heard about your problems with vertigo my heart went out to you, because it's something I have dealt with for over 40 years. However, I have found significant relief and thought you might be interested. THere is hope! First, there is a doctor in Baton Rouge, LA who deals exclusively with dizziness and balance disorders. He has a very good success rate; in fact, if you suffer from BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo) he has a 95% CURE -- not just improvement but CURE-- rate for that particular condition. Second: I used to have prostrating vertigo attacks every few months. However, about 3 years ago I started taking certain nutritional supplements. (No, I'm not selling anything!) I won't say that my equilibrium is perfect, but since then, I have not had another severe attack and have been able to function quite nicely every day. I would be glad to give you details if you're interested. Just email me at Hope this helps in your struggles. Dave Prentice
Dave Prentice <>
New Orleans, LA USA - Tuesday, April 10, 2001 at 17:10:34 (EDT)
A truly rare and beautiful book. Thank you.
Alan J. Baer <>
Philadelphia, PA USA - Tuesday, April 10, 2001 at 16:28:58 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I'm a middle-aged, amateur female rider who has been savoring your book every evening this spring while sitting in my upstairs reading room, occasionally gazing out to the pasture to watch my own horse peacefully grazing before dusk. I've limited myself to forty pages of reading per night in order to stretch the story as best I could. Well, I unfortunately reached the end of the book last night. Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed your compilation. The race descriptions came to life for me. I'd notice my heart rate slightly elevating as I'd get engrossed in a race description. Additionally, I thought your choice of photographs preceding each chapter was exceptional. Each provided just enough of a hint to what would transpire in that chapter. Furthermore, I found myself flipping back through the pictures throughout my reading of the book; to, say, compare War Admiral's conformation to that of Seabiscuits, or maybe just to look into Pollard's eyes once again, having learned more about him. Finally, I was shocked to hear you were a lone bidder on a reel of the War Admiral/Seabiscuit race. What I'd do to own a copy of that!!! Thank you again, Laura, for a wonderful read. I look forward to the movie. Sincerely, Robin Clarke
Robin Clarke <>
Olympia, Wa USA - Tuesday, April 10, 2001 at 15:06:29 (EDT)
I just want to thank you for writing such an amazing book on a subject that is very special to me. I worked at Canterbury Downs while in high school, and after seeing my first live horse race I knew this was a sport I would enjoy for the rest of my life. Along with being a member of the track crew, I was a hotwalker for a middle sized stable, and treasure that time among the people and animals that comprise this wonderful sport. Unfortunately, Canterbury closed in the summer of '93, and I was forced to find different summer employment between years at college. I always think perhaps if it had not closed, I would have been able to make a career in horse racing. Your book brought me back to my days at the track, along with so much more, and I will always be grateful.
Patrick Mooney <>
Minneapolis, MN USA - Tuesday, April 10, 2001 at 13:41:08 (EDT)
I wanted to tell you among the other thousands in the guest book that your book is a revelation. It is great to hear about a horse that ran until he was 6 or 7. My favorite horses growing up were John Henry and Forego horses that a lot of heart and ran for a long time year after year. They may have been geldings so they could not have been used as studs. I am 43 and attended the Ruffian-Foolish Pleasure Match race and I still choke up when I think of Ruffian having to be destroyed. Again, I loved your book and hope you come to South Florida so I can meet you and have you sign the book.
Barry Butin <>
Weston, FL USA - Tuesday, April 10, 2001 at 13:13:22 (EDT)
I finished reading your book about five minutes ago and just loved it. I have never been to a horse race and am not particularly interested in the sport but the book made me feel like I was there! Thank you for a great story!
Caroli Dubin <>
Walpole, Ma USA - Tuesday, April 10, 2001 at 12:20:29 (EDT)
hi laura I would like some info on seabiscuit I have a origanl print of seabiscuit and 7 of his colts and the etching is by R.H. PALENSKE reproduced in talio-crome I am no art person but it seems to be in good-exalent condition not mint as at the top of the paper ther is a white spot by the top of the frame in the bottem left corner of the printt there is a circle with a c init and below that B&B Aand on the back of the frame it has a stoy of seabiscuit do you think you could tell me how old this is and if it is worth anything as i bought it in a auction please get back to me as i realy like this and I would like to know if I got a good deal on it thank you verry much
scott withrow <>
wnp, m.b canada - Tuesday, April 10, 2001 at 11:47:23 (EDT)
Laura: I would like to congratulate you on a wonderful book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, especially since I have been an avid horseperson all of my life. I am interested in writing a book and have most of my information written. If you can make any suggestions on the process of finding a publisher, it would be greatly appreciated. Once again what a wonderful book. Take care.
Patricia <>
- Tuesday, April 10, 2001 at 11:35:01 (EDT)
When I heard that someone with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome had had the incredible strength to write a book, I was astonished. (I've had CFS for 12 years.) When I heard it was about Seabiscuit, I was thrilled. My family is horse crazy from way back. The Blood Horse magazine was always lying around, and we spent a vacation one summer touring Kentucky horse farms. Hastings, Man O War, War Admiral, Seabiscuit and all the other famous horses of that era were household names, especially in our household. So, even though I'm a cheapskate who reads only library books, I immediately got on the net and ordered your book. (No trying to find it on ebay or!!) IT WAS FABULOUS!!! I couldn't put it down. I felt transported back in time. I just wish my father had lived to read this book. I'm taking a copy of it to heaven to give to him. ;o) I wish you all the success you deserve. I couldn't admire you more. You are my hero and you give hope to all of us who are so disabled by this horrible illness that most people make fun of. Thank you for writing this wonderful book. I know exactly how hard it was. ***APPLAUSE***!!
Bethany Wilson <>
Florence, OR USA - Tuesday, April 10, 2001 at 03:54:23 (EDT)
you go girl!
Cousin' Chuck <>
AZ USA - Tuesday, April 10, 2001 at 00:19:12 (EDT)
I saw your interview on NBC and thought I'd have a hard time finding a way to contact you. I've just finished reading all the wonderful entries in your guestbook and know now that I must buy your book. My husband suffers from one of the rare diseases in the Dysautonomia family and after hearing the interviewer describe some of your symptoms, I wondered if you had ever been checked for any of these diseases. They present as isolated symptoms and it wasn't until my husband had a tilt table test that his diagnosis was confirmed as Pure Autonomic Failure. Feel free to write back if you feel that this might be of interest in your situation. Looking forward to reading aboout Seabiscuit.
Rhona Littman <>
Calabasas, CA USA - Monday, April 09, 2001 at 21:54:37 (EDT)
Though only a casual racing fan I was totally spellbound by your book. It is impossible not to be pulled into Seabiscuit and his handlers. His story reads like a Greek classic with the hardships and overcoming of adversity. Bravo.
Michael Meltzer <>
Northfield, N.J. USA - Monday, April 09, 2001 at 19:42:13 (EDT)
Laura,I have never been interested in horses,never been to a race and ridden only once years ago. I read your book because of the wonderful reviews and couldn't put it down. Thank you for opening a new world for me and sharing the stories of the amazing people-and horse- that made this story possible.
Carol Hayward <>
Nashua, nh USA - Monday, April 09, 2001 at 18:40:14 (EDT)
I read so many books that I thought no author or biography could inspire effusive recommendations to everyone I know -- whether in the "horse world" or not. Your book, however, has created a whole new wave of emails and calls to friends and relatives. A wonderful story beautifully told. Thanks for giving Seabicuit back to us all.
USA - Monday, April 09, 2001 at 18:35:33 (EDT)
I read a children's book about Seabiscuit when I was a kid and have never forgotten it. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your book. I wish I had been around to see him run. Thank you for writing this book!
Ellen <>
E. Lansing, MI USA - Monday, April 09, 2001 at 18:34:50 (EDT)
Reading "Seabiscuit" was very enjoyable and also brought many memories to this 83 year old. I married Philip Craw- ford in 1938 and Agnes Conlon Pollard his cousin loaned us her apppartment (depression years) ion years) her apartment for honeymoon weekend, I had several visits to the Conlon home where every room was filled with antique clocks and music boxes. I never saw Agnes again but some years later, my husband ran a gas station in Brookline Massuchetts and Red when he was racing in Mass. tracks would buy gas there. But would not give my gambling hubby any tips.
