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Our family read your book, saw the movie, and just now learned of your CFS. Please, check my husbands web site, above. He's an Internist, and his patients have experienced 70 - 80% improvement. You are welcome to email me directly, and I will put you in direct contact with him. You are in our prayers, and thank you for your commitment. We loved your ride! Jane E. Guinn
Jane E. Guinn <>
Corpus Christi, TX USA - Thursday, August 07, 2003 at 23:09:37 (EDT)
I have lost a lot of sleep reading your book! You are a talented author and I hope you will continue writing.
Tony Robertson <>
Petaluma, CA USA - Thursday, August 07, 2003 at 22:38:13 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: I bought your book Seabiscuit about a year ago but did not begin reading it until after I saw the movie (on opening weekend). Now, as I near the end of the book, I wish for three things: that Seabiscuit was still alive and active so that I could travel to a racetrack and see him in action, for your next book, whatever the subject matter, as you are a gifted writer, and finally, most importantly, for the best possible health for you in view of what you apparently have endured for the last several years. Thank you again for writing Seabiscuit. The highest praise will come long after we are all gone in that it will still be being read by future generations: standing the test of time is what determines a true "Classic". Seabiscuit is one for the ages.
Terry Upp <>
Toledo, OH USA - Thursday, August 07, 2003 at 22:06:51 (EDT)
I reread your book after seeing the movie. Both are great!But I like your book better than the movie! Thank you for a classic! Joe David Ruffin
Joe David Ruffin <>
Hewitt, TX USA - Thursday, August 07, 2003 at 21:39:04 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, Thank you for writing a great book!
John Abbamondi <>
Choctaw, OK USA - Thursday, August 07, 2003 at 21:24:20 (EDT)
I could feel the thundering hoofs in my chest, had to choke back tears, what a THRILL !!!
Jerry <>
Harpers Ferry, WV USA - Thursday, August 07, 2003 at 21:22:22 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Have just finished your book and it was the best read in a long time. I have never been to a horse race but I felt I was right there in the crowd cheering on Seabiscuit. You brought the characters alive. The end of the book was sad, not only because everyone that you brought us close to has passed on but that we all wish there were more pages to turn. Keep on writing. Best Wishes.
Chris Curtis <>
Apopka, FL USA - Thursday, August 07, 2003 at 20:48:54 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I am sure that you are overwhelmed right now with the great success of your book and the current movie. They were both wonderful and you have touched so many people with your beautiful gift of words. I am the Program Director of a Therapeutic Riding Program in Great Falls, Va. called LIFT ME UP! We are having a Gala at the River Bend Country Club on Nov. 22, 2003, and we would be very honored if you would consider being the Honorary Chairwoman of the event. Your personal story and your ability to turn that into a gift of hope to so many people strikes a large chord with our program. We have several women and men who have been stricken with multiple sclerosis and other debilitating diseases. They have trouble walking, but you ought to see them ride!!! We realilze that the demands on your time are overwhelming presently, but this event will be several months away. We would love to have your name on our invitations, and if you were up to it, attend the event as well (we are not TOO far from DC). Thank you for considering our invitation, but mostly- thank you for helping others to see the curative powers of these wonderful animals. Sincerely, Colleen Zanin
Colleen Zanin <>
Annandale, VA USA - Thursday, August 07, 2003 at 20:05:38 (EDT)
THOUSAND OAKS, CA. USA - Thursday, August 07, 2003 at 19:18:35 (EDT)
Just completed your marvelous tour de force, Seabiscuit.My mother was cook and housekeeper for the Howards at the Ridgewood Ranch from early '44 to '45; I lived there when I was 13 from June of '44 to Jan. '45. I have a few very minor disagreements with the information supplied to you by Bill Nichols and perhaps some additional info which might be of passing interest to you which I typed up sort of free association. It's lengthy and I'll be glad to forward it if you'll supply an e-mail or fax.I would be interested in passing on my comments to any surviving Howard progeny for their review and comment.REJ
Robert E. Jensen <>
Grass Valley, CA USA - Thursday, August 07, 2003 at 18:18:47 (EDT)
I have not yet finished your book, but am half way through it. Your book is a great work of nonfiction, and I am happy to read it. I am a huge horse lover, so thanks for releasing a book that I can relate with. Bye!
Maddy <>
USA - Thursday, August 07, 2003 at 18:10:47 (EDT)
Dear Laura; I just finished reading your book,Seabiscuit. I have to say that you are a great story teller. Whatever incident that you describe, I could actually picture it in my minds eye, especially the races. I found myself tensing up, my pulse becoming more rapid with each word. You should be very proud of this work. I have not yet seen the movie, but I will; although I doubt that it could do your book justice. Thank you for a great read!
John A. Zaffino <>
Carmel, NY USA - Thursday, August 07, 2003 at 17:19:09 (EDT)
Dear Laura I'm still very emotional after seeing the movie Seabiscuit. I cried half way through it. My Parents have always talked about Seabiscuit and being from Willits and a Horse Lover it touched my heart. I have always had horses and love them dearly. My Mother has done nothing but talk about your book and Movie. I'm in my mid 50's and remember so vividley going to the Ridgewood Ranch with my Dad to cut wood. My Mom and Dad would always make the comment "this is where Seabiscuit is burried". My Dad and his family were loggers in the Willits, Fort Bragg area.(My Dad's name was Ralph Seymour) Dr. Babcock was the family Dr. He also treated me when I was a baby and Mrs. Babcock came to my baby shower. I'm just reading your book now and can't put it down. I first bought the paper back and just today found the "collectors Edition" It's just such a wonderful story about a horse that wouldn't have gone anywhere if it weren't for a kind sole, and someone who knew the mind and heart of a horse. Thank you for bringing such a wonderful story to life.. I'm going to the Movies again!!! Tink
Reatha (Tink) Seymour Thran <>
Gardnerville, NV USA - Thursday, August 07, 2003 at 16:36:08 (EDT)
I read some reviews and I have just purchased the collector's edition of SEABISCUIT. Although I am just starting to read the book, I can already tell it is wonderful! I would like to add that you, Ms. Hillenbrand, are serving as an inspiration for other people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, such as I, who have trouble articulating the situation which you described in your 'New Yorker' article. As one of my friends who has CFS says, your article is 'riveting.' Thank you so much for telling so much truth. Many famous people who have CFS are not as brave as you are in discussing it. Patricia Carter
Patricia Carter <>
Winter Springs, FL USA - Thursday, August 07, 2003 at 16:11:07 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: Last weekend I saw "Seabiscuit", the movie, which inspired me to read your book. I offer you my congratulations: you told the story wonderfully. (I only wish the moviemakers had stuck to the story you told, rather than overlaying it with a tendentious "against all odds, the little guy can make it message" --they would have made a better film.) I ripped through the book in a day, and, unusual for most books I read, my interest in your general subject matter, racing, extended beyond the last page. I have actually been to a throoughbred horse race in the United States only once in my life: when my husband and I were dating, we saw the "Wood Memorial" run, although whether at Aqueduct or Belmont, I do not remember. (It was twenty years ago.) I like racing, but I don't go, although I once attended the Grand Prix de Merano in Italy, and attended a steeplechase race meeting in New Jersey earlier this year. I read earlier this week that the New York Racing Association is under investigtation for tax fraud concerning skimming by employees to lower their reported income. Apparently there is a possibility that the association will be shut down as a result. If so, this might be the death knell for racing. The question is, "How did this come to pass?" I am sure you are just the person to tell the story, although I wish that rather than marking racetacks' end as popular entertainment, it might revitalize the sport. Best wishes, Marta Varela
marta varela
USA - Thursday, August 07, 2003 at 15:08:00 (EDT)
With Seabiscuit: An American Legend and the wonderful movie, Laura Hillenbrand has brought us enjoyment that we will enjoy for years to come. The book, granted, was a technical masterpiece. The movie is marvelous in its own right to capture as much as possible from the extraordinary book. Ross's delicate touch was award winning to me. He only had 2 hours to capture a lifetime. But what I wanted to say was that the people who complain that the last race was not 'exact' are missing something a very talented director brought to the film. The theme of the movie was, "you are never so far behind that you cannot come back." Thus Ross allowed us to leave the theater on cloud 9 as we were able to visualize the meaning of the theme.
Martha Cantarini <>
- Thursday, August 07, 2003 at 15:03:44 (EDT)
I just finished reading Seabiscuit and felt that it was one of the finest books written about an incredible horse and trio of unique individuals.I am looking forward to seeing the movie and seeing this story come to life.Thank you,Neil
Neil Roberts <>
Paso Robles, Ca. USA - Thursday, August 07, 2003 at 14:59:03 (EDT)
For a previous guestbook writer who asked if 1993 Derby winner Sea Hero was a descendant of Seabiscuit, he was the great,great,great grandson of Native Dancer, a different line that the Man O'War line of Seabiscuit. Note, he didn't turn out grey like Native Dancer.
Leonard A. Lucenti <>
Maple Shade, NJ USA - Thursday, August 07, 2003 at 14:45:27 (EDT)
I love anything to do with horses. I read any and everything I can get my hands on. The best reading I have done in sometime. I am passing this on to my friends.
Cathie Perkins <>
Louisa, Va. USA - Thursday, August 07, 2003 at 14:17:48 (EDT)
I have a Thoroughbred and I do Jumpers and Hunters. I would like to thank you for making a book about Seabiscuit. The story was so wonderful I read it in less than two days and could not put it down. It's amazing to me that three people and a horse that had suffered so much misfortune could be drawn together by fate and succeed. I've also seen the movie, and by the end my mom was crying and I almost did too. Thank you for opening up a world full of sorrow and the almost deadly human drive to suceed, yet is ringed with stories of hope and luck and fate. Thank you so much for this story, I'll remember it every time I feel down or without hope.
Jenny <>
Roseburg, Or USA - Thursday, August 07, 2003 at 14:15:20 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, Just another fan of yours and Seabiscuit's. I write fiction, love to read it, but you converted me to enjoying nonfiction. You provided knowledge with entertainment. Thank you for making me feel as if I was a part of the world of horse racing. I've been to the track, but never like this. I felt as if I knew the characters which you wrote about, Red Pollard, Tom Smith, the Howards, George Woolf, and the most loveable of all, Seabiscuit. I enjoy games, computer and board. Why not have one with all the characters in the book, beautiful racetracks, play money, dice determining the moves. I'd be the first to buy it. I'm on the Internet with sample chapters of some of my books. Three more are coming out, possibly on another website. I can be reached,if anyone wants to,at:, Sincerely, Edith Arronson P.S. The name I write under is Eadie Allen.
Edith Arronson <>
Philadelphia, PA USA - Thursday, August 07, 2003 at 13:07:26 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I must congratulate you on a magical momentious book. Your story of this wonderful horse had me crying for hours!It brought back vivid memories of early mornings at the barns of Saratoga as a child. My dad was, and is very close to jockey Jean Crugret who won the Triple Crown on Seattle Slew. Slew was another horse that overcame his misfortunes and so it was for Jean. Perhaps you will do another book. I hope so!! Thank You for this great story in troubled times. God Bless! G.Sterling
G Sterling <Sterlg1@worldnet>
New Canaan,, Ct USA - Thursday, August 07, 2003 at 11:15:44 (EDT)
Thank you, Laura, for the ride.
frank <>
boston, ma USA - Thursday, August 07, 2003 at 10:44:11 (EDT)
Almost finished with the book. What a great read! It moves much like the races you describe and the human interests are exceptional. Congratulations on an extraordinary accomplishment. Best book I've read in years! Thanks.
Jim Higginbottom <>
St. Louis, Mo USA - Thursday, August 07, 2003 at 09:18:33 (EDT)
Hi Laura! Loved Seabiscuit, sorry it had to end. Wonderful to find such a quality read. I want to share some info on CFS, that I have found on my journey with CFS. I have had CFS for a long time and dragged myself around and tried many therapies. In May, I started seeing Dr. Robert Lang in Madison Ct, 203-318-5200. He started me on a very low amount of medication and I am no longer dragging myself around, I am living again. One of the books Dr. Lang reccomends is From Fatigue to Fantastic by Jacob Teitelbaum, MD. Best of luck on your journey to wellness, it is possible! Sincerely, Deb
Deb <>
Milford, Ct USA - Thursday, August 07, 2003 at 07:54:04 (EDT)
I have not read your book or seen the movie. I will. In my 50 plus years of age I have heard the name Seabiscuit a few times-had no idea it was a horse. My Mother remembers this horse well, has read your book with great delight. She said you are one of those writers who can sit you down right in the action. I look forward to the movie and the book. If everyone has a mentor, then who ever thought one couldn't be an animal such as a horse. Extroadinary things are born when all the right elements come together. Congratulation on your great accomplishment and success that is so worthy of the height of it's recognition.
Robert Brown <>
Tucson, AZ USA - Thursday, August 07, 2003 at 04:05:05 (EDT)
Laura, you have absolutely ruined the possibility of me ever enjoying reading anything else. Now I spend my book store sorting days looking for another story like this, something close, written the way you write, and ya' know, it doesn't exist. It's as if I had fallen in love with a woman, loved her, opened to her and now she is gone, never ever to return. I have a story-broken heart. Your book touched a place that I have not been to. I love it here. I cry everytime I even think of Seabiscuit, the characters. They are tears of hope and happiness. Thank you, Laura, for showing me this very special place in my soul. That thoroughbred has me with him.
Randy Snow <>
Terrell, TX USA - Thursday, August 07, 2003 at 00:41:16 (EDT)
I am only 11 years old but i loves ur book i rea dit in a week! its now officially my favorite book. i also looked the movie! its my fav! also my first name is laura to!
Seabiscuit Lover <>
Shingle Springs, Ca. USA - Wednesday, August 06, 2003 at 23:54:50 (EDT)
I finished the book this morning and was very overcome with emotion. Your writing made each character come alive along with the beloved Seabiscuit himself. As a teacher I plan to use the book to show what good writing is all about. Thank you for a fantastic story and making me feel as if I were on board the Biscuit as he raced through a turbulent time in history.
JoAnn Jacobs <>
Aiea, Hi USA - Wednesday, August 06, 2003 at 23:07:46 (EDT)
After finishing your book, I wanted to place a wreath of flowers around your neck as you truly are a winner just like your subject Seabiscuit. How you were able to transport me from my chair in Elma, NY to the race track in Santa Anita and made me feel like I was in the stands cheering
E Schultz <>
Elma, NY USA - Wednesday, August 06, 2003 at 23:01:38 (EDT)
Thanks for a wonderful book! I read it in about a day and a half. You did a perfect job giving us the right amount of information and crafting a compelling read. Thanks for persevering through your illness to bring the story to life. I hope to be reading more of your work. P.S. I have a dozen or so friends who've been healed of CFS and worse, and I'd be glad to give you the info on getting well.
Lori Colley <>
Thomaston, ga USA - Wednesday, August 06, 2003 at 22:35:40 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I am reading your book and loving it, after seeing the movie. Laura maybe you can help me? I am really into Astrology and would like to know the birthday's of the unlikey "THREE" I am sooo interested in this information I tried everything I know to find out with no luck. Can you help me?? Thank you Christine
Christine Prince <>
Chicago, ill USA - Wednesday, August 06, 2003 at 22:23:16 (EDT)
Laura- I got ill with severe CFS and MCS the same year as you and at the same age- I was bedridden for fifteen years- also had severe neurological problems.(could not swallow food for six years) I regained my health three years ago - I want to get your email from the publisher, as I would like to give you some information that could help you. When I read your story in The New Yorker, I cried. I understood all too well everything you went through. I had never read any writing by anyone who had been through my story. When I saw the movie Seabiscuit I knew that it was an allegory for your battle with CFS. I was also told I had the most severe case of this illness, and now I live a "normal life". I am so proud of you and your success with this wonderful story. You have put a face to all those who have been through what you and I have been through. I am now in the process of writing a book about my life. Blessings to you- Julia Tuchman
Julia CFS-Please Read laura <>
NY, NY USA - Wednesday, August 06, 2003 at 22:01:45 (EDT)
Firstly, I have to apologize. I have not purchased your book, nor have I seen the movie. I did, however, hear your interview on NPR. It was quite enjoyable. I was amazed to hear of your ordeal of writing while nearly incapacitated by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. What really caught my attention was your odd description of when you started to become ill. Allow me to paraphrase - you were riding in a car at night with friends - a deer steps into the road causing you great shock (this shock seeming to be the impetus of your illness), then you see an odd meteor overhead and finally all of this goes unnoticed by your friends. I'm sorry to sound like a "whack-job" but you have just described a classic alien abduction scenario. For reference, I'd like to recommend that you consider reading anything by (or contacting!) Dr.David Jacobs at Temple University. He teaches an interesting course relating to UFO's in American History. Again, I'd like to apologize for bringing up this strange subject, but I felt compelled to do so, given your matter-of-fact reference to why you got sick. If being surprised by deer caused sickness, I'm sure hunting season would be year round. Thank you for your time.
Andrew <>
PA USA - Wednesday, August 06, 2003 at 21:33:43 (EDT)
Dear Laura: I recently finished reading Seabiscuit, and went back to re-read several passages after seeing the movie (which I loved). I cannot express in words how much I love this book. The story of Seabiscuit would be inspiring in any medium, but the emotions you are able to convey in the pages of your book is extraordinary. I felt my heart pounding in the races, and my eyes teared up with every heartbreak and tragedy. I felt as if I were there, and though I will never have the privilege of seeing Seabiscuit thunder down a track in person, your book brought me as close to meeting him and the fascinating people who accompanied him on his journey as I could ever hope. Thank you for telling the amazing story as it deserved to be told. You are a truly great writer.
Sharon Black <>
CA USA - Wednesday, August 06, 2003 at 21:30:37 (EDT)
Laura, I just finished your book and I have never felt such a depth of passion by anyone who so thoroughly covered a priceless slice of history. I so appreciate the level of detail you reveal about your participation and involvement in horse racing. I grew up hearing that horse racing was, and and may still be, America's largest spectator sport. I am still moved remembering your account of the race between Seabiscuit and War Admiral. The race was no less heart wrenching than your documentation of the depravity and despair of those who only sought to profit from the human compulsion for gambling. The level of misery to horse and human alike is incalculable. Thank you for your portrayal of Seabiscuit and those who knew him. They positively glow in American history. I am reminded of Secretariat's great following among some of my generation.
Barbara Duvall <>
San Francisco, CA USA - Wednesday, August 06, 2003 at 21:15:20 (EDT)
dear laura, i read your book in 2 days, it was the best, i was not alive when the biscuit was but i remmber all the stories about him. what a inspiration he was and yourbook tells his story brillantly, i must buy the illustrated book. i thin k we have had only 2 really great horses, seabiscuit and secratariat. i am waiting for a 3rd but who knows. i would love for you to write about the big red guy, maybe there are secrets about his life, but i really beleive the biscuit was the best.i have seen the movie 2x, i loved it. thanks, your fan marge
marge K <>
allentown, pa USA - Wednesday, August 06, 2003 at 21:11:37 (EDT)
Seabiscuit and War Admiral had greatest rated racehorse in history in their bloodlines - Man O' War; Seabiscuit was his grandson and War Admiral was his son. I ran across this Anonymous poem, and thought it was most appropriate to Laura Hillenbrand's wonderful story of the 25th greatest racehorse of the 20th Century, Seabiscuit. "Hold your strength till the barriers fly, Then close with the leaders eye to eye, Thundering hooves and the mad jammed race, Blood in the nostrils, sweat in the face, And children, remember wherever you are, You carry the blood of Man O' War". Seabiscuit ran more races at 2 years old then most modern horses run in their lifetime. And War Admiral 13th greatest, won the final leg of his triple crown, the Belmont Stakes, with a large gash in his foot at the starting gate, and in record time. Seabiscuit, defeated War Admiral after he had won all eight of his races and the Triple Crown in 1937, and won 9 of 11 in 1938, the year Seabiscuit won one of War Admiral two losses, the match race. What heart Seabiscuit must have had, and Laura's great book is there to remind us. Read the book even if you are not into horse racing as you will love it.
