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*****= An all-time favorite
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An American Legend

by Lauren Hillenbrand

Reviewed August 2001.
Available at Sembach Library (798.4 HIL).

I chose to read this book, because as a kid I loved Come on, Seabiscuit! by Ralph Moody.  Seabiscuit was a great racehorse who raced at the end of the 1930s.  He started his life with nothing going for him, so his story is a tale of an underdog who made good.

This book was interesting and fun to read--once you got past the first section.  In the first section, the author was a bit too enamored with her research.  She tells everything she could find out about every person or place connected with Seabiscuit.  As a rather extreme example, she tells some lurid details about a brothel near the track in Mexico where two of Seabiscuit’s future jockeys raced.  At the start of the next chapter, she admits that there is no evidence that either of those jockeys ever went to the brothel!

However, once Seabiscuit started racing, things pick up speed.  (Forgive me the pun!)  He started his racing career overworked and outraced, until he was taken on by Tom Smith.  It’s a great tale of how a champion was made.

Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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