Audible.com performed a surprising feat after Hurricane Katrina. They took the headphones off several Gulf-based customers and replaced them with microphones. The result is a cross-section of stories that provide the details missing from the major news accounts. A woman huddling with her horse, a partying teenager who suddenly finds herself transporting dead bodies‚ each story has its own aspects of horror and surrealism. Listeners will find these everyday tales compelling because these people are so much like us. Cleverly executed‚ the production has no connecting narration, no interviewer’s voice. Let’s hope this project popularizes the concept of the documentary audiobook.
Audible wants to thank everyone who participated in these interviews, especially Carter Hooper, Celia Collins, Peter Ascani, Tom Fitzmorris, Elizabeth Feltmate, Sarah Taylor, Michael Davis, Alan Larkin, Jim Nadeau, and Robin Woods.
Producers: Kerry Donahue and Gayle Hendrix
Post-production: George James and Sam Rodriguez
Original music by Guy Story
(P)2006 Audible, Inc.
Told in their own words, you can often see what they are talking about.
Very moving to hear from people just like you and I that survived this disaster. Thank you Audible for providing this for your subscribers!
SciFi/Fantasy and Classics to History, Adventure and Memoirs to Social Commentary—I love and listen to it all!
I became obsessed with Hurricane Katrina after the storm hit, and went to N. Orleans to do animal rescue later. I suffered some pretty severe PTSD from it. I suppose I was expecting to hear stories that were more hard-hitting, that echoed my memories of all that happened. For the most part, however, these were bland and weren't conveyed with much emotion. One thing to note, I suppose, is that they were recorded only a couple of months after it all, and the people involved could have been functioning and relating their experiences at a necessary emotional distance.
One story, though, was shocking. It's that of the teen-aged girl who seems as though she'd never been faced with any serious challenges in her life, only to find herself working around the suffering, the dying, the dead.
As it's free and barely over two hours, I suppose I'd recommend it to others. It's not bad, it's just not as powerful as I thought it could have been.
One thing that really bugged me was the complete and utter glibness of some of the people who recorded their stories. I mean, asking for ice so that you can have cocktails? Really? Is that how challenged and frightened you were? It was rather offensive.
Given my experiences, I'd see anything about Katrina. I would hope, however, that it'd be enhanced some, with necessary drama and import edited into it.
I don't regret listening to this. It's a decent enough audio, but I was disappointed. For really hard-hitting Katrina experiences, I recommend "Five Days at Memorial." Now THERE'S a portrayal of the descent into chaos, fear, and the lack of resources that Katrina caused!
I teach classes in emergency preparedness and am always on the lookout for the stories of people who have been through disasters. These are great - not professional, but full of the details I was looking for.
Would not waste my time on another Audible original. These were by far the most boring stories describing hurricane Katrina. All of the narrators were middle-class whites who suffered the least in the aftermath. As a result their stories are not interesting or in any way insightful. No wonder it was free.
Nothing free from Audible.
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