My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I typically stay away from non-fiction and I had no previous interest in horse racing so I probably wouldn’t have read Laura Hillenbrand’s fabulous Seabiscuit: An American Legend if I didn’t absolutely love the film version with its edge-of-your-seat action and subtle, intelligent humor. Those qualities came from the book. Even though I know (a version of) the story, I found myself tearing through the passages about the races with rapt attention as if I were sitting in the grandstand and laughing out at the wicked humor, especially that of Tom Smith. Most importantly, though, I learned so much about the sport, about the people that are a part of the sport, and the history of our country at a tumultuous period.
The first part of the book moves a bit slower than the rest of the book as Hillenbrand introduces the reader to a multitude of characters with an intimate focus on Charles Howard, Tom Smith, Red Pollard, George Woolf, and, of course, Seabiscuit. So at first, I was afraid that my preconception about non-fiction, that it is dull and minutely detailed, might be true of Seabiscuit: An American Legend. I am so glad that I was wrong.