Donald N.Gretel <>
Metamora, MI USA - Wednesday, August 06, 2003 at 21:09:40 (EDT)
I wasn't going to write to you because you are so popular I thought someone else would read it for you because you are famous. I could stop myself because I had to tell you that you wrote a wonderful book and because my father was a writer I understand wonderful books. I read about you in People Magazine and was even more impressed to do what you didi with a debilitating disease was even more impressive. Thank you so much for giving me such an emotion experience such as Seabiscuit.
Marjean Schwartz <>
Hacienda Heights, CA United States - Wednesday, August 06, 2003 at 20:32:48 (EDT)
Dear Laura, your book is awesome! I couldn't put it down, reading it twice in about a week. I'm a mom and full time nurse, so I haven't had time to read a whole book in years.....your book had me from page one. I cried at various points in the book, especially when I read that Stagehand had won. What an amazing horse Seabiscuit was and how I wish I had lived in those days to see his career play out. I'm sorry to say that the movie was a disappointment. The movie failed to pick up on what I thought to be key points brought up in the book, namely that the Biscuit had to carry the weight he did, and how just a couple pounds will cause the horse to lose lengths in the race. The movie failed to show really what a great horse the BISCUIT was. I'm so glad I made the time to read your book. I would like to know where I could buy quality Seabiscuit art whether it be a framed portrait or sculpture. Thank you.
Sonja Webster
Fountain Hills, AZ USA - Wednesday, August 06, 2003 at 19:58:22 (EDT)
Wonderful movie. Best movie I have seen in a long, long time. I recommend this movie to every one. I could see it again.
Barbara Toberman <>
Minnetonka, MN USA - Wednesday, August 06, 2003 at 18:59:23 (EDT)
I am still reading the book but I think it's a great inspiration not just about the past, but about the future. You are a true inspiration to write the book while you were so sick. I think it is the best story ever written on how to overcome adversity and the nice guy/gal doesn't always finish last. You don't have to change your values, you can overcome anything. It's a book I would recomend to anyone and am looking forward to seeing the movie. I recently saw the A&E documentary and found it facinating. All the best, keep on writing.
Alice Zobian <>
whitestone, NY USA - Wednesday, August 06, 2003 at 18:37:15 (EDT)
I have just finished reading your wonderful book. Thank you so much for the great gift you have given to the American public! I grew up in southern California just 8 miles north of the border. During WWII, my Mother would drive down to Tijuana to buy sugar & meat (rationed in the States!). Just before we got to the border in San Ysidro, we passed horse barns and on one was printed in huge letters, "Home of Seabiscuit". After reading your book,I am wondering why those barns would be considered his "home". I know there were lots of thoroughbred barns in that area due to Caliente race track but I didn't think he spent that much time there during his racing years. Any thoughts on this? Gayle McCullam Hackbarth
Gayle McCullam Hackbarth <>
Summerfield, FL USA - Wednesday, August 06, 2003 at 17:37:41 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I love the book and can't wait to see the movie. I own horses and they are the love of my life, you did an excellent job on every aspect of the book. Really opened my eyes to the hard life of a jockey, something I never thought about. God Bless you for your wonderful contribution to the horse world!!!!
Jan Tebeau
Alton, IL USA - Wednesday, August 06, 2003 at 17:34:22 (EDT)
I am wondering how you and others feel about the changes that were made in the movie version. It seems that some of the facts were changed to increase the dramatic impact of the story. We know that the final race depicted in the movie at Santa Anita did not happen that way. Seabiscuit did not come from behind but ran second most of the way until he won. I think it was unfortunate that they left out Pollard's wife and family entirely. There are other facts that were either changed or ignored. Don't get me wrong, I think the film is enjoyable and worth seeing. I think it will help the horse industry in many ways. Still, I wish the movie relied on the facts more. I find the recent documentaries done by PBS and A&E to be very interesting and helpful. The one done by PBS is extremely good and worth seeing.
Marty Lash <>
Chicago, Il USA - Wednesday, August 06, 2003 at 17:13:26 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, It was suggested that i contact you by Ms. Martha Centarini through this medium. I work for Caroline County, Virignia, the birthplace of Secretariat. We know horses here and love them, so you great book, and now movie, Seabiscuit, is most beloved here. I wanted to share with you a potential for help with an issue you might find relevant. My wife suffered for a number of years from panic disorder of a most severe nature. It attacked her all though the waking day almost non-stop and even in her sleep. Today she is cured. Not drugged or medicated in any way, but cured. This cure was made possible by an exceptional psychiatrist in Harrisonburg, VA. I can provide contact information upon request. I do not wish to offend and the web master should take care to not post this message.
Gary Wilson <>
Bowling Green, VA USA - Wednesday, August 06, 2003 at 16:51:12 (EDT)
Laura........I have CFS/fibro and Rheumatoid Arthritis. I read your story in People Magazine and was so touched and inspired. I was a Hospice Nurse for many years and my illness forced me to stop working over 2 years ago. I am the same age as you. I am now struggling to find meaning in my life now. I have always aspired to be a writer, and it is something I can do from bed. Can you share with me HOW you got started and what contacts you made to get published? I know you get a lot of mail, any response would be appreciated...
Brenda Corr <>
Lansing, MI USA - Wednesday, August 06, 2003 at 15:59:43 (EDT)
To all of you who received a special gift through this work, I urge you to pray that Laura has the strength to do another like it...hopefully soon. You must realize by now, she is an extremly gifted artist and a treasure for all of us. The subject matter of what she writes is the most fascinating aspect of life. Congratulations all around!
Leonard A. Lucenti <>
Maple Shade, NJ USA - Wednesday, August 06, 2003 at 15:40:42 (EDT)
I didn't know the legend of "Seabiscuit" but now I do. Your book was a fascinating account of his life and the people who believed in him and adored him. I felt like I knew all of these people - Red, Charles, Marcela, George, Smith. I couldn't put down the book - I just needed to know what happened with every page I turned. The movie was well done but everyone MUST read the book to get the full impact of the life back then and these fascinating, determined, tough people and a marvelous horse. You are a terrific writer.
Marie Knowles <>
Saskatoon, SK Canada - Wednesday, August 06, 2003 at 15:37:07 (EDT)
Hi, I just finished Seabiscuit. I am in tears. The book is wonderful. It made me feel a part of the racing sequence's. The pain for the horses and Jockeys and their lives make me so sad. I have never cried so much over a book. If you love horses or any animal you can not help feel the pain. To know that these great men and animal's are no longer a part of our lives makes me sad. Thank you for writting this and making us FEEL it all. I hate it that the book is finished, I feel lost. I have alway's loved horses and could never have one, so I lived with them in my mind and book's. I remember the day that TIM Tam feel just before the finish line and went down. I cried and screamed, my parent's thought that I was insane. Maybe I was, he was my horse, in my mind. I picked him to win before that Kentucky Derby. I will close , my one wish is to be able to meet you. I can not tell you how much your book has meant to me. Thank you, Thank you, Sue Gilligan
Sue Gilligan <>
Menomonie, Wi USA - Wednesday, August 06, 2003 at 14:18:28 (EDT)
I read your book and could not put it down. Every detail was so interesting, and quite necessary in order to follow along for the body of the story. The way you traced all of the characters from each of their beginnings, through the 'Team Seabiscuit' years, all the way to the end of Seabiscuit's final race was masterful. Even the final notes in the Epilogue were interesting. I measure the likeability of each story I read by how much I miss the characters when I finish the book. I am happy to say, I miss Red, Smith, Howard and mostly Seabiscuit very very much. Thank you for making such a wonderful piece of our American history relevant again.
Linda <blakdog2003>
Albany, ny USA - Wednesday, August 06, 2003 at 13:53:26 (EDT)
Dear Laura Hillenbrand, MORE! Write MORE about ANYTHING! You write with an uncommmon lucicity that is truly remarkable. PLEASE, PLEASE, WRITE MORE..... David
David Mc Dermott <>
Horsham, PA USA - Wednesday, August 06, 2003 at 13:50:03 (EDT)
Just read the LA Times op-ed piece by Louis Guida. It seems you can slant a story any way you want as long as you use selective facts. Yes, Seabiscuit's record while with Fitzsimmons was not good, but Sunny Jim did not want to give up on him, he still felt he could make him run. If we are to believe these accusations, wouldn't we have seen some on record from the Hall of Fame trainer himself? Instead we read accounts of his great regret that his owner let Seabiscuit get away. No where in Ms. Hillenbrand's book do we see accounts of Sunny Jim being bitter at the people who were able to see and bring out the horse's greatness. Ms. Hillenbrand's book was well-researched; if there had been evidence of the horse being drugged, I'm sure she would have found them. I think some people just can't seem to let go of their cynicism, need to incite and point fingers where there is no need. It's useless to bring up suspicions and innuendo years after there can be any real resolution.
Lynn Burgess <>
Chicago, IL USA - Wednesday, August 06, 2003 at 13:14:46 (EDT)
Just wanted to reply to Jane Guthrie's comments regarding the op-ed piece in the LA Times questioning whether or not Seabiscuit's success was due to drugs and banned substances. The writer thinks he's being responsible by bringing up the subject, when all he is doing is throwing out suspicion and innuendo where there is no evidence, which is in my opinion, irresponsible. Seabiscuit was raced often in the state of New York, where all drugs are banned, and I don't recall any suspicions being raised in Ms. Hillenbrand's book, at least any that could be substantiated. As to what could have contributed to Seabiscuit's relatively early death - how about the brutal schedule he was put on as a two-year old? It's not the years, but the mileage.
Lynn Burgess <>
Chicago, IL USA - Wednesday, August 06, 2003 at 12:30:12 (EDT)
I'd like to hear from other readers and the author regarding the questions Louis Guida rasied about Seabisucit in an op-ed piece in the LA times. Guida uestions if Seabiscuit's incredible turnaround with Smith and Howard may have been due to the use of drugs, banned methods or devices. Guida is not suggesting this is what happened, but he says now is the time to honestly look into the question. I read his piece after finishing the book in two days (loved it so much I couldnt put it down). I'm disturbed by this because it could fit from reading between the lines of the book. Was Smith hiding something when he snuck Seabiscuit out early morning to train, when he wouldnt let the press have access to the horse, and when he used a decoy horse? Would it explain why the stewards were so hard on Smith and Seabiscuit? Could it have contributed to Seabiscuit's death at age 14?
Jane Guthrie <>
Hartford, CT USA - Wednesday, August 06, 2003 at 10:02:13 (EDT)
Laura I have been a lifelong race fan but never knew the true story of Seabiscuit until I read your book. It was marvelous effort and told the story in a way that could be understood by the race fan as well as a non race fan. It is a beautiful story and one that should be included in every course on American history. No movie can duplicate a book, however I feel they did an excellent job on the movie and hope it wins Best Picture by 5 lengths. Great job on your part and all the best.
Tony DePasqual <>
lady lake , FL USA - Wednesday, August 06, 2003 at 09:35:47 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillebrand, I want sincerely to thank you for writing such a wonderful book about the heroic Seabiscuit. I loved and enjoyed every page. I am a high school principal in Grand Blanc, Michigan - a suburb of Flint, Michigan. With all of the problems that Flint is currently going through, it was so nice to hear that it was (in a small way)associated with the story of Charles Howard. We have organized a character education program at Grand Blanc High School that accentuates the personal qualities of responsibility, kindness, courage, respect, honesty and perserverance. The program is a simple one. We contact distinquished people, and a student interviews them by telephone. The telephone call will last no longer than five minutes and is made at the convenience of our guest. Of course, any question the student asks is made with prior approval. Would you be willing to let one of our students interview you by telephone? The interview would be taped to be played to the entire student body (about 2200 students). The program has been extremely successful and popular with our students. At Grand Blanc High School, we are working hard to help our students become the very best they can be - academically and socially. Significant and long lasting learning is often the result of students listening, obsrving and imitating others. If we have someone we can emulate, someone who motivates our energy, we tend to find the path to our goals much easier. I believe you have much to offer our students. Thank you, Ms. Hellenbrand, for your consideration. Very sincerely, Michael Newton
Michael Newton <>
Grand Blanc, Michigan USA - Wednesday, August 06, 2003 at 09:32:03 (EDT)
laura, Ihave never really followed racing even though my day job with therecreation department I work for has a horse and dog racing division. Yes, australians like their horse racing too. i've only bet at the towong racesa a Bush race in the mountains here with a great 100 year old victorian grandstand. i play country and cajun roots music and my band is named after the MOONEE VALLEY RACETRACK which i live near. I really loved your book. It captured the time of the 30's and the people and horse in it so well. I always had a soft spot for MAN O WAR and the Biscuit but never really followed the races, maybe your book will change that. I found it really a great, sad, descriptive life of the people in racing. theway you told the lifestyle of the jockeys was really an eye opener for me. I bought a copy of the book as i was leaving o'Hare airport after a brief visit to the States to see my mother and family and i couldn't put it down. I have never been in to sport reading much butyou did a wonderful job of telling the story. all of the people in the story of Seabiscuit were wonderful and at the same time it evoked a real sense of sadness,but not pity, but the dignity of the people and especially the horses. i will never walk by another race horse without say G'day. If you ever come to Melbourne for the Melbourne cup i would like to buy you a good coffee. tom forsell and the Moonee valley Drifters
tom forsell <>
melbourne, vic australia - Wednesday, August 06, 2003 at 09:27:48 (EDT)
I read the book when it first came out. I was so elated and overjoyed, I told EVERYONE who knew how to read this was a must read book. I wanted to share the joy of a wonderful story that is so well crafted. I just saw the movie a few days ago. I was stunned that the movie left me with the same feeling your book did! I am re-reading the book for the third or fourth time. I hope to see the movie several more times in the theatre as well! Thank you so much for your creative gifts! Cheryl Couch-Thomas
Cheryl <>
Kansas City, MO USA - Wednesday, August 06, 2003 at 07:38:07 (EDT)
Laura, I just finished your book this weekend. I know more about horses and racing than I ever did before! During the relatively short and oft times tragic lives of both Seabiscuit and Red, one thing is abundantly clear, they were happiest when racing around that track. That's what they lived for. Brilliantly told Laura, thanks for the window looking into the lives of several special American personalities!! John
John Harvey <>
Wyoming, DE USA - Wednesday, August 06, 2003 at 07:06:26 (EDT)
I thought the book was excellent. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful story. I recently saw the movie and it made a decent stab at the book, however I thought more should have been added to the ending.
mitch <>
bettendorf, ia USA - Wednesday, August 06, 2003 at 00:54:50 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Best movie I have seen in a long time. I bought two copies of the book, one hardback and one paperback. am currently reading the hardback and have loaned out the paperback. You are one talented lady.
John Roy (Ray) Evans <>
Chattanooga, TN USA - Wednesday, August 06, 2003 at 00:52:03 (EDT)
Trudy <>
Danville, CA. USA - Wednesday, August 06, 2003 at 00:21:40 (EDT)
I enjoy reading the book, and hope to see the movie soon. You have done a wonderful job of bringing out the characters in this book. They seem to be people I could relate too. Thank you for sharing this story to us.
Keith Evans <>
Oakville, IN USA - Tuesday, August 05, 2003 at 23:34:46 (EDT)
Great Book! I enjoyed the movie too. I was also inspired by the interview with you I heard on NPR.Great Job. Thanks.
Mike Denty <>
Lowell, MI USA - Tuesday, August 05, 2003 at 22:18:29 (EDT)
I really love the book and the movie. And since I ride horse it is nice to see another inspirering movie made about horses and this story really touched my heart. if you didn't see the movie i really reckamend u see it and if u havent read the book read that too!
Cali <>
Willow Street, Pa USA - Tuesday, August 05, 2003 at 21:46:31 (EDT)
I'm not a big book reader, and I'm not a big thourghbred fan, I'm a Harness Horse fan. I bought the book Seabiscuit because I love horses.The book is greatwords can't describe it!!! I started reading it and could not putit down. I'm excited about seeing the movied. The author was awsome.
Stanley Wildharber <>
Barlow, KY USA - Tuesday, August 05, 2003 at 21:29:38 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, Right now I'm reading your book. The story of Seabiscuit is truly inspiring. After all, there is a little of Seabiscuit in all of us. Thank you for reminding us of that.
Erin Withrow <>
Oak Hill, WV USA - Tuesday, August 05, 2003 at 20:59:54 (EDT)
Laura, Congratulations on your success! And thank you! With every interview, article and review about you the Hillenbrand name gets more exposure. I too bear the uncommon surname and grow weary of having to spell it out for people. Now I don't wait for the question, I just spell it out automatically. Perhaps with your notoriety it won't be necessary. I first heard about you a couple years ago when my sister raved to me about your book. I still haven't read it, but plan to. I'm a copyeditor by profession so I really enjoy reading books by talented writers. Another coincidence, my niece, Sarah Hillenbrand, leaves for Kenyon College in a few weeks where she'll begin her freshman year. Thank you for providing the vehicle that allows me to convey my appreciation.
Kate Hillenbrand <>
Minneapolis, MN USA - Tuesday, August 05, 2003 at 20:11:48 (EDT)
We saw the movie Tuesday last. We were the last ones to leave, the credits were rolling the house lights were up and we were still waiteing for something more to happen. It can't be over, This was the only movie worth seeing(ever). As we were walking to our car I wanted to duck in to Barns % Noble. I saw your book on the display table , pick up the sofe cover, My wife put it back and picked up the hard cover with all the pictures. I can't waite. Joe
Joe Bowden <>
Azle, Tx USA - Tuesday, August 05, 2003 at 19:22:58 (EDT)
Laura, I loved the movie and I'm sure I'll love the book as soon as I read it. But the real reason I'm writing is to let you know of a doctor that treats (often successfully) CFS. His name is DR Ronald Wempen. He's in Irvine, CA. I think his phone number is 949-551-8751. He's also a dark horse in the medical field, but that's another story. You sound like a typical patient that came to see him, been to see 100 other docs and half didn't even believe you or said it was all in your head, the other half said here's what's wrong, but there's nothing I can do, except maybe treat the symptoms. Dr W really treats the ailment. I used to work for him, so I saw the cases and some results first hand. I hope you try him. Thanks for telling a wonderful story. Geoff
Geoff H.
Depoe Bay, OR USA - Tuesday, August 05, 2003 at 18:49:10 (EDT)
Laura, I very much enjoyed the book and the movie. However, I noted that your book does not include any of the quotes used in the film (e.g. Charles Dickens, and others). Do you know if there is a source I can go to to get these inspiring quotations and read them, rather than wait for the film to go to video? Thanks so much.
Jim Reed <>
Upland, CA USA - Tuesday, August 05, 2003 at 18:23:36 (EDT)
Laura, Very early the thoroughbred industry lured me in. I was recruited to work for the first simulcast company in the country right out of college. I had the enviable job of having to spend time in Saratoga, at the races, in the stands with some legends of today. I stood before Genuine Risk, Seattle Slew and the likes. Nothing fills the senses like these animals, the stories, the dreams. Imagine a simple girl from a beach town in NY standing next to Leslie Combs? I travelled to Spendthrift and Gainesway. Just awesome. When you do a piece on Nashua and Swaps let me know. Leslie Combs gave me the race ticket from that day. When I show it to "horse" people, they are just in awe. It sits comfortably in a safe place. In reading and see the Seabiscuit story....I am 21 years old again interviewing George Stienbrenner or at Kentucky for the yearling sales next to Frank Perdue.....thanks for the lifelift. Great movie! Great read.
Lynn Strype <>
Bradenton, Fl USA - Tuesday, August 05, 2003 at 17:29:57 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand. I know of no other way to contact you so I am trying this longshot. I work with first year college students who are reading Seabiscuit. I would like to see if it would be possible to have a phone chat between you 31 freshmen about overcoming adversity and perservence. Thank you.
Deb <>
USA - Tuesday, August 05, 2003 at 17:22:20 (EDT)
I noticed on Red Pollard's Mexican visa that his name is listed as J. Polleman not Pollard. Is this a typo or is there another explanation?
