And We Have a Winner…This Book Exceeds the Movie!

Posted on December 7, 2016 «
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Book Review
Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand

As many of you know I love horses. I ride and spend time at a local stable on a regular basis. I have not, I’ll admit, never been a huge fan of horse focused fiction novels. They never seem to capture the thrill I feel when I ride or the love I feel when I care for them. Now, horse-based movies, whoa doggie, I love those. And I remember when my husband and I saw ads for Seabiscuit. My husband turned to me and said, “I suppose you have to go see that one?”

We did see Seabiscuit and he eventually bought me the DVD which came with a copy of Laura Hillenbrand’s novel, Seabiscuit: An American Legend, on which the movie was based. It’s languished on my shelves since. Then came the #ShelfLove Challenge and I thought, “I should read it at some point.” Then I thought, “I really don’t like non-fiction books and that one looks soooo long.” So I kept passing it over.

Well, it was silly of me to pass Seabiscuit: An American Legend over for so long. It is a meat and potatoes book. Hillenbrand spends a great deal of time setting up the story, getting our main characters in the right space at the right time, but once they join forces behind a scrappy horse named Seabiscuit. We got off to the races…

I’ve seen the movie, I knew how this book would end. What I didn’t anticipate were all the twists and turns to get there. The movie doesn’t delve into the lives of the jockeys (which was brutal) and the politics of horse racing. There were horrible accidents, backroom deals and a nation united behind an underdog. So while there were dry moments, I was fascinated by the history of horseracing in America and I loved learning more about a horse with a lot of heart.

Seabiscuit: An American Legend won’t be for everyone. It’s thick and at times, dense and boring. But if you thought the movie Seabiscuit was a bit lackluster, you might give the book a shot especially if you enjoy horses and are looking for a book that will give you hope during a dark time in American history.


book review seabiscuit hillenbrand


The Quick Book Review

And We Have a Winner…This Book Exceeds the Movie!

Seabiscuit: An American Legend

Author: Laura Hillenbrand
Published on: July 1, 2003
Pages: 457
Genres: adult, nonfiction
Goodreads • Amazon Affiliate Link
My Rating: Thumbs Up

About Laura Hillenbrand

Laura Hillenbrand (born 1967) is the author of the acclaimed Seabiscuit: An American Legend, a non-fiction account of the career of the great racehorse Seabiscuit, for which she won the William Hill Sports Book of the Year in 2001. The book later became the basis of the 2003 movie Seabiscuit. Her essays have appeared in The New Yorker, Equus magazine, American Heritage, The Blood-Horse, Thoroughbred Times, The Backstretch, Turf and Sport Digest, and many other publications. Her 1998 American Heritage article on the horse Seabiscuit won the Eclipse Award for Magazine Writing.

Born in Fairfax, Virginia, Hillenbrand studied at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, but was forced to leave before graduation when she contracted chronic fatigue syndrome, which she has struggled with ever since. She now lives in Washington, D.C.

(from GoodReads)



2 responses to “And We Have a Winner…This Book Exceeds the Movie!

  1. Oh glad you enjoyed this! My friend loved horses (and does read horse fiction) but I don’t think she’s read this yet (though I know she’s seen the movie). I’ll have to recommend it to her (or get it for Christmas haha). Lovely review!