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Sunday, September 18, 2005

Seabiscuit, What a Story!

I only heard about Seabiscuit a few months ago, or was it a year or more. I read a review of the movie and decided that I had to see it. I don't go to the cinema. I prefer watching at home, where I can walk around or take a break. I don't have to see a movie when it's new and generally prefer old ones. I'm a member of a video library that specializes in old movies. It was the only time I took out one of their new features. The movie was even better than expected. I don't know how many times I've seen it.

In recent years I don't buy books, but when I was recently in the states, I decided to make an exception. I wanted to read the real story. In the end, my brother gave me a spare copy he had. (Thanks!)

Books are generally better than the movies, and of course this was, too. But I think the screenwriters did a fantastic job in focusing on what they included. It would have been impossible to show everything on the screen.

Now finally, the book was written by Laura Hillenbrand whose personal story is no less amazing than that of Charles Howard, Red Pollard, Tom Smith and Seabiscuit who tied them all together. She has been suffering from sever Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for almost twenty years, since she was in her late teens. She has been bedridden, but still managed to research and write this fantastic book.

We're given lots of background information, not only of the characters, but of the culture of jockeys and horse-back racing. I must admit, that I learned from every page. Nobody could have made up such a cast and such a plot.

It was probably best to have seen the movie first, or I would have been looking for missing characters and annoyed at all the changes. So if you've neither seen the movie nor read the book, that's the order to do it in. The movie brings out all of the important points and messages.


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