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Download The Cruelest Miles: The Heroic Story of Dogs and Men in a Race Against an Epidemic Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Cruelest Miles: The Heroic Story of Dogs and Men in a Race Against an Epidemic Audiobook, by Gay Salisbury Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (536 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Gay Salisbury, Laney Salisbury Narrator: Barrett Whitener Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2003 ISBN: 9780736698085
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"Nome, Alaska, sits on the edge of the Bering Sea two degrees below the Arctic Circle, and there are few more forbidding places on earth, especially in winter. Dr. Curtis Welch knew the signs of diphtheria, knew that his patients - many of them children - would die without a shipment of fresh serum." The port was icebound and the nearest railhead was almost 700 miles away across mountains, rivers, and the treacherous ice of Norton Sound. A blizzard was brewing, and airplanes, in 1925, could not fly in such conditions. Only the dogs could do it. A relay was set up, and the drivers, many of them Native Alaskans, set off into the night, set out at 60 degrees below zero, often trusting their lead dogs to find the trail under feet of driven snow. The legendary heroism and endurance of the men and dogs in the Serum Run need no enhancement. Here, for the first time, their story is told in full.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Caitlin | 2/12/2014

    " I thought this book was very well written. As a lover of dogs, I am always amazed at what they are capable of and this book describes so well the relationship between the sled dog and his runner. In addition, I really enjoyed the history lessons given regarding Alaska, the gold rush and the post-rush life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bryony | 1/30/2014

    " I am loving this book! An absolutely wonderful true story full of the best bits of human (and dog!) nature. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sonya Carlson | 1/17/2014

    " Engaging and exciting description of the race to bring medicine to Nome in 1925. Once the meds arrived, the book pretty much ended. It needed another chapter. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amber | 12/24/2013

    " A well written true story. It was really interesting! I now know more about diptheria, dog sledding, and Alaska than I ever wanted to know. I'm glad I read this during the summer. It would make me really cold in the winter. I find it strange that there are stories like this, that took place in the last century, that were headline stories for months, that they built a statue about, that I've never heard of! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Madelyn | 12/24/2013

    " I really enjoyed this book. I learned many things about Alaska, the disease of diphtheria and the sled dogs. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 J Mcdowell | 12/10/2013

    " Very intricate history of Alaskan culture, politics, and the delivery of the serum for the diptheria epidemic in the first quarter of the 20th century. Lots of human interest stories, and even the outcomes of the dogs and mens lives who were a part of that great dog sled run. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rachel | 12/6/2013

    " On a recent trip to a friend's house, I picked it up.....and had to finish it in one sitting. A riveting account of the Nome Diptheria epidemic and the story of sled dogs in Alaska's history. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen Tompert | 11/15/2013

    " Loved this book, the love and trust that can exist between people and their dogs. And how people can push themselves beyond their limits to help someone in need. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Scott | 11/2/2013

    " Impossible travel completed and likely death avoided with dogs and a sled. Fascinating account of ways to die in the cold. Heroic moment in history may not fill enough pages for a book though and padding shows -- perhaps better to read quickly. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jim | 11/1/2013

    " in case anyone wonders why i filed this under "airplanes" the choice of dog v. airplanes is a major point in the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lia | 6/1/2013

    " If you love dogs, you will loooove this book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenn | 5/21/2013

    " Interesting account of the legendary serum run that inspired the annual Iditarod race in Alaska. Slow at times but worth reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Morgan | 2/11/2013

    " I absolutely loved this book and Im kinda a picky reader but I have love balto since I was little and I didn't know that Togo did it and also love history "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sherry Oswald | 1/25/2013

    " I loved the human spirit in this book. It's amazing the relationship that can develop between a man and his dogs. The Iditarod has always facinated me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marilyn | 8/18/2012

    " A young lady I visit loaned this book to me. She loves dogs and enjoys stories about sled dogs. The authors took the facts and were able to tell them in a very interesting way. The story is about an epidemic in Nome, Alaska in the 1920's. Lives were saved because of the sled dogs and their mushers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bank | 7/5/2012

