The best ever.
None. I've not read another book of non-fiction that I've liked this much.
You could imagine that you were there.
This reader did not know how to pronounce a lot of common vocabulary. The only vocal "expression" he used was to change his voice, when reading a quote, to a fake southern/western accent that sounded like Granny on the Beverly Hillbillies. Did you know that everyone (men and women) in the Dust Bowl talked like Granny of the Beverly Hillbillies? His voice was pinched and labored, and with all the mispronounced words, sounded uncomfortable.His vocal delivery was so grating that it was hard to concentrate on the actual content of the text.
The actual content of the book is a valuable resource and witness to the need for better stewardship of the land.
The author combined facts with stories of individuals who endured these difficult times.
The narrator needs to learn vocabulary and pronunciation, for starts. Take some lessons in vocal production and breath support. Stop quoting everyone with a fake southern accent.
Noteworthy book, made almost unbearable by a disappointing reading performance.
I'm glad I have both a print and audio edition. This allows me to search for particular segments more efficiently than if I just had the audio edition.
The most shocking and memorable moments of THE WORST HARD TIMES were the descriptions of the enormous, roiling curtains of earth that swamped the area. I had heard about the wet sheets being strung up over windowns and doors to keep the dust out from my husband who grew up in the sand hills of eastern Colorado, but I never imagined the suffocating density of those storms. Hearing about them made me feel as if I were choking myself.
I don't know if I would describe the scene that most impressed me as "my favorite," but the scene that had the most impact for me was the one in which the farmer had to kill a newly born calf so that his childrent could have the mother's milk for sustinance.
It made made feel extremely anxious about our thoughtless draining of the acquifer that underlies the mid-west.
A thought provoking story. I highly recommend it.
This book ranks in my top 5 of the audio history books I have.
The story can move a bit slowly at times, but patience will reward the listener with a great deal of understanding. This book covers period that all to often gets jumbled in with the Great Depression without being told in it's own right.
I am so glad that I listened to this book before Ken Burn's documentary on the Dust Bowls comes out in November, 2012
I knew about the great Dust Bowl, of course . . . but it turns out I knew very little. I'm so glad I listened to this book, and it's likely that I will read it again . . . and again. It's not that it's so riveting in every aspect, nor that the characters breathe and live as in a novel, but the story relates in as interesting a way as I believe nonfiction can. Egan alternates between stories of one character or set of characters and another so that it feels that the reader is moving through time as a surveyor of a distinct world filled with hopeful, naive, all-American characters who inhabit a pivotal time and place in America's history.
The sequence of events begins with an excellent background explaining the settlement and farming of the heretofore untouched (by plows) grasslands. While lack of understanding within the American Government and its Land Settlement beneficiaries dulls their guilt to some degree, the consequential rape of the land with no effort for understanding leads the reader to reflect on a myriad of horrified realizations and judgements that eventually brings on, at least, a determination to help prevent this sort of appalling foolhardiness from being repeated.
The style of the narrative itself, however, is not one of disdain or anger, and I'm grateful to the author for his self-control: it's after finishing the book and reflecting on it that the tragedy of the whole event became really apparent to me. While reading, I felt for the inhabitants and wished that their endeavors to settle, farm and make good lives for their families would all turn out. ( I wish too that the former inhabiters of the area could have had all things they hoped for turn out well, but that's another story.)
Reading this book has provided me with an education that feels almost palpably empowering. I can't stop talking about it--in purposely tiny snippets--to family and friends. I've resisted any lecturing--partly because I so admire the author for also resisting that tiresome urge. But I do feel that this is among the top 10 most important books I have ever read.
Amazing story about a little known slice of American history. It's also a great insight into one of the biggest environmental disasters in US history, and Egan brings us right up close to the families and farmers on the front lines. His narratives on the dust storms and the impact they had on the people of the great plains are top notch.
Yes. This book sent me to the library to research more information about the Dust Bowl and the "Oakies" in California. Although Egan did not make comparisons of today's climate change and Great Recession, it is evident in this writing.
Recommended to others
An understanding of a time and a piece of American History not well known but impacting us today.
Great voice and presentation
Will never forget some of the impacts of the Dustbowl.
I learned things from this book that I hadn't known. I always like it when a book teaches me something.
Nonfiction books are often read more for information than enjoyment and this is one of those books, although telling individual stories was interesting.
I probably would not have finished this book if I had been reading it.
I listened to this book for a Book group discussion, and have many other books I would have rather been reading of listening to.
I found this to be a great book for an audio version. I can believe that reading a print version would be equally interesting.
My understanding of the Dust Bowl experience was vague and this story illuminated the scale of the devastation through the lens of actual survivors. The story unfolds in the context of communities and people in Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado and Kansas. The book has given me a greater understanding of the Great American Desert before settlers came as well as the damage caused by over plowing, the wheat market specuation and drought. Finally, the impact of the dust on human life and the land was incredible. Another fascinating aspect of the story is the role of public policy in every aspect of the dust bowl, before, during and after.
I appreciate the pacing that comes from a great narration.
How we destroyed the Great American Desert and the people who endured the terrible result.
I paired this book with a rereading of Grapes of Wrath and it made for an interesting consideration of a time that was not all that long ago in our history.