Dale Crawford <>
Burbank , CA USA - Monday, April 09, 2001 at 18:10:08 (EDT)
This exciting to read book is just what the thoroughbred horse racing business needs. If the motion picture captures the thrills, the "ups and downs" and the reality of life on the backstretch a new audience could emerge. The racetrack stories, via books and movies produced in the 30's created the excitement of t-racing for thousands of people including me. At age 15 when Seabiscuit was in the barn at Saratoga in 1935 I won a $5 win bet on RED RAIN in The Hopeful and became a fan forever. Thank you Laura for bringing back the memories.
Michael C. Wales <>
Rancho Mirage, CA USA - Monday, April 09, 2001 at 17:36:55 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand; Sorry to hear about your chronic fatigue. I have fibromyalgia and can empathize with you. I own a trophy won by seabiscuit at the Agua Caliente handicap in 1938. It is silver and was made in england in 1864. I am in a situation right now where I need to sell it. Are you interested? Sincerely, Sue Mark.
sue mark <>
redmond, wa USA - Monday, April 09, 2001 at 16:04:43 (EDT)
Dear Laura Hillenbrand, Seabiscuit was not my favorite horse of the century, but he is now. Thanks for the wonderful book. I felt transported back into time. I was there at each race. I was the Trainer---I was the owner---I was the jockey---I was the "Horse'. I grit my teeth and swallowed hard throughout the epilogue until I got the death of Seabiscuit---and then I cried. Thanks again for the "Book of the Century"
Bonnie Smith <>
USA - Monday, April 09, 2001 at 15:53:59 (EDT)
Laura, I found your book very enjoyable.... Also saw an interview on TV re. your life & health problems. Have a friend with like medical problems (especially vertigo)...If you have any helpful input, I ("we") will be most appreciative. Thank you! Sincerely, Larry S. ps. hope you are feeling better (:
Larry S <>
Naples, FL USA - Monday, April 09, 2001 at 15:24:22 (EDT)
Laura, I don't read too many book reviews - for some reason within a week's time I read wonderful review on your book in the NY Times, The Wall Street Journal, and our local paper the Sacramento Bee. My father in law is an avid thoroughbred fan - I thought your book would make a wonderful bday present. Little did I realize that it would be such wonderful gift to myself. Your writing style is superb - your book hypnotized me from the start - it's now done the same to my husband. After reading your other guestbook comments it's nice to see that I'm not the only one who was so deeply affected by this story. The old saying of "truth is stanger than fiction" rings true as you read about the characters of Red, Tom Smith, Charles Howard, and of course Seabiscuit. I'm sorry I missed your interview on NPR - as an avid listner I can't believe I missed your interview. Thanks for bringing a wonderful story to life - I can't wait to read it again!
kimberly kinnee <>
davis, ca USA - Monday, April 09, 2001 at 14:26:47 (EDT)
One of the better books I've read in a long time, and I do a lot of reading. Thanks for a great read.
Arnold Lewis <>
Bayside,, ny USA - Monday, April 09, 2001 at 14:18:50 (EDT)
Laura Thanks so much for this story about a great horse and the wonderful collection of human personalities that surrounded him. You have proven once again what a beautiful sport horse racing is. Your book should be mandatory reading for the brain-trust at the NTRA (and all racetrack managements ) who simply don't get it. Can't wait for your next book. Greg Allen/Northfield, Mn (
greg allen <>
northfield, mn USA - Monday, April 09, 2001 at 12:09:33 (EDT)
Hey Lar! Just finished your book - am passing it along to the better half now - what a fabulaous story, so terrifically told! "Did you ever know that you're my heeeeeeeroooo..." I feel as though I know Red and Tom and Charles. And the Biscuit, of course! You deserve every pludit you are getting Livvy just said, "Laura may have a bad disease, but she can still work hard!" I love this Guestbook idea, too! Cheers to B and F from your Fans in Looziane
Susie Thomas <>
Baton Rouge, LA USA - Monday, April 09, 2001 at 10:39:27 (EDT)
Dear Laura: I too, saw your story on NBC Nightly News and just bought your book yesterday...I go to work here at NBC5 in Dallas/Ft. Worth at 4AM, but stayed up past 10:00PM reading "Seabiscuit". I grew up riding here in Texas and am looking forward to your story about this giant of a horse, but more than that, I appreciate your desire to pass along your "mentor". And, your writing is beautiful and perfect. Thanks already for a great book! Sincerely, Lib
Libby <>
Arlington, Tx USA - Monday, April 09, 2001 at 10:04:38 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I own two thoroughbred horses. When I read Seabiscuit I was absolutely amazed at how well you can infiltrated the horses minds and charactors. All horses have their own charactor but few people realize it. Most treat them all the same. Seabiscuit, his owners, his trainer and jockeys all new what an exceptional charactor he was and appreciated it. Your book was such a delite to read. It had substance, charactor development and spirit. I had tears running down my face upon reading about Seabiscuits last race - and I cried upon his death. You wrote a wonderful tribute to an American treasure.
Laura Frantzen <>
Chatsworth, ca USA - Monday, April 09, 2001 at 01:05:04 (EDT)
Chapter 12 "All I Need is Luck" had me perched on the edge of my chair and hunkered over your book as I were George Woolf riding Seabiscuit to the chapter's end. What a thrill that ride was! --Thank you.
Margaret Makar
Denver , CO USA - Monday, April 09, 2001 at 00:32:56 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your book. I am a student on a limited budget but I splurged on your book. Boy, was it ever worth it! I first heard about Seabiscuit when I was in grade school and found a book about him in the library. It's amazing how many people in my generation have never heard of him. I look forward to the movie!!!
Vermillion, SD USA - Monday, April 09, 2001 at 00:28:38 (EDT)
What a wonderful book! I haven't enjoyed a book so much in years! I feel like I know ol' Biscuit, Red and the rest of the boys. Thank you so much!
Margaret Evans
USA - Sunday, April 08, 2001 at 23:52:51 (EDT)
I heard your interview on NPR and I was touched deeply by it. Thanks for your courage in the face of your own odds. I wonder if you have looked at macrobiotics in relation to your condition. This practice has been known to cure some extremely drastic conditions. Let me know if I can give you further information. I can hardly wait to buy your book. Thanks.
Steve Bleeke <>
Dayton, Oh USA - Sunday, April 08, 2001 at 21:21:50 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I first read about Seabiscuit in your article in American Heritage magazine, so when the book came out, I had to read it. It was the best book I've ever read and I think it should be required reading for students all over the country. I've had lots of success betting on horses, and your book has inspired me to seriously consider a dormant dream I've had for a long time - to own racehorses. Thanks for writing the best book I've ever read. I can't wait for the movie. Bill Bravenec
Bill Bravenec <>
Plano, TX USA - Sunday, April 08, 2001 at 18:45:36 (EDT)
Hi Laura, Read your book,it was great. Red Pollard is my uncle and my mom Norah left me a scrapbook she made on Reds and Seabiscuit's career. Orginal newspapper clippings and photos. You can phone me at 780-4667184
Bill Willis <>
Edmonton, AB Canada - Sunday, April 08, 2001 at 18:35:55 (EDT)
Dear Laura, You write like Seabiscuit ran: all out, with a great heart; it's a wonder there's anyhthing left of you. What's left of me is a puddle of raggedy emotions, some of which I'd forgotten I had. You took a band of undersung heroes and you proved Red and Old Waldo right. You evened out their lives. Wherever Seabiscuit is snoozing tonight, I think he's finally content.
Bruce Bradley <>
Fountain Hills, AZ USA - Sunday, April 08, 2001 at 14:51:22 (EDT)
Dear Laura, As a long time racing fan I wish to commend you on your outstanding book. My only regret is that now that I've finished the book I feel the void that comes when something you enjoy so much is over. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to wait for the movie. Are you considering any other future horse racing books? Good luck in whatever your future direction is.
Alan Concha <>
Wayne, NJ USA - Sunday, April 08, 2001 at 14:32:11 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I looked forward with anticipation to reading your book since first hearing about its forthcoming publication more than 6 months ago. I’m glad I didn’t know then what I know now. Had I known then that it would be the best book I’d ever read (of any genre) it would have been difficult to wait for its release. As it is, I’ve become consumed with interest in Seabiscuit and his team. Your writing did that. Thank you. And thank you to Borden for encouraging you to pursue your dream despite a hardship that would overwhelm most of us. At every turn, your book is a profile in courage – from Seabiscuit’s overcoming unbelievably long odds to become the most storied thoroughbred of his generation, to the single-minded determination you called upon to let the world experience your passion for this horse and “the life.”
