SEABISCUIT: The Saga of a Great Champion

B. K. Beckwith, Author, Howard Brodie, Illustrator, Grantland Rice, Foreword by , with drawings by Howard Brodie and foreword by Grantland Rice. Westholme $19.95 (61p) ISBN 978-1-59416-000-4

Originally published in 1940, this oversized edition once again hits the shelves, hoping to ride the coattails of last year's Seabiscuit, by Laura Hillenbrand, and this summer's movie based on the book. Written in the over-the-top style that is typical of mid-century sportswriting ("A silver sword of daylight rent the mantle which draped the furrowed contours of the Sierra Madre"), the prose is more reminiscent of 1940s newsreel voiceovers than of Hillenbrand's restrained lyricism. Beckwith's use of hyperbole and omniscient narration makes Seabiscuit's remarkable story seem more like a Greek myth than a true-life tale. For instance, Seabiscuit is described as "one whose hoofbeats will echo in the hallowed halls of time till the last post bugle has sounded, and great horses gallop no more on this earth." This unbridled passion gives today's reader some insight into just how popular this rags-to-riches, undersized horse was in his heyday. The highlight of this timely reissue is the artwork, which includes illustrations by Howard Brodie and 23 b&w photos—the latter give a glimpse of the true beauty of the champion and provide some breathtaking wire-shots from the 1937 and 1938 Santa Anita Handicaps. (Aug.)

FYI:This title marks the launch of its publishing house, Westholme Press.

Reviewed on: 08/04/2003
Release date: 07/01/2003
Genre: Nonfiction
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