Reading Seabiscuit

To clear any misconceptions, this is NOT a book review. I find reviews a bit too tedious to write –it’s just not me.

After years of not being able to read a good novel, I finally decided to buy a reasonably priced book from my favorite Book Sale outlet. Being on a tight budget, I was hard pressed to find that award winning best seller in a tiny and crowded 3×3 meter space. Whew!

I spotted Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand in a non-descript corner and grabbed it immediately. I had been wanting to see the movie with Toby Mcguire but have had no luck since the DVD is perennially out of stock.

It was a challenging read in that I was always too busy to read no more than 5 pages at one time. But once I got through over 30 pages, I HAD to make time to read! And I loved it!

Mostly, I was encouraged that I was not alone, and that true and lasting success does not come easy. I’m even fortunate that I have not broken my bones and been near death whenever I “failed”. There seems to be no more tenacious a soul than that of jockey, Red Pollack. He was not much to look at, poor, but was a wit in his own right. His partnership with the feisty Sea Biscuit, horse trainer Tom Smith and owner Charles Howard, was what made him the hero of the 1930s. The book was a very well-written chronicle of the ups and downs, the highs and lows, and the failures and successes of one man,his horse, and the equally persevering characters that surrounded him. It was an amazing and encouraging read.

I found myself crying at the end of the story, feeling as if I knew each character personally and witnessed their lives as they unfolded. I did not want the story to end because it meant that my journey with each character had ended. That was how effectively Laura Hillenbrand depicted each character, making them real in every page through the very accurate and detailed accounts borne from intensive research. Hillenbrand herself is a strong character and reading an excerpt of her life at the end of the book made me appreciate the story more.

True success doesn’t come easy and I only need to remember the challenges and tribulations of Red Pollack to truly get right back on the horse after I fall.

My next read? Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt – winner of the Pulitzer Prize.

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