The Cruelest Miles

  • by Gay Salisbury, Laney Salisbury
  • Narrated by Margot Dionne
  • 5 hrs and 45 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Alaska, 1925: the diphtheria serum is 674 miles away. Without it, the people of Nome will not survive. Nome, Alaska, sits on the edge of the Bering Sea two degrees below the Arctic Circle, and there are few more forbidding places on earth, especially in winter. Dr. Curtis Welch knew the signs of diphtheria, knew that his patients - many of them children - would die without a shipment of fresh serum. The port was icebound and the nearest railhead was almost 700 miles away across mountains, rivers, and the treacherous ice of Norton Sound. A blizzard was brewing, and airplanes, in 1925, could not fly in such conditions. Only the dogs could do it. A relay was set up, and the drivers, many of them Native Alaskans, set off into the night at 60 below zero, often trusting their lead dogs to find the trail under feet of driven snow. The legendary heroism and endurance of the men and dogs in the Serum Run need no enhancement. Here, for the first time, their story is told in full.


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

Read This Book!

"The Cruelest Miles" is a remarkable book about the human spirit and the bond between animals and their human companions. Highly recommended for anyone who loves dogs or stories of adventure and overcoming adversity. Very entertaining and extremely engaging.
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- Pete

Just a Story...

I enjoyed this book, truly did, but up to a point. The story is good and has to be told. Certainly the epidemic was terrible and the actions of the people were very courageous, with lots of sacrifices made. And I even loved the way bonds were formed between man and dog. However, this was just an historical narration. There were no interactions between the people involved, just a "person telling a story." When I read or listen to a book, I like to get into the characters involved, to feel what they are feeling, to feel the excitement or anger, or explore other emotions. Sadly this book is lacking in that area. The narrator's voice was clear and concise, but lacking in emotion. If you enjoy this type of narration, then you will very likely enjoy this book. But for me personally, I found my mind wandering at times, and can only give it a 3.
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- L. Olson

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-27-2003
  • Publisher: Random House Audio