SOUND, FURY.

From volcanic eruptions to seismic sea waves, discover books that revolve around nature's fury and the dynamic human spirit.
As a huge history and nonfiction listener, a lot of my favorite audiobooks seem to fall into the weather disaster category, but when I had the idea for this list—inspired by our new and brilliant Audible Original from Michael Lewis titled The Coming Storm—I knew I needed to tread carefully. For those living in coastal cities worldwide, or on the Great Plains in the middle of the United States, natural disasters are a harsh reminder that our world is an amalgamation of forces that, under the right circumstances, impose their will on our lives. The intent of this list is certainly not to capitalize on the tragedies suffered by others, but rather to spread the understanding of the world we live in and to shed light upon the ability for us, human kind, to rise above great tragedy. If history has taught us anything, it is that the perseverance of the human spirit is undefeated, and the 14 books below are all a testament to that fact. —Kyle, Audible Editor
    • Ghosts of the Tsunami

    • Death and Life in Japan's Disaster Zone
    • By: Richard Lloyd Parry
    • Narrated by: Simon Vance
    • Length: 7 hrs and 47 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 158
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 141
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 143

    Ghosts of the Tsunami is a soon-to-be classic intimate account of an epic tragedy, told through the accounts of those who lived through it....

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Riveting True Story You Didn't Hear On The News

    • By Kindle Customer on 07-05-18
    • Death and Life in Japan's Disaster Zone
    • By: Richard Lloyd Parry
    • Narrated by: Simon Vance
    • Length: 7 hrs and 47 mins
    • Release date: 10-24-17
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 158 ratings
    • Disaster: Tsunami; Location: Japan
    • Author Richard Lloyd Parry was living in Tokyo with his family when, on March 11th of 2011, a massive earthquake rattled the whole of Japan, resulting in the most devastating loss of life in the country since the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Nagasaki. Ghosts of the Tsunami is the story of how deep devastation penetrates a community, and how the dead may never cease to haunt those who were lucky enough to survive.
    • Isaac's Storm

    • A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History
    • By: Erik Larson
    • Narrated by: Richard Davidson
    • Length: 9 hrs and 33 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 1,682
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,538
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,529

    In 1900, Isaac Monroe Cline was in charge of the Galveston station of the US Weather Bureau. He was a knowledgeable, seasoned weatherman who considered himself a scientist....

    • 3 out of 5 stars
    • A highly detailed account of a catastrophic storm

    • By Norman B. Bernstein on 09-28-15
    • A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History
    • By: Erik Larson
    • Narrated by: Richard Davidson
    • Length: 9 hrs and 33 mins
    • Release date: 04-06-15
    • 4 out of 5 stars 1,682 ratings
    • Disaster: Hurricane; Location: Texas, USA
    • Though it is almost impossible for me to choose, this might just be my favorite of Erik Larson’s works. Isaac’s Storm tells the unfortunate tale of a U.S. Weather Bureau employee named Isaac Monroe Cline who failed to heed the signs a storm about to ravage Galveston, TX one morning in September, 1900. His failure cost thousands of lives and forever changed the way we look at hurricanes.
    • The Johnstown Flood

    • By: David McCullough
    • Narrated by: Edward Herrmann
    • Length: 9 hrs and 3 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 3,076
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2,382
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2,367

    At the end of the last century, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, was a booming coal-and-steel town filled with hardworking families striving for a piece of the nation's burgeoning industrial prosperity....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • A page-turner! HIstory that reads like a novel

    • By Susan K Donley on 06-17-05
    • By: David McCullough
    • Narrated by: Edward Herrmann
    • Length: 9 hrs and 3 mins
    • Release date: 06-17-05
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 3,076 ratings
    • Disaster: Flood; Location: Pennsylvania, USA
    • 20 million tons of water at 40 miles per hour. That is what the residents of Johnstown, PA were hit with on May 31, 1889 as a foot of rainfall burst the South Fork Dam, causing the deadliest flood in the history of the United States. Far more than just the story of a flood, this is a tale of unchecked hubris that lead to disaster, and the heroic efforts of relief by the American Red Cross, that became the first organized effort of its kind.
    • The Children's Blizzard