Fred Maguire <>
Pennington, NJ USA - Tuesday, August 05, 2003 at 17:07:36 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbran, I've read many books over the years and I can say without a doubt that "Seabiscuit" is the best by far. Never have I laughed nor cried so much as when reading this wonderful book. I was sorry to see it end. Another amazing fact is that my sister also says it is the best she's ever read, needless to say we don't usually agree. We've actually come to talk daily on the phone about facts in the story or an especially funny moment. We've both agreed not to see the movie until we're both done with the book.(my mother now has my copy) You've made me care about people,an animal and a sport that I knew nothing about. I wish with all my heart that I could have known them. Especially Pollard and The Biscuit. I remember seeing the movie poster for the first time and thinking what a great movie it would be. Little did I know what an astounding book it came from. Thank you for writing such an awesome story. You must hear this all the time, but if you or someone you know ever decides to sell some "Seabiscuit" memorabilia please let me know.I'm sure I'll be reading your book again soon, only not in public, people will think I'm crazy, laughing one minute then crying the next. God bless you and the whole "Seabiscuit" family. Lisa P
Lisa Paquet <poocoo02@AOL.COM>
hUDSON , MA USA - Tuesday, August 05, 2003 at 16:56:37 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, YOUR BOOK AND THE MOVIE ARE WONDERFUL!! A TRUE TRIPLE CROWN!! My Daughter Jenn who is 15 has seen the movie FOUR (4) times within the first week alone!!! The Manager of the AMC Theatre was so impressed with her motivation that he presented to her a full size six foot poster to give to someone very special. Jenn would like to ask if you would consider autographing a special edition copy of your recent novel for a very important person who has entered my little girl's life recently. He is the owner of several hundred Thoroughbred horses who breeds, and also races them. JENN IS GOING TO GIVE THE POSTER TO THIS GENTLEMAN ALONG WITH YOUR NOVEL. If you would kindly e-mail us we will tell you why Jenn is doing this, it is a very special reason and we are certain that you will be interested in knowing about it, IT IS FOR A CHILDREN'S CHARITY. Jenn is training to hopefully become a jockey some day. She is taking riding lessons, and also is volunteering at a local ranch, along with grooming, riding and taking care of our friend's horse. She is meeting with a trainer and his jockey at Woodbine raceway in Toronto on Labour Day weekend to have a tour and find out what exactly Jenn will need to do to learn to become a member of this fascinating field of sport. We are proud to say that we actally had a Grand-son of Secretariat as a member of family a few years ago. Perhaps Jenn will one day be successfull in being the first Canadian lady jockey to win the Triple Crown ... time will tell, but I can assure you that your book and movie have added to her incentive. Many thanks for your time and we hope to hear from you. Our very best wishes, Jenn and Janice Hudson Stittsville, Ontario, Canada
Janice and Jennifer Hudson <>
Stittsville, On Canada - Tuesday, August 05, 2003 at 16:37:40 (EDT)
I recall Seabiscuit from when I was a child of 9 or 10 (I am 74). My father and my grandfather loved horseracing and I recall going to Saratoga Race Course on family picnics. My Dad would bet, my Mom packed our lunch and we all watched the races (and still do- I am a saeson ticket holder to this day) . Mostly I recall that my younger brother had rheumatic fever and my Dad would put Oil of Wintergreen on his legs, Wrap them in soft diapers and place him on our sofa in front of a roaring fireplace in the livingroom and tell him he looked just like Seabiscuit
Gertrude Quinones <>
Troy, NY USA - Tuesday, August 05, 2003 at 16:06:09 (EDT)
Hello, I live down the road from what's still known around here as Riddle Farm. On this Farm, Man O' War, perhaps American Horseracing's greatest runner, was trained. Man O' War was Seabiscuit's grandfather, and father of War Admiral, Seabiscuit's arch-rival. Alas, the farm is slated for development. We fought to save it, but the permits have been granted, and the building has begun .... except... All of the structures from the glory days of Riddle Farm still remain! The barn and stables which held Man O' War and War Admiral ... the track on which they ran ... the tower in which Samuel Riddle stood, stopwatch in hand, and gawked, slack-jawed, as Man O' War burned up the track in his early outings .... Here was the spot Riddle stood when he realized he had not just a winner, but a champion! The Riddle Farm also held the largest contiguous forest still buffering Ocean City Maryland's largest bay ... quite an environmental story in itself. But with the release of "Seabiscuit", the great, grand history of Riddle farm has been underscored. For a time, this acreage on Maryland's Eastern Shore was the epicenter of American Horseracing. You can still see the remains of a monument to Man O' War ... all overgrown ... in disrepair ... As you peer up through the trees surrounding it, you can make out the letters in his name ... and--for a moment--sense his power, grace and athletic prowess. Ultimately, the Riddle Farm evokes not merely the memory of horseracing's glory days, but a vision of one of American History's monumental equine personalities. Let me tell you more... Robert Carr
Robert Carr <>
willards, md USA - Tuesday, August 05, 2003 at 15:44:35 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Both your book and you are a true inspiration. You have an extraordinary talent for writing, and it is a privilege to read your beautifully written book. Thank you for sharing the wonderful story of Seabiscuit. My sister, who is a veterinarian, also suffers from debilitating fatigue. She was diagnosed with lupus in her late teens and has suffered from many kinds of illnesses and afflictions, including chronic pancreatitis. If it is not too much trouble for you, would you be able to email her at this address? She really admires you, and I know it would mean a lot to her to be able to correspond and/or talk with someone to whom she can relate. I keep you in my prayers and wish you the best. Thank you so much.
Christine <>
Los Angeles, CA USA - Tuesday, August 05, 2003 at 15:07:52 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, I thought this article would be of interest to you. Good luck in your recovery.
Rhonda Eviston <>
Peotone, IL USA - Tuesday, August 05, 2003 at 14:49:38 (EDT)
The A&E documentary "The True Story of Seabiscuit" that was on the other night and about a week before that, says that Mr. Howard paid $8,000 for Seabiscuit. Laura, saw the movie last weekend and was so moved. I plan to read the book now. I was never interested in horse racing before. Now I watch the horse racing channel sometimes.
Tyler, Tx USA - Tuesday, August 05, 2003 at 14:30:12 (EDT)
If you know how to contact the author of Seabiscuit Laura Hillenbrand then please e-mail me. It's important I would really appreciate it. Thanks ET
ET <>
Rancho Cucamonga, Ca USA - Tuesday, August 05, 2003 at 14:13:55 (EDT)
One source states that C.S. Howard paid $2000 for Seabiscuit and another puts the figure at $7500. Which is correct and what is the source of the information?
Gene Parrish <>
Hermosa Beach, CA USA - Tuesday, August 05, 2003 at 13:28:30 (EDT)
"From Watergate to Triple Crown". I can see it now! Write that book, Laura! And, above all, get better fast! God Bless you!
Leonard A. Lucenti <>
Maple Shade, NJ USA - Tuesday, August 05, 2003 at 12:56:25 (EDT)
Wonderful book on two of my favorite subjects, horses and underdogs! There's no such thing as coincidence and those three souls were fated for each other and Seabiscuit. I'm sure they're racing on in Heaven! Thanks again for the best book I've read this year!
Griffith, IN USA - Tuesday, August 05, 2003 at 12:49:08 (EDT)
Is there an outlet for ordering a personally signed edition of "SEABISCUIT An American Legend - Special Illustrated Collector’s Edition" by Laura Hillenbrand?
USA - Tuesday, August 05, 2003 at 12:48:21 (EDT)
Laura, I have read the replies in your guest book. I to was so touched by the story of Seabiscuit. I to would like to thank you for your time,extreme perseverance,love and devotion to this story. I am 56 yrs. of age and a law enforcement officer. I saw a documentary on Seabiscuit months ago on a PBS station out of Charlotte, NC. I knew then that I had to see the movie and read your book. I cried when I was the program and I cried when I saw the movie. I am a animal lover and I always pull for the under dog so this was indeed a special story for me. There as an article in The Charlotte Observer, one of our local news papers, a couple of days ago about this lady that lives in a small town just south west of me. After reading your book and seeing the movie she became interested in learning about her house. With help she learned that her horse was actually named Perfect Prospect while racing on the west coast. His name how is Fletcher. Guess what-else she learned. He is the great, great grandsire of ----you guessed it---Seabiscuit. I know there are lots more realitives but to have one this close is fantisic. This is fact, the papers were checked with great caution and the results are accurate. I called information and got her telephone number and spoke with the owner just last evening. I plan to drive down some time this week to see the grandson. Each time I see an actual picture of Seabiscuit I wish I could just walk up to that horse and just give him a big hug and tell him how he showed em all. Thanks again and God Bless you. jim
Jim Wooten <>
Monroe, NC USA - Tuesday, August 05, 2003 at 12:39:32 (EDT)
As a young girl growing up in a small rural farming community in Northern Utah I often heard stories about Georgie Woolf and Seabiscuit. My grandmother, Rhoda Woolf Reese and Georgie's father, Frank Henry Woolf are brother and sister. My Mother and Georgie are first cousins. Georgie is one year older than Mother who is still alive at age 92. During much of the book I had a difficult time reading the words because of the tears streaming from my eyes. Your vivid word pictures and storytelling transformed me into the time, places and lives of all who graced the pages of your book. In the mid 1960's I visited Santa Anita Racetrack and saw the stautes of Georgie and Seabiscuit but I now must make another trip because after reading your book, the visit will have far greater meaning. Your book will live on for the ages and become a classic just like Seabiscuit has. Thank you.
Nyla Belliston <>
Laguna Niguel, CA USA - Tuesday, August 05, 2003 at 12:30:52 (EDT)
I saw the movie last week and was glad to see that they didn't muck it up too much. In my mind, the BOOK is still the definitive telling of the story of this amazing horse and the three guys who made it all possible. It's the best book I've ever read. Great work Laura.
Mike Gressman <>
Parlin, NJ USA - Tuesday, August 05, 2003 at 11:31:10 (EDT)
The movie mesmerized me. The book...on the way. What matters most is your health! You did it all! The humanity within this guestbook sums it all up. We need to see and read more. We need you to be healthy. I hope some of the remedies do the trick! (By the way, what was the name of the horse depicting Seabiscuit in the movie?)
Leonard A. Lucenti <>
Maple Shade, NJ USA - Tuesday, August 05, 2003 at 11:17:27 (EDT)
Loved the book. Loved the movie. What's with this drugging charge? - Louis Guida, Los Angeles Times. Can this charge be answered decisively? All the best.
Doug Tueting <>
Edina, MN USA - Tuesday, August 05, 2003 at 09:22:08 (EDT)
I saw the movie and was struck by what a true beautiful story that it is. I overheard two ladies disussing the book and how you overcame such great odds yourself by starting and discovering you were sick but able to still complete the book. I wish you well! Footnote: There is obviosly advertisers that are stalking this site and plastering their ads trying to sell us their garbage. I would be more careful giving out my email address & phone number as so many have already have.Guaranteed you all will be spammed to the nines. How unforunate that it has gotten to this point.
Annice Burns
Oshkosh, WI USA - Tuesday, August 05, 2003 at 05:58:13 (EDT)
Love the book, love the movie, love Seabiscuit! I ran across a photo of an Olympic medal that was given to Seabiscuit in 1940. The photo was in the book, "Seabiscuit: The Saga of a Great Champion." The medal has this inscription, among other things: "The main issue in life is not the victory but the fight; the essential thing is not to have won but to have fought well." This certainly applies to Seabiscuit. The Olympics were cancelled in 1940 and 1944. Does anyone know anything about this medal? -- A Seabiscuit fan
Paula <>
CA USA - Tuesday, August 05, 2003 at 01:06:05 (EDT)
i have lived near santa anita racetrack all my life, and family involved in the jocky side of it, grandfather the lead architet for the company designing it and i have been told the story of seabiscuit all my life. here was this wonderful little horse that never let anything keep him down for long. and a lesson learned by me early. always the shortest one on school, i took it to heart....this horse has been gone from us 56 yrs, and still he has the power to make a diffrence in lives, make you feel good and feel good about yourself....what a great gift he was to us and still is...thanks for it all seabiscuit....
sue <>
duarte, `ca USA - Tuesday, August 05, 2003 at 01:04:55 (EDT)
Seabiscuit is the best story to come to readers and the screen in a very long time. Seabiscuit and your story embodies the American Spirit. The Depression is not something I lived thru, but my parents and grandparents did. Seabiscuit shows us what we are capable of, what it means to be truly humanitarian, and how to believe in one another. We need animals more than they need us. This richly written books hits every cornerstone. Thank you so much for your gift and bringing to light such a powerful, exquisite, creature and how he change not just 4 lives, but our whole country.
Therese' Waldow <>
Tigard, or USA - Tuesday, August 05, 2003 at 00:57:01 (EDT)
Also grew up in Fairfax, on my parent's 240 acre horse farm on Pope Head Road. Went to Woodson and Oakton, and spent my non-school daytime hours caring for the Tenn. Walkers and Am. Saddlehorses boarded at my mother's stable, and my nights training and driving my father's pacers at Rosecroft and Shanendoah Downs... Am an aspiring author with a rough draft manuscript, the product of nine years research. Like your wonderful work, it is a biography of an American icon [albeit a human], told in historically accurate narrative, and full of factual drama, romance, and tragedy. Stephen Decatur, Jr. was the U.S. Navy's greatest hero, the youngest American naval officer [25] ever commissioned Captain. He fought Arab Pirates [Barbary Wars], the British [War of 1812], and his own fellow officers [killed by Captain James Barron, at age 41, in a pistol duel]. I need help getting published. Would you consider reading or forwarding to your agent a few chapters? Would you consider co-authoring? Would you take a few minutes to drop by his historically-restored home near Farraguat Square and learn of his heroic life? This story would be well worth your effort, for it also could become a rip-snorter of a movie. Appreciate a response, and God bless you for your effort to produce SEABISCUIT!
Mitchell Bryan <>
St Augustine, FL USA - Tuesday, August 05, 2003 at 00:33:23 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Thank you for using your Seabiscuit success to educate the public about chronic fatigue syndrome. I'm proud to have you as our voice. Your article in NEW YORKER was so powerful. Kathleen Choi (15 years)
Kathleen T. Choi
HI USA - Monday, August 04, 2003 at 22:25:48 (EDT)
Though I have not read your book, I am excited to be able tell you how impressed I was of the new movie.There was not a dry eye in the theatre. This happened several times--I saw people young and old living your story. There was also something I noticed and was also involved in--clapping and cheering-showing real emotion in a movie house in central Illinois-----who would 'a thunk it? I am looking forward to be able to read your book soon----thanks
George Heintz <>
Pana, Il. USA - Monday, August 04, 2003 at 22:17:38 (EDT)
Dear Laura, My Dad and I used to race quarter horses and thoroughbreds mostly in the intermountain west back in the 60's and 70's. The movie brought back many memories,most of them good, some not so good. Racing horses is hard work but the exitement you feel when that horse crosses the finish line ahead of the others is undescribeable. I laughed and I cried during the movie. The next day I bought the collectors edition of your book and was so engrossed with it that I read it cover to cover within 24 hours. Thank you so much for telling and showing the world the story of this wonderful horse and the people around him. Sincerely,Mike Olsen
Mike Olsen <>
St.George, UT USA - Monday, August 04, 2003 at 22:01:28 (EDT)
Tom Smith in the movie reminds me of my late uncle Harry Patton who was a horse shoer out here is So Calif working at Santa Anita, Del Mar, Hollywood, etc. His affection for horses was just like Tom Smith's in this movie. WOW!!!!
Rick Pielago <>
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA USA - Monday, August 04, 2003 at 20:42:09 (EDT)
I have fallen in love with the story of Seabiscuit. I am thirteen years old, and I love to read anything I can get my hands on. "Seabiscuit" is a great book, and I have my own copy of it. I can just imagine the races that Seabiscuit competed in in my mind's eye. Today, I went to go see the movie version of "Seabiscuit", and I loved it. Those racing scenes were terribly exciting! Anyway, I really love the book and the whole entire story of that longshot that became a legend. Thanks for everything!
Amelia <>
San Bernardino, CA USA - Monday, August 04, 2003 at 20:29:35 (EDT)
I need to read the book. I saw the movie yesterday with my 12 and 9 year old sons. Although they did not truly understand the depression, the got the big picture. Of course they loved the racing action and the movie.
Rick Pielago <>
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA USA - Monday, August 04, 2003 at 20:29:26 (EDT)
an unbelievable compelling book. it has been decades since i have been so enthralled by any book, and a non-fiction one at that. you have painted a picture of a truly heroic historic figure- congratulations/
allan sugarman <>
morganville, nj USA - Monday, August 04, 2003 at 20:13:49 (EDT)
Saw the movie with my husband, which has proven to me, you don't have to be a horse lover to love this movie, but you will be one after you see it. Grown men cried, and at the end the audience clapped, I cant remember a time when I've seen that. More important, thanks for the important lessons we need to be reminded of in the age of terrorism. I bought the collectors book today. Larie
Larie Taylor <>
Westminster, MD USA - Monday, August 04, 2003 at 20:08:38 (EDT)
Thanks so much for this wonderful story. Now that I've seen the movie, I will soon read your book. I hope your health is better and that you're working on another marvelous story. Best wishes, Patty Horn
Patty Horn <>
Birmingham, AL USA - Monday, August 04, 2003 at 19:55:49 (EDT)
just a note to say that i truly enjoyed your book. the detail is AMAZING. thank you for educating me on the wonders of Seabiscuit.
paige & kandace <>
conneaut, OH USA - Monday, August 04, 2003 at 19:42:11 (EDT)
Laura, I hope your next book will be an AUTOBIOGRAPHY!!! I find YOUR STORY just as interesting as Seabiscuit's.
Deborah Bryant <>
Irving, TX USA - Monday, August 04, 2003 at 17:42:29 (EDT)
I read through your book about as fast as Seabiscuit ran his races; it was that engrossing & exciting a read! To me it's a story of 2nd chances, of hope, of love & loyalty to cause one's morale to much better than fiction!! Thanks for lots of thrilling hours, both in the book and also in the movie.
Mrs. Jacqueline M. Briggs <>
Kerrville, TX USA - Monday, August 04, 2003 at 17:38:25 (EDT)
Hello Laura: We love your book and now the movie is a nice adaptation and we are pleased people are enthusiastic about it. We have been trying to contact you in other more private ways with no success to let you know that we own a racing saddle of Red Pollard's that has been in the McTaggart family since just after the Santa Anita Handicap in 1940 that Red sent to my husband's father, Archie McTaggart along with a win picture autograhped in his own hand. The saddle has Red's name on it. We are looking for more information about the connection between Archie and Red who met in Butte MT in 1925. If in fact you do read these messages and are interested in exploring this with us, please email. Many blessings to you, Jaqui & Robert McTaggart
Jaqui McTaggart <>
USA - Monday, August 04, 2003 at 17:26:10 (EDT)
Laura, I would like to congratulate ou on your success!! I would also like to say that i have ahd CFS since 1994- and recently have been diagnosed with LYMES disease- a treatable illness./ I went to a specialist in Houston- Dr. William Harvey (713) 961-7100. He had CFS for 12 years and it turned out to be LYMES- he is now better, and is treated hundreds of LYMES patients./ HE may be able to help you- or know of a specialist in your area. I wish you all the best- susan
susan <>
USA - Monday, August 04, 2003 at 17:26:02 (EDT)
i want to thank you for introducing me to the wonderful story of Seabiscuit. your book was such a pleasure to read, I cannot stop talking about it. What a great story of some great characters. I loved it. I have a request: if at all possible can I buy a copy of the match race anywhere?
joe myers <>
black creek, bc canada - Monday, August 04, 2003 at 15:32:28 (EDT)
Seabiscuit,Seabiscuit,Seabiscuit,Seabiscuit,Seabiscuit,Seabiscuit,Seabiscuit,Seabiscuit,Seabiscuit,C'mon Seabiscuit! Haven't talked about any other single thing in days. Movie and entire book in one weekend....! Very happy to have a book to keep old Dreamworks in check, I was amazed at how well they stayed with the story. Good stories last forever as they are....kudos Laura!
scott williamson <>
Boston, MA USA - Monday, August 04, 2003 at 14:47:15 (EDT)
I was so moved by the movie. It was fantastic. I have always been a fan of horses and racing. It's more personal now that I have seen this remarkable movie. I went to the Mall this weekend and bought the book. Can't wait to read it. My sister lives in Oklahoma City and really misses the Bluegrass State. The movie gave her warm feelings of home and the horse industry that she loves as well. If you are able, another book about another great horse would be wonderful. This movie was so well done. I'll see again and plan to buy the video once it is released. Thank you. MarthaB
Martha Bennett <>
Louisville, KY USA - Monday, August 04, 2003 at 14:22:47 (EDT)
It was with great excitement and interest that I read your excellent book and look forward to seeing the movie. As a child I knew Mrs. Marcela Howard through my mother, who was office secretary at the Burlingame Country Club. Mrs. Howard was extremely kind to me and gave me her own personal copy (No.1) of Beckwith's book, "Seabiscuit - The Saga of a Great Champion", with her name and Seabiscuit's in gold on the front cover. In addition, she also gave me two 8x10 glossies from the Pimlico Jockey Club of the Match Race (with her comments on the backs), plus several years of beautiful Christmas cards. These items have always been among my most precious possessions. I am so pleased for your success by reintroducing the world to a terrific and true story about an unlikely racing champion and the unusual team that made it all happen.