Bob Young <>
Rockville, MD USA - Sunday, April 08, 2001 at 13:08:26 (EDT)
Dear Ms Hillenbrand I was up all night reading your wonderful book and I am a little stiff and sore as I believe I ran in at least 5 or 6 races, either as the jockey or Seabiscuit. Thank you for such an inspiring story of animals (which I usually prefer) and humans (some great ones here). I don't know who I identified with more. Your research was impeccable; you really brought the period alive for me, and your writing was indeed lyrical. I can only hope that you write more books about more wonderful race horses
Sarah Thompson <>
Key West, FL USA - Sunday, April 08, 2001 at 13:03:18 (EDT)
Thank you. I can not remember when I enjoyed reading a story as much. You have a great gift. In the acknowledgement you mentioned Gelo Hall and I have fond memories of him as a jock's agent and wondered how he is getting on.
ron santoni <>
USA - Sunday, April 08, 2001 at 11:41:12 (EDT)
Laura: I saw the feature on you and your book on NBC Nightly News and immediately bought it. You are an excellent storyteller. The story makes one wish there were more Seabiscuits around today among horses and people. One question? I am a book editor for a small independent press and I believe the cover on your book is absolutely awful. It shows the back of a reporter on the left and cuts off the head of Seabiscuit entirely. There is no point of focus. Maybe there was a reason but I don't think anyone is going to purchase the book because of its shelf presence. It's too bad such an excellent piece of writing has to be wrapped in such a ho hum jacket.
Wayne Cornell <>
Caldwell, ID USA - Sunday, April 08, 2001 at 10:16:55 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I have been in love with Seabiscuit ever since I read the book 'Come On Seabiscuit' by Ralph Moody. A few years later, I saw the Shirley Temple movie about Seabiscuit, and it about made my heart break, because they had changed such a fabulous story. I think that I irritate all my friends, because I talk about Seabiscuit so much. Since I have been so in love with this horse, I was extremely pleased when I heard that somebody was writing a book about him. As soon as I saw that it was published, I ordered it. I am about halfway through, and am totally pleased with the book. I cannot wait until the movie comes out! I will be the first in line to see it, and also to buy it! Also, I would be interested in talking to you. You can contact me at the email address provided. Thank you so much! Sincerely, Megan Coronado
Megan Coronado <>
Nampa, ID USA - Sunday, April 08, 2001 at 03:50:17 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I have not yet read your book but plan to order a copy right away. I want to thank you for your comments on CFIDS in the New York Newsday. As the editor of Stricken: Voices from the Hidden Epidemic of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, a book which includes luminaries like Susan Griffin, Gary Null, Floyd Skloot, and Joan Nestle, I wish I could have included your work as well. I would very much love to contact you and have e-mailed the webmaster here, but if by chance you are reading this, please feel free to contact me via the editor page of my website above. I became ill with CFIDS in Ohio at around the exact same time as you (I am 32), and would be very interested in speaking with you, as a fellow author.
Peggy Munson
USA - Sunday, April 08, 2001 at 01:55:43 (EDT)
Super interview with Scott Simon. Could you add the Seabiscuit/War Admiral match race call to the web site? Buying the book.
Dixon Green <>
Longmont, CO USA - Saturday, April 07, 2001 at 22:33:01 (EDT)
Just finished listening to your book on tape and loved it. I know what my horse-loving friends will be getting for Christmas this year! I was really impressed by your description of what the jockeys went through to make the weights. I hope that anyone who is considering the question of whether to raise the scale of weights has a chance to read your chapter on the subject before they reach a conclusion! As for the rest of the story, i could hardly wait to get in my car and drive to work so I could listen to more of it. I'll be anxiously awaiting the release of the movie. Thanks again for a wonderful book!!
Andrea Sloan <>
Toronto, ON CANADA - Saturday, April 07, 2001 at 22:09:24 (EDT)
dear laura, my brother just called me from California (he lives in San Pedro) and read me a newspaper article on you and your book. he was particularly interested because i too have CFS. I was diagnosed in 98, but have been ill since 94, apparently from time spent overseas in Desert Storm. there is no other reason for me to have become ill. we are particularly lucky here in this area to have Dr David Bell living and practicing medicine here. He is a wonderful doctor and has been working nonstop on a cure for this nagging hell on earth for 16 years. i'm sure you have heard of him. i'm glad he's my dr, altho, as we all well know, he (nor anyone else) has yet found a cure. i am ordering your book because i also have had a lifelong interest in horses; had 'em since i was 19. i probably have read your stuff when i used to subscribe to Equus magazine; in fact, a long time ago i wrote a poem i entitled "Equus" and sent it in for review, but they were not interested. too bad; it was based on my story of my own horse. best of luck. if there are any questions i can answer or anyone i can put you in touch with, i'd be happy to try and help. we all have to stick together through this thing. barb quester
barbara quester <>
gasport, ny USA - Saturday, April 07, 2001 at 21:50:28 (EDT)
To Laura.More on CFS; I came down with CFS in 1993 and was ill till 1997. I am now well and training to race motorcycles, at one point in 95 at the hight i was to ill to leave my room at my moms house for a couple of months, i did develope agoraphobia there were several spinoff problems ,mostly I had anxiety problems. I went to all the specialists for a 200 mi radius ,uc davis med center ,imunology center in SanFrancisco and countless cfs support groups and all that, with no answers,the support group made me depressed cause there were people that were telling me how to live with it, dont ever buy into that crap,me and my sister hit the books on our own and found uot many things first as you probably know cfs is a generic term ,tere are many reasons the condition exsists, mine happened to be in my digestive tract and was two fold,if diferent foods or eating patterns somehow effects how you feel, please email me back and i'll send you all the litreture on digestive health and hidden problems that escape ditection, also there are two docters that will go to the edge for their paitents they are both on the AMA board of immunoligy and one is a professor of at university of san francisco ,although I am left with several food alergies I'm in better shape then when I was 16 and I'm 40. dont ever ever ever give up hope. good luck
Steve Arena <>
Sacramento, ca USA - Saturday, April 07, 2001 at 21:14:08 (EDT)
A week ago if anyone said the next book I would be reading would be about horse racing I would have told them they were nuts. I have never placed a bet on a horse, been to a horse race or listened to one over my numerous decades, and only once rode a horse. But early last Saturday morning I happened on your brief interview on "It's Only a Game" and was struck by something like a lightning bolt directing me to get the book as soon as I could get to a bookstore. I've always thought sports columnists were among the best writers around and Bill Littleford's (not sure on the name) comments convinced me that you were of that caliber. Perhaps his reference to your writing sounding like Yeats was the clincher for me. From your first paragraph I was hooked and cautioned myself not to read too fast so that I could savor every section. "Seabiscuit" will have a prime spot on my bookshelves (after I share it with special friends) among the outstanding classic and historical authors I have read through the years -- English and Russian, etc. And I'm continually recommending it wherever I find a listening ear. Thank you for a masterpiece of story telling and beautiful, compassionate writing. Florence Johnson
Florence Johnson
USA - Saturday, April 07, 2001 at 19:32:01 (EDT)
I loved the book. I work as a set decorator in film and lately I have been having serious doubts about my profession. Your book is the first project that has caught my attention.What is the address of Larger than Life Productions.? Despite my union affiliations i would be happy to work on it in any capacity just once I would like to be involved in a project that i believe in. Cinematically it is great a period piece with horses( i love racing lore and horses) but more importantly it has depth- Thank you
Linda Ekstrand <>
NYC, NY USA - Saturday, April 07, 2001 at 18:34:42 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I have just finished reading "Seabiscuit" and want to express my admiration for your talent as a writer and the wonderful job of research you have done. I am not a fan of horse racing, but I like success stories and books about any kind of animals. I read the book almost non-stop and I have to tell you I was in tears of joy, and sadness through the entire last quarter of the book (I am still weepy). You paint a picture of the times and the people to such an extent the reader feels as though he is living the story, rather than reading it. It is without a doubt the best book I have read in a very long time, I will be sending copies to several friends - it is great!
