• Dark Tide

  • The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919
  • By: Stephen Puleo
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 9 hrs and 23 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (314 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $24.95

Buy for $24.95

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Around noon on January 15, 1919, a group of firefighters were playing cards in Boston's North End when they heard a tremendous crash. It was like, "a roaring surf," one of them said later. Like, "a runaway two-horse team smashing through a fence," said another. A third firefighter jumped up from his chair to look out a window - "Oh my God!" he shouted to the other men, "Run!" A 50-foot-tall steel tank filled with 2.3 million gallons of molasses had just collapsed on Boston's waterfront, disgorging its contents as a 15-foot-high wave of molasses that at its outset traveled at 35 miles an hour. It demolished wooden homes, even the brick fire station. The number of dead wasn't known for days. It would be years before a landmark court battle determined who was responsible for the disaster.

©2003, 2004 Stephen Puleo (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Dark Tide

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    188
  • 4 Stars
    94
  • 3 Stars
    27
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    2
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    184
  • 4 Stars
    71
  • 3 Stars
    14
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    180
  • 4 Stars
    64
  • 3 Stars
    23
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Don't Pass it by Because You Don't Like Molasses!

The Good -
The story is fascinating. I had never heard of this tragedy before finding this book while reviewing books narrated by Grover Gardner. The book held my interest from beginning to end and I think it was just the right length. That said, I like books more then 8 hours long because I feel I'm getting more for the money. So, I admit I'm biased in regard to length most of the time.

The Bad -
Nothing at all.

The Narration -
As I alluded to above Gardner is in my top five favorites so.....

The Overall -
If you like non-fiction, history and technical books like I do I would be shocked if you didn't find this book well worth the time. It will remain in my library for a future re-listen.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A fantastic story

Who would have thought that a story about molasses from 1919 would be relative to the geopolitical landscape of 2016? This story is intriguing and touches on several variables that are currently playing out in these United States. This book is a great story and a good telling of it.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Sad Day in Boston History

Turning back the pages of time, when men were out to make a buck regardless of the deaths that were certain to occur. Would highly recommend.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Intriguing!

I hated books like this as a young adult. But I could’t get enough of this book! A lot of attention to detail, so much I could smell and taste everything.

Great performance by Grover Gardner.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Misleading Ttle

This book does tell about the Molasses Flood in great detail. However, it also tells you about many other events that were occurring during this era in even greater detail. This becomes more than tedious.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Too Muc detail he could not possibly know.

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

calling it historical fiction

Has Dark Tide turned you off from other books in this genre?

no

What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

everything

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Dark Tide?

all scenes where the author purports to know what folks thought, especially the "thoughts" as people were dying.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent history of the 1919 Great Molasses Flood

This is a superb history of the molasses flood on January 15 1919, which gives lie to the old idiom 'slow as molasses in January.' The 2.3-million gallon molasses flood released from a 50-ft high holding tank moved rapidly down Boston's North End as a wave 25 feet high and 160 feet wid killing 21 and seriously injuring many dozens more. Puleo interlaces the history of the molasses business, largely used to make industrial alcohol for weapoins production, with a history of anarchists in the Boston area, who would later be blamed for the flood by the the lawyers for US Industrial Alcohol (USIA) as part of their unsuccesful 'anarchists defense' strategy. Puleo covers the trial of USIA in detail, describing the background of many of the lawyers, some famous from WWI and others beginning careers that would build major Boston law firms. I would have liked to have heard more about the cleanup of the North End, for example, the duration and methods. Apparently, after washing the hills of molasses into the harbor with seawater hoses, the harbor remained coffee-colored for many months.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Dark Tide - Relevant for Today

Well written, compelling, shows precedent for today’s safeguards but still has parallels for today’s discrimination. Lots of examples come to mind especially in the area of housing and attitudes toward minorities.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

INTERESTING STORY - ABOUT 2x TOO LONG

This is a compelling little known event in American history. Who knew that molasses had killed people and destroyed property? The author does a great job but the listener/reader has to wade through over 4 hours of minutiae before the account of the flood begins. That's about 1/2 of the whole book! I listened as far as the part of Chapter 3, then skipped several hours and picked up at Chapter 9 - the early morning hours before the molasses tank exploded. After that, the story flowed well with a good description of the disaster and it's aftermath. The length made it impossible for me to give the BOOK a 5-star rating - which I would have if I hadn't paid for a 9+ hour work with only 4 hours worth of listening.

What's worse is that Stephen Puleo writes an epilogue and then an epilogue to the epilogue! The latter consists of letters from the ancestors of the victims who knew little or nothing about the tragedy until reading this book. They provide a personal insight into their relatives. Then Puleo takes time to analyze this added information. However, with the in depth research done by Puleo, these observations would be better served in a revised edition to this book, rounding out the true characters in this tragedy.

Once again, a book better served ABRIDGED!

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing narrative on a pivotal moment in Boston's

If you like books like Bill Bryson's "One Summer, 1927" then you will enjoy this well written book on the Great Molasses Flood of 1919. Ties in perfect all key considerations of what led to this tragedy, and the changes to national building codes in its aftermath.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Louise
  • Louise
  • 02-21-18

Incorrectly titled book

This book would more accurately be described as a historical book about Boston rather than a book about the molasses disaster. The molasses disaster features very little in this book and is hardly mentioned at all for the first three and a half hours.

What you are actually buying is a book that describes a turbulent time in history which features war, civil unrest, racism, terrorism and the race to manufacture arms (for which the molasses was required).

The book is written in the style of a story but it didn’t work for me because there are so many characters introduced during the first three and a half hours, and I found it so tedious, that by the time the disaster happened, I could not remember them. It would have been better written as an examination of the evidence, in my opinion.

My advice is that if you are only interested in the molasses disaster, you should go straight to part 9 and accept that there is only about an hour of listening to be had.

1 person found this helpful