Andrew Rosner's Reviews > Seabiscuit: An American Legend

Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand
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M_50x66
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Aug 07, 11


If this story hadn't happened, surely some enterprising screenwriter would have concocted it. But happen it did. There really was a Seabiscuit, a short, stocky tank of a horse with an odd gait that could run like the wind. But virtually every character in this tale is larger than life: Red Pollard, a jockey who suffered countless injuries (including being blinded in one eye) engaging in the sport he loved, even though he enjoyed only middling success (with the exception of his Seabiscuit years); Tom Smith, a taciturn trainer whose sole goal in life was to nurture horses, which he did brilliantly; and Charles Howard, the owner, the man who parlayed 21 cents in his pocket into a vast fortune. A great American success story at a time when America most needed one, smack in the middle of the Great Depression. I would be remiss if I didn't mention the author's personal tribulations: She has suffered on and off from chronic fatigue syndrome and, at times, paralyzing vertigo, which makes it very hard for her to write. But her desire to tell this story was so strong that she persevered and wrote it anyway. Immensely readable and entertaining.
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