Ordeal by Hunger

  • by George R. Stewart
  • Narrated by Jeff Riggenbach
  • 12 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The tragedy of the Donner party constitutes one of the most amazing stories of the American West. In 1846, 87 people, men, women, and children, set out for California, persuaded to attempt a new overland route. After struggling across the desert, losing many oxen, and nearly dying of thirst, they reached the very summit of the Sierras, only to be trapped by blinding snow and bitter storms. Many perished; some survived by resorting to cannibalism; all were subjected to unbearable suffering. Incorporating the diaries of the survivors and other contemporary documents, George Stewart wrote the definitive history of that ill-fated band of pioneers, an astonishing account of what human beings may endure and achieve in the final press of circumstance.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Life Changing

This book can be summed up in one word: WOW!

Any problems you think you have just pale in comparison to what the Donner and Reed emigrant party suffered through in the winter of 1846-47. This story will haunt you and can almost be life changing. It really puts priorities in perspective.

My only complaint with this audio book would be in the sound editing of the narrator's recording. Pauses (short gaps of silence) were apparently added between many of the paragraphs breaking up their natural flow. They're a tad annoying and unnecessary.

The narrators reading was otherwise most excellent.

I loved the book!
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- Gyropilot

Excellent if you Really like History...

This is an excellent history with interesting stories and interesting characters. It is VERY detailed. Some may find the detail tedious, I found everything interesting. I have read other histories of these events, and this was the most detailed as well as the most touching.
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- Michael

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-23-2005
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.