    " A great true story about the race to save Nome Alaska from a diphtheria epidemic ( google diphtheria ; really bad way to die ). The serum can only get the last 600+ miles by dogsled in fifty below temp with blizzard conditions . Unbelievable courage of men and dogs doing the impossible. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Monta | 3/15/2012

    " Really enjoyed it. A great, true story. Didn't know til I was almost done--and my son-in-law told me--that there was a cartoon about this story. Balto. I'd recommend this book. It read like a novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Missie | 1/29/2012

    " What a great true story of men and dogs working together!! A tough situation with even tougher sled dog teams. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susie | 11/24/2011

    " So helpful to use when teaching my students, but it should be read in the summer in Missouri. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jackie | 7/31/2011

    " Great book about this historic run to deliver Diptheria anti-toxin to Nome in 1925. Great for those with an interest in medicine, epidemics and animal lovers! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wendy | 7/8/2011

    " I love the research and information that accompanies the true story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 3/26/2011

    " I really loved this book. I didn't want to put it down. I learned so much and was captured by the story. My sister, an avid dog lover, recommended it and I was reluctant but I am so glad I picked it up. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathy | 3/5/2011

    " Well researched and amazing story. Thought it might be as interesting as "Endurance", with a similar man-against-odds, ice and snow adventure, but for some reason it didn't compare on that level. Nevertheless I'd still call it a good read, and would recommend it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nancy | 1/31/2011

    " Interesting history of Nome, Alaska & the Itidarod - also how the Eskimos adapted to the bitter cold & the dog team relays through blizards & breaking ice to to carry diphtheria vaccine to Nome in 1925. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sonya | 1/15/2011

    " Engaging and exciting description of the race to bring medicine to Nome in 1925. Once the meds arrived, the book pretty much ended. It needed another chapter. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Angela | 12/1/2010

    " Interesting historical perspective on sled dogs. Our book club enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nickibs4 | 9/25/2010

    " Good read on an Alaskan historical event...packed with great facts and data in a very readable way. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jim | 8/26/2010

    " in case anyone wonders why i filed this under "airplanes" the choice of dog v. airplanes is a major point in the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Swhe641200 | 8/25/2010

    " this was a good book about the dog teams in Alaska and how they tryed to get a vacine in to help save a town. What they had to go through. suggested by Sharon Wood "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sallie | 7/18/2010

    " A very informative and interesting look at Nome, Alaska's 1925 diphtheria epidemic and the resulting serum run. At times, the book is weighed down by a bit too much background detail, but the stories of heroism make up for the lags. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bud | 5/20/2010

    " Fascinating story of the origins of the Iditarod race: a 1925 diphteria outbreak in Nome and a race to get anti-toxin to treat the exposed population. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hannah | 4/4/2010

    " I just saw this in a bookstore and remembered I read it about five years ago. I also remember enjoying it a lot. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kim | 3/31/2010

    " This book was a little technical and wordy at times, but I feel all the smarter for having read this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rachel | 3/25/2010

    " On a recent trip to a friend's house, I picked it up.....and had to finish it in one sitting. A riveting account of the Nome Diptheria epidemic and the story of sled dogs in Alaska's history. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 J | 2/1/2010

    " Very intricate history of Alaskan culture, politics, and the delivery of the serum for the diptheria epidemic in the first quarter of the 20th century. Lots of human interest stories, and even the outcomes of the dogs and mens lives who were a part of that great dog sled run. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Missie | 1/15/2010

    " What a great true story of men and dogs working together!! A tough situation with even tougher sled dog teams. "

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About the Narrator

Barrett Whitener has been narrating audiobooks since 1992. His recordings have won several awards, including the prestigious Audie and seven Earphones Awards. AudioFile magazine has named him one of the Best Voices of the Century. He lives in Washington, DC.