G. Golden <>
San Diego, CA USA - Monday, August 04, 2003 at 12:46:35 (EDT)
Thank you so much for bringing this beautiful story to our attention. We saw the movie over the weekend and immediately went out and bought the book. I can't stop thinking about Seabiscuit. Many thanks.
Carol <>
Long Island, NY USA - Monday, August 04, 2003 at 12:08:46 (EDT)
Dear Mrs Hillenbrand, I saw the movie, and I read your book. Your book is brilliant! It made me laugh and cry. I love how you make Seabicuit a character. He has as much personality as Tom Smith or Charles Howard. Most people do not realize that each horse has just as much personality as we do. Please write another one. Perhaps Secretariate or Man of War. Keep up the good work. Mrs. JuliAn Hardeman
Mrs. JuliAn Hardeman <>
Severna Park, MD USA - Monday, August 04, 2003 at 12:06:30 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand; As a youngster gowing up in a small Ontrio rural community that was a centre for standard bred racing, I have many wonderful memories of riding my bicycle to the track stables to visit the horses. I read everything about horses I could get my hands on at the local library. Among my favorites were the stories of Man O'War and Seabiscuit. Thank you so much for bringing the story of Seabiscuit to life for me again with your wonderful lyrical style. Reading your book also brought back memories of a wonderful Canadian colt who went on to become the first Canadian horse to win the Kentucky Derby. I was 12 yrs old when Northern Dancer flamed across the finish at Churchill Downs in a sizzling 2:00 min. flat. In that moment in time I was convinced "The Dancer" was Seabiscuit reincarnated.
Shirley Whittaker <>
Toronto, Canada - Monday, August 04, 2003 at 11:41:11 (EDT)
Gal!! We saw the movie yesterday - cried half-a-dozen times. cheered at the end of the match race, and whooped when your name came up on the screen! It was fabulous - it must be so gratifying to have such an excellent movie "represent" your book. Remind me to tell you what the LSU football coach said about the movie! Email down at home - will call! Love, Suz
Susie Thomas <>
BR, LA USA - Monday, August 04, 2003 at 11:37:18 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Your book was amazing! I love horses and really want to ride them. I saw the movie, too. One really great thing about your book was that even though it was a biography,it still was totally wonderful! I usually get bored by biographies, but your book had me on the edge of my seat, picturing every race. Thank you so much for contrubuting this amazing piece of work to the world of literature! :)
A Seabiscuit Fan
USA - Monday, August 04, 2003 at 11:34:36 (EDT)
Laura, I have had chronic fatigue syndrome since 1994- last december i went to a LYMES disease specialist in Houston - there i tested positive for Lymes (i had been tested twice before with just the basic elisa test and western blot and those came up =/- // neither positive or negative). Under Dr. William Harvey i have a treatable diagnosis./ I have been undergoing antibiotic treatment for several months now- . I just wanted to contact you to encourage you to find a LYMES disease specialist and see where that leads- i am sure you have Lymes. Dr. William Harvey in Houston is at (713) 961-7100. He could help you- or possibly help you find a doctor in your area./ Susan
susan <>
nacogdoches, tx USA - Monday, August 04, 2003 at 11:13:46 (EDT)
Laura, What an education about CFS! Could you describe the most comfortable position to read books and write. I would like to design some assistive devices to help you and others enjoy reading and writing without the discomfort. Any information would be helpful. My background and profession is medical device design.
frank patterson <>
exeter, nh USA - Monday, August 04, 2003 at 11:09:53 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Thank you for giving this gift of a story to the world. I've read the book twice and will keep reading it! In reading it a second time, I realized that there is so much to this story, this legacy, that reading about it can never get boring. I am 16 years old and since the first time I read your book, I read or watch anthing Seabiscuit. I have yet to see the movie, though I wish I could have been there the first day it was in theatres. Despite that, I listened to all the interviews pertaining to Seabiscuit on NPR, including the one when Terry Gross interviewed you on FreshAir. You are a trully amazing person, as well as a writer. I admire you for your determination to write this book despite CFS. In listening to you on FreshAir, I find that your writing this book is not unlike the jockeys wanting to ride, despite the danger and the pain. Their wanting to ride for freedom, is like you writing this story and getting so lost in it you almost forget your illness. Thank you again for this book. Because of you people can relive this horses legacy through this gripping, inspiring, awesome book. Thank you.
katie <>
Clinton, LA USA - Monday, August 04, 2003 at 11:08:24 (EDT) the book, saw the movie.....both are great. My 82 year old father worked on the Ridgewood Ranch in 1940, he was 18-19 years old, I have several original pictures of Seabiscuit that he took, one with Tom Smith. The ranch was very much like the TV show Bonanza, with horses, timber, cattle, mining, etc. Anyone interested can email me for a copy.
wayne smith <>
durant, ok USA - Monday, August 04, 2003 at 09:54:45 (EDT)
Corpus Christi, Tx. USA - Monday, August 04, 2003 at 09:06:30 (EDT)
Laura I am in the middle of your book and cannot put it down. Your writing is as wonderful as the story itself. I am not looking forward to finishing it! There is another "famous" person, this one in sport of dogs, that has led a very interesting, if unlikelly, life that I think you would also find to be a fascinating subject to write about. You would do this story justice. Please contact me.
Karen Miller <>
Lunenburg, ma USA - Monday, August 04, 2003 at 08:21:26 (EDT)
Your book is so inspiring. I have been around horses most of my life, on and off, and I truly live them. Your book has brought out so much about the human/horse connection. It is also an inspiration to keep pursuing whatever dreams and goals we are moving towards. God Bless.
Karen Lavoie <>
USA - Monday, August 04, 2003 at 07:44:55 (EDT)
Dear Ms Hillenbrand, My 84 yr. old father was in charge of the paddock guards at Santa Anita Racetrack when he was a young man. He also was in charge of the wardrobe department for a time. He worked there during the time Seabiscut ran. He was friends with a groom for Seabiscut who brought him a horseshoe that he said was Seabiscut's. He has kept it all these years as a prized possession. The front of the shoe is inscribed-- Sept.6 1932. On the back is the inscription----30th Birthday Dinner to Darryl F. Zannick Sept. 6 1932. Do you have any history as to what this may be? I've tried to do some research on it, but have come up empty. Could this have been an actual horseshoe of Seabiscut's that was given out as birthday party favor at Zannuck's birthday party? Your reply would be very much appreciated. Thank you, Beverly Wisotsky
Beverly Wisotsky <>
Westlake Village , Ca USA - Monday, August 04, 2003 at 01:43:43 (EDT)
I just want to say that I truly enjoyed your book. I was caught up in the action, the emotion, and everything else. I almost cried at the end. In fact, I just saw the movie recently and tears were pouring down my face and I'm glad they came. Before I read the book, or even saw the movie, I really didn't watch horse racing much and I didn't know much about it. But, after I've seen the movie and read the book, I'm watching it whenever I can. You've done a really good job of telling this wonderful story and I'm glad you did.
Chelsea <>
Key West, FL USA - Monday, August 04, 2003 at 00:36:48 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Thank you for giving the world a great book about a great horse and the people who helped make him great, all of whom would have been lost in history were it not for your book. The book, including the race scenes, was far superior to the movie. I didn't want to put the book down. I was restless in the movie. I was disappointed with how the movie played loose with the facts, particularly how Red Pollard came to leave his family and join the racing world. The movie, in multiple ways, did not do you book justice. But then it's hard to replicate a masterpiece. Thank you. I look forward to your next book. Peggie
Peggie <>
Arlington, tx USA - Monday, August 04, 2003 at 00:03:03 (EDT)
I just saw the the biography on seabuscut on T.V.with my mom and we give it two thumbs up.I love the biogrophy and i would recomend it to any body.
allen, tx USA - Sunday, August 03, 2003 at 23:29:32 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I read about you and Seabiscuit some time ago, through the CFS Assoc. emails. My husband and I couldn't wait to see the movie and loved every moment of it. It really touched my heart, as I feel that we have been at rock bottom and are now given a second chance. I was so ill with FM, CFS, IBS, etc. that I wanted to die. I am now feeling better than I have in 25 years. I am so grateful and want to share my story to help others. I am writing a book about my life and the struggle to regain my health. I would love to talk with you. My goal is to include the stories of other people that have healed from this horrible illness. I live in Gig Harbor, Wa. I own a small promotional products & logo apparel business, which I operate out of my home. You can reach me at: Congratulations to you for writing such an incredible story. You have now touched the lives of so many people in such a positive have given people what they need the most: -HOPE-. Thank you! Best regards, Beth Christ
Beth Christ <>
Gig Harbor, WA USA - Sunday, August 03, 2003 at 23:19:05 (EDT)
There is hope for those with CFS - Fibromyalgia, I would like to share some information and testamonies with you. I do not want to come off as trying to solicit but I truly believe that I have something that can help. God Bless, Dan
Daniel Giordano II <>
West Palm Beach , FL USA - Sunday, August 03, 2003 at 23:17:32 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I read about you and Seabiscuit some time ago, through the CFS Assoc. emails. My husband and I couldn't wait to see the movie and loved every moment of it. It really touched my heart, as I feel that we have been at rock bottom and are now given a second chance. I was so ill with FM, CFS, IBS, etc. that I wanted to die. I am now feeling better than I have in 25 years. I am so grateful and want to share my story to help others. I am writing a book about my life and the struggle to regain my health. I would love to talk with you. My goal is to include the stories of other people that have healed from this horrible illness. I live in Gig Harbor, Wa. I own a small promotional products & logo apparel business, which I operate out of my home. You can reach me at: Congratulations to you for writing such an incredible story. You have now touched the lives of so many people in such a positive have given people what they need the most: -HOPE-. Thank you! Best regards, Beth Christ
Beth Christ <>
Gig Harbor, WA USA - Sunday, August 03, 2003 at 22:46:43 (EDT)
Thank you for a wonderful book. I bought your book two years ago, and saw thesspecial collector's edition and bough it as well. I just saw the movie. I have a special interest since four years ago I bought a retired race horse. His name is I.D. Unknown. I have a four cross pedigree for my horse and was suprised to see War Relic on his pedigree. I am trying to go back further but I'm having a hard time find more. I believe the Man O' War is my horse's 3 0r 4 great's grandfather. A lady at my boarding barn asked me if I would mind if she called our local Annapolis paper to see if they would like to do a story. Could you tell me how to better research his pedigree, or could I sent what I have to you so you could see it? I know that Man O' War had lots of son's. How would my horse be blood related to Seabiscut? Cousin's? Again thank you for a wonderful book, and the way you presented each paragraph in it. This will always be my favorite book. Sincerely, Susan Shim
Susan Shim <>
Annapolis, MD USA - Sunday, August 03, 2003 at 22:38:07 (EDT)
I just saw the movie, and I have to say it's the BEST MOVIE that I have seen this year. This must have truly been one awesome horse. It struck me, as I watched the movie, that I have not seen very many movies about horses. I hope Hollywood will do a story like this one where the male jockey gets to fall in love, a movie that has a strong romantic lead for the jockey. Awesome movie! I know you must be happy. I WILL be buying your book!
Valkyries Lover <>
Nashville, TN USA - Sunday, August 03, 2003 at 22:31:39 (EDT)
i just got back from seeing "seabiscuit"it was truly a wonderfu, and enjoyable movie. it was nice to go to a theatre and see something worthwhile for a change. i have a question since i haven't read the book yet. whatever happened to red's parents, did they ever see him again?
lillian hahn <>
N.Miami Beach, Fl. USA - Sunday, August 03, 2003 at 21:01:55 (EDT)
PITTSBURGH , PA USA - Sunday, August 03, 2003 at 21:01:22 (EDT)
Hi I am reading your book right now it is so interesting. Its great that you desided to write a book in this wonderful time in history. If you didn't write about Seabiscuit I wouldnt konw how great he was. Thank you so much. From, Olivia
olivia mcgrath <>
campbell hall, n.y USA - Sunday, August 03, 2003 at 20:27:34 (EDT)
As a fellow writer, lifelong horse person and woman also battling an immune disorder (I have MS), I felt an immediate connection to your story. I wrote my first historical business book two years ago and am astounded by how much time and energy must have gone into your research. Your book will grace my bookshelf as a wonderful tutorial on how to bring a story to life.
Lindsey Townsend <>
Lake Dallas, TX USA - Sunday, August 03, 2003 at 20:17:55 (EDT)
Hi Laura, I did not read your book but the movie was great. I have been told by friends that your book is even better than the movie. My name is Mark Longway and I am a Counselor at Mt. San Antonio College which is located in Southern California. The health problems I had been experiencing last year are nothing compared to what you have been going through. I am 47 years old and was having pain in my teeth and arm that would not go away for six months. I had seen a commercial about coral calcium and decided I would give it a try. After a week of taking this coral calcium the pain in my arm and teeth had become less severe. By the end of the month I was pain free for the first time in 6 months. My Mom started taking it to see if it would help her with her diabetes. It not only helped her with her diabetes (it improved the circulation in her feet) it also helped her to no longer be depressed. A coworker tried the calcium to see if it would lower her blood pressure. It began to lower her blood pressure after 2 weeks. We are 3 people with very different health issues and it has helped all of us. Is this coral calcium a cure for anything? No, it is not. But what it does do is give your body the best chance of fighting any disease or illness. Minerals are the basic building blocks of nutrition and good health. Unfortunately, the foods we consume lack many of the minerals our bodies need. The result is mineral deficiency and the inability of our bodies to prevent and fight disease. Over 200 degenerative diseases, including cancer and diabetes, as well as many daily aches and pains are linked to calcium deficiency. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in our bodies. Hundreds of vital functions in our body, from the muscular and skeletal systems, to the nervous and circulatory systems are dependent on the amount of calcium we absorb. We can't live healthy lives without calcium. I am not a doctor or pharmacist but I have seen nothing but positive results from this coral calcium. Doctors always want to give us medications for everything. Drugs are useful to a certain point but they also can be harmful to our bodies. If you think this is all BS then just delete this e-mail. I think you have everything to gain and nothing to lose by trying this calcium. If you would like to talk to me you can call me at my home. My number is 714-779-9804. You can e-mail me at or I could send you a flyer. Or if you want more information you can get a book called The Calcium Factor by Robert Barefoot. You can order this book through me or you can get it on the Internet. Like I tell everyone even if you don't buy the calcium from me buy it from somebody. The stuff works. In the book there is a testimonial about a person who has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. This is the quote: "My name is Donna Crow and I am struggling to recover from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome which struck me severely 12 years ago. One of the problems with CFS victims, as I am sure you know, is that we have problems absorbing and/or using minerals. As a result we often have insomnia, heart palpitations and multitudes of intestinal problems. A friend told me about coral calcium. I got my first bottle and opened the cap and dumped it in my mouth since I seem to absorb better when I do that and within 2 minutes I felt the most amazing things in my body. Peace would be the best word to describe it. And from that day on I never had the stress in my chest I had, had for 12 years prior. And my digestion is wonderful now; no acid reflux anymore. And I have NO heart palpitations at all. This product is more wonderful to me than I can say. Unless you have had constant heart stress and other calcium/magnesium related problems long term, you cannot imagine how wonderful it is to go through a day without those problems. It is like getting out of prison. I have all my friends and family on this stuff and they ALL love it for various reasons. That is the beauty of getting your mineral needs met. Your body will use them to do the unique repairs that you need. The body is so smart. If you give it the tools to work with it will literally work wonders for you. Thank You for a product that has been like a miracle for me." As a Counselor I enjoy helping others with their academic, career, and personal issues. I love what I do for a living as I'm sure you do writing books. Now that I have been taking this coral calcium since February I know I can help others with their health. I now have family, friends, coworkers, neighbors and even my students taking this coral calcium on a daily basis. So if you are interested feel free to contact me. Hope to hear from you soon. Mark Longway 4713 Carmonita Lane Yorba Linda, CA 92886
Mark Longway <>
Yorba Linda, CA USA - Sunday, August 03, 2003 at 20:16:10 (EDT)
I read the book and found it to be a very moving record of an amazing horse. It had me sitting forward in my chair , crying, and greatly affected by the way all of the people and events conspired to make this such a truly great piece of history . You did an outstanding job of telling this story. And you should be very proud of this book . I will read it again and again over the coming years...
Vickie Doughty <>
Pensacola, fl USA - Sunday, August 03, 2003 at 20:07:58 (EDT)
Dear Laura, Thank you so much for your brilliant and riveting book as well as key participation in one of the best movies I have ever seen. I went on opening day, and want you to know that the audience cheered at the end of the Match Race as well as the Santa Anita final victory. Heard alot of sniffles around me, so it wasn't just me teary through the movie. A dear family friend who is at the end of his life and failing in memory can remember when the Biscuit raced in the late 1930s. I sent him the Special Edition with all the amazing pictures, and it is a bright spot in the day for him. He rode the rails as a hobo in the Depression, and he perked up when I told him about the scene in the movie where Tom Smith is shown doing that too. It meant alot to him that someone was telling the Biscuit's story and the story of the Great Depression too. So thank you so much from both of us. Sending you our very best wishes and prayers, and please know how grateful and full of admiration we are for your talent and your grit. Melissa
Melissa Kula <>
Phoenix, AZ USA - Sunday, August 03, 2003 at 19:53:15 (EDT)
I have read hundreds of books in my 74 years;your SEABISCUIT is the best of them all, and your persevering while enduring your medical problems is truly inspiring as was your article in THE NEW YORKER. You are my heroine. Is it possible to obtain your picture to hang beside my picture of Seabiscuit?
Dudley Igo <>
Yuba City, CA USA - Sunday, August 03, 2003 at 19:40:44 (EDT)
I just have to say I just saw the movie and was so moved by it that I now have to go out and get the book. I have always been a person that likes to have signed copies of all my favorite stories. Is there any possibility of getting a signed copy or something I can put in the book I will be purchasing? Ray ---(Thanks for a great story!!)
Ray <>
Silver Spring, MD USA - Sunday, August 03, 2003 at 19:38:30 (EDT)
Dear Miss/Mrs. Hillenbrand, Just a quick note to compliment you on a superbly written book. Your style is unique and, although nowhere near finished, I cannot remember having enjoyed a book so thoroughly for many years past. Congratulations.....I am a hard person to please! Best of luck in the future, John PS. THANK YOU !
