The Cruelest Miles

  • by Gay Salisbury, Laney Salisbury
  • Narrated by Barrett Whitener
  • 9 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.

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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)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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.
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- Susan Carter

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.
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- Cassi

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-25-2003
  • Publisher: Books on Tape