Merna Maxwell <>
Rolling Hills Est.c, ca USA - Saturday, April 07, 2001 at 18:14:28 (EDT)
You know how they said Seabiscuit could RUN. Laura, you can WRITE!
Bruce Miller
Grand Ledge, MI USA - Saturday, April 07, 2001 at 17:48:36 (EDT)
Judging by your guestbook, you need my comments like a hole in the head! However, I just finished your book - and WOW -I don't know when I've read a better book. THANK YOU!
joan robinson <>
Seattle, WA USA - Saturday, April 07, 2001 at 15:15:29 (EDT)
Laura, I just heard your interview on public radio. I had never heard of Seabiscuit and now I am fascinated. I just ordered your book.
Jerry Alderman <>
Anchorage, AK USA - Saturday, April 07, 2001 at 14:46:29 (EDT)
I listened to your wonderful interview this morning on Weekend Edition with Scott Simon and will certainly look for your book. I'm writing, however, because my former wife suffers from what was originally believed to be CFS. You certainly are aware that the cause of the aggregation of symptoms labeled as "chronic fatigue" is not known. There are many hypothesis floating around, some with ardent defenders. My friend was referred three years ago to a doctor in Oakland, California, who has found in hundreds of cases he's treated, a correlation in patients who've been diagnosed with CFS, with chronic bone infection, generally in the jaw and/or sinuses. For my friend, who had searched for years for an explanation for symptoms most doctors dismissed as psychosomatic, or evidence of depression, discovering laboratory confirmed evidence of infection in her jaw was a profound relief. In addition to fatigue, she has suffered from what she would call "motion sickness," which may be her equivalent of the vertigo from which you suffer. I'd like to report that she's fully recovered, but the infection spread into her sphenoid sinus and treatment options are limited. She still lives with fatigue and treats her motion sickness with medication. However, I believe the doctor pursuing this line of assessment and treatment has something important to offer those suffering from fatigue. Should you wish more information you may contact me at the email address below. I applaud your courage in pursuing your writing in the face of such profound challenges.
Curtis Grindahl <>
San Anselmo, California USA - Saturday, April 07, 2001 at 13:38:11 (EDT)
Dear Laura--I just heard Scott Simon's interview with you this morning and went out and bought three copies of your book--two for friends. I immediatly thought what a powerful movie it would make. When is the movie coming out? Who wrote the screenplay? I would have loved to have had a chance at writing the screenplay for this story. Thankyou for bringing this story to all that will know it through both the book and the movie. In your interview you said that reading and writing is difficult for you because of your vertigo. Ihope you have someone to read you all these e-mails !!! It gave me vertigo just scrolling down through them. Good luck, and again, thank you. Kathleen
kathleen williams <>
gainesville, fl USA - Saturday, April 07, 2001 at 13:17:38 (EDT)
I just heard your interview on VPR (NPR). I rushing off to Amazon to buy your book. It sounds wonderful!!!! (BTW, I am a long-time horse disliker!!!]
Jim Mayor <>
South Albany, VT USA - Saturday, April 07, 2001 at 10:52:43 (EDT)
I am a 69 year old man. I remember hearing of Seabicuit on the radio when I was a child, but I didn't know his full story until last night as I sat up and read your facinating book. You brought that fawayay era alive again. I laughed, I cried. I felt like I was in the saddles during the races. All the people in your books owe you a debt as you made them live again for a short time. One question, I wonder why Andy Carpenter's jacket design showed more of a reporter than it did of Seabiscuit? Thanks for a good read. God keep you "healthy". Gordon Records
Gordon Records <>
San Diego, CA USA - Saturday, April 07, 2001 at 10:39:26 (EDT)
Thank you.
cassie <>
Salt Lick, KY USA - Saturday, April 07, 2001 at 10:39:20 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I cannot put into words the feelings and emotions that your book aroused in me. It is simply the best book I have ever read. Through your talent and work, you have transformed an already remarkable story into an unforgettable one. Thank you for writing the book. I tried to pace myself while reading it, but I could not put it down, and was finished all too quickly. I cried tears of joy and sorrow at many points in the narrative. I have literally fallen in love with that beautiful horse Seabiscuit. As I think about the principal characters in the book, and those many other people who were fortunate to see this beautiful creature in person, I cannot help but feel somewhat jealous of everyone who was alive during “those dear dead days.” I am very much looking forward to the movie about Seabiscuit, which you are consulting on. Thank you again, and may God Bless you in your future efforts.
Don Freeburger <>
Ellicott city, MD USA - Saturday, April 07, 2001 at 08:46:24 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Thank you for your incredible book and also for your inspiring response to illness. My only contact with the world of racing has been to occasionally provide entertainment at Laurel or Pimlico during the Preakness or other "special events." I loved entering into an environment that I never would have experienced had it not been for my job. Thank you so much for bringing that world to life in such vivid living color! I wish you much continued success, health, and happiness!
Jan Kearney <>
Washington, DC USA - Saturday, April 07, 2001 at 05:16:45 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, My wife gave me your book for my birthday and I just spent the week reading it. Thank you for producing this well researched book. I really did not know what to expect when I began reading but it was hard to put down once I began. I grew up in San Francisco during the fifties and sixties and remember going to some of the local race tracks with an adult friend. I remember looking at the racing form as a 10 year old and being impressed by the pages filled with numbers and arcane (to me) symbols. I thought then that the price of the DRF, 50 cents, was exorbitant. Your book brought that whole period to life for me. Thank you again. I look forward to reading your next book. Sincerely, Toshi Abe
Toshi Abe <>
Princeton, NJ USA - Saturday, April 07, 2001 at 01:02:45 (EDT)
With your connections to Mid-Atlantic racing we would love to do a feature on you and your book on the Virginia Horsemen's Association website A horse like Seabiscuit is what keeps many of us in racing. You've done a wonderful job.
Sid Worley <>
Warrenton, VA USA - Saturday, April 07, 2001 at 00:36:52 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand: I am looking forward to reading your book about Seabiscuit. He has a special place in our family history, as my grandfather, Fred. J. E. Klees, named Seabiscuit while serving as Registrar for the Jockey Club in New York City. I have a copy of a newspaper article explaining how he arrived at that name. Your book is a fitting tribute to a great horse. Thank you!
Evelyn Klees Bryeans <>
Fullerton, CA USA - Friday, April 06, 2001 at 23:56:31 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, When my best friend gave me your book as a birthday gift last night, I was skeptical as to how it would stack up to Bill Nack's Secretariat or Jane (what's her last name?!)'s Ruffian. I began reading it last night, stayed up until 2:00 A.M., picked it up this morning, and finished it about an hour ago. It was enthralling! Tomorrow, I'm taking it to my grandfather so he can read it. He visited Seabiscuit either during the 1939 "retirement" or after the 1940 Big 'Cap, and signed Seabiscuit's guestbook. Even though I knew the outcomes of some of the stories (the match, George Woolf, etc.), it was amazing to read your account of it. What's even more incredible is that you never knew any of the people or the superb animal that made up the crafted your novel so well that it seemed impossible that you hadn't witnessed any of the events. Thank you again for writing such a wonderful book! Your story should help get some big crowds, like the old days, out at the track again! ~Emily Wilmot
Emily Wilmot <>
Seattle, WA USA - Friday, April 06, 2001 at 23:42:47 (EDT)
Congratulations on a great book! I just finished it, taking my time over a couple of weeks and feel it is the best book written about thoroghbred racing in America.Its a book that was really waiting to be written. You captured the time, the characters and especially the drama of the big races in great style.I worked in the horse business myself for years when I was younger so I appreciate what you have done to dignify a sport that is often seen as only existing for gambling.Hopefully the film will live up to your book and not be another sentimental National Velvet story because the truth is much more interesting even to people who have no interest in horse racing. Once again I wish you much success with this book it truly deserves it and if the film is half as good as the book it will be the film that has been waiting to be made about a great story.
Russell Daley
NY, NY USA - Friday, April 06, 2001 at 21:31:40 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I just learned of your book last night on the NBC Nightly News. I plan to buy the book and read it very soon. My grandfather Frederick Klees was registrar of the American Stud Book kept by the Jockey Club during Seabiscuit's time, and it was my grandfather who suggested the name Seabiscuit! I do look forward to reading the book, and thank you for reviving fond memories of a great racehorse!