    • By: David Laskin
    • Narrated by: Paul Woodson
    • Length: 9 hrs and 34 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 120
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 114
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 113

    January 12, 1888, began as an unseasonably warm morning across Nebraska, the Dakotas, and Minnesota, the weather so mild that children walked to school without coats and gloves....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • True Account of 1888 Prairie Blizzard

    • By Mary Burnight on 01-09-17
    • By: David Laskin
    • Narrated by: Paul Woodson
    • Length: 9 hrs and 34 mins
    • Release date: 05-10-16
    • 4 out of 5 stars 120 ratings
    • Disaster: Blizzard; Location: Midwest, USA
    • Unpredictability is a hallmark of how Mother Nature conducts her business. Residents of the Midwest (the Dakotas, Nebraska, and Minnesota to be specific) experienced said unpredictability in droves during a blizzard in January, 1888. Temperatures on the morning of January 12th were so warm that children headed to school in little to keep them warm enough to shelter them from the horrendous blizzard that would hit later that same day. The Children’s Blizzard tells the story of this harsh reminder to the settlers newly populating the middle of America that this new land of theirs was not always as idyllic as advertised.
    • Krakatoa

    • The Day the World Exploded, August 27, 1883
    • By: Simon Winchester
    • Narrated by: Simon Winchester
    • Length: 12 hrs and 1 min
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 909
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 534
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 534

    The legendary annihilation in 1883 of the volcano-island of Krakatoa (the name has since become a by-word for a cataclysmic disaster) was followed by an immense tsunami....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Great subject, great writing, great voice

    • By rwise on 01-26-04
    • The Day the World Exploded, August 27, 1883
    • By: Simon Winchester
    • Narrated by: Simon Winchester
    • Length: 12 hrs and 1 min
    • Release date: 01-14-04
    • 4 out of 5 stars 909 ratings
    • Disaster: Volcano; Location: Indonesia
    • If you’ve sensed a pattern, you’re right. The 1800s saw huge population growth, but paired with still underdeveloped preparedness technology, it was a tough period for weather-related disasters. But of the many tragedies around the turn of this century, Krakatoa stands alone. Simon Winchester—one of the most celebrated historians of our time—chronicles a volcanic eruption, and subsequent tsunami, in which the death toll was so great that the name of the volcano became synonymous with the word disaster itself.
    • Into the Raging Sea

    • Thirty-Three Mariners, One Megastorm, and the Sinking of the El Faro
    • By: Rachel Slade
    • Narrated by: Erin Bennett
    • Length: 11 hrs and 36 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 259
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 235
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 234

    On October 1, 2015, Hurricane Joaquin barreled into the Bermuda Triangle and swallowed the container ship El Faro whole, resulting in the worst American shipping disaster in 35 years....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Wish I Could've Intervened to Prevent This Tragedy

    • By Anonymous User on 05-27-18
    • Thirty-Three Mariners, One Megastorm, and the Sinking of the El Faro
    • By: Rachel Slade
    • Narrated by: Erin Bennett
    • Length: 11 hrs and 36 mins
    • Release date: 05-01-18
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 259 ratings
    • Disaster: Hurricane; Location: Bermuda Triangle
    • When a container ship named El Faro disappeared in 2015, those in the shipping community were stunned as to how such a modern vessel could have simply vanished off the face of the earth. Rachel Slade (Boston Magazine) has the answer. Using the crew members’ own words, along with other painstakingly researched details, she recounts the final day El Faro was afloat and how Hurricane Joaquin swallowed it whole.
    • Death in the Air

    • The True Story of a Serial Killer, the Great London Smog, and the Strangling of a City
    • By: Kate Winkler Dawson
    • Narrated by: Graeme Malcolm
    • Length: 9 hrs and 30 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 113
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 107
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 106

    Kate Winkler Dawson's debut, Death in the Air, is a gripping, historical narrative of a serial killer, an environmental disaster, and an iconic city struggling to regain its footing....

