I enjoyed the first half of this book. The second half got repetitive, especially the part when the narrator reads entries from a journal. Every day the same thing, dust storms, dead crops, hopelessness, and despair. A couple of entries would have been ok to make a point, however, too many entries with the same descriptions were definitely unnecessary. By this time, I was hoping the book would end but it still dragged on. Sometimes authors get so involved with their subject, they don't know when to stop and bring things to a close. Sadly, for this book, less would have been better.
I have read and listened to this book. This a powerful account of the effect Nature can have on people. This was a period in history that few ecologists talk about. But, it did occur, little precipitation and unusually high temperatures. It had little to do with pollution and a lot to do with the way Nature works. It is a book that should be mandatory in school reading lists.
This story of the great dust bowl years and the devastation to the land and people's lives is an important part of American history. It is beautifully detailed and brought to life in a remarkable way that makes a gripping tale. It should also be seen as a cautionary note for our times as we lay waste to parts of the earth.
This was a great listen! Very well narrated. The history and statistics of this region of the US were personalized by following the stories of various families or individuals throughout this era. I could feel the hunger pangs and the grit of the dust storms while I was listening to this compelling tale. When these folks thought it couldn't get any worse, it did, time after time. So interesting to hear why these folks stayed and how they coped.
Like mysteries, not much in to SciFi, hate vampire books. Like most all years of history.
I approached this book with some previous knowledge of the Dust Bowl. My mother and many of my relatives grew up in the middle of the dust bowl. I was familiar with some of the families mentioned in the book. I think it is excellent and teaches us a part of history that many have forgotton and many more never learned. Very good look at how hard things really were in the '30s.
The parts about how and why the high plains was settled is interesting and how turning the land to growing crops, particularly wheat, was informative. However, most of the book is a chronicle of the various dust storms and the effects on the settlers. It's an appalling story but from one dust storm to another, from one choking lung to another, from one suffocated animal to another, it's all the same and becomes tiresome fast. I also found the reading not to my liking but that's very subjective. I can't say exactly what it is in his presentation or voice that grated on me but it did. It's very seldom I can't finish but this is one I couldn't make it to the end.
Unavoidable perhaps, but most of the book is the stuff of nightmares. Perhaps I am too sensitive, but the tragedy is tremendous, and I can't remember much but the horrid images, especially of all that did NOT survive.
The title says it all. If you think we have had it bad in the recent financial crisis, you will have a different perspective after reading The Worst Hard Time. Real immigrants, new Americans, trying desparately to make a living on open land with soil that had never been plowed. Other Americans feeding fantasies and getting rich off of the new immigrants. The result is the Dust Bowl and absolute misery. A very well told story. A very painful story. Egan does a masterful job. Who needs the trumas created in fiction when reality is much more compelling?
I've always heard of the Dust Bowl but always downplayed its impact. How bad could it have been? The Worst Hard Time forces you to feel the trauma, the misery and yes, even the blizzards of soil totally encompassing and isolating you.
This is a very engaging, almost novel-like history of the dust belt during the Great Depression. The characters and places come to life, and the tragedy and stress of the times are really brought out.
The reading is very well done.
Tucked away in the beautiful mountains of New Mexico.
There were a few spots where this book bogged down a bit (ie the diary), but overall I found it very interesting and educational. I feel like I have learned a great deal about the dust bowl time. I had no idea how much people in that part of the U.S. suffered.