The Eighty-Dollar Champion by Elizabeth Letts
Snowman, The Horse That Inspired a Nation

79%

10 Critic Reviews

...Letts’ gentle touch proves entirely suitable to this genuinely sweet tale. A heartwarming story begging for the Disney treatment.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
 
Harry de Leyer first saw the horse he would name Snowman on a truck bound for the slaughterhouse. The recent Dutch immigrant recognized the spark in the eye of the beaten-up nag and bought him for eighty dollars. On Harry’s modest farm on Long Island, he ultimately taught Snowman how to fly. Here is the dramatic and inspiring rise to stardom of an unlikely duo. One show at a time, against extraordinary odds and some of the most expensive thoroughbreds alive, the pair climbed to the very top of the sport of show jumping. Their story captured the heart of Cold War–era America—a story of unstoppable hope, inconceivable dreams, and the chance to have it all. They were the longest of all longshots—and their win was the stuff of legend.

 

About Elizabeth Letts

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Elizabeth Letts is the award-winning author of two novels, Quality of Care and Family Planning, and one children's book, The Butter Man. Quality of Care was a Literary Guild, Doubleday Book Club, and Books-A-Million Book Club selection. An equestrian from childhood, Letts represented California as a junior equestrian, and was runner-up in the California Horse and Rider of the Year competition. She currently lives with her husband and four children in Baltimore, Maryland.
 
Published August 23, 2011 by Ballantine Books. 353 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Sports & Outdoors, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Jun 02 2013
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for The Eighty-Dollar Champion
All: 10 | Positive: 8 | Negative: 2

Kirkus

Excellent
Jun 01 2011

...Letts’ gentle touch proves entirely suitable to this genuinely sweet tale. A heartwarming story begging for the Disney treatment.

Read Full Review of The Eighty-Dollar Champion: S... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Above average
on Aug 02 2016

Diversions such as the decline of the American horse population offer little insight, and nonequestrians will occasionally be puzzled by the lingo, particularly with respect to equine anatomy. Still, Letts is a solid prose stylist...

Read Full Review of The Eighty-Dollar Champion: S... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Book Reporter

Excellent
Reviewed by Alexis Burling on Oct 27 2011

The saga of Harry and Snowman’s rise to fame is a golden one.

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NJ.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Sherry Ross on Aug 28 2011

...it’s the nature of the relationship between the people in his life and this remarkable, humble horse that will captivate the reader.

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Bookin With Sunny.

Above average
Reviewed by Sunny Solomon on Sep 27 2011

Reading this book was a great ride and I’d say Elizabeth Letts went over some very high fences. She may have bumped a few rails, but overall she pretty much cleared the course with thrilling form and only a couple of faults.

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Kittling: Books

Above average
Reviewed by Cathy on Aug 23 2011

Although I did find a bit of awkwardness in the book, I absolutely loved the story of Snowman...keep a box of tissues on standby. You will need them.

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Starting Fresh

Good
Reviewed by Gaby317 on Oct 17 2011

The Eighty-Dollar Champion: Snowman, the Horse that Inspired a Nation is an engrossing and moving read. It's a wonderful story and I'm so glad that Elizabeth Letts shared Harry and Snowman's story.

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Book Group of One

Above average
on Sep 09 2011

There’s a lot of repetition, and Letts‘ writing is pretty ordinary. But the horse, with his floppy ears and his big heart, you have to love.

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Lit Witch

Above average
Reviewed by Katherine on Apr 04 2012

There might be times where a non-horse person may feel lost in the descriptions of the horse, training or showing but if one sticks with this book the 1950’s and early 1960’s will come alive again. Definitely a read for those who want to visit our country’s past, those who love showing...

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Terra Communications

Good
Reviewed by Sarah on Aug 13 2012

The Eighty-Dollar Champion introduces us to the unlikely pair that rose above their poor beginnings and captured the hearts and dreams of a nation.

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Reader Rating for The Eighty-Dollar Champion
89%

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