UHS Honors English 9 P2 2017 discussion

Seabiscuit: An American Legend
This topic is about Seabiscuit
Seabiscuit, By Laura Hillenbrand

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message 1: by Margaret (new) - added it

Margaret  H | 4 comments Margaret Hoffmann
English 9
26 April 2018

Seabiscuit’s Review
For my independent reading project I read the book Seabiscuit an American Legend, written by Laura Hillenbrand in 2001. Seabiscuit is about an American race horse and the people who touched his life. Laura Hillenbrand is famous for writing two books Seabiscuit, which will be reviewed here, and Unbroken, which is a story about WWII. Hillenbrand is best known for writing biographies. Seabiscuit was the first book that she ever published. Hillenbrand grew up in Washington, D.C. While attending Kenyon College she fell ill. During her convalescence while she was confined to her room, she started writing Seabiscuit. Once published the book became massively popular. She then wrote another book called Unbroken, which followed a famous Olympian, Louis Zamperini, while he was fighting during World War II. These are the only two books that she has written during her writing career, however, her career also encompasses magazines and other publications.
The first thing that I noticed when I started reading Seabiscuit was that the author wrote a quick background story for all of the people that she would be mentioning in her biography. The author’s strategy in doing this helped with the understanding of her thought process and the people who would be instrumental in the story being told. The background information helped the story proceed more smoothly as we started to focus more on the horses rather than the people. Another strategy that she used while writing is that even when we started focusing on Seabiscuit's career we still paid attention to what was happening in the trainers, and riders lives. For example, when they first brought Seabiscuit into the picture, the author took a chapter to explain what the jockeys’ life was like. This chapter gives you a better understand on what the jockeys went through as they pursued this dangerous and exciting career. Here is a sentence from that chapter, “A jockey’s life was nothing short of appalling.” (Hillenbrand pg. 65). The other thing that kept the book interesting was her writing style.
Her writing style kept things moving quickly and many times you would be found to be sitting on the edge of your seat. As the story progressed it never gave away what was going to happen next. You would think that explaining people lives before the race track would be boring, but the author made it interesting by adding interesting details to the story that had nothing to do with the horses. In the book, the author tells about Howard’s background story. Howard is the owner of Seabiscuit. The author focused on Howard’s story leading up to his career with Seabiscuit. Taking our focus and letting us know what lead to his passion of working with race horses. Here is a little bit from those few paragraphs, “The truck flipped head-long into the canyon.” (Hillenbrand pg.11). She did this to keep the story interesting and give it suspense so you wouldn’t want to put down the book. She was good at that keeping your interest. Just when you thought you might be a little bit bored the author would go into details peaking your interest and making you turn the next page. The story would then become alive again. All the detail made it seem like I was observing the characters. I almost thought that I could reach out and touch Seabiscuit from time to time.
Over all the book was strong, it kept my interest partially because I love horses, and because the writing was fantastic. An example of this is the first sighting of Seabiscuit. This is what is described. “The colt’s body, built low to the ground, had all the properties of a cinder block. Where Hard Tack has been tall, sleek, tapered, every line suggesting motion, his son was blunt, coarse, rectangular, stationary. He had a sad little tail, barely long enough to brush his hocks. His stubby legs were a study in unsound construction, with squarish, asymmetrical “baseball glove” knees that didn’t quite straighten all the way, leaving him in a permanent semicrouch.” (Hillenbrand, pg 33). What is to become of this colt that has no bearing or resemblance to his stately father and grandfather? She really pulled the story together and gave it an amazing finished. The whole time I was reading I was always on my toes for what was going to happen next. I would definitely recommend this book, it was an amazing read, and was also a little challenging. The way that she told the story was creative and eye catch, and she always had a way to create suspense. So if you ever see the book, do not even second guess yourself, pick it up and prepare for the ride of your life.

message 2: by Kylie (new)

Kylie | 8 comments I have not read this book or even heard of it before this review but your vivid descriptions of the author, the plot, the characters, and the devices used in the book made a very convincing case of why I should read this book. I love how your description followed the structure of the book and how you started off with a brief history on the author because I believe that the history of an author has a significant impact on how the book is written. Also, your descriptions of the horse and the quotes your used to support them were very effecting. I really liked how you talked about who the potential audience would be such as people who liked horses and/or people who were looking to challenge themselves. Lastly, I appreciated how you wrapped up the review by giving your final opinions which really swayed me. I would definately consider this as the book I read!

message 3: by Cedar (new)

Cedar | 8 comments Thank you for including a knowledgable description and background information. I like that you described how you felt while you read the book, that was such a personal touch to this review. The author seems like such a sensational writer, the way you explained her portrayed her as keeping the pace and not moseying around the story with no sense of continuing the plot. Laura Hillenbrand seems to captivate her audience by including descriptive detail and fun narratives. I've heard of this title before and have implied it to be boring because what can be so intriguing about a horse. However, the way you presented this book made me reconsider Seabiscuit from a new perspective!!

message 4: by Katie (new)

Katie Capron | 4 comments Your description both of the author's writing style and the story itself make me want to go find a copy and read it beginning to end. I have heard of the book, and I've had multiple people recommend it to me, but I never found the motivation to do it. After reading your review though, I wish I had read it sooner. How you described the author's writing style was I think a great part to describe, because my previous knowledge of this book was limited, and I only knew that it was about racing horses. I didn't expect that I could get into a book like that, but understanding that the author gives backstory into the plot makes it seem more approachable. And the fact that its written partially from the horses point of view as you said makes it all the more interesting, and I would definitely read this book.

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