John F.H. Lupton <>
St. Albert, AB Canada - Sunday, August 03, 2003 at 18:42:15 (EDT)
Seabiscuit movie fans: Learn more about Charles Howard's rise from the ashes of San Francisco (see real footage of the earthquake!), read actual newspaper accounts of the Biscuit's races, follow Tom Smith's amazing career after Seabiscuit, and more. Visit this wonderful film research site to learn more about Seabiscuit and other films with historical backgrounds. This purely educational, non-commercial website shows what the World Wide Web was intended to be. Enjoy!
NM USA - Sunday, August 03, 2003 at 18:16:38 (EDT)
Just bought the collector's edition of the book - thank you for putting Seabiscuit's head on the cover! The other cover on your first hardback drove me nuts because he was cut off. The collector's edition is wonderful! I'm so glad you were able to find and publish all the great photos - I'm really enjoying re-reading the story as I wander through and look at the photos. Thanks also for bringing the story of Seabiscuit to the general public and for greatly expanding the knowledge of those of us who knew who he was (he's always been a "local hero" to me - I was unaware of the impact he had on the whole country!) Tanforan is now a mall as I'm sure you are aware, but I live only a mile from Bay Meadows and work literally next to it and have been known to take in a race during lunch hour. We can get up to the fence near the starting gate for six furlong races and I take friends there to experience the thrill of being so close to these magnificent horses as the bell rings and they spring from the gate and thunder by us, hooves pounding and jockeys shouting. It just never grows old and my friends are often dumbstruck the first time they experience this. Thanks again for putting Seabiscuit in his proper place in history - it's been a joy to watch.
Karen Martin <>
San Mateo, CA USA - Sunday, August 03, 2003 at 16:23:43 (EDT)
For a thought on your next book Please visit www. freehorse. net
Thomas Justice Freeman <>
Lawsonville , NC USA - Sunday, August 03, 2003 at 15:50:11 (EDT)
Mrs. Hillenbrand, I am an avid reader. I have never read a book in my entire life about a horse or animal. This is by far the best book I have ever read. I couldn't put it down. It is so compelling, it reads like a fiction novel. All the twists and turns of a mystery. All the characters, you feel as if you know them first hand. I ran the whole gambit of emotions. Laughing at the antics of the great trainer,Tom White and crying when "Red" lost his ride of Seabiscuit to George Woolf against War Admiral. As you can tell I'm not a writer. I haven't ever watched a horse race, but thanks to your book, horse racing has just acquired another fan. Thanks for a great book. Can't wait for your next one. Thanks, Mickey
George (Mickey) Knight <>
Zachary, La. USA - Sunday, August 03, 2003 at 14:05:14 (EDT)
I saw the movie last night. Excellent! It made me cry, it made me laugh, it made my feet move (as if I could really help the horse run...). The whole audience cheered for Seabiscuit! When I went to Keeneland, KY, a few years ago, I realized how smart horses were. When I spoke them and looked them in the eyes....they seemed like they were listening to me. Is SEA HERO an offspring of SEABISCUIT? How many mares or colts did SEABISCUIT sire?
Spooky Cohan <>
Westerville, OH USA - Sunday, August 03, 2003 at 13:33:10 (EDT)
When I saw the trailors I knew I wanted to se the movie. It was FANTASTic.
Hammer <>
Phoenix, az USA - Sunday, August 03, 2003 at 12:26:00 (EDT)
Dear Laura, I have just seen the movie it is wonderful!!I have your book, my mother sent it to me when it first came out and I must be honest I am not a big reader but I am reading it now. In the middle 60's I had one of the most memorable moments in my life. My father, brother and I stayed with Marcela in Pebble Beach. She was then Mrs. Fenton. I was between 8 and 10 years old. I was mesmerized with her and Seabiscuit. I started riding horses in about the 1st grade or maybe before then. I got my very own horse after the 3rd grade. At that time I rode Hunters. Marcela gave me a christmas card that she and Mr. Howard sent out the year Seabiscuit won the match race at Pimlico. It is beautiful and she wrote to me on the inside. I still have my treasure and when mother sent me your book I put it inside for safekeeping and when the movie came out I took it to my framer and I can't wait to get it back. This is a wonderful story and I am so glad you wrote the book. I now live with my retired 26 year old quarterhorse and my 14 year old thoroughbred. Thank-you again for reminding me of that very special 24 hours I spent with Marcela almost 40 years ago.
Lainie Reed <>
Dalworthington Gardens, Tx USA - Sunday, August 03, 2003 at 11:46:12 (EDT)
great story. thanks for telling it.
alan schramm <>
tarrytpwn, ny USA - Sunday, August 03, 2003 at 11:15:19 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, I read your book when it first came out, and just saw the movie. I loved both. The movie characters seemed to be perfectly selected. I plan to re-read the book now. We currently have 7 thoroughbreds and love them all, though we do have too many. We lost a foal at one day old this summer. I read you said that losing a horse can hurt more than losing a person. It did--it has totally crushed me even though we had two other foals in the spring who are fine.I was glad to read you said that--someone understands. I have a "True Tale" in the works at EQUUS about one of my mares, Star, who miscarried twins at 9 months gestation. EQUUS has had my story for nearly 2 years, but have paid me. If they ever publish it, perhaps you'll read of my love for horses. I hope you keep writing. Thanks for the great book.--MaryBarbara McKay
MaryBarbra McKay <>
Pleasanton, Ks USA - Sunday, August 03, 2003 at 10:27:58 (EDT)
I was cured of chronic fatigue very succesfully.I hope by some miracle this note finds you.In Albuquerque a handful of doctors are succesfully treating it with antibiotics.It turns out a pnuemonia we get as children attacks the thyroid.This causes the low body temperature and fatigue.Just an intense protocol of speciific antibioitcs for approximately six months does the trick.I feel better then before I got sick.You seem like such an amazing person I really hope this note finds you.I live here in Albuquerque I am a professional jewelry designer.I was so sick I could hardly move for like 2 years!NOw I am running and weight lifting etc....... Best to you Ellen
Ellen Knight <>
Placitas, NM USA - Sunday, August 03, 2003 at 09:02:09 (EDT)
Thank you for this fantastic book. I am still reading it and drag it around with me everywhere. It is just incredible. It occured to me while reading about Seabiscuit, reading your descriptions of his behavior, and understanding that he died relatively young at 14 of a heartattack- could he have had high blood pressure, which progressively lead to heart disease? Do you know if it was possible? Thank you so much for your lovely book and I hope you are feeling better everyday. Bless you.
Aujouret <>
Anaheim, CA USA - Sunday, August 03, 2003 at 04:32:04 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, Thank you for writing this book and bringing one of the greatest stories back to life for us to enjoy and feel inspired! It is also great of you to bring more attention to horseracing and hope itself! Best wishes for your future!
Amy Hansen <>
MA USA - Sunday, August 03, 2003 at 02:08:39 (EDT)
Hi! I have read your book and seen the movie. Seabiscuit is the best book I have ever read. Your descriptions of the races were so incredible I actually felt like I was there. I feel like no words can actually describe how great your book really is. Seabiscuit, Pollard and Woolf were extraordinary atheltes, and Tom Smith was a great trainer, all of whom loved Seabiscuit very much. It was also nice to read at the end of your book after Seabiscuit retired just how much Howard adored him. My boyfriend is reading the book now, but when he gets finished I'm reading it again! Thanks for writing such a great book that gave us the best movie of the year.
Toni Baiamonte <>
Gulfport, MS USA - Sunday, August 03, 2003 at 01:10:42 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, Not being a "horse person" (even though I have lived my entire life about 40 miles from Lexington, KY) and not being an avid reader either, I had never heard of Seabiscuit prior to the production company coming to Lexington to film. Fortunately, a friend at work was reading the book and offered to let me read it when he finished. I'm so grateful he did. My life is so much richer for knowing his story and that of Red Pollard, Tom Smith and Charles Howard. Now, knowing of your struggle with illness on a daily basis, I can only comment that you not only brought the 'Biscuit's story to millions of grateful readers, but that you have become part of that wonderful story. You continue the tradition of struggling through adversity to do great things. Congratulations on your success, and my prayers are with you to someday see an end to your illness. I can't finish without saying that I also enjoyed the movie so much - my only complaint would be that it's a shame the movie couldn't last for about 5 or 6 (or more) hours in order to include all of the delicious details that were in your book! I have a collectors edition on the way so that I can get a "Seabiscuit fix" any time I want. Thanks for a wonderful experience. Tina
Tina <>
Harrodsburg, KY USA - Sunday, August 03, 2003 at 00:42:05 (EDT)
Thank you so much for all your hard work and dedication into writing such a triumphant book! Sharing your research and story with us, is just as moving as the people and horse in your book!
edna chapple <>
lewisville , TX USA - Sunday, August 03, 2003 at 00:16:30 (EDT)
Luc Periard <>
alexandria, ont canada - Saturday, August 02, 2003 at 21:11:35 (EDT)
Hi Laura, My husband and I love your book and own both versions. We couldn't stop reading. The movie was excellent and I'm sure your help with the film helped a great deal to make it dynamic. Thanks for writing your book and can't wait to see what your next project might be. We are presently hoping to buy a relative(if we can find one) of Sea Biscuit. We already own an Andalusian and 4 collies which we love. Perhaps you could write about that breed for a future book or explore an author named Albert Payson Terhune that wrote about collies. Again thanks for the wonderful read. I know it will be my favorite book forever. Michelle & Patrick Perryman
Michelle M. Perryman <>
Phoenix, AZ USA - Saturday, August 02, 2003 at 20:16:04 (EDT)
I am an avid reader and just wanted to comment on your book.It is one of the finest books I have ever read.The descriptions take you into the life of horse racing in the 1930's.Thank you very much.
Jeff w. <>
lawrenceville, ga USA - Saturday, August 02, 2003 at 17:16:12 (EDT)
Hello Saw your Seabiscuit the movie yesterday. Was so touched and thrilled think I had tears all the way through it. What great people and what NICE people. I am of course going to read your book.. Thanks so much for bringing the story back to light..
Alice Anne Allen <>
Thousand Palms, CA USA - Saturday, August 02, 2003 at 17:15:02 (EDT)
Hi Laura, I have NOT read your book, YET. I have not seen the movie (I don't get out very often, but I WILL go to this movie!) I am writing you because I heard your interview on Public Radio... and want to offer you an idea on your illness. I was diagnosed with CFS, FMS, Lupus, MS and a bunch of other diseases... all of which... have NO perfect test to RULE out or IN these diseases. I have a microbiology background and I finally began to push to be tested for LYME disease. I FINALLY got a positive test and began a Lyme Disease protocol. CLose to you, is a brilliant doctor who might just be your ticket to BETTER health. I have not seen him but I have his information. I live in Oregon. I hope to be able to see this doctor one day. I have been getting treatment nearer my home. AND I am so much better, than years ago. Please write a little private note to me and I will privately give you the doctor's information... There just might be MORE help for you... (I don't sell anything, I am just a lady who is pushing onward despite my illness). My heart was just touched by your amazing ability to PUSH yourself on this project and in your LIFE... I was writing a novel when I got really sick ( I was an English instructor at a university in California). My brain just STOPPED working. My "muse" was talking a DIFFERENT language... and I just couldn't continue... then my health began to fail more seriouslly... Another story for sure! I just would love to offer you a POSSIBILITY for help... PLEASE email me... You are a HERO among those of us who have such HEAVY DUTY challenges and yet STILL try to push ONWARD..... Take good care of yourself during all your now ONGOING success... Light B.
Light Barrett <>
Dexter, OR USA - Saturday, August 02, 2003 at 15:54:21 (EDT)
A job well done with the movie. It was as if I was reading the book for a second time. Very emotional story. Leaving the theatre it felt as if every thing was good in the world until I got to my truck and realized the car next to me nicked by door. Laura, if you are looking for another project in horse racing, look to Dan Patch in harness racing. I would love to read his story with you at the keyboard. Thank you.
Ricky Setticase <>
Overland Park , KS USA - Saturday, August 02, 2003 at 15:51:08 (EDT)
There is nothing more beautiful than observing a horse racing in prime form, the wind in its face, with the rhythmical sound of gallops arising from the earth. It is no wonder we cry whether reading about Seabiscuit or attending the movie....the magnificence of such an animal often overwhelms us and yet makes us wish for a moment we could run along side such a phenomenal creature. There is a calmness perhaps even a spiritual awakening that overcomes a person when encountering a horse. For me personally, horses serve as a reminder of wonderful childhood times spent horseback riding in the hills of Kentucky. It is exciting that Seabiscuit has generated much attention as perhaps now others will walk away with the respect and appreciation all creatures so deserve.
Jennifer <>
MI USA - Saturday, August 02, 2003 at 15:15:58 (EDT)
A powerful story, written to perfection. I felt the story beyond the page. My son and I listened to a NPR interview a few days ago. We decided to read the story. I finished it in 1 1/2 days, he's still reading (I had more time). I had read a review a while back and had intended to get your book but never did until now. I suddenly developed CFS in Sept. of 1987. The onset was sudden, I remember the details. The NPR interview brought back those early days of my illness. I was struck by the similarity of experience you had, i.e. the illness coming from nowhere. I especially remember the vertigo, weight loss and the rest. I took an antidepressant to help relieve symptoms. About five years later (1992) the symptoms subsided, for the most part. I am lucky that I slowly overcame this horrible affliction. I remember my (former) doctor suggesting that I needed psychiatric treatment, implying that something was wrong needing mental health intervention. As you know, there was relatively little information other than the "Yuppie Disease" popular mythology back then. As you did, I found an understanding physician who did not question the value of my illness and who patiently worked with me. Although I do not feel daily what you experience I am watchful and am quick to recognize my physical response to the daily grind of life and work. I honor your tenacity and love for your subject. Your work is truly inspirational and I will highly recommend this book to everyone with whom I talk. I look forward to your next book. Leon Hilfstein
Leon Hilfstein <>
Tallahassee, FL USA - Saturday, August 02, 2003 at 15:10:04 (EDT)
I'm glad I found a way to tell you how much I enjoyed your book. I could not put it down, and I tell everybody they should read it. I heard a radio interview with you back when the book was first published and I wondered, a book about a racehorse? Anyway, I wrote it down and finally read it a few months ago. Thanks so much!
David <>
BOULDER, CO USA - Saturday, August 02, 2003 at 14:37:50 (EDT)
Your book has made me laugh and cry and my heart sing. I tell everyone I can to read your book. It's nice to see that you have a guestbook where readers can share their thoughts. Have you seen ebay recently? There is an item listed for sale that may be of real interest to you. As writer of this incredible book, it seems to me that you should inquire about it. The seller has listed this 16mm film as the "lost Seabiscuit docu-movie," produced in 1939 by Charles Howard. You apparently have referred to it in some interviews as the "lost movie." If it's authentic, you deserve to own this. Thanks again for writing this outstanding, moving book.
Amy Capshaw <>
Frisco, TX USA - Saturday, August 02, 2003 at 13:24:41 (EDT)
Hi my name is Tony Russo, and i was a proffessional jockey. My friend Dennis Meade would like for you to write a book on his father, the great jockey, Don Meade. You can reach me at 1-954-728-9351. Thank you and i hope to hear from you soon. Tony Russo
(Jockey) Anthony Russo <>
Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA - Saturday, August 02, 2003 at 11:49:17 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand....great story, well told, good stuff. Some people who have either not seen Seabiscuit or ever ridden a horse like this will think it a glorified story, a fairy tale of sorts glorified over the years and treated by Hollywood as a "story for the ages". I once rode a horse like this, perhaps not as obviously unsuited for speed as Seabiscuit apprarently was, but never the less a horse of unbelievable speed, and heart. It was in Afghanistan, where they play the ancient game of the steppes, buzkashi. The horse I rented for the day was deemed to small to play this violent game, a game where both riders and horses attacked each other in the struggle for supremacy in the game. He was a wild horse, and all he wanted to do was run, run, and run some more. Never an experienced horseman, I struggled with this beast, and eventually convinced him I would let him run, but only when I wanted to. We watched, and waited as my friends on their horses galloped over the desert, and then I would turn him loose. And he would RUN. And upon approaching the horses from the rear, I would drop the reins completely and just hang on. It was like shifting gears on a car, the acceleration was startling as we were already moving at what was a full gallop for the other horses. And we would pass them as if they were standing still. It was truly the most amazing experience of my life, perhaps the single most memorable experience of a life that has not been short on memorable events. I am sure some think it just Hollywood shtick to see the races re-enacted in the movie, but as one who has experienced these things, I know it to be true. Watching the movie brought back those memories, as did reading the book which I blazed through in a couple days immediately after attending an opening day screening of the film. All I can is thanks for your dedication into bringing this story back for others to enjoy. And for bringing back those memories of that momentous day riding through the desert outside of Kabul on a horse that may have been able to give the Biscuit some competition in his prime.
Tom Cole <>
San Francisco, CA USA - Saturday, August 02, 2003 at 11:28:54 (EDT)
I loved reading the book "Seabiscuit". It was strange to grow to love a horse who has long been dead. I had heard of Man O' War and Secretariat but never Seabiscuit. Thank you for the excellent telling of this story. It was my priviledge to see the movie in Baltimore where Seabiscuit won against War Admiral at Pimlico racetrack even though I live in Florida. The crowd in the theatre was cheering and clapping for Seabiscuit as if they were at the original race. It was exciting. Seabiscuit's story makes me think of people who are lost in a world where no one can see their value. Even though Fitzsimmons did see potential in Seabiscuit he was too involved in other horses that didn't require the special attention Seabiscuit needed. In the right hands Seabiscuit blossomed into the winner he was born to be. I see an analogy with Charles Howard, the owner, representing God the Father, providing all Seabiscuit's needs. Tom Smith, the trainer, representing Jesus, the one who teaches. And Red Pollard, the jockey representing the Holy Spirit, who guided Seabiscuit in each race, just as he lives in our hearts and guides us in our daily activities in the race of life.
Coleen Good
USA - Saturday, August 02, 2003 at 11:21:42 (EDT)
After blazing through the book in 3 nights - I was already dry from all the tears that escaped my eyes, then when I put it down I cried even more mourning these amazing individuals - you brought them to life in my minds eye and it was like friends had departed. What a fantastic style you wrote this book. Thank you for bringing back wit and style of a dialogue that has long been forgotten. Thank you so much! Blessed be the "Biscuit".
Marya Smith <>
Chicago, IL USA - Saturday, August 02, 2003 at 10:36:53 (EDT)
Stephen Ambrose said it all. You are a great writer. I was 7 years old when the "Biscuit" won Santa Anita. I remember he was the greatest horse of the late 30's. After seeing the movie I returned home and read your book which we had. Your literary skills place the reader virtually on the horse as he defeats War Admiral and Kayak. Tears come to your eyes as he wins his last race. I knew of Sea Biscuit: however, you have brought to light his personality as well as his heart. He was definitely the hero of the 1930's. Thank you for such a wonderful story. Dave Baragar
David Baragar <>
Tampa, Fl USA - Saturday, August 02, 2003 at 10:26:55 (EDT)
I assumed I had seen the best of what this movie had to offer after seeing both the long and the short versions of the trailer. Wrong. This movie rocked. I was literally on the edge of my seat several times during the film. I would recommend it to anyone. Good work.
Seabiscuit Fan <>
Chicago, IL USA - Saturday, August 02, 2003 at 04:28:29 (EDT)
I just got home from watching the movie "Seabiscuit" and I don't know when a movie has touched me more. I am going out tomorrow to purchase your book! I have horses of my own and after the movie I wanted to go to them and just hug them. The only problem was, it was after midnight! lol Thank you so much for bringing Seabiscuit to life again for those of us who didn't know much about him. I would have loved to have seen him in person and I would have truly liked to have met the three men responsible for bringing such a tremendous horse to his full potential. Thank you again!
