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The Cruelest Miles Audiobook

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

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2003 Gay Salisbury and Laney Salisbury; (P)2003 Books On Tape, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"This is an elegantly written book, inspiring tremendous respect for the hardy mushers and their canine partners." (Publishers Weekly)
"The Salisburys have written an amazing story of endurance and courage." (Booklist)
"Margot Dionne delivers this mind-numbing experience in a calm voice, allowing the words to convey the terror and agony that characterized the journey." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (174 )
5 star
 (78)
4 star
 (64)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.4 (69 )
5 star
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3 star
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Story
4.3 (68 )
5 star
 (29)
4 star
 (31)
3 star
 (8)
2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Susan Carter Escondido, CA United States 01-07-04
    Susan Carter Escondido, CA United States 01-07-04 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Cruelest Miles Makes Exciting Reading"

    Fans of adventure stories will love this book. Certainly the rescue of Nome, Alaska from a 1925 diptheria epidemic is an exciting story. Gay and Laney Salisbury's book also includes a lot of Alaskan history and information about Eskimo culture. Their careful research and attention to detail make their stories about the dog drivers and especially the sled dogs positively riveting.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cassi Cleveland, TN, USA 02-28-06
    Cassi Cleveland, TN, USA 02-28-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Chilling!"

    This is one of the best listens in my 3+ years of audio-book listening. It is extremely well-read, has wonderful flow, and includes lots and lots of relative facts and detail which serve to enlighten the tale and not bog it down. The events and people are fascinating and inspiring, and the history is amazing -- sometimes hard to believe that it all actually occurred in the early 20th century, at a time when most of the country (lower 48) enjoyed modern luxuries and forms of transportation.

    I found this book so fascinating, that I purchased the written volume also, and my young son and I read along/listened to the entire thing for a history lesson. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in Alaska, sled dogs, or simply a fascinating event in American history.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    shirley K. Bigham 11-01-07 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Shirley"

    beautifully narrated and written. The history about the Alaskan natives and the wonderful dogs was awe-inspiring. I never knew of such deep commitment from a group of people and their dogs to exist. Touching, tear jearking, and awesome true story preserved for us. Now this wuld have been a history lesson worth sitting in class and taking notes! I enjoyed every second of this history rich and interesting book. A must read!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Monica E. McFadden 03-03-06 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Compelling true story"

    Facinating true account of the Nome serum dog run. The author makes history come alive, particularly the history of the sled dogs and their mushers. The information on the breeding and training of these working dogs was detailed and very interesting, as was the information on the politics and people behind the serum drive. Great compelling listen

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    H. Zambrana Fremont, CA USA 12-08-05
    H. Zambrana Fremont, CA USA 12-08-05 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent!!"

    It's seldom I come across a modern book that both entertains as well as educates me. This work did both. I learned so much about Alaska, their people, their way of life. I felt transported into their world. I learned not only about diptheria but also felt the agony and despair that those children experienced. My spirit was exulted by the human drama of common man transformed into heroes by a love of their fellow men. And more than anything, I gain a new appreciation and love for the amazing dogs. Simply put --- excellent!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joshua Kings Mountain, NC, USA 04-15-05
    Joshua Kings Mountain, NC, USA 04-15-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This book was great."

    Facinating. Gripping. Emotional. Couragous. This book was one of the best I've ever heard. The author combines the main tail with a collection of tangental stories that are told at just the right time and provide a perfect backdrop for the overall story. I highly recommend this book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Glenn Chee 01-05-09
    Glenn Chee 01-05-09 Listener Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What We Need Now - A True Inspirational Story"

    I watched a program on the Weather Channel ("Race to Nome". When Weather Changed History. The Weather Channel. March 23, 2008) which referred to this book. You can search Wikipedia to find the facts but it's not nearly as interesting as the story by Gay & Laney Salisbury. The only reason this isn't 5 stars is because there is too much detail and it's a bit long at 9.5 hrs. However, I'm one of those who couldn't get enough since I've listened to the book several times & gone back to the Internet for more. Highly recommended for the soul!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lalyc Charlotte, NC 03-31-07
    lalyc Charlotte, NC 03-31-07 Listener Since 2005

    lalyc2000

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    "great listen!"

    Great Listen!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet 04-01-16
    Janet 04-01-16 Listener Since 2005

    blazin48

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    "Running with the dogs"

    Excellent! The authors gave wonderful descriptions of this historical event. The endurance of the dog teams, the team drivers, and the medical professionals astounds me. Recommend to everyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew 09-10-15
    Matthew 09-10-15
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    "A Very Good Book"

    This one is well worth the listen. It was a fascinating story and was told in a well formatted way that allowed the listener to follow all the supporting stories without becoming lost in minutia that happens so often with historical accounts. The performance by Barrett Whitener was, as usual, outstanding! He made an interesting story even better through the narration. I especially liked the way the author provided the history of the native peoples and how they survive in such an inhospitable place. However, his description of the dogs and the side stories about them and their behavior made this book one of my favorites and will be listened to again, several times I'm sure. If you like little known history and if you like dogs I can't imagine that you will not like this book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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