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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: Margot Dionne Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2003 ISBN: 9780375419393
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The year is 1925. It is sixty degrees below zero. The wind sweeps tons of snow over the deep-frozen Alaskan landscape. The nearest railhead is seven hundred miles away. Airplanes cannot fly. The way to Nome is blocked by a treacherous frozen sound, an icebound port, and mountains to the west. But there is a diphtheria epidemic in Nome. The children need serum from the outside world if they are to survive. Their only hope is a few chosen Eskimo drivers and their teams of dogs, who must make a relay race across the wilderness if the serum is to get to Nome in time. The heroism and stamina of the men and their dogs can only be called legendary. Now, their story can be told.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ellen Ritz | 1/23/2014

    " Interesting history of Alaskan sled dogs and the diphtheria epidemic in Nome. Feel the story got bogged down by too much detail. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nancy | 1/11/2014

    " 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. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alexandra | 12/11/2013

    " Really interesting historical story. I had no idea that such a small place as Nome, Alaska could create such a stir across the entire nation. This book is about getting medicine to a small Alaskan village as an epidemic of dyptheria is breaking, transported by dog sled. It also talks some about the gold rush in Alaska. Some of the historical information gets a little weighty, but overall, an enjoyable read (especially when I don't have to be the one outside freezing on a dogsled)!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Scott | 12/8/2013

    " 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Micah | 12/5/2013

    " I learned why I got my diptheria shot when I was a youngster. This is a good non-fiction book that reads like a novel. I really enjoyed it maybe you will too. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sallie | 12/5/2013

    " 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 Jennifer W | 11/21/2013

    " What a fascinating tale of history, disease, technology, and dogs. Though I've of course heard of Balto, I had no idea about the rest of the story, or why even he was famous. It's a shame the other dogs and drivers aren't more well known. I'd recommend this to anyone who wants a good adventure tale, just make sure you're toasty warm when you read it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Diana | 11/14/2013

    " A grippingly told tale of man and dog racing against time and the environment on the cusp of the technological age. I was moved to tears at the description of the bond between a driver and his dogs not to mention the courage and determination of the twenty drivers and hundreds of dogs that took part in the historic race through America's last frontier to save Nome's children from an epidemic of disastrous proportions. A brilliant read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nickibs4 | 11/9/2013

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

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cori | 8/4/2013

    " Love stories that show courage and determination. I often wonder what I'm made of. Circumstances like these show a person's true character. Amazed at the heroic efforts by so many people to save the town from diptheria. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Becky | 6/25/2013

    " Informative and interesting, too, for the most part. Amazing courage and determination shown by dogs and men. Togo was a hero! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lynne | 2/26/2013

    " I wish that the author had spent more time on the epidemic and less on general life in Alaska in the 1930's. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Zigra | 10/10/2012

    " This book has a little of everything I like - histories of infectious diseases, dogsledding, and American pioneerism. It's really out of the grasp of our modern understanding what the mushers and dogs willingly undertook to get the anti-diptheria serum to Nome. The whole book is fascinating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marrble | 6/28/2012

    " Excellent historical account of northwestern Alaska from the turn of the 20th century until around 1940. The story is full of life as you get to know the mushers and their truly amazing dogs. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 1/1/2012

    " Alaska during the 1920's, after the gold rush. Nome is frozen in for the winter in 1924 when a diptheria outbreak makes their isolation a life and death crisis. What can rescue them, an open cockpit airplane or sled dogs? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Angela | 12/22/2011

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

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Devorah | 12/20/2011

    " During my medicine genre book phase. This one is a great story and very engaging for nonfiction. About the diptheria epidemic in Alaska and the dog sled relay that carried the serum. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenn | 12/10/2011

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

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Autumn | 10/25/2011

    " Loved this story. I had to keep reminding myself that it was true! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nicole | 9/1/2011

    " I still cry when I see documentaries on this story. The book was amazing, the story even more amazing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathy | 6/19/2011

    " 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 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

Margot Dionne is an award-winning audiobook narrator and acclaimed classical actor, appearing at such theaters as the Stratford Shakespearean Festival in Ontario, Canada; the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC; the Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, Rhode Island; and the Canadian Stage in Toronto. She is currently a professor of acting at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.