Tammy <>
Benton, AR USA - Saturday, August 02, 2003 at 02:52:29 (EDT)
that was the best book i ever read a x racetracker and this book was so true to the track i laughed out loud i cried 4 times im gonna read it again plus i worked at suffolk downs for 7 yrs i loved this book
susan <>
revere , ma USA - Friday, August 01, 2003 at 23:57:11 (EDT)
All I can say is "Thank You" for such a wonderful book and for all your hard work that brought it to life for those of us who were not familiar with the story. Great job! Sincerely, Shana Moody.
Shana Moody <shanamoody@comcast.ent>
Nashville, TN USA - Friday, August 01, 2003 at 22:44:31 (EDT)
All I can say, is WOW!! Ms. Hillenbrand, you have inspired and educated many people not only on the existence of such a charachter but also by providing a glimpse into the lives of the jockeys and the circuit itself. I only have one question -and forgive me if it is answered later in the book: When did you first come across the story of Seabiscuit? I thank you for telling his story. It is very inspiring and has taught me a very valuable lesson.
Vincent Gahren <>
Charlotte, NC USA - Friday, August 01, 2003 at 22:05:04 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand: Strange. The horse came along once before at a time of great need and it appears that it is doing it all ver again. The country needed this. We all need to feel good again about living. All the best.
Joe Genovese <>
USA - Friday, August 01, 2003 at 20:40:29 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I am reading your book and it is wonderful. I have seen the movie twice already. I cried when I saw the movie the first time. I have loved horses all my life and have owned and road several horses. I have broken my leg and have fallen a couple of times since I turned 40 and have a bad back now. As I get older the injuries don't recover too good. I have an 18 year old son that has osteosarcoma in his shoulder and has been undergoing chemotherapy for 7 months now. He has two more months to go. His prognosis is good but he has suffered alot. He has many scars to prove it. He has been very brave through all this. His love is golf and was getting very good at it before we discovered the cancer. His hope is that he can play golf again. He had a bone graph to replace the bone that the tumor was invading. He is in physical therapy along with the chemotherapy. I am going to take him to see Seabiscuit as soon as he is able. I know it will lift his spirits as it lifted mine. I read your book during his chemo treatments. I feel like we can relate to the characters in your book when it comes to adversity. It gives us hope for the future and the courage to go on.
Jocelyne Shideler <>
Topeka, KS USA - Friday, August 01, 2003 at 19:04:18 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hilllenbrand, I have just re-read Seabiscuit. A terrific book. Thank you! My father's family frequented the Tanforan Race Track in San Bruno for many years. I grew up in a house near the track. It was visible in the distance. The downside was that during the racing season, all parking spaces in a wide radius were taken. Residents were unhappy about it, but knew it was not year around. I watched the track burn down that one day in 1964. It had mock Tudor style architecture as you are aware. Memories from childhood were going there with my father. There was a grand public room, on opposite ends were very large fireplaces. Mounted over one of them was an oil portrait of Citation over the opposite fireplace was an oil of Seabiscuit. Over the years, I've wondered what became of those handsome and very large portraits. Currently the mall that occupies the site is in a bad state. The owners are attempting to renovate it. What is a visual reminder on the site is a statue of Seabiscuit. Thank you again, for a meaningful 'read'. Tom Kasinger
T. E. Kasinger <>
Alameda, CA USA - Friday, August 01, 2003 at 18:46:37 (EDT)
I was raised on a small horse ranch in Arizona. My parents raised and raced thoroughbreds so my early years were spent at various racetracks experiencing all the flavor a racetrack has to offer. My parents and our little ranch are gone now, however, the wonderful memories of that life are still so much a part of who I, and my brother are today, that we put our lives on hold yesterday to get together to see the movie that was based upon your book. In a small way the movie, Seabiscuit, and your book have allowed us to relive some of our own childhood memories of success and loss, and the tremendous love we shared for our special horses (one of which was a decendent of Man O' War -- his name was Peak O' Glory and he was as stubborn as Seabiscuit). The movie was so wonderful and made me cry and laugh and, in many parts, made me want to shoot out of my seat and yell, "Come on Seabiscuit, come on!" I bought my brother your audio book as a gift, and I've found a little Seabiscuit Christmas ornament to include so we each have a little something to hang on our Christmas tree that will remind us of the special day we spent seeing the movie and reliving a little home flavor. Thank you so much for writing such a wonderful book!
Gayle Risley <>
Long Beach, CA USA - Friday, August 01, 2003 at 18:41:08 (EDT)
Ms. Hillenbrand, I too suffer from CFIDS and also have a handicapped daughter at home which makes it very difficult to get much needed rest. Knowing the devastating nature of this illness, I applaud you for what you have done. The book is wonderful and I plan to see the movie when I can. You did a wonderful job with this project! I thank you for using your status to inform and enlighten so many people about our many trials with this disease. Sometimes when the words come from someone not connected with the person that is ill, it makes a big impact. I know in my situation, it was very hard for my family, in particular my husband, to come to terms with me having an ongoing illness with no cure. Your frankness has been good for all of us. When I think I cannot go on, I just repeat "This too shall pass". Even though I know it won't, it gives me hope for a better tomorrow. Many prayers are with you and I wish you much continued success and a healthier future. Regards, Charlotte Powell
Charlotte Powell <>
Garland, Tx USA - Friday, August 01, 2003 at 18:40:20 (EDT)
Thank you for such a beautifully written book. I can't remember the last time a book made me cry.
Kimberly H.
Grand Junction, CO USA - Friday, August 01, 2003 at 18:33:26 (EDT)
I had heard what a wonderful book Seabiscuit was but never got around to reading it. I couldn't wait to see the movie, and when I did I loved it. I got goose bumps, cried, was saddened and thrilled throughout various moments of the movie. I went to the bookstore right after and got the book on audiocassettes. Another whole movie could be done to add what was in the book. You brought the characters to life for us, and helped us to imagine what their lives were like before, during and after Seabiscuit. I'm so glad Seabiscuit found such a wonderful home. It's truly a shame all people and animals are not so fortunate to find such understanding, affection, and love. Thank you for bringing this story to us.
Waukesha, wi USA - Friday, August 01, 2003 at 17:55:03 (EDT)
this was the best book i think ive ever read.seabiscuit sounded like a really brave only 14 but love horses and really like reading their storys.
Jessie Bishop <>
mogadore, oh 44260 - Friday, August 01, 2003 at 16:52:04 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, I have just now finished your book, Seabiscuit, and I am still in tears. This has been one of the most thrilling and thoroughly touching books I have ever read. My grandfather was a handicapper who wrote for the Morning Telegraph (Jim "Sweep" Watt) many years ago so I grew up hearing about horseracing from him. I could not put this book down. I felt like I knew Charles Howard, Tom Smith and Red Pollard personally and only wish I could have seen Seabiscuit in all his glory -- what a horse he was!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this wonderful book. I will now go to see the movie and hope it can hold a candle to your awesome writing.
Kathleen Lloyd <>
Selden, NY USA - Friday, August 01, 2003 at 16:50:52 (EDT)
How deeply appreciative I am to you, Ms. Hildebrand. ALL of my book clubs have chosen Seabiscuit, and just this week I saw the extraordinary movie--a mythic marvel, for sure. Of course I too was overwhelmed by the news of Ferdinand's horrific death the same week....I hope you, if not your readers, know that two horse slaughter plants (for human consumption abroad) "quietly" exist in THIS country. Owned by French and Belgium conpanies who get all the profits, both shamefully are located in my home state of Texas. Yes, young racehorses too are taken at auctions (no disclousre to often unsuspecting owners that slaughter buyers are present) simply because they were losers on the track or have a slight injury or bowed tendon that only means they can't RACE again, are bought, transported and slaughtered in a horrific 2-5 days total process, and exported to dinner plates in France, Belgium and Japan primarily. Except for my racehorse heros, Seabiscuit and Go-for-Wand (a tragedy), I had never been a "horse person" until I learned and then researched horse slaughter for human consumption abroad plants in my state. I hope you know, and your readers will learn as well somehow, that Bill 857 has just been introduced to ban these plants and protect our horses from being transported to otehr countries for slaughter. Six State polls, now show an overwhelming mandate from the American voters to ban these plants--but there are the $$ special interests agribusiness and their $$ lobbyists still in the way. Is it too much to hope you will add your VERY influential voice to those of the prestigious Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (just for racehorses), the Texas Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation ETC. in support of 857? I would hope your readers also will learn of 857 and call their Reps and Senators in Washington in support of 857 IMMEDIATELY. No time to lose--156 a day being slaughtered..92% in good to excellent condition! There is not one economic or other reason to justify this horror. It has only existed because the public has been ignorant. I truly believe you and Seabiscuit whom you brought back to life at THIS moment in time, and Ferdinand, a real sacrificial lamb hopefully to bring attention to this heretofore unknown issue at THIS moment, have been sent to Seabiscuit and Ferdinand's slaughtered racehorse brothers and sisters to help 857 get passed. The timing is synchonistic, and I hope you will hear my plea, research and get on the phone to Washington and your publisher to announce your support? Deepest appreciaition for bringing Seabiscuit back to us in our own personal myths, and especially at this moment for all not so fortunate OTHER "longshor" racehorses being "covertly" slaughtered. Susan Barry
Susan Barry <>
Austin, TX USA - Friday, August 01, 2003 at 16:50:44 (EDT)
Sorry about the two earlier double comments I messed up my email address and when I went back to correct the address it put it in twice. I want to thank you so much for bringing Seabiscuit into my life. The story is truly funny, inspiring, and just truly awesome!! I also got to the part about Seabiscuits early years in the book. I'm still curious about Seabiscuits exact birthday. Thank you for this great book, movie, and PBS special.
Kris <>
New Port Richey, FL USA - Friday, August 01, 2003 at 16:40:16 (EDT)
This book is perhaps the most moving tribute to the greatest, most couragous racehorse the world has ever known, and to the those around him with the foresight and skill to pursue this greatness with unwavering conviction. Thank you so very much for writing this chronicle of their life and times.
Jim Catania <>
Chester, NH USA - Friday, August 01, 2003 at 16:13:39 (EDT)
When is Seabiscuits birthday? I saw American Experience Seabiscuit and it was awesome! You got me so excited about that super smart Stubborn horse that I ran out today and bought the special collector's edition. I couldn't resist all the great pictures in it. I only had a chance to read a little of it so far but it is great!!!I was also wondering if I need to go buy one of the other books. Does the Collector's edition leave out some of Seabiscuit's early years?
Kris <>
New Port Richey, FL USA - Friday, August 01, 2003 at 16:07:57 (EDT)
Laura, Thank you so much for enriching my summer with this wonderful book. I read a great many books a year and found that "Seabiscuit" was one of, if not the, most enjoyable book I have ever read. I read it in one day at the beach (and have the sunburn to prove it). I have strongly urged everyone I know to get "Seabiscuit".
John Dorger <>
Cincinnati, OH USA - Friday, August 01, 2003 at 15:45:13 (EDT)
I wanted to let you know that there is a new, effective treatment for Chronic Fatigue that has worked for me and many others, as well as proved itself in double blind studies. A nationally renowned Maryland physician Dr. Teitelbaum, who has overcome chronic fatigue himself, has developed a protocol that had a 50% cure rate and 85 percent significant improvement rate in a double blind study that was reported in the Journal of Chronic Fatigue. He has trained physicians accross the country in how to apply this protocol. I myself have Lyme Disease that has manifested as chronic fatigue as well as chemical sensitivities. I was completely bedridden myself, but have dedicated my time to researching this illness and have greatly improved. Of the several hundreds of books and thousands of research articles I have studied, Dr. Teitelbaum has the most comprehensive approach that addresses underlying infections (micoplasma infections, viruses, Lyme Disease, candida, parasitic infections), hormonal imbalances, diet/allergies and other metabolic disorders. It is incorrect for any doctor to say that EBV is not a factor in chronic fatigue; it simply is not a factor in SOME chronic fatigue patients. I myself have current reactivated infections with EBV, CMV and HPV-6 and have successfully treated these infections problems with IV Immunoglobulin therapy as well as nutritional therapy with monolauric acid, echinacea, cat's claw and other immune stimulants. Treating underlying virus is critical as chronic virus' are known to elevate cortisol and cortisol levels are a key contributer to chronic fatigue. Dr. Teitelbaum has also found that most patients have intestinal parisitic infections (it is improtant to use a reputable lab such as Great Smokies Diagnostics). Again, this was confirmed in my case as well. I have blastocitis hominis as well as a flagellite and the former is a known aggrivator of chronic fatigue. As for hormonal iombalances, I have crhonically elevated cortisol, however, most chronic fatigue patients have more subtle hormonal imbalances and usually have low cotisol and consequently respond to extremely low dose cortisol therapy, DHEA or pregnenolone. Most chromic fatigue patients have subnormal temperatures and greatly improve on NATURAL thryroid medication. If you get worse on thyroid supplementation it is most likely because you have adrenal insufficiency that is further enhanced by thyroid supplmentation. Consequently you must treat adrenal and thryoid hornomone imbalances at the same time. Some chrnoic fatigue patients have an underlying mercury exposure as was the case with me. My blood test showed an industrial level exposure to mercury. This is very unsual because mercury is very rarely in the blood and typically takes a challenge with a mercury chelator to determine mercury levels so low blood levels does not rule out an exposure. You must due a urnie test with a challenge chelator like DMSA but should read Andrew Cuttler's book on mercury before attemtping this. But it is important to rule this out (best book ont his is by chemist Andrew Cuttler called Amalgam Illness). I read on this webpage that your symptoms followed an air bag exposure. I actually know another woman disabled by this who has tried to sue the automobile industry over this. You have to accelerate your body's removal of these substances as your liver was not designed to break down these chemicals. Dr. Cuttler addresses this in his book in his discussion of phase one and phase 2 liver detoxification, which is dependant on certain enzymatic processes. Certain chemicals/substances like pesticides, heavy metals etc. are known dirupters of enzymatic pathways in the liver. For instance, my exposure to mercury has affected my sulfation pathway and I am unable to consume sulfur foods without severe reactions unless I contantly apply a magnesium sulfate cream, as sulfate is required for sulfation and mercury affects your bodies ability to make and hold on to sulfate. The chemicals in that air bag most likly blocked on of your enzymatic pathways. There is a toxicology test, the only one in the world, called the liver detoxification panel by great smokies diagnostic lab that tests your sulfation, and other liver pathways for blocks by administering challenge substances and testing your blood. There are certain supplements that open these pathways. magesium sulfate, molybdenum, histidine and taurine can improve sulfation; calcium deglucurate can improve sulfation and glucuronic pathway; glutathione can improve glutation pathway etc. Sitting in a special sauna three time of day or in 30 minute piping hot peroxide baths (Must take mineral and vit c supplment before as well as drink litely sea salted water during after and before) can facillitate mobilization and excretion of any chemical exposure that has settled in fat tissue. Stress also mobilizes these fat stores and is the reason symtoms exacerbate under stress. I did not start to improve from the Lyme diease until I started treating ALL of the chronic fatigue symptoms concurrently. I have had the most success through diet modification (no gluten/dairy- only organic grass-fed meats/veggies)and treatment of digestive infections and disturbances. I got the best results from eating cultured veggetables, a practice of primitive cultures discarded by modern fast-food cultures. There are only two companies that make these vegetable- in Canada and rejuvenative foods in California. These are loaded with good bacteria, glutamine and enzymes which heal the digestive track. Please look into MR. Teitelbaum's protocal, which you can find at He was too expensive for me to see personally but he has trained numberous physicians accross the country, conducted seminars and has written a book you can follow. He's also quite close to where you live. Good luck to you.
Jennifer Land <>
Dallas, TX USA - Friday, August 01, 2003 at 14:51:28 (EDT)
Did Seabiscuit sire any foals?
Sam <>
Whitesboro, TX USA - Friday, August 01, 2003 at 14:21:53 (EDT)
i haven't read the book yet but i am looking forward to it i've resently seen the movie and it was awww inspiring... we also have race horses but standardbreds and in harness raceing i've seen a few underdogs in my day that have over come great feats one that comes to mind is a small horse named ryiahd who was sold form the bill robinson stable as a two year old because he was so small they thuoght he would'd be stake able but lone behold his three year old year was making waves on the track when he retired at the age of seven he had banked earnings of almost 3,000,000 dollars , even though they were animals the they hero's in there own right we can take a lesson form such legends never forget to win at anything you have give more than you thought you had. to belive in your self and never say die!!!!
byron waite <>
belleville, ont canada - Friday, August 01, 2003 at 14:16:27 (EDT)
Laura As a novice dogsledder(musher) in the early 1990's, I would frequently glom onto training articles in the magazine, 'Equus'. Your cover article in the May 1990 issue on the raising of Thoroughbreds was a milestone. I wrote a column for a national dog club newsletter and cited your article numerous times. I read the book two summers ago. I've yet to see the film, but hope it becomes as memorable as "Phar Lap"; "Champions"; "Man from Snowy River"(?); "Justin Morgan"; and "The Littlest Outlaw".
Mike 'Low Dog' Sullivan <>
Littleton, CO USA - Friday, August 01, 2003 at 14:05:25 (EDT)
Hello,Laura.Just curious as to why you dropped the mention of Bing Crosby's $500 watch in your telling of Ralph Neves' incredible story (Chapter 5) from later editions of your book? Thank you.
Jeff <>
bloomington, mn USA - Friday, August 01, 2003 at 13:45:05 (EDT)
DearMs. Hillenbrand, Just saw the movie, "Seabiscuit" and it was excellent. However, it didn't hold a candle to the book. Thank you for such an extremely well-written, exciting, and interesting story. Your interweaving of all the personalities coming together with Seabiscuit was great. Never having had an interest in horseracing before, your book has made me want to go to the races to see the horses and the jockeys. Thanks so much!
Nan Gast <>
USA - Friday, August 01, 2003 at 13:42:35 (EDT)
In the very first chapter there is a mention of a "Thomas Flyer". I've searched the internet and cannot find a clear definition of what that is. Any help?
pat kinshofer <>
San Diego, ca USA - Friday, August 01, 2003 at 13:19:18 (EDT)
Just finished the book. I am a Dog writer myself A wonderful effort...going to the movie this weekend. Thank you for a good read. Susan
Susan Thorpe-Vargas <>
Asheville, NC USA - Friday, August 01, 2003 at 12:58:37 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand -- Thank you so very much for not only writing a book that so many people have taken to heart, but also for being so open and honest about your 16-year battle with CFIDS. I have had it since 1991 and appreciate your willingness to talk so candidly about how devastating the illness can be and I believe you will make a big difference in making the disease better known and understood. Not sure if the other people who visit this wonderful website are aware of the terrific article you wrote for "The New Yorker" about your experience with CFIDS. It is below. Thank you again so very much.
USA - Friday, August 01, 2003 at 12:24:49 (EDT)
WOW!!! Seabisciut has gone up three in my favorite horses top three list!!! Here it is: 1. SEABISCUIT 2. Secretariat 3. Seattle Slew Well, this site is really cool, so thank you!!!
USA - Friday, August 01, 2003 at 11:54:34 (EDT)
Your ability to describe in detail the races made me feel as if I were riding the horse. My excitment was so intense I had to put the book down until my heart stopped pounding. Reading your book is like a rollercoaster ride. The losses and injuries brought me to tears the wins made it difficult to sit still and read. Thank you for enriching my life.
Sally Schneider <>
USA - Friday, August 01, 2003 at 11:51:14 (EDT)
Dear Ms Hillenbrand, Your book and the movie brings back a name I heard many times growing up, Seabiscuit and Red(John) Pollard.My father was a newspaper man and grew up in nova scotia and boston during the 20's and 30's. I can remember he had news articles of Seabiscuit and Red Pollard which have been lost over the years. It was great reading the history of this famous horse,as much as he uplifed the world in the 30's and 40's you have made him do it again thru your book and the movie.Congradulations and much success. John Pollard Nova Scotia,Canada
John I Pollard <>
truro, ns canada - Friday, August 01, 2003 at 11:48:51 (EDT)
Laura, I loved your book on Seabiscuit! My son also has CFS and I'm amazed that could write a book, and even more amazed that you could write such a wonderful exciting descriptive book. I read it in record time. Have you thought about writing a book about horse Dan Patch? The horse was brought to Savage when purchased by M. W. Savage in Savage, MN in 1902. He lost only two heats in his career and never lost a race.
