Laura Hillenbrand tells the story of a horse so celebrated that it got more press coverage in 1938 than either Roosevelt or Hitler. The success of Seabiscuit is credited to the determination and insight of three men: Charles Howard, who bought a horse that no one thought could win; Tom Smith, a soft-spoken trainer who unlocked the secrets of a champion racer; and Red Pollard, a failing jockey who got one last chance to leave his mark on the racing world. Hillenbrand explores each man's background, and the story of their joint successes and failures is played out to a dramatic conclusion.
This amazing story reads like good fiction. Three men and a spirited horse stick together against all odds to prove themselves to the world. Howard, Smith and Pollard are up against the odds to the end. Laura Hillenbrand displays her knowledge of the sport of horse racing and gives tender treatment to all her subjects. Her description of the lives of jockeys in the early 20th century is disturbing yet crucial to understanding the impact of what was accomplished. A must read for anyone who's ever cheered for the underdog.
Reviewed by ld, 6/01. Other reviews by ld.