Walter Klees <>
Fresno, CA USA - Friday, April 06, 2001 at 21:23:23 (EDT)
Laura, Thanks. Up until now, the most accurate representation I have ever seen of what thoroughbred racing is all about was the Richard Dreyfuss movie "Let it Ride". We racing fans really don't have much to pick from. And being an English Major/Creative Writing Minor and a writing tutor myself, I very much appreciate your talent asa writer. I can't wait for the movie. Also, for what it may be worth to you, I suffered terribly from vertigo for quite a long while myself. Then I stopped taking aspirin . . . and it went away. Thanks Laura
Ron Mardeusz <>
Crowwnsville, MD USA - Friday, April 06, 2001 at 19:12:01 (EDT)
Thank You...Thank You...Thank You...Thank You...Thank You...God Bless You!
Richard Speer <>
Memphis, Tn USA - Friday, April 06, 2001 at 18:49:05 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: I'm going to sound like a living blurb: Wow! One of the greatest sports biographies I've read! Cried at the end! Can't believed it's taken so long to tell the Biscuit's story!" On a personal note, my cat's name is Biscuit, and we were amused that the Howard's dog was named "Wee Biscuit." really, what a terrific job you've done. As a writer, I am extraordinarily envious. All the best of luck, Richard sandomir
richard sandomir <>
New York , ny USA - Friday, April 06, 2001 at 18:12:40 (EDT)
Laura ... Way t' go! Might be time for my equine literary idols, Bill Nack & Joe Hirsch, to be pensioned-off to the Kentucky Horse Park. I think you've taken their places as our industry's best. I'm your neighbor ... just minutes away from you in Laurel, Maryland. Moreover, I'm an equine (Thoroughbred racing, to be precise) artist and am currently working on a painting of Seabisquit which I'll be publishing as a limited edition print in the very near future. If you read this, I'd love to hear from you via call or e-mail. I have few questions I'm sure you could quickly answer. I'm sure the impending motion picture -- in addition to your book -- will do wonders for Thoroughbred racing. So as one whom makes his exclusive living from the industry, I'd like to say on behalf of all whom also do: Thank You and Congratulations! I hope to hear from you ... Kindest regards, Michael Geraghty studio phone: 301-604-4234; email: PO Box 3275 Laurel, Maryland 20709 Web Site (late-April, May launch:) I Paint
Michael Geraghty <>
Laurel, MD USA - Friday, April 06, 2001 at 17:27:57 (EDT)
Dear Laura: I doubt that you will remember me - we met in passing four or five years ago... I went to B-CC with your sister, and I met you when you and "E" came to my family's auction house - Sloan's - and purchased a few things that I delivered to your parents' house... I don't know that I ever told you, but within just the few times that we spoke I became so impressed with you, how you were dealing with CFS, and the like... Until last night, when I saw you on NBC, I never realized that we had followed much the same course in our recent lives, for much the same reason, as we have... While dealing with CFS you wrote "Seabiscuit" hoping that it will become one of your legacies... I don't know if you will remember, but I have been dealing with cancer since I was in high school with your sister... Soon after my father died, a few years ago, we sold the auction house... Soon after that I was in a terrible accident and spent a year in a wheelchair... During that time I wrote a book on the international auction industry... I predicted many of the troubles that the industry is now having, in the book, well before the cards began to fall... Then my agent suggested that I write a murder mystery based on the international auction industry - and all of the problems now plaguing it - and that trilogy is now my current project... But, I have gotten off track - no pun intended... Suffering as much as I have over the years with frequent surgeries, and the like, it did my heart and spirit good to see that you have done so well in spite of dealing with CFS... Congrats!!! (And thank you for the boost!!!) Richard Webster
Richard Webster <>
Rockville, MD USA - Friday, April 06, 2001 at 17:22:16 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Hi! I saw you on Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, I tuned in late and wasn't sure what the interview was about, but listened and heard that you suffer from chronic fatiuge syndrome and vertigo, is what it said. I have suffered from both for many years also, the vertigo though, I happened to have made better by a simple change in my sleeping pattern, ( I know that will sound strange, but it will cost you nothing to try!) I thought that I might try telling you about it to see if you discover relief also. Mine has been diagnosed as Meniers disease, which is a disease of the inner ear, I had to figure out what ear it was that had the problem, mine is the right ear, I stopped sleeping on that side to see if I could take the pressure off of the ear, I only sleep now on my left side or on my back with my face towards the left side. The difference has been that of night and day! It took about 3 days to see a difference and to be able to walk again without vertigo is incredible! I now am back to driving which I couldn't do before, I would like to encourage you to just try it, if it doesn't work, atleast you tried! If this does work for you please let me know! I'd like to see if this helps another person with the problem! I'm sorry but I didn't read your book but it sounds incredible, and reminds me of my stepfathers days in the 30's and the stories he'd tell me of then. Thanks for listening. Sincerely, Norma Masters
Norma Masters <>
Lombard, IL USA - Friday, April 06, 2001 at 16:00:56 (EDT)
Dear Laura: Seabiscuit is best book I've read in years. I read an advanced pre-proofed copy and have just purchased the hardback version. I choke up everytime I start telling everyone I know about your book. You're a wonderful writer and look forward to reading your next work. Thanks so much and take care. Bill Stark Windsor, CO
Bill Stark <>
Windsor, CO USA - Friday, April 06, 2001 at 15:59:59 (EDT)
Laura, I learned about your book last night on NBC news. I've loved & owned horses most of my life & am anxious to read it. It is a great accomplishment for you considering your handicap. You're very brave for tackling such an enormous project. Congratulations! Without a doubt it'll cross the "finish line" & be in the "winner's circle"!
Suzie Kirvinskee <>
Jackson, WY USA - Friday, April 06, 2001 at 15:37:39 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I have had CFS for over 4yrs. Unfortunately, i do not have your abilities to write, for i too have a story to tell. I was very impressed with your courage, perserverance, and fortitude. Last night was the first i heard of your accomplishments. In case you are not aware, there is new research coming out of Belgium, and will be published this year. This news came from the conference that was held in Seattle in January. There is even a test for the disease! I am sure you will receive a million emails concerning this, but i keep very informed of the lastest information. If you ever have the time or energy to email back will be happy to hear from you. God Bless! Irene
Irene Romano <>
Warwick, RI USA - Friday, April 06, 2001 at 15:10:46 (EDT)
Laura: I just finished your wonderful book. Loved every word, and I'm sorry it's over...
Julie Quinlivan
Arlington, VA USA - Friday, April 06, 2001 at 13:55:57 (EDT)
I just started reading the book and can tell it is a great one. Although I am currently the Chancellor of the world's largest community college district I have owned horses and mules all of my life. I compete still in rodeo and will be at Bishop Mule Days to compete in May. I relate to this story especially because I remember Seabiscuit as a child and always loved the horse though I did not know the nuances of the trainer and owner. I write "cowboy poetry" and have lots of it about training horses and mules. Would be glad to share it. Thanks for your big contribution. Mark Drummond
Mark Drummond <>
Los Angeles, CA USA - Friday, April 06, 2001 at 12:58:13 (EDT)
Laura: Just finished reading SEABISCUIT. Wow!!! I was moved to tears. Wonderful story about perseverance, dedication, commitment and heart. I loved all the characters, including Seabiscuit. While I grew up in Arlington Heights, IL., I was forbidden to go the "track" as a young girl. Sorry I didn't defy my family as I would have benefited from observing the myriad aspects of "the life". Thanks for bringing it all home to me and for writing such an inspiring and heart-warming story. I loved every minute of the suspense and the drama. My interest in horseracing is renewed. Best regards, Celia Wolf Newton, MA.
Celia Wolf <>
Newton, MA USA - Friday, April 06, 2001 at 11:18:42 (EDT)
Laura: Didn't know of any other way to communicate my question regarding your health problems. Have you been tested for Lyme Disease? Interesting Book. Jeanne Hendricks
Jeanne Hendricks <>
fallbrook, CA USA - Friday, April 06, 2001 at 11:07:19 (EDT)
I laughed, I cried, I cheered, I snapped my fingers as I followed the horses around the track. You have done a superb job in capturing the drama that surrounds the life of horse and owner, trainer and jockey, hot-walker and groom. Thank you for giving this generation the story of Seabiscuit.