Eileen Winge <>
Savage, MN USA - Friday, August 01, 2003 at 10:21:40 (EDT)
Just saw the movie Seabiscuit. How wonderful!!!! I will be buying the book for myself and as gifts. Thank you for this wonderful story.
b kuebler <>
arlington, tx USA - Friday, August 01, 2003 at 09:05:37 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand, Just returned to Kuwait out from Iraq after four months (south of An Nasiriyah)and came across your book. Thank you for creating an American classic. I am not a horse person but have a much better understanding and empathy for those love them. Take care Luis
LTC Luis L.Villarruel, M.D. <>
CampArifjan, Kuwait - Friday, August 01, 2003 at 06:18:46 (EDT)
Seabiscuit lovers, read this link about the slaughter of 1986 Horse of the Year Ferdinand in Japan and remember: War Emblem, a relative of War Admiral, is not giving the Japanese what they want and could inevitably die this way. Let's find a solution.
USA - Friday, August 01, 2003 at 03:42:59 (EDT)
Dear Ms. Hillenbrand -- Thank you so very much for not only writing a book that so many people have taken to heart, but also for being so open and honest about your 16-year battle with CFIDS. I have had it since 1991 and appreciate your willingness to talk so candidly about how devastating the illness can be and I believe you will make a big difference in making the disease better known and understood. Not sure if the other people who visit this wonderful website are aware of the terrific article you wrote for "The New Yorker" about your experience with CFIDS. It is below. Thank you again so very much. A Sudden Illness -- How My Life Changed By Laura Hillenbrand, author of ‘Seabiscuit: An American Legend’ We were in Linc's car, an aging yellow Mercedes sedan, big and steady, with slippery blond seats and a deep, strumming idle. Lincoln called it Dr. Diesel. It was a Sunday night, March 22, 1987, nine-thirty. Rural Ohio was a smooth continuity of silence and darkness, except for a faintly golden seam where land met sky ahead, promising light and people and sound just beyond the tree line. We were on our way back to Kenyon College after spring break. Linc, my best friend, was driving, his arm easy over the wheel. My boyfriend, Borden, sat behind him. I rode shotgun, a rose from Borden on my lap. Slung over my arm was a 1940s taffeta ball gown I had bought for $20 at a thrift shop. I was 19. The conversation had dropped off. I was making plans for the dress and for my coming junior year abroad at the University of Edinburgh. My eyes strayed along the right shoulder of the road: a white mailbox, the timid glint of an abandoned pick-up's tail-light. The pavement racing under the car was gunmetal gray. We were doing 50 mph or so. A balled-up bag from a drive-through burger joint bumped against my ankle. A deer. At first, he was only a suggestion of an animal, emerging from the darkness by degrees: a muzzle, a sharp left eye. Then the headlights grasped him. He was massive -- a web of antlers over his head, a heavy barrel, round haunches lifting him from the downward slope of the highway apron. Briefly, his forehooves rested on the line between the shoulder and the highway. I saw his knee bending, the hoof lifting: he was stepping into the car's path. In the instant that I spent waiting for the deer to roll up over the car's hood and crash through the windshield I was aware of my body warm in the seat, Linc's face lit by the dash, Borden breathing in the back, the cool sulfur glow of the car's interior, the salty smell of the burger bag. I watched the deer’s knee and waited for it to straighten. I drew a sharp breath. The bumper missed the deer's chest by an inch, maybe two. The animal's muzzle passed so close that I could see the swirl of hair around his nostrils. Then he was gone behind us. I blinked at the road. My eyes caught something else. A brilliant light appeared through the top of the windshield and arced straight ahead of the car at terrific speed. It was a meteor. It burned through the rising light of the horizon and vanished in the black place above the road and below the sky. My breath escaped in a rush. I turned toward Linc to share my amazement. He was as loose as he had been, his eyes slowly panning the road, his long body unfolding over the seat. I looked back at Borden and could just make out his face. They had seen nothing. I was about to speak when an intense wave of nausea surged through me. The smell from the bag on the floor was suddenly sickening. I wrapped my arms over my stomach and slid down in my seat. By the time we reached campus, half an hour later, I was doubled over, burning hot, and racked with chills. Borden called the campus paramedics. They hovered in the doorway, pronounced it food poisoning, and left. I fell asleep sitting up on my bed, leaning against Borden's shoulder. In the morning, my stomach seethed. I walked to the dining hall and sat with Linc, unable to eat. In my history seminar, I drank from a water bottle and tried to concentrate. After class, I walked to my apartment and heated some oatmeal. I swallowed a spoonful; nausea rose in my throat and I pushed the bowl away. In the next few days, everything I ate made my abdomen balloon. I radiated heat, and my joints and muscles felt bruised. Every day on the way to classes, I struggled a little harder to make it up the hill behind my apartment. Eventually, I began stopping halfway to rest against the trunk of a tree. One morning, I woke to find my limbs leaden. I tried to sit up but couldn't. I lay in bed, listening to my apartment-mates move through their morning routines. It was two hours before I could stand. On the walk to the bathroom, I had to drag my shoulder along the wall to stay upright. Linc drove me to the campus physician, who ran test after test but couldn't find the cause of my illness. After three weeks of being stranded in my room, I had no choice but to drop out of college. I called my sister and asked if she could drive me home to Maryland. I sat in the doorway of the apartment while Borden and Linc packed my sister's car. As they pushed the last of my belongings into the back seat, a downpour broke over them. We pulled out, and Kenyon was lost in a falling grayness. I turned to wave to Borden and Linc, but I couldn't see them anymore. My mother's house was a dignified Colonial that sat back from the road, behind a pine tree that had been mostly denuded by Hurricane Agnes and an anemic cherry tree that would soon collapse onto the den. In the back yard stood a hemlock that had been missing its upper third since my brother and I accidentally set it on fire. Inside, the house was a warren of small rooms that had suited our two-parent, four-kid, two-Collie family when my parents bought it, in 1971. My father had walked out in 1977, the elder collie had died three days later, and the house had gradually emptied until my departure for Kenyon, which had left only my mother and my cat, Fangfoss. The sun was setting as we pulled up to the back door. I walked upstairs and lay down in my childhood bedroom, which overlooked the back yard and the charred tree. The next morning, I stepped on a scale. I had lost 20 pounds. The lymph nodes on my neck and under my arms and collarbones were painfully swollen. During the day, I rattled with chills, but at night I soaked my clothes in sweat. I felt unsteady, as if the ground were swaying. My throat was inflamed and raw. A walk to the mailbox on the corner left me so tired that I had to lie down. Sometimes I'd look at words or pictures but see only meaningless shapes. I'd stare at clocks and not understand what the positions of the hands meant. Words from different parts of a page appeared to be grouped together in bizarre sentences: 'Endangered Condors Charged in Shotgun Killing.' In conversation, I'd think of one word but say something completely unrelated: 'hotel' became 'plankton'; 'cup' came out 'elastic.' I couldn't hang on to a thought long enough to carry it through a sentence. When I tried to cross the street, the motion of the cars became so disorienting that I couldn't move. I was at a sensory distance from the world, as if I were wrapped in clear plastic. I had never been in poor health and didn't have an internist, so I went to my old pediatrician. I sat in a child's chair in a waiting room wallpapered with jungle scenes, watching a boy dismember an action figure. When my doctor drew the thermometer from my mouth, he asked me if I knew that my temperature was 101. He swabbed my throat, left for a few minutes, and returned with the news that I had strep throat. Puzzled by the other symptoms, he prescribed antibiotics and suggested that I see an internist. The doctor I found waved me into a chair and began asking questions and making notes, pausing to rake his fingers through a hedge of dark hair that drifted onto his brow. He ran some tests and found nothing amiss. He told me to take antacids. A few weeks later, when I returned and told him that I was getting worse, he sat me down. My problem, he said gravely, was not in my body but in my mind; the test results proved it. He told me to see a psychiatrist. I went to Dr. Charles Troshinsky, a respected psychiatrist whom I had seen when I was fifteen, after my high school boyfriend had died suddenly. He was shocked at how thin I was. I was just under five feet five, but my weight had dropped to a hundred pounds. Dr. Troshinsky said that he had seen several people with the same constellation of symptoms, all referred by physicians who dismissed them as mentally ill. He wrote my internist a letter stating that he would stake his reputation on his conclusion that I was mentally healthy but suffering from a serious physical illness. 'Find another psychiatrist,' my internist said over the phone, a smile in his voice. How did he explain the fevers, chills, exhaustion, swollen lymph nodes, dizziness? What I was going through, he suggested, was puberty. I had just turned 20. 'Laura, everyone goes through this,' he said with the drizzly slowness one uses with a toddler. 'It’s a normal adjustment to adulthood. You'll grow out of it in a few years.' He told me to come back in six months. 'But I'm not happy with my treatment,' I said. He laughed. 'Well, I am.' I called his secretary and asked for my medical records. I sat on my bedroom floor and flipped through the doctor's notes. Couldn't handle school, he had written. Dropped out. My next doctor was a plump, pink man with the indiscriminate gaiety of a golden retriever. He was halfway through a hair transplant, and clumps of hair were lined up in neat rows on his scalp, like spring seedlings. I again tested positive for strep, and he renewed the antibiotics. He ran a blood test for a virus called Epstein-Barr and found a soaring titer, a measurement of the antibody in my system. I had, he said with pep-rally enthusiasm, something called Epstein-Barr virus syndrome. He had it, too, he said, but he had discovered nutritional-supplement pills that cured it. 'Whenever I feel it coming on,' he said, 'I just take these.' He talked about how much skiing he could do. I took the supplements. They had no effect. Nor did the antibiotics; the strep raged on. The doctor changed my prescription repeatedly, to no avail. At the end of one of my appointments, the doctor followed me into the waiting room and asked my mother to make an appointment so that he could test her for strep. She said she felt fine, but he insisted that she might be infected but asymptomatic. Our appointments fell on the same day. I went in first and sat while a nurse swabbed my throat. A few minutes later, the doctor bounded in, waving the positive-test swab, and bent over to look at my throat. I'd had strep for nearly three months. I dropped my face into my hands. He straightened abruptly and backed out of the room, repeating that the pills would cure the Epstein-Barr. 'I go skiing a lot!' he hollered from down the hall. I was still crying as I paid the bill. The receptionist gave me a sympathetic smile. She understood how I felt, she said, because she had Epstein-Barr, too. 'It's amazing,' she said. 'The doctor has found that everyone working here has it.' I sat down. Several other patients were sitting near me, and I asked if the doctor had given any of them a diagnosis of Epstein-Barr. Each one said yes. While we were talking, my mother emerged from the doctor's office. He had told her that she, too, had Epstein-Barr. That year, millions of cicadas boiled up from the ground, teemed over tree limbs, and carpeted lawns and roads. The TV news showed people eating them on skewers. Cicadas burrowed into the house, scaled the curtains, swung from our clothes. I sat in bed, watching them bounce off the windowpane and nosedive into the grass, where they flapped and floundered as if they were drowning. Newton, the Dalmatian puppy my mother had adopted, zigzagged around the yard and snapped them out of the air. We called them flying dog snacks. My world narrowed down to my bed and my window. I could no longer walk the length of my street. My hair was starting to fall out. I hadn't had a period in four months. My mouth and throat were pocked with dozens of bleeding sores and my temperature was spiking to a hundred and one every 12 hours, attended by a ferocious sweat; in addition to the strep, I now had trench mouth, a rare infection of the gums. Sleeping on my side was uncomfortable because I had little body fat left and my bones pressed into the skin on my hips, knees, and shoulders. In sleep, I dreamed of vigorous motion. I had swum competitively for 10 years, from age 7 to 17. I had been riding horses since childhood. Smitten with thoroughbred racing, I had spent my mid-teens learning to ride short-stirrup at a gallop, and praying that I wouldn't grow too tall to become a jockey. At Kenyon, I had been a tennis junkie. Now, as I lost the capacity to move, sports took over my dream world. I won at swimming in the Olympics, out-pedalled the peloton in the Tour de France, skimmed over a racetrack on a Kentucky Derby winner. When I woke, I felt the weight of illness on me before I opened my eyes. Most of the people around me stepped backward. Linc said my friends asked him how I was, but after one or two get-well cards I stopped hearing from them. Now and then, I called people I had known in high school. The conversations were awkward and halting, and I felt foolish. No one knew what to say. Everyone had heard rumors that I was sick Someone had heard I had AIDS. Another heard I was pregnant. I missed Borden. At Kenyon, I had often studied in a deli run by a groovy guy named Craig, who cruised around the place in fluorescent-yellow sunglasses. It was there, in September of 1986, that Borden had first smiled at me. He was a senior, with a gentle, handsome face and wavy black hair. He had torn up his knee running track, and to avoid walking he used a battered bike to get around campus. The bike had no chain, so he could really ride it only downhill wiggling it to keep it going when the ground levels out. On the uphills, he stabbed at the ground with his good leg, Fred Flintstone style. Eventually, some frat brothers kidnapped the bike and hung it from a tree over the Scrotum Pole, a stone marker that had earned its nickname during a legendary fraternity vaulting incident. From the day we met in the deli, Borden and I had been inseparable. Since I left Kenyon, he had sent me off-color postcards and silly drawings, mailed between papers and finals and graduation. I wrote dirty limericks and mailed them back to him. That summer, he showed up at my door. He got a job as an assistant editor at a foreign-policy quarterly, moved in with my mother and me and took care of me, making plans for the things we'd do when I got better. Of my friends, only Linc visited. Home for the summer in Chicago, he drove Dr. Diesel fifteen hours to my house, where he would sit in a dilapidated denim armchair at the foot of my bed. The seat on the chair had collapsed, but he sat there anyway, his long thighs pointing up at the ceiling. Each time he saw me after a long absence, a wide startled look would pass over his face. He once said that he could sense the disease on me. I knew what he meant. I was disappearing inside it. I saw my next physician only once. My jeans slid down my hips as I walked into the exam room, and he watched me tug them up. He asked how often I weighed myself. Often, I replied. You shouldn't weigh yourself, he said, and you have to eat. I'm not dieting, I replied. Girls shouldn't be so thin, he said. I know, I don't want to be this thin. Yes, yes, but girls shouldn't be so thin. After the appointment, I went to the bathroom, and as I opened the door to leave the doctor nearly fell into me. I was halfway home when I realized that he had been trying to hear if I was vomiting. The next doctor was a pretty, compact woman with a squirrelly brightness. She found that I still had strep and changed the antibiotics. She ran the same tests that everyone else had run, and, again, the results were normal. I fought off the strep, but the other symptoms remained. I kept returning to see this doctor, hoping she could find some way to make me feel better. She couldn't, and I could see that it was wearing on her. In September, I was so weak that on a ride over to her office I had to drop my head to my knees to avoid passing out. When the nurse entered, I was lying down, holding my head, the room swimming around me. She took my blood pressure: 70/50. The doctor came in. She wouldn't look at me. 'I don't know why you keep coming here,' she said, her lips tight. I told her that I felt faint and asked about my blood pressure. She said that it was normal and left, saying nothing else. She then went to see my mother, who was in the waiting room. 'When is she going to realize that her problems are all in her head?' the doctor said. I returned home, lay down, and tried to figure out what to do. My psychiatrist had found me to be mentally healthy, but my physicians had concluded that if my symptoms and the results of a few conventional tests didn't fit a disease they knew of, my problem had to be psychological. Rather than admit that they didn't know what I had, they made a diagnosis they weren't qualified to make. Without my physicians' support, it was almost impossible to find support from others. People told me I was lazy and selfish. Someone lamented how unfortunate Borden was to have a girlfriend who demanded coddling. Some of Borden's friends suggested that he was foolish and weak to stand by me. 'The best thing my parents ever did for my deadbeat brother,' a former professor of his told him, 'was to throw him out.' I was ashamed and angry and indescribably lonely. For seven months I had remained hopeful that I would find a way out of my illness, but the relentless decline of my body, my isolation, and the dismissal and derision I was experiencing took their toll. In the fall of 1987, I sank into a profound depression. I stopped seeing my physician and didn't try to find a new one. One afternoon, I dug through my mother's drawer and found a bottle of Valium that had been prescribed for back spasms. I poured the pills onto the bed and fingered them for an hour, pushing them into lines along the patterns on the quilt. I thought about Borden and couldn't put the pills in my mouth. I went back to Dr. Troshinsky. He told me to make an appointment with Dr. John G. Bardett, the chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Bardett was the foremost authority in his field, Dr. Troshinsky said. If there were an answer, he would have it. At Johns Hopkins, after a lengthy exam and review of my records, Dr. Bartlett sat down with Borden and me. My internists, he said, were wrong. My disease was real. 'You have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome,' he said. He explained that it was one of the most frustrating illnesses he had encountered in his practice; presented with severely incapacitated patients, he could do very little to help them. He suspected that it was viral in origin, although he believed that the Epstein-Barr virus was not involved; early lab tests had liked the virus to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, but subsequent research had demonstrated that some patients had had no exposure to the virus. He could offer no treatment. Eventually, he said, some patients recovered on their own. 'Some don't?' 