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Editorial Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: Laura Hillenbrand's account of the most famous race horse ever is a great favorite of racing fans and neophytes alike. A delight for both children and adults, this is a perfect listen for a family road trip. Campbell Scott, like a winning jockey, leads us through the ups and downs of the story with perfect pacing, telling a dramatic story without ever overshadowing the writing. — Beth Anderson
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Publisher's Summary

Seabiscuit was a rough-hewn, undersized horse with a sad little tail and knees that wouldn't straighten all the way. For two years, he fought his trainers and floundered at the lowest level of racing, misunderstood and mishandled, before his dormant talent was discovered by three men. One was Red Pollard, a failed prizefighter and failing jockey. Another was Tom Smith, "The Lone Plainsman," an enigmatic mustang breaker who had come from the vanishing frontier, bearing generations of lost wisdom about the secrets of horses. The third was a cavalry veteran named Charles Howard, a former bicycle repairman who had made a fortune by introducing the automobile to the American West. In the summer of 1936, Howard bought Seabiscuit for a bargain-basement price and entrusted him to Smith and Pollard. Using frontier training methods that raised eyebrows on the backstretch, they discovered that beneath the hostility and fear was a gentlemanly horse with keen intelligence, awe-inspiring speed, and a ferocious competitive will. Competing in the cruelest years of the Depression, the rags-to-riches horse emerged as an American cultural icon, drawing an immense and fanatical following, inspiring an avalanche of merchandising, and establishing himself as the single biggest newsmaker of 1938 - receiving more coverage than FDR or Hitler.
Laura Hillenbrand beautifully renders this breathtaking saga of one horse's journey from also-ran to national luminary. Seabiscuit: An American Legend is an inspiring tale of unlikely heroes, a classic story of three embattled individuals overcoming the odds in the Great Depression.
©2001 Laura Hillenbrand (P)2001 Random House, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

 Book Sense Book of the Year Award Winner, Adult Non-Fiction, 2002
"...a captivating story." (The New York Times Book Review
"...a thrilling ride." (Library Journal)  
"Campbell Scott never overplays a line, never misses a pause, never fails to punch an ending. This is a treat for the ear, an education for the mind, and a meal for the soul." (AudioFile
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Andrew on 09-12-03

Abridged = Awful

I wanted to listen to this unabridged - everyone was raving about it - and finally I succumbed to the abridged version offered by Audible. I like Campbell Scott as a narrator, but felt like I was hearing a bookjacket as he read through one obvious hokey abridged plot point after another, with transitions like, "It took ten years to bring these two together...." and finally I switched it off. I then saw the movie, which was great, but now everyone says the book was so much better - the UNABRIDGED book. I'm off to read it in bits and snatches of spare time, since unfortunately it is still not available here unabridged. This is the LAST abridged audio I will ever buy.

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51 of 52 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Jim on 12-17-02

One For The Roses

This was my favorite book of 2002. The story is amazing. You couldn't write better fiction than this true-life tale. Each of the characters; horse, jockey, trainer, and owner all provide heroic tales in their own respect. The author does such an incredible job describing the racing action that you can almost feel the ground rumble as the horses pound their way down the home stretch. The narration is also excellent, and this adds to the excitement. Before reading this book, I had never been to a horse race but after reading it, I had to go to the races just so I could experience it firsthand. Don't wait for the movie, this is a great book!

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23 of 24 people found this review helpful

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