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Interesting

    • By irene on 11-27-17
    • The True Story of a Serial Killer, the Great London Smog, and the Strangling of a City
    • By: Kate Winkler Dawson
    • Narrated by: Graeme Malcolm
    • Length: 9 hrs and 30 mins
    • Release date: 10-20-17
    • 4 out of 5 stars 113 ratings
    • Disaster: Fog; Location: London, England
    • As the Great Smog of London settled in during the early days of December, 1952, few people could have predicted that two mass murderers would emerge. This is the tale of those two killers—one who preyed on women in the neighborhood of Notting Hill, the other the choking, soot filled air itself, an indefatigable killer that would claim thousands.
    • A Crack in the Edge of the World

    • America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906
    • By: Simon Winchester
    • Narrated by: Simon Winchester
    • Length: 12 hrs and 29 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 487
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 250
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 247

    The international best-selling author of The Professor and the Madman and Krakatoa vividly brings to life the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake that leveled a city symbolic of America's relentless western expansion....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • This Book Delivers

    • By Drayton on 10-31-05
    • America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906
    • By: Simon Winchester
    • Narrated by: Simon Winchester
    • Length: 12 hrs and 29 mins
    • Release date: 10-05-05
    • 4 out of 5 stars 487 ratings
    • Disaster: Earthquake; Location: California, USA
    • The second selection from Simon Winchester on this list—I told you he was one of the greats—brings us back to the States where, in 1906, an earthquake rocked the city of San Francisco. In A Crack in the Edge of the World, the geological basis for the destructive forces behind the movement of our earth is explored, and I promise that after you listen to this, you will never look at our world the same again.
    • The White Cascade

    • The Great Northern Railway Disaster and America's Deadliest Avalanche
    • By: Gary Krist
    • Narrated by: Robert Fass
    • Length: 9 hrs and 45 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 31
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 31
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 31

    From renowned writer and travel journalist Gary Krist comes the story of two trains full of people, trapped high in the Cascade Mountains, hit by a devastating avalanche....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • A detailed, yet very readable account.

    • By Rindt on 02-20-18
    • The Great Northern Railway Disaster and America's Deadliest Avalanche
    • By: Gary Krist
    • Narrated by: Robert Fass
    • Length: 9 hrs and 45 mins
    • Release date: 01-09-18
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 31 ratings
    • Disaster: Avalanche; Location: Washington, USA
    • When two train cars of people were stranded on the edge of a narrow ravine in Wellington, WA, rescue crews raced to do everything they could as a snow storm bore down on them. Then, the worst happened. The snow drifts on the cliffs above them gave way to the deadliest avalanche in history.
    • The Worst Hard Time

    • The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl
    • By: Timothy Egan
    • Narrated by: Patrick Lawlor, Ken Burns (introduction)
    • Length: 11 hrs and 45 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 3,047
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2,296
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2,306

    The dust storms that terrorized America's High Plains in the darkest years of the Depression were like nothing ever seen before or since....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • A Fascinating History

    • By Sara on 02-02-14
    • The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl
    • By: Timothy Egan
    • Narrated by: Patrick Lawlor, Ken Burns (introduction)
    • Length: 11 hrs and 45 mins
    • Release date: 04-13-06
    • 4 out of 5 stars 3,047 ratings
    • Disaster: Drought; Location: American Prairie, USA
    • The majority of the disasters on this list happened in what seems like a flash. The Great American Dust Bowl, however, ravaged Middle America and those who lived within its confines for years during the Great Depression. The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Timothy Egan won the National Book Award for this sweeping work of reporting that relates the first-hand accounts of those who persevered through the drought, dust, and death on the prairie.
    • Five Days at Memorial

    • Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital
    • By: Sheri Fink
    • Narrated by: Kirsten Potter
    • Length: 17 hrs and 33 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 1,524
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,342
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,348