'Some don't.' That night, for the first time since March, I didn’t dream of being an athlete. I dreamed of being ill. In my dreams, I was never healthy again. In the ensuing months, I began to improve. I hitched Newton to a leash and she tugged me through the neighborhood, first one block, then two, then three. My feet, soft from months in bed, blistered. The fever remained, but I was less prone to chills. In the fall of 1988, Borden began graduate studies in political philosophy at the University of Chicago, and I felt well enough to move there with him. From the airport, we took a cab to Hyde Park, where Borden had rented a one-room apartment. The front door appeared to have been crowbarred for criminal purposes at least once. Inside, there was a mattress splayed across plastic milk crates and a three-legged dresser propped up on a brick. Roaches skittered over the walls and across the floor. The bathtub was heaped with used kitty litter. A weeks-old hamburger sat on the stove, shrunken into a shape that resembled the head of a mummy. The roaches were in various attitudes of repose around it. We gave the mummy head a proper burial, roachproofed our toothbrushes by storing them in the refrigerator, and tried to make ends meet on Borden's $9,000-a-year stipend and our savings. The apartment was four flights up, with no elevator, so most days I spent my time inside, reading about the French Revolution and listening to our neighbor throw things at her husband. I wanted to be useful but I wasn't strong enough for a conventional job. The one thing I could still do, however, was write. Shortly after arriving in Chicago, while watching a video of the 1988 Kentucky Derby, I had an idea for an article on the impact of overcrowded fields on the race. I researched and wrote the piece, then mailed it to an obscure racing magazine. I got a job offer. Fifty dollars per story, no benefits. I took only assignments that I could do from home and wrote them in bed. The magazine never paid me, but my bylines drew assignments at better publications, ultimately earning me regular work covering equine medicine and horse-industry issues at Equus. I was growing much stronger, but whenever I overextended myself my health disintegrated. One mistake could land me in bed for weeks, so the potential cost of even the most trivial activities, from showering to walking to the mailbox, had to be painstakingly considered. Sometimes I relapsed for no reason at all. Living in perpetual fear of collapse was stressful, but on my good days I was functioning much better. By 1990, I could walk all over Hyde Park, navigate the stairs of the apartment with ease, and, for half an hour on one blissful afternoon, ride a horse. Three years after becoming ill, I wrote to Linc about the curious sensation of growing younger. In the summer of 1991, while visiting my mother during Borden's summer break, he and I decided to drive to New York to see the racetrack at Saratoga. A 10-hour road trip was risky, but I had grown tired of living so confined a life. As we set out, the skies darkened. By the time we reached the interstate, a ferocious thunderstorm was crashing around us. Rain and hail hammered the roof of the car and gusts of wind buffeted us across the lane. We were caught in speeding traffic, but because the sheets of rain sweeping down the windshield limited visibility to a blurry tinge of lights ahead and behind, we couldn't slow down or pull over. It was more than an hour before we were able to escape into a rest stop. I sat on the floor of the bathroom, looking out a high window and watching the trees sway. The rain tapered off. My hands were shaking. We had planned to stop at the New Jersey farmhouse where our friends Bill and Sarah were staying, but we were very late. Borden called them on a pay phone while I waited in the car, watching him through the beads of rain on the windshield. He climbed back in, and we sat with the engine idling. I was frightened by the draining sensation in my body. Should we turn around? I asked. Borden’s brow furrowed. Sometimes you've gotten a second wind, he said gently, as if asking a question. I wanted to believe him, so I agreed. He put the car in gear and we drove in silence. I felt worse and worse. I think we should turn around, I said, struggling to push the words out. We're closer to Bill's than we are to home, he said. If we keep going, you can rest sooner. He was scared now, leaning forward, driving fast. We entered New Jersey. We have to turn around, I said. Please. My head was pressed against the window, and I was crying. We're almost there, he said. We turned into the farmhouse driveway. There were rows of melons in the field. Bill took us to a guest room. Borden turned on the TV and left me to rest. By the time he returned to check on me, I was sweating profusely and chills were running over me in waves. He took my hand and was horrified: it was gray and cold, and the veins had vanished. He spread blankets over me and tried to help me drink a glass of milk. I couldn't sit up, so he cupped my head in his hand and tipped the milk into my mouth sideways. It ran down my check and pooled on the pillow. My teeth chattered so much that I couldn't speak. Borden called an emergency room. The nurse thought that I was in shock and urged him to rush me in. But we were far from the hospital, and doctors had never been able to help. I was sure that being moved would kill me. Borden lay down and held me. Wide awake, I slid into delirium. I was in a vast desert, looking down at a dead Indian. His body was desiccated and hardened, his skin shiny and black and taut over his sinews, his arms bent upward, hands grasping, clawlike. His shriveled tongue was thrust into an empty eye socket. I lay there and trembled, whispering I love you, I love you, I love you to Borden through clenched teeth. I'm sorry, he said. Hours passed. The sun rose over the melon field. Borden drove me back to my mother's house. I lay exhausted for three days. When I opened my eyes on the morning of the fourth day, I had a black feeling. I couldn't get up. For as long as two months at a time, I couldn't get down the stairs. Bathing became nearly impossible. Once a week or so, I sat on the edge of the tub and rubbed a washcloth over myself. The smallest exertion plunged me into a 'crash.' First, my legs would weaken and I'd lose the strength to stand. Then I wouldn't be able to sit up. My arms would go next, and I'd he unable to lift them. I couldn't roll over. Soon, I would lose the strength to speak. Only my eyes were capable of movement. At the bottom of each breath, I would wonder if I'd be able to draw the next one. The corpse of the Indian hung in my mind. Borden and I never spoke of it, or of the events of that night, and we never spoke of the future. To corral my thoughts, he made lists with me: candy bars from A to Z, Kentucky Derby winners, Vice-Presidents in backward order, N.F.L. quarterbacks, Union Army commanders. Over and over, I asked him if I was going to survive. He always answered yes. Late one night, as I walked down the hall, I heard a soft, low sound and looked down the stairway. I saw Borden, pacing the foyer and sobbing. I started to call to him, then stopped myself realizing that he wished to be alone. The next morning, he was as cheerful and steady as ever. But sometimes when I looked out the window I'd see him walking around the yard in endless revolutions, head down, hands on his temples. One afternoon in September, he came in, sat on my bed, and told me that classes were starting and he had to return to Chicago. Before he left, he gave me a silver ring engraved with the words 'Vous et nul autre (You and no other).' I slid it on my finger and pressed my face to his chest. With Borden in Chicago and my mother at work, I needed assistance to get through the day. I went through several helpers hired from nanny services. The first one clattered in with stacks of crimson-beaded Moroccan shoes and harem pants. She dumped them on my bed. 'Twenty for the shoes, thirty for the pants,' she said. She prowled through the house, appraising the furniture. 'How much do you want for your refrigerator?' she asked. When I asked the woman who followed to take Newton into the backyard, she opened the front door and shooed the dog onto the street. Lying in bed upstairs, I heard the dog barking gleefully as she galloped westward. I called to the woman but got no response. I sat up and looked out the window. The woman was standing high in our apple tree, mouth open, gaping at the vacant sky. The dog returned; the woman did not. The third helper sympathized and commiserated, then bustled around downstairs while I lay upstairs in bed. It wasn't until she abruptly vanished that I discovered she had been packing armloads of my belongings into her car each evening. I went to the closet and found only a hanger where my taffeta ball gown had been. On a rainy afternoon in January of 1993, I was sitting on the bed reading a magazine when the room began whirling violently. I dropped the magazine and grabbed on to the dresser. I felt as though I were rolling and lurching, a ship on the high seas. I clung to the dresser and waited for the feeling to pass, but it didn’t. At five the next morning, I woke with a screeching, metal-on-metal sound in my ears. My eyes were jerking to the left, and I couldn’t stop them. My eyes, upper lip, and cheeks were markedly swollen. I went to a neurologist for tests. A technician asked me to lie down on a table. He produced something that looked like a blowtorch and pushed it into my ear. A jet of hot air roared out, spinning the vestibular fluid in my inner ear. It triggered such a forceful sensation of spinning that I gripped the table with all my strength, certain that I was about to fly off and slam into the wall. The tests determined that my vertigo was neurological in origin and virtually untreatable. The doctor prescribed diuretics and an extremely low-sodium diet to control the facial edema, which seemed to be linked to the vertigo. He could do little else. The vertigo wouldn’t stop. I didn’t lie on my bed so much as ride it as it swung and spun. There was a constant shrieking sound in my ears. The furniture flexed and skidded around the room, and the walls folded and unfolded. Every few days there was a sudden plunging sensation, and I would throw my arms out to catch myself. The leftward eye-rolling came and went. Sleep brought no respite; every dream took place on the deck of a tossing ship, a runaway rollercoaster, a plane caught in violent turbulence, a falling elevator. Looking at anything close-up left me reeling. I couldn’t read or write. I rented audiobooks, but I couldn’t follow the narratives. Borden called several times a day. He told me about Xenophon and Thucydides, the wind off Lake Michigan, the athletic feats of the roaches. When I asked him about himself, he changed the subject. On Valentine’s Day, a package from Borden arrived in the mail. Inside was a gold pocket watch. I hung it from my window frame and stared at it as the room bent and arced around it. Weeks passed, and then months. The watch dial meted out each day, the light sliding across it: reddish in the morning, hard and colorless at midday, red again at dusk. In the dark, I could hear it ticking. Outside, the world went on. Linc got married, my siblings had children, my friends got graduate degrees and jobs and mortgages. None of it had any relation to me. The realm of possibility began and ended in that room, on that bed. I no longer imagined anything else. If I was asked what month it was, I had to think a while before I could answer. While I was lying there, I began to believe that we had struck the deer back in 1987, that he had come through the windshield and killed me, and that this was Hell. Two years passed. In late 1994, Borden took his qualifying exams, and left Chicago. When I first saw him, lugging his green backpack, he was so thin that I gasped. In 1995, by tiny increments, the vertigo began to abate. Eventually, I could read the back of a cornflakes box. My strength began to return. Instead of sitting on the edge of the tub with a washcloth, I could sit on the shower floor while the water ran over me. The first time I showered, dead skin peeled off in sheets. A hair stylist came and cut off eight inches of my hair, which had been growing like kudzu for several years and was now nearing my waist. In time, I could walk down the stairs almost every day. I sat on the patio looking at the trees. Since my visit to Johns Hopkins, I had searched for an internist I could trust. In 1988, C.F.S. had been officially recognized and described by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Subsequent research suggested endocrinologic, immunologic, and neurologic abnormalities in many C.F.S. patients, though the cause remained elusive. Physicians were becoming aware of the disease, but many of them knew less about it than I did. Others hawked dubious treatments. For a while, I tried almost anything. A few treatments caused disastrous side effects. The rest did nothing. Then a friend referred me to Dr. Fred Gill, a renowned infectious-disease specialist. He was an angular, elegant man with a neat, Amish-style beard rimming a sharp jawline. As Borden and I told him my story, I found my stomach tightening in anticipation of a dismissive verdict. But Dr. Gill listened for the better part of an hour. When he had finished, he nodded. He couldn’t cure me, he said, but he would do everything he could to help me cope with the illness. In the following years, Dr. Gill managed my symptoms and coordinated my care with other specialists. Eager to be productive, I called my Equus editor, Laurie Pfinz, and asked if I could write something. She assigned a story on equine surgery and told me not to worry about a deadline. I did the interviews on the phone from bed. Because looking at the page made the room shimmy crazily around me, I could write only a paragraph or two a day. When I could no longer stand the spinning, I'd take a pillow into the yard and lie in the grass with Newton, fixing my eyes on the treetops while she dissected a bone. It took me six weeks to write 1,500 words, but, four years after the abortive trip to Saratoga, I was coming back. In 1996, with Borden and Fangfoss the cat, I moved into a small apartment in northwest Washington, D.C. One block away stood a fire station, and if Washington has an arson district we were in the heart of it. At the Taiwanese consulate, which was next door, a group of protesters soon set up camp, hauled in a loudspeaker and blasted a Chinese rallying song, sung by shrieky children. They apparently had a loop tape, so the song never ended. It was like listening to a bone saw. After a few weeks, I started dreaming to it. I turned up my radio and wrote as much as I could, mostly equine veterinary medical articles for Equus. On breaks, I took brief walks. I bought new shoes -- I'd been lying around in socks for years – and discovered that my feet had shrunk two sizes. I had lived for so long in silence and isolation that the world was a sensory explosion. At the grocery store, I dragged my hands along the shelves, touching boxes and bags, smelling oranges and pears and apples. At the hardware store, I'd plunge my arm into the seed bins to feel the pleasing weight of the grain against my skin. I was a toddler again. After years of seeing people almost exclusively on television, I found their three-dimensionality startling: the light playing off their faces, the complexity of their hands, the strange electric feel of their nearness. One afternoon, I spent 15 minutes watching a shirtless man clip a hedge, enthralled by the glide of the muscles under his skin. On a cool fall day in 1996, I was sifting through some documents on the great racehorse Seabiscuit when I discovered Red Pollard, the horse's jockey. I saw him first in a photograph, curled over Seabiscuit's neck. Looking out at me from the summer of 1938, he had wistful eyes and a face as rough as walnut bark. I began looking into his life and found a story to go with the face. Born in 1909, Red was an exceptionally intelligent, bookish child with a shock of orange hair. At 15, he was abandoned by his guardian at a makeshift racetrack cut through a Montana hayfield. He wanted to be a jockey, but he was too tall and too powerfully built. That didn't stop him, though. He began race riding in the bush leagues and fared so badly that he took to part-time prizefighting in order to survive. He lived in horse stalls for 12 years, studying Emerson and the 'Rubaiyat,' piloting neurotic horses at 'leaky roof' tracks, getting punched bloody in cow-town clubs, keeping painfully thin with near-starvation diets, and probably pills containing the eggs of tapeworms. He was appallingly accident-prone. Racehorses blinded his right eye, somersaulted onto his chest at forty miles per hour, trampled him, and rammed him into the corner of a barn, virtually severing his lower leg. He shattered his teeth and fractured his back, hip, legs, collarbone, shoulder, ribs. He was once so badly mauled that the newspapers announced his death. But he came back every time, struggling through pain and fear and the limitations of his body to do the only thing he had ever wanted to do. And in the one lucky moment of his unlucky life he found Seabiscuit, a horse as damaged and persistent as he was. I hung Red's picture above my desk and began to write. What began as an article for American Heritage became an obsession, and in the next two years the obsession became a book. Borden and I moved to a cheap rental house farther downtown, and I arranged my life around the project. At the local library, I pored over documents and microfilm I requisitioned from the Library of Congress. If I looked down at my work, the room spun, so I perched my laptop on a stack of books in my office, and Borden jerry-rigged a device that held documents vertically. When I was too tired to sit at my desk, I set the laptop up on my bed. When I was too dizzy to read, I lay down and wrote with my eyes closed. Living in my subjects' bodies, I forgot about my own. I mailed the manuscript off to Random House in September 2000, then fell into bed. I was lying there the following day when the room began to gyrate. Reviewing the galleys brought me close to vomiting several times a day. Most of the gains I had made since 1995 were lost. I spent each afternoon sitting with Fangfoss on my back steps, watching the world undulate and sliding into despair. In March 2001, Random House released 'Seabiscuit. An American Legend.' Five days later, I was lying down, when the phone rang. 'You are a best-selling writer,' my editor said. I screamed. Two weeks later, I picked up the phone to hear him and my agent shout in tandem, 'You're No. 1!' Borden threw a window open and yelled it to the neighborhood. That spring, as I tried to cope with the dreamy unreality of success and the continuing failure of my health, something began to change in Borden. At meals, he sat in silence, his gaze disconnected, his jaw muscles working. His sentences trailed off in the middle. He couldn't sleep or eat. He was falling away from me, and I didn't know why. He came into my office one night in June, sat down, and slid his chair up to me, touching his knees to mine. I looked at his face. He was still young and handsome, his hair black, his skin seamless. But the color was gone from his lips, the quickness from his eyes. He tried to smile, but the corners of his mouth wavered. He dropped his chin to his chest. He began to speak, and fourteen years of unvoiced emotions spilled out: the moment of watching the woman he loved suffer, his feelings of responsibility and helplessness and anger; his longing for children we probably couldn't have; the endless strain of living in obedience to an extraordinarily volatile disease. We talked for much of the night. I found myself revealing all the grief that I had hidden from him. When I asked him why he hadn't said anything before, he said he thought I would shatter. I recognized that I had feared the same of him. In protecting each other from the awful repercussions of our misfortune, we had become strangers. When we were too tired to talk anymore, I went into the bedroom and sat down alone. I slid his ring from my finger and dropped it into a drawer. We spent a long, painful summer talking, and for both of us there were surprises. I didn't shatter, and neither did he. I prepared myself for him to leave, but he didn't. We became, for the first time since our days at Kenyon, alive with each other. One night that fall, I walked to the back of the yard. As Fangfoss hunted imaginary mice in the grass, I looked out at the hill behind the house. Beyond it, downtown Washington hummed like an idling engine, the city lights radiating over the ridge. I looked west, where a line of row-house chimneys filed down the hill until they became indistinguishable from the trunks of the walnut trees at the road's end. Borden came out and joined me briefly, draping his arms over my shoulders, then he went inside. I watched the screen door slap behind him. As I turned back, I saw a slit of light arc over the houses and vanish behind the trees. It was the first meteor I had seen since that night in Linc's car. I thought, for the first time in a long time, of the deer. In the depths of illness, I believed that the deer had crashed through the windshield and ushered me into an existence in which the only possibility was suffering. I was haunted by his form in front of the car, his bent knee, the seeming inevitability of catastrophe, and the ruin my life became. I had forgotten the critical moment. The deer's knee didn’t straighten. He didn't step into our path, we didn't strike him, and I didn't die. As sure as I was that he had taken everything from me, I was wrong. The car passed him and moved on. -------- Copyright 2003 The New Yorker Source: The New Yorker Date: July 7, 2003 URL:
Richard B
Cathedral City, CA USA - Friday, August 01, 2003 at 03:41:56 (EDT)
An excellent book and an excellent story. First book I have been able to finish in five years. Thanks!
David Owl <>
San Angelo, TX USA - Friday, August 01, 2003 at 02:33:39 (EDT)
Pat <>
USA, WA USA - Friday, August 01, 2003 at 02:32:04 (EDT)
Loved the book and can't wait to see the movie. Congrats and very well done!
Elizabeth Idol <>
Winston-Salem, NC USA - Friday, August 01, 2003 at 01:53:03 (EDT)
Dear Laura Hillenbrand, The following is an article I wrote on ME/CFS and your case in the Shreveport Times on the July 18, 2003 opinion page. Feel free to post it on your Web site. I run an Internet research-review and advocacy organization for ME/CFS which has some of your press articles under our personal stories category. Our cardiac insufficiency category is also particularly interesting. We also have on our site the new ME/CFS diagnostic case definition that was published in the Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in February 2003. It was written to assist physicians in making a clinical diagnosis of the disease. You might want to link to our Web site to further promote understanding of the seriousness of this illness. I thought that the article you wrote in the New Yorker was excellent and will help the public understand the gravity of this disease. Sincerely, Maryann Spurgin, Ph.D. Maryann Spurgin: Against the odds - 'Seabiscuit' author has story of her own Posted on July 18, 2003 July 25 will bring to movie theaters a gripping tale based on the best-selling historical novel Seabiscuit: An American Legend, by Laura Hillenbrand. The story is about a stubby-legged, depression-era racehorse and a group of underdogs who propelled the horse to fame despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles. One of Seabiscuit's winning jockeys was half blind, another had untreated diabetes. Hillenbrand's own story mirrors the Seabiscuit legend. She completed the book despite an incapacitating case of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), a disease that affects 800,000 Americans, not including pediatric cases. Stricken at age 19, she has been homebound for 16 years. She is too ill to attend the Hollywood premiere, and reporters who interview her - those from the Jim Lehrer News Hour to Good Morning America - must visit her at home. Her illness is controversial, but many believe that the name given the disease causes misunderstanding: "This illness is to fatigue what a nuclear bomb is to a match - it's an absurd mischaracterization," Hillenbrand stated in a 2001 Washington Post interview. Chronic fatigue syndrome is not a synonym for chronic fatigue. A federally appointed committee has been commissioned to recommend a new name. The inaccurate name has led the illness to be confused with tiredness or fatigue, which is experienced by everyone. In contrast, Hillenbrand's press interviews describe fevers and chills. She had vertigo, muscle weakness and weight loss. Her throat was inflamed and raw, her lymph nodes swollen. Light and sound were painful. She often lost the strength to stand, couldn't sit up, and once went into shock. Worse, her symptoms relapsed if she tried to engage in the most trivial of activities. These symptoms are typical of CFS, but not of chronic fatigue or of fibromyalgia, the more common but less debilitating conditions that are too often confused with CFS. Some studies found more physical impairment in CFS than in patients with lupus, arthritis, diabetes and end-stage renal and heart disease. For a period, Hillenbrand was too weak to roll herself over in bed, lost the ability to speak, and couldn't tolerate a trip to the hospital: "I was sure that being moved would kill me," she said in the July 7 issue of The New Yorker. Although there is no single cause or diagnostic marker for CFS, research has uncovered evidence of neurological, endocrine, immune, and cardiocirculatory abnormalities that help explain patients' symptoms. Low blood volume explains why some patients go into shock. Chronic heart failure has also been hypothesized. Two independent research teams found that the heart failed to pump enough blood following exertion and upright posture in the CFS patients they studied (see ). To assist the primary care physician in making a clinical diagnosis, a new case definition was published in February 2003 in a medical journal by the world's leading experts from America and other countries, where CFS is called myalgic encephalomyelitis. The ME/CFS case definition can be accessed via a link at An article on CFS for the general public appears on a government Web site at 4women. gov/editor/jun03/jun03.htm. The national attention now focused on Seabiscuit's author may bring much-needed understanding to ME/CFS. For more on Laura Hillenbrand and Seabiscuit, see -- Maryann Spurgin holds a Ph.D. in philosophy and has published on ME/CFS in The Nation and other magazines. She lives in Shreveport. Source:
Maryann Spurgin, Ph.D. <>
Shreveport, LA USA - Friday, August 01, 2003 at 01:18:16 (EDT)
Your site is so cool I love it! I saw the movie today ,and can't wait to read the book!
Wa USA - Friday, August 01, 2003 at 01:12:24 (EDT)
Loved the Book, can't wait to see the movie. Really cool site too! I've learned more about horses than I ever thought it was possible just by reading the great book!
Jim <>
Anderson, SC USA - Friday, August 01, 2003 at 00:32:54 (EDT)