Wednesday, December 27, 2017


This paperback copy of Seabiscuit was given to me and my wife by a librarian who we both worked with on one of our projects. I was going through the book sale shelf at her library and didn't find anything, which she noticed, so she took me to the back to look through the boxes of books she had for the book sale. Seabiscuit came with her recommendation.

Seabiscuit: An American Legend was published in 2001, written by Laura Hillenbrand. I've had this one on the shelf for a while, and I just haven't gotten to it. Non-fiction is not my first choice, but I do enjoy the well written ones, and Hillenbrand delivered.

My knowledge of Seabiscuit as a racehorse is pretty limited to pop culture references, like Bugs Bunny cartoons, and old movies, where the name of the horse is used to refer to a great winning horse.* Things I didn't know about Seabiscuit, could fill a book, so that's what Hillenbrand did. I had no idea the country was so completely taken with this horse. Seabicuit had more inches of newspaper print nationwide than Roosevelt did! Its crazy. People piled onto trains, known as the Seabiscuit Express just to get to the track to see him run.

The story of his owner, trainer, and jockey is where the story really comes together. I explained to my wife as I read, that's its not really a story about the horse, although there is a lot to tell. What makes the story so interesting is the story of how these three men took a horse that many were ready to give up on, and turned him into the winning-est horse of the late 1930s. Its no wonder they made a movie from this story; the characters are larger than life.

You don't need to be a horse racing fan to enjoy this one. Good job Laura Hillenbrand.

Read this book.

* In "Confederate Honey" the narrator states that this story takes place in Kentucky in the year 1861 B. Sea. (Before Seabiscuit.) They don't play this one on TV, the racism is atrocious.

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