By Laura Hillenbrand,

Book cover of Seabiscuit: An American Legend

Book description

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of the runaway phenomenon Unbroken comes a universal underdog story about the horse who came out of nowhere to become a legend.

Seabiscuit was one of the most electrifying and popular attractions in sports history and the single biggest newsmaker in…

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Why read it?

8 authors picked Seabiscuit as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

When I first picked up Seabiscuit, I was dubious; I had already read too many stories of champion racehorses that were either dry histories or overblown hero-worship.

A hundred pages later (where did the time go?) I was completely engrossed and headed for an all-night read. In Hillenbrand’s hands, carefully researched history became the foundation for a sweeping story of a great horse, the incredible cast of people who gave him what he needed to become a legend, and the world of horses, horse racing, and American life in the 1930s.

If I ever write anything half as good,…

From Avalyn's list on thoroughbred horses and horse racing.

One of the books that made me want to write books.

I will never forget the first time I read Hillenbrand’s description of a Tijuana racetrack where jockeys would submerge themselves into giant piles of horse manure, made sauna-like by the blazing sun, to shed weight.

One day, floodwaters from nearby mountain streams crashed through the town and the track, sweeping the piles into “a mighty shit Godzilla.” Every page of Seabiscuit is like that: tactile, with language that reads like a dream.

From Mike's list on going beyond the final score.

The well-known tale of another hard-luck horse who achieves greatness on the racetrack never fails to inspire me. Like Snowman, Seabiscuit is another American icon, beloved for his tenacity and drive to win in the years that bridge the Depression and lead up to World War II. Hillenbrand is rightly praised for her breathtaking, heart-pounding descriptions of the race around the track, but we’re rooting for both the horse and the jockey, Red Pollard….not to mention the trainer behind the scenes, Tom Smith. Both Seabiscuit and Pollard bring a lot of baggage to the stable. Each has self-destructive vices, temperamental…

A true-life horse racing Rocky story set against the backdrop of the Great Depression. While the blurb may sound like something straight out of Disney, Hillenbrand doesn’t shy away from exposing the darker side of racing, especially when it comes to the mistreatment of jockeys and horses.

From Dawn's list on horse racing.

Seabiscuit was arguably one of the finest horses ever to race and he became a true American legend. As you read this remarkable book, you’ll grow to love this horse and admire his talent and spirit. I couldn’t put it down. Laura Hillenbrand goes deep into the facts of how his story unfolded and fully describes the people who believed in him right to the end. It will touch your heart.

From Shelley's list on the horse/human connection.

A Depression-era Cinderella tale, Seabiscuit intertwines the stories of three men who staked everything on the unlikeliest of horses and together helped him develop into an iconic champion: Seabiscuit’s owner, trainer, and jockey, each of whom was operating from a different set of motivations and each of whom became, for a time, a celebrity in his own right. With gorgeously vivid prose, sensitive characterizations, and an insider’s knowledge, and all the while setting a brisk pace that befits its eponymous hero, Laura Hillenbrand has masterfully recreated the colorful, idiosyncratic vanished world of American racetracks in the days when a horse…

From Matthew's list on books that read like novels.

Americans were struggling during the Depression, and they needed a hero. In stepped a small, knock-kneed Thoroughbred named Seabiscuit. Though he didn’t look like much, he had the heart of a champion. A classic story of the underdog who supersedes all expectations, Seabiscuit is a must-read.

From Audrey's list on remarkable horses.

Part of Hillenbrand's story that is so compelling is the way she does not rely on straight reporting, although her research is extensive, and instead employs fiction writing techniques like strong character development, setting, and themes to weave together three storylines into a much more comprehensive and informative narrative about a moment in American history.

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