    Pulitzer Prize winner Sheri Fink’s landmark investigation of patient deaths at a New Orleans hospital ravaged by Hurricane Katrina - and her suspenseful portrayal of the quest for truth and justice....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • A Must Read

    • By Sharon on 09-13-13
    • Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital
    • By: Sheri Fink
    • Narrated by: Kirsten Potter
    • Length: 17 hrs and 33 mins
    • Release date: 09-10-13
    • 4 out of 5 stars 1,524 ratings
    • Disaster: Hurricane; Location: Louisiana, USA
    • Five Days at Memorial recounts the chaotic environment inside Memorial Hospital in New Orleans post Hurricane Katrina, and there is nobody more qualified to tell the story than physician and Pulitzer Prize-winner Sheri Fink. This is not an easy listen (the Kevorkian elements are what shook me most) but it provides an important look at how poorly we, as a nation, are prepared to provide care during the emergencies that nature can bring to our doorstep.
    • The Fire Line

    • The Story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots
    • By: Fernanda Santos
    • Narrated by: Ari Fliakos
    • Length: 6 hrs and 22 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 84
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 75
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 76

    An elite crew trained to combat the most challenging wildfires, the Granite Mountain Hotshots were a ragtag family crisscrossing the American West and wherever else the fires took them....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • touching

    • By matt on 05-04-16
    • The Story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots
    • By: Fernanda Santos
    • Narrated by: Ari Fliakos
    • Length: 6 hrs and 22 mins
    • Release date: 05-03-16
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 84 ratings
    • Disaster: Wildfire; Location: Arizona, USA
    • Fernando Santos’ brilliantly written story of brotherhood and love in the face of danger sheds a necessary light on something that we have seen far too much of in recent years: the devastation caused by wildfires in the American West.
    • What Stands in a Storm

    • Three Days in the Worst Superstorm to Hit the South's Tornado Alley
    • By: Kim Cross
    • Narrated by: Tracy Brunjes
    • Length: 9 hrs and 46 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 64
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 62
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 62

    With powerful emotion and gripping detail, Kim Cross weaves together the heart-wrenching stories of several characters to create a nail-biting chronicle in the Tornado Alley of America....

    • 3 out of 5 stars
    • Good stories if you can stand the narrator

    • By CatrinaP on 02-10-16
    • Three Days in the Worst Superstorm to Hit the South's Tornado Alley
    • By: Kim Cross
    • Narrated by: Tracy Brunjes
    • Length: 9 hrs and 46 mins
    • Release date: 04-21-15
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 64 ratings
    • Disaster: Tornado; Location: Tornado Alley, USA
    • The lives of individuals living in Tornado Alley—an area of the Great Plains that by most definitions encompasses 11 states—are almost certainly those that face the most frequent threat of disaster. What Stands in a Storm is a testament to that fact by recounting, in gripping narrative style, how in only a three-day period in 2011 more than 350 tornadoes barreled through the region bringing death and damage in droves.
    • Wave

    • By: Sonali Deraniyagala
    • Narrated by: Hannah Curtis
    • Length: 5 hrs and 24 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 212
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 185
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 185

    On the morning of December 26, 2004, on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, Sonali Deraniyagala lost her parents, her husband, and her two young sons in the tsunami she miraculously survived....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Heart-wrenching and honest

    • By Danielle on 03-08-13
    • By: Sonali Deraniyagala
    • Narrated by: Hannah Curtis
    • Length: 5 hrs and 24 mins
    • Release date: 03-05-13
    • 4 out of 5 stars 212 ratings
    • Disaster: Tsunami; Location: Sri Lanka
    • If you are looking for the book on this list that will make you appreciate all the small bits of happiness in your day-to-day, this is the one. As the sole surviving member of her family, Sonali Deraniyagala provides a detailed account of how in, December, 2004, a tsunami washed away life as she knew it on the coast of Sri Lanka, and what followed: her fight to create a new life for herself, all while keeping her memory of her family alive.