Mark Evinger <>
Rochester, MN USA - Friday, April 06, 2001 at 03:32:46 (EDT)
Hi Laura, I totally understand "overcoming the odds". I'm 42 and I have rheumatoid arthritis and just two years ago I could hardly dress myself. Just when I had given up my sister, Connie asked me to try something else. I'm so glad I did, it turned my life around just like Terry Nolen of Olive Branch, MS within weeks, Terry’s energy level rose and her vertigo disappeared. I love success stories. I also believe things happen for a reason. Maybe your next book can be about recovery.
Peggy <>
OK USA - Friday, April 06, 2001 at 00:05:58 (EDT)
I wrote to you many months ago and told you how great the Talk article was. At that time when I tried to order your book I had no luck. Tonight when you were on the NBC news I was so happy for you. It must be over whelming for you to see the reaction from everyone. God bless you.
Robert Leslie <>
Exeter, ca USA - Thursday, April 05, 2001 at 23:49:30 (EDT)
Laura, I was at work tonite and I herd the call of the Seabiscuit race suddenley electricity shot thru my body as Seabiscuit is my all time hero. I had read the Book Come On Seabiscuit as a little boy and it has forever changed my life. I stood and cried as I saw your special, but I missed most of it. I rushed to buy your book. You will have to share Seabiscuit in my heart also. As I ride my horses I always dream of Seabiscuit and wish That I had the chance to meet him, But I do stop and say a prayer for him at his statue at Santa Anita. Your new friend Ron
Ron Watkins <>
Thousand Oaks, Ca USA - Thursday, April 05, 2001 at 23:22:30 (EDT)
I bought the book yesterday between flights at O'Hare on a whim. I am a little over half-way through and ready to proclaim it simply the best piece of writing and research I have ever read. What a gift you have! I hope the movie lives up to it. I saw the piece on NBC tonight and left shaking my head all the more over your accomplishment.
Roger Hirsch <>
Lincoln, NE USA - Thursday, April 05, 2001 at 23:08:25 (EDT)
Laura, What a wonderful book!! I just finished the last page and hurried down to check out Seabiscuitonline. I hope the movie is able to capture the audience as much as the book captivated me. I can't wait for it. I heard your Seabiscuit interview on National Public Radio and saw the book displayed in the bookstore the very next day. I bought it and have just closed it because I've run out of pages to read. I wish there was more. Thank you again for exposing a story that truly deserves to be relived! Krystal
Krystal Gates <>
Olympia, WA USA - Thursday, April 05, 2001 at 22:17:45 (EDT)
I was touched by the NBC profile. As someone who has overcome the odds in my own life, I can appreciate your story and the book. Good job. So much is possible despite sometimes severe limitations. Good job.
Greg Wasson <>
Alexandria, LA USA - Thursday, April 05, 2001 at 21:17:28 (EDT)
My Mother-In-Law suffers with the vertigo as well. She has had some remarkable results from a Doctor in Pittsburgh. She does not have internet access and asked me to try to contact you. She saw you TV this evening (4/5) and would be pleased to give your their names and phone numbers. If you are interested, contact me by e-mail and I will give you her name and number. Good luck with the vertigo!
Doug Spicher <>
Laurel, MD USA - Thursday, April 05, 2001 at 21:07:38 (EDT)
I'm going out tomorrow to buy your book! I remember as a young girl and vivid horse lover, reading a paperback book, titled something like "Come on Seabiscuit". I must have read that book dozens of times. I am looking forward to again falling in love with Seabiscuit. Thank you
Ginny <>
IA USA - Thursday, April 05, 2001 at 21:02:53 (EDT)
1/2 way through reading Seabiscuit, about to encounter War Admiral in their one-on-one race @ Belmont. Saw your interview on NBC-TV this evening with Tom Brokaw, wish you the best in your personal battle with cfs. If your travels take you to Monmouth Park this summer I would be privileged to meet you. Your monumental tome has breathed some fresh life into a moribund sport sorely in need of a hero. Thank you for reinforcing what it means to be a true horse racing fan.
alan b goldenberg <>
oceanport, nj USA - Thursday, April 05, 2001 at 20:27:58 (EDT)
Laura: I just saw your story this evening (April 5) on NBC News and was very impressed. Unfortunately I have not read the book as yet, but I am sure that it will be one that I won't be able to put down. I also noticed something else that also caught my interest. It was mentioned that you had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and had many problems with it. My wife and I have been involved with a company for over 6 years that have some revolutionary health products that have been known to help that condition. Two of those products are magnetics and far-infrared, and the best part is that there are no known side effects which are apparent in so many medications we take today. If you would like additional information, please email me. Raymond Miller
Raymond Miller <>
Oneida, TN USA - Thursday, April 05, 2001 at 20:02:30 (EDT)
Laura: I just watched the special on TV - quite by accident - heard something about horses, Cfids, and vertigo and ran to the TV. Thought they were talking about me!!!!! I had heard about your book on the Dressage Bulletin Board (great raves) and was planning on buying the book. Then, to hear that you have Cfids and have dizziness problems - I had to write. I am in my fifth year with Cfids - also have dizziness problems - and I have only kept my sanity because of my horse and my dog. I know you are busy, but if you have the chance to email me privately - I would like to know about your treatment options in regards to the dizziness, etc - as you are about the only other Cfids'er I have know also with dizziness/vertigo issues. Kindly, Susan
Susan Sebesta-Vaughan <>
Houston, TX USA - Thursday, April 05, 2001 at 19:56:04 (EDT)
Dear Laura, GOD BLESS YOU and SEABISCUIT. I love the book - I am on page 79 (I can only read 9 or 10 pages at a time), and I am entering my *silver* anniversary battling CFS next month. You have been a great help, you and Seabiscuit, to keeping hope in my heart. I know what how much this must have taken out of you. I know how much it takes out of me just to read about Seabiscuit, but you could not have picked a better topic for me. Horses have been my lifelong love, and horse racing a rite of spring. Thank you so very, very much.
Nancy <>
Madison, WI USA - Thursday, April 05, 2001 at 19:44:32 (EDT)
Laura - I have just hear your story on Dateline and am actually writing about your vertigo. I too suffered for a while with the same problem and went to many specialists who could not determine why I was suffering. However, one doctor did find a very simple cure that all other doctors could not. What I had was a simple hormonal imbalance which was easily resolved with medication. I was wondering if you had tried the route yet? Best wishes! Lara
Lara Beaudoin <>
Colchester, CT USA - Thursday, April 05, 2001 at 19:04:16 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand I saw a program on NBC re: your new book. My dad, Lou Hildebrandt, Sr., was a jockey in the 30's & 40's for a small thoroughbred farm in Amsterdam, NY (Sandford Stud Farms). At one time, he held the track record at Monmouth Park aboard his "best friend" Round View. Dad is still alive today at a "young 83". He took me to the movies, I believe in the early 50's, to see the original "Seabiscuit". I would not typify Dad as a sentimental person, but after the movie, for the first of only two times in my life, I saw my father cry. I cried with him. The story of Seabiscuit has stayed with both of us for these nearly 50 years. To make a long story short, I bought the book for my Dad as a gift for his 84th birthday on August 7. I am curious: we are located only 15 miles from Saratoga, where Dad raced often. Is there any chance that you will be in the area for the 2001 Sartoga meet? If so, would it be possible to get your autograph in the book? I know he would be thrilled, as would I. Thank you for your time. Good luck with the book, though wou definitely won't need it! L.F. "Sam"" Hildebrandt, Jr. By the way, the other time I saw him cry was at my mother's funeral.
Louis "Sam" F. Hildebrandt, Jr. <>
Glens Falls, NY USA - Thursday, April 05, 2001 at 19:03:55 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Thank you for giving that horse with such a big heart, a voice. I thought my own heart would burst while reading your book. Would that we all could live with such courage!
