Thursday, August 6, 2015

{audio} Book Review: Seabiscuit

Can I just start by saying that Laura Hillenbrand is officially one of my favorite authors?!

Here's the Goodreads Synopsis:

Seabiscuit was one of the most electrifying and popular attractions in sports history and the single biggest newsmaker in the world in 1938, receiving more coverage than FDR, Hitler, or Mussolini. But his success was a surprise to the racing establishment, which had written off the crooked-legged racehorse with the sad tail. Three men changed Seabiscuit’s fortunes:

Charles Howard was a onetime bicycle repairman who introduced the automobile to the western United States and became an overnight millionaire. When he needed a trainer for his new racehorses, he hired Tom Smith, a mysterious mustang breaker from the Colorado plains. Smith urged Howard to buy Seabiscuit for a bargain-basement price, then hired as his jockey Red Pollard, a failed boxer who was blind in one eye, half-crippled, and prone to quoting passages from Ralph Waldo Emerson. Over four years, these unlikely partners survived a phenomenal run of bad fortune, conspiracy, and severe injury to transform Seabiscuit from a neurotic, pathologically indolent also-ran into an American sports icon. 

I just adored this story. 
Before purchasing this audiobook: the Seabiscuit story was completely new to me,  but with all the American Pharoah stuff this year and my LOVING of the author's other book [Unbroken] -- I couldn't resist this.

I find Laura Hillendbrand's writing style just incredible. I imagine her research is quite extensive (and probably at times - pretty boring) but the way everything is pieced together with newspaper headlines and quotes from "characters" at the time the story just flows.  You really get a feel for what it was like at the races and stables. You have the accelerated heart beat reading about the races (hoping Seabiscuit wins) and the dropping of the heart (when he doesn't). 

I found myself laughing out loud to the description of events (particularly Seabiscuit's personality traits and sleeping habits) and the devastation if something bad happened (which it does).  I listened to every minute of the story not wanting it to end (but speeding through it so I could look everyone up online and then watch the movie). 

I enjoyed the sound of the narrator's voice (George Newborn) and his ability to sound just like a commentator from the 1930s.  He was the icing on an already delicious cake.

I happily give this book 5 stars and would recommend it to you my friends.

And for added fun - here's video of Seabiscuit vs. War Admiral in 1938.

Did you read this? Please tell me that you loved it as much as I did!

Have you seen the movie? Does it disappoint?



  1. You know I loved it since I told you to read it haha. Such a good book! She is a great writer!

  2. Finding a good audio book is HAAAARD! They are either great... or awful. Glad that you liked this one!

  3. Being a girl that is sitting literally 2 miles from Churchill Downs at this very moment, I love a good horse story :)