Sunday, April 21, 2013

Good and Cheap (Books)! Day 19

I love the ponies. No, really. I went to horse camp for a couple of years when I was a girl scout (Troop #8059; why can't I forget that?), and then, when given the opportunity to select a PE elective in college, I signed up for horseback riding. Back in the days when I had the craziest house-sitting gigs you could imagine, for awhile I had the privilege of caring for a horse (and a cow, until the cow went to the slaughterhouse in the sky), and I really could be happy cleaning stalls every day. Horses are pretty. Of course, I love the pageantry too. Big horse races--I'm glued to the TV. I sing "My Old Kentucky Home" to the cat. Thus, my pick today is Seabiscuit.
Seabiscuit with trainer
George Woolf

Seabiscuit, the book, is so much better than the movie. First of all, Tobey Maguire does not make an appearance in the book. Secondly, Laura Hillenbrand adds nuance and historical context to her story of the little horse that could. Third, who doesn't love to root for the underdog? Seabiscuit was the ultimate underdog (underhorse?), a horse that might have been put down, a horse that hated running and didn't trust people. He was broken, beaten.

Seabiscuit with jockey
Red Pollard
And the horse isn't the only one in need of a second chance. His owner lost his son. His jockey was a washed out failure who was basically abandoned by his family (it was the Depression). His trainer had seen better days. The horse was too small, and the jockey was too big, and both were handicapped.

Seabiscuit is a story about recovering and finding hope during difficult times and continuing to persevere. So trust me, you think you know this story, but if you haven't read the book, you're missing out. This book could be one of your favorites of all time.

Also, horses are pretty.

No comments:

Post a Comment