Claire Baker <ToneeQua>
Glendale, CA USA - Thursday, April 05, 2001 at 18:20:28 (EDT)
Ohmigod! Seabiscuit's hoof an ashtray!! Please say it ain't so...
n nalence <>
Houston, TX USA - Thursday, April 05, 2001 at 14:22:29 (EDT)
I haven't read a horse book since I was a kid. Walter Farley's "Black Stallion" series was at the top of the list ... but those horses were fictional, and Seabiscuit is real. I read "Seabiscuit" on my daily train commute to Boston. It took me a little longer than I usually take, because I kept re-reading this particularly well-crafted sentence or savoring that beautifully wrought paragraph. I hope the people to whom you and your publisher have entrusted the making of the movie are faithful to the spirit of this masterpiece. "The Black Stallion" movie wasn't exactly like the book on which it was based, but Coppola's people got the spirit right, and I hope the same will be true for "Seabiscuit." Thank you for this great book!
Jeni Lewis <>
Lisbon, NH USA - Thursday, April 05, 2001 at 13:13:38 (EDT)
Hi Laura, Enjoyed your interview on NY's WFAN Radio :) I know that the rigors of doing a book signing tour are too much. But would it be possible to mail my copy to a PO Box or other for you to sign (of course with pre-paid return Postage) I would really like a signed copy so much! Thankyou.
Andy <>
Long Island, NY USA - Thursday, April 05, 2001 at 00:01:21 (EDT)
ms. hillenbrand, thank you for writing a wonderful book.
bill person <>
williamsburg, va USA - Wednesday, April 04, 2001 at 23:51:19 (EDT)
Many thanks for a well researched story of an extraordinary horse. It is the folklore of racing and the largerthanlife figures that inhabit the game that will forever be racing"s great strength.I have already mailed my copy to a successful trainer in Australia and i guarantee that he will not put it down til the end.Let"s hope Hollywood stays true to the story and makes a film worthy of the horse.
wilf jones <>
morriston, fl USA - Wednesday, April 04, 2001 at 23:49:55 (EDT)
I just finished your book and had to shed a tear at the end. I look forward to sharing it with my fellow racing fan buddies. Thank you for writing such a riveting and informative book.
Gloria White <>
Memphis, TN USA - Wednesday, April 04, 2001 at 17:17:35 (EDT)
Thanks for the privilege of allowing me to make the acquaintance of both Seabiscuit and War Admiral.
John Abraytis <>
Melrose Park, IL USA - Wednesday, April 04, 2001 at 15:31:30 (EDT)
"Seabiscuit" is almost impossible to put down. Congratulations on New York Times #1 ranking. You must be very proud of your wonderful book.
Leonard Bennett
USA - Wednesday, April 04, 2001 at 14:56:25 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I thouroughly enjoyed your book on the great Seabiscuit. As I learned to play the ponies (under my father's tutelage)at Charlestown, Shenendoah Downs, Bowie, Timonium, Laurel and Pimlico, I recalled my Dad's story of his first hand encounter with Seabidcuit at Suffolk Downs. Your prose conducts that electrifying feeling, that only a lover of thoroughbred horse racing can feel, when two horses hook up for the stretch drive. It is spine tingling.
J. Walsh
USA - Wednesday, April 04, 2001 at 14:30:10 (EDT)
Ms Hillenbrand, I first heard about your book, Seabiscuit, through a review I read in Newsweek. I picked up a copy to send as a gift to my ex-wife. But before I could get it packed and shipped; I read the preface and was hooked. I resolved to read it over the weekend before passing it on to her. I'm very glad I did. I thoroughly enjoyed it even though I'm not into pari-mutuel wagering, my interest in thoroughbred racing did not survive my marriage, and I discovered last May that I'm physically unsuited to riding. (It a long story not worth the digression.) I do like both animals and history so those were the aspects that first appealed to me. Before long I was completely engrossed in the story. I mention all this only to give you some way of assessing my appreciation of your work for I have a favor to ask. I'd like to get your signature on the two copies I now have. (I have another friend, who I expect will enjoy it as much as my ex-wife, and she has a friend who is a trainer in San Francisco.) Now for the hare-brained part of the whole scheme. Coincidentally, Easter weekend I'll be visiting yet another friend who lives in Reston. If you happen to be doing a book signing somewhere in the vicinity that weekend; I'd like to arrange to stop by and collect your signature. If not, would it be possible for me to ship my two copies to you for you to sign and return to me? I'll gladly pay for the round trip postage in advance. Given the sorry state of today's world, alarm bells are probably going off in the heads of any one reading this. So I'll just close by thanking you for introducing me to Red, Tom Smith, Mr Howard, George Woolf, and the amazing Seabiscuit. Without you, I'd probably never have learned about them. You made them all come alive. Appreciatively, Tom Dickens
Tom Dickens <>
Phoenix, AZ USA - Wednesday, April 04, 2001 at 12:53:45 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I just finished your book. Wow! It's an amazing story and so beautifully told. Thanks for writing one of the best books I've read in the past 20 years! Seabiscuit is my new hero. Having had orthoscopic knee surgery three years ago, I particularly related to Seabiscuit's injury and his spectacular come back. I should have such handlers! It was inspiring. Michael.
Michael Mallory <>
Minneapolis, MN USA - Wednesday, April 04, 2001 at 10:05:22 (EDT)
Laura,Thanks for the great ride-I mean read. You have given me a great history lesson on a sport I love to watch and wager. Can you provide Seabiscuit's career racing chart along with track odds for his most famous races?
Carl Myers <>
Montvale, NJ USA - Wednesday, April 04, 2001 at 00:45:05 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: I just finished Seabiscuit and immediately started reading it again. I haven't done that with a book since Lonesome Dove. I find myself telling everybody I meet to go out and buy it. I am a writer (my book Adventures of a No-Name Actor will be out in June from Bloomsbury) and actor and I just wanted to congratulate you on this wonderful accomplishment. You bring credit to the lives of your wonderful characters. Your time machine is well-tuned and you get inside this story and ring it like a gong. I met Mr. Ross at a film festival in Austin. I think he is the perfect man to bring this story alive. At least he is if he follows your book! Tell him to get Robert Duval for Tom Smith. Duval loves horses. I wish you the greatest pleasure and celebration of your achievement. Long Live Seabiscuit!...Marco Perella
marco perella <>
georgetown, tx USA - Tuesday, April 03, 2001 at 20:59:53 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I just wanted to congratulate you on your magnificent book. It's the best on horse racing I've ever read, and I, as a fellow free-lancer for some of the same publications you write for, have read a lot of them. You should be very proud of your work
Bill Heller <>
Albany, NY USA - Tuesday, April 03, 2001 at 19:27:41 (EDT)
I finished your wonderful book last night, and cried through the last three chapters. I work at a library, and read hundreds of books a year, but yours is one of the best I have ever read. Thanks for being such a good story teller.
Susan Hirsch <>
Richardson, Tx USA - Tuesday, April 03, 2001 at 15:54:36 (EDT)
Hi Laura, I've written you before to tell you how wonderful your book is. I have since given it to someone elso to read and bought 3 copies as gifts. Everyone who reads it loves it. I am curious about the cover. Why is the horse's head not in the picture? thank you again for writing this story. Karen
Karen Soupcoff <>
Richmond Hill, On Canada - Tuesday, April 03, 2001 at 15:31:59 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I just received my signed copy of "Seabiscuit". It is my very first autographed bestseller! When I was very young, I read (and reread) "Come on Seabiscuit" which helped get me interested in racing. My favorite part of your book is the comparison of the manure pile at Tijuana to Godzilla. I hope someday you'll take up the story of Holy Bull as it has the same poor boy makes good theme. I can't wait to hear more about the movie. Your Aunt Jean and I are working on the casting. Thanks for writing this wonderful book which will bring the sport of horse racing to a wider audience. Sincerely, Susan Bond
Susan Bond <>
East Syracuse, NY USA - Tuesday, April 03, 2001 at 14:39:28 (EDT)
Laura, outstanding book! I picked at up just on a hunch to read on a long 6 hour flight. I was hooked after 10 pages. I found myself embarrased to be wiping tears from my eyes on my flight, pretending I had a cold! Your book touched me like very few books ever have. I can't stop telling my friends about this book, they think I have gone mad. A truly wonderful book that grabs the reader on so many different levels. I am at a loss to explain how much I enjoyed this book, I found myself rationing it so it wouldn't end. Good luck in whatever else you do, this will be hard to top. You truly have a gift.
