We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
The Cruelest Miles: The Heroic Story of Dogs and Men in a Race Against an Epidemic | [Gay Salisbury, Laney Salisbury]

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.
Regular Price:$27.93
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

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 (152 )
5 star
 (69)
4 star
 (55)
3 star
 (18)
2 star
 (6)
1 star
 (4)
Overall
4.4 (50 )
5 star
 (24)
4 star
 (20)
3 star
 (6)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Story
4.3 (49 )
5 star
 (21)
4 star
 (21)
3 star
 (7)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Karen Glen Gardner, NJ, United States 07-09-13
    Karen Glen Gardner, NJ, United States 07-09-13 Member Since 2014

    Likes: Cozy mysteries (cats a plus), personal memoirs,not too dark fantasy, books about the brain. Dislikes: Torture, animal cruelty.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    98
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    122
    122
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    7
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Ponderous, but ultimately interesting"
    What did you like best about The Cruelest Miles? What did you like least?

    The book is of course about a journey made by dog sled to bring vaccines to Nome Alaska to save the locals from a diphtheria epidemic. You would certainly expect digressions of the history of dog sledding, or on some local culture, etc. What I did not bargain for was the author pretty much giving the history of the peoples of Alaska from the time that the first human set foot there to the time of the Nome epidemic all at once, so I had back story for maybe 2 hours straight. It isn't that that information wasn't interesting, but I thought I was reading a book about this epidemic and for hours, that is for days of listening, the plot did not advance at all. I think that might have done me in if I was actually reading and not just listening.
    I did finish though. I was so worried about the fates of the two main sled dogs - Togo and Balto. I am sensitive about animals. I needn't have worried, since they both lived to be old dogs. I mention that not as a spoiler but to reassure people sensitive to animal cruelty that they can handle the book. I suppose it is somewhat silly to worry about the dogs anyway since the book is set in the 1920's so the longest living dog would have been long, long dead by now. At the end they tell you how a lot of the humans ended up as well. It amazed me really that the majority of these people, despite living these hard lives in Alaska lived to be very old. Of course I felt all nostalgic reading it and it seemed to me that our modern world is a much duller place. On the other hand, people aren't dropping like flies from diphtheria.
    I do not think I have the ability to even understand minus 60 degrees. It amazes me that anyone can deal with that sort of thing. I just have trouble believing that people have the abilities they would need to survive. For example, they mentioned how if you took off your glove within 30 seconds your hand would freeze (at some temp or other that they were dog sledding in). The quick decisions and reactions required to survive in those conditions just don't strike me as skills possessed by the majority of people. At least not the people I know. Of course I don’t know anyone living in rural Alaska.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol United States 07-22-12
    Carol United States 07-22-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    97
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Best book I've read/listened to all year"
    What did you love best about The Cruelest Miles?

    The story of the dogs is fabulous but the book is way more than that. A great history of that time in Alaska -- brave dogs; hearty people


    What did you like best about this story?

    As an owner of a performance dog, I loved hearing about these incredible sled dogs. The detail of the trip, the Alaskan landscape....just everything about the books was great


    Have you listened to any of Barrett Whitener’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but I thought he was great


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fuzzy 03-18-12
    Fuzzy 03-18-12

    Fuzzy Logic

    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    99
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I Love this Story!"
    If you could sum up The Cruelest Miles in three words, what would they be?

    Historically Informative, Edge of the seat Action, Compassionately Written.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When Seppala and Togo first drove through Nome. They were a 20 dog team with bells on them. An Alaskan Santa Claus to the rescue was the visual I had from that scene.


    Any additional comments?

    I highly recommend this book. The delivery of the background information was fantastic, the setting of the stage was well done. I learned about diphtheria, eradicated in my life, but what a nasty bacteria! A truly enjoyable listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    brdsongs 01-20-11
    brdsongs 01-20-11 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Just started listening- looking forward to more!"

    I've listened to 90 min. of this title, and can already say that it's going to be one of my favorite listens so far.
    The story and Alaska's scenery are wonderfully worded, and all is beautifully narrated.
    Keep you posted!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maureen 11-07-10
    Maureen 11-07-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    92
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Fascinating"

    The story is amazing. I liked the background information about Alaska. The narrator, though, could not have been more boring. His narration was a monotone, which ruined the excitement of the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Huntington, NY, United States 02-04-06
    Mark Huntington, NY, United States 02-04-06 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    41
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    79
    14
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Excellent story even for non dog lovers"

    A truly fantastic story. Was educational, entertaining and at times emotional. I found myself with tears in my eyes at several points. Amazing story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maureen WAUNAKEE, WI, USA 04-01-05
    Maureen WAUNAKEE, WI, USA 04-01-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Adventure & History"

    My husband and I both really liked this historical adventure story. At first when the author took side trips to share historical and regional information, we thought it was distracting, but then really liked how it added so much to the story. The narration was excellent and we thoroughly enjoyed this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Alexandria, VA 03-30-05
    Amazon Customer Alexandria, VA 03-30-05 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    31
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    146
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "a cold book"

    I liked thenarrator. His grizzled low voice lent itself well to the mushers in the story.
    But I was dissapointed with the story not because of the subject matter but because of the anticlamax. For an author who is able to take the reader onto the dog sled itself, he does a terrible job of describing the illness (just another case of excuciating bleeding membrane in the throat) and the sense of urgency, and I sometimes had trouble following where the dogs were and how much back-up serum remained. There were elements of the story (like the air rescue attempt) that I believe took away from the narrative. And the epilogue just got more and more depressing! Don't listen to it!
    This book may have come first, but I think that society is now saturated with TV dramas that attempt similar plot lines.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bea Wellington, , FL, USA 03-17-05
    Bea Wellington, , FL, USA 03-17-05
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    "Riveting"

    The Cruelist Miles was not only a wonderful history lesson, but you ride along with the mushers as they risk their lives to help save the people of Nome. As a dog lover, I was so captured by the extreme intelligence of these animals and how they would keep on going and endure freezing conditions and exhaustion so as not to let their musher down. I cannot say enough about this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gnarly1 Sacramento, CA USA 04-02-05
    Gnarly1 Sacramento, CA USA 04-02-05 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    39
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Great Adventure"

    Dogs and mushers race time, the cold, and bitter storms to bring life-saving serum to Nome. A true and exciting story. Narration is excellent.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.