Friday, May 20, 2011

Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand

Title: Seabiscuit
AuBoldthor: Laura Hillenbrand
Reviewer: Stephanie
Genre: Biography
Rating: Love
Alerts/Warnings: There is some mild language and there is a chapter that talks about the practices of jockey's to stay small that is highly disturbing. While it is interesting to the history, it is not necessary to the story. So if you feel squemish, skip this chapter.
Premise: Laura Hillenbrand has woven together the many strands of lives that improbably create a phenomenon -- in this case, no raging storm, but legendary racing history. The little horse, Seabiscuit, with his crooked legs and sad tail, was at first thought lazy, but with the help of a trinity of men -- his trainer, his owner, and a jockey -- would make racing history and find a place in the hearts of thousands of fans in Depression-era America. Laura Hillenbrand has done what only great writers can do: She has taken a story that in other, less capable hands would be fodder strictly for the racing crowd, and written as dramatic and informative a biography of a horse and of 1938 America as you'll find. When you read this book, an America mired in the Depression and searching for something to believe in comes alive. The faith of those Americans in the little horse with heart will awaken your own, and when you read Seabiscuit's racing scenes, even the most skeptical reader will find themselves jumping up and down, shouting at Seabiscuit to "Run!" (

Opinions: I really like this book. I don't particularly like biographies (I think I've said that before.) However, I love the way Laura Hillenbrand writes. She weaves the information and story together in such a way that I don't think about the fact that I am reading a biography. Yes, there are chapters on just information that don't move the story along, but they are so fascinating that I didn't care. There is one chapter that gave me the squeemies, but it was also very factual and gave a very accurate look into the sport of horse racing. I really enjoyed this book and have read it many times since it was published in 2002. And if you’ve seen the movie, the book is much better. (Although I do have to say, I liked the movie too.)

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