Mark Barger
Chapel Hill, NC USA - Tuesday, April 03, 2001 at 00:32:07 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand-Recently purchased your book as agift for my father who owned and trained Standardbreds (trotters).he enjoyed it so much that he gave it back to me to read.What a book! I am an avid reader of all types of books and I have to say that this was one of, if not THE, best story I have ever read.You have brought to life a long-lost era so completely that I was immersed in the sounds,sights and smells of the track.Unbelievable! You have managed to bring all sorts of emotions,from great triumphs to heart-breaking tragedy to the page.Thank you for a great book that I plan to recommend to all my friends.God bless you.
Joe Boccolini <>
Beverly, Nj USA - Monday, April 02, 2001 at 21:04:00 (EDT)
DANCERS IMAGE. By Native Dancer, out of Noors Image. Any relation to Seabiscuit? Owned by Peter Fuller, won the KY Derby in the '70's, I think. My dad and I caught him before the Derby at Laurel. He was a little, scrawny horse, but GREY and I liked his pedigree. Convinced my dad to put a bunch of money on him, and we went out to dinner that night. But this horse would give you a heart attack, if you didn't know that he liked to come from behind. Your book brought back many great memories. Dad, Dancers Image gone now, but thanks for the reminder. I would like to know, however, if Noors Image is related to Seabiscuit.
Mary Davis <>
Woodbine, MD USA - Monday, April 02, 2001 at 20:50:39 (EDT)
drew mollica <>
garden city, ny USA - Monday, April 02, 2001 at 19:58:47 (EDT)
so far, galloping along 89...Gallant Sir 1933 won Agua Caliente...Gallant Sir 1934 set to defend title...Pollard rode flawlessly and won. Gallant "SIX" won $23,00 plus.
sir james <sirjames@tampabay,rr,com>
clearwater, fl USA - Monday, April 02, 2001 at 19:32:26 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: Finished your remarkable book last night, and just had to write to you. I don't know how you did it, but it is as if you were listening to all those great stories my father use to tell me about his youth. My dad, Edward Collier was one those "bug boys" who worked their trade up and down the West Coast during the 30s and 40s. He worked for C.S. Howard (always "Mister Howard" in his stories) and he knew George Woolf and Doc Babcock (who if my memory serves me correctly, patched my father up more than once). I can only assume that he worked for Tom Smith and knew Red Pollard. That you would rescue the stories of these largely forgotten men and give them their due after all these years is just phenomenal. My dad's early days pretty much reads like Mr. Pollard's. He was born in 1923 in American Falls, Idaho and after a typical (for the time) Dickenesque childhood probably started riding around '35 or '36 in those "bull rings" up in Gresham, Oregon. You captured it all perfectly, from the dirty tricks, the low pay,the deaths, to the chariot races and so much more. In every word and story you wrote, I hear his voice. I won't bore you with his stories, but I will leave you with just a bit of family history. When Pearl Harbor was bombed, my father was nursing a hangover in a stall at Santa Anita. His brother,my uncle was on the Arizona and died that day. Too busted up from racing my dad couldn't get into any of the armed forces and pretty soon after,they turned the tracks into the infamous internment camps. He shipped out with the horses and ended up at Belmont, wintering over in South Carolina. Some time later,(while working as an exercise boy for Count Fleet) he caught the eye of a pretty little local girl ( my mom). And the rest they say is history! I can't thank you enough for bringing this unique era of history alive and for letting a son (and my children) understand what times were like both my father and a whole generation. You captured the times perfectly. Best regards, John Collier
John Collier <>
New York, NY USA - Monday, April 02, 2001 at 19:18:19 (EDT)
Dear Laura, As a rule, I read mostly mysteries and "serial-killer-on-the-loose" thrillers. But SEABISCUIT was so highly recommended to me by a friend that I realized I had to read it (though I have no interest in horse racing)! I was hooked from the start! The wonderful background stories in 1906; the San Francisco earthquake; the terrible lives the jockeys lived through; on and on, I was captivated. By the time I got to Chapter 8: FIFTEEN STRIDES, I was getting gooseflesh tingles. Some of the most exciting moments were (please bear with me): Page 119: "Smith knew he had the best horse in America." Page 144: "They drew near the Fitzsimmons barn, Seabiscuit's old home. A silent procession of stable hands came out and solemnly gazed at the horse they had let slip away. Regret was evident on every face. Stucki said nothing but kept on going." Page 175: "Someone in the crowd below looked up and recognized him... Soon the whole grandstand was cheering wildly. Pollard straightened himself up and bowed." Page 179: "They recognized it all at once: Seabiscuit, under a tremendous load....accelerated." Page 216: "His right leg was nearly sheared off below the knee." Page 268: "...The horse was coiling up." Page 322: "A thought pressed into Pollard's mind: We are alone." These moments, cited above, were so exciting I had shivers, and on several occasions, my eyes welled up. You've taken a subject and brought it so alive, especially considering it's not a subject I would ordinarily read about. Thank you for a magnificent job. SEABISCUIT deserves to rise to the #1 Bestseller spot, and stay there! I'm doing my part, recommending your book to anyone I know who likes to read. Sincerely, John Markham P.S. Even the acknowledgments were fascinating reading. The opener, about SIR! magazine, hooked me, and I read all the way through. How many people read the acknowledgments, unless they expect to find their own name mentioned?
John Markham <>
Atlanta, GA USA - Monday, April 02, 2001 at 18:04:14 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I thought you might be interested in learning what your surname means if it is related to mine (which I believe it is). It means "battle sword" in German. I have spoken with people who says there are many Hilderbrands in Ireland. A large chocolate company in Germany is named "Hilderbrand Chocolaten." This all may bore you but it is true.
Denny Hilderbrand <>
Greensboro, NC USA - Monday, April 02, 2001 at 16:03:34 (EDT)
Dear Mrs. Hillenbrand: My mother, Louise was married to C.S.Howard Jr for the last twelve years of his life until he died in the late 60s. I read your book with particular interest and thoroughly enjoyed it.For some reason I have ended up with several momentos of Seabiscuit's career including one of his hooves (now an ashtray) and the original Seabiscuit painting with George Wolfe up. If you are ever in San Francisco my wife and I would be delighted to host a lunch for you and/or show you some of these interesting artifacts from a fascinating story. Thank you for telling it. Sincerely, Fred Carroll
Fred L.Carroll <>
San Francisco, Ca USA - Monday, April 02, 2001 at 15:27:43 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I have never enjoyed reading a book more. And it was more than reading. I felt as though I lived it! Often times my face flushed, my hands sweat, I would feel my heart hammering out at my chest as if it were me up there not Pollard! Other times I could smell things, see and feel the textures of those times, the stalls, the rain, the mud, the carrots! Like Smith & Howard, I became so attached to the horse that I became incensed at Woolf myself..."why did you do it? George, why did you do it?" After each reading I felt physically and emotionally spent, spiritually rejuvenated. Like wanting to continue a dream and not wake up, I simplly wanted to read on and never come to the end. What a horse and what a book! Made me want to go outside and run like hell myself! Thank you for giving us Seabiscuit again. You've allowed The Biscuit to once again...not only fill the hearts of a Nation...but remind us that we still have one!
Katie Oxford <>
Houston, TX USA - Monday, April 02, 2001 at 12:44:59 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: As I write this your book is #2 on The New York Times Best-Seller List for Nonfiction. I suspect you are a pace-stalker, very much like Seabiscuit, and I look forward to seeing you blow by The O’Reilly Factor next week and widen your lead. I’m only adding to the chorus of praise when I say you’ve wriiten a singularly remarkable book. Your empathy and love for the Howards, Tom Smith, Red Pollard, George Woolf and so many others more than matches the empathy and love they all felt for Seabiscuit. Your ability to heighten the drama of races whose outcome I was alreadyquite familiar with was astonishing. Your detailed evocation of the hardships jockeys endured during that time was fascinating. I was particularly moved by the portrait of Tom Smith, his almost extrasensory perception of horses and his painstaking care with individual horses, a quiet rebuke to those trainers who today run their stables like multinational conglomerates. Some of your sentences left me positively giddy (“He had a colorless translucence about him that made him seem as if he were in the earliest stages of progressive invisibility.” Congratulations on a wonderful book, something that will surely do more to spark interest in racing than any carefully planned NTRA marketing campaign.
sam ludu <>
baldwin, ny USA - Monday, April 02, 2001 at 12:22:45 (EDT)