• The Storm of the Century

  • Tragedy, Heroism, Survival, and the Epic True Story of America's Deadliest Natural Disaster: The Great Gulf Hurricane of 1900
  • By: Al Roker, William Hogeland
  • Narrated by: Byron Wagner
  • Length: 8 hrs and 6 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (158 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In this gripping narrative history, the beloved NBC weather personality vividly brings to life the Great Gulf Hurricane of 1900: the deadliest natural disaster in American history.

On the afternoon of September 8, 1900, 200-mile-per-hour winds and 15-foot waves slammed into Galveston, the prosperous and growing port city on Texas' Gulf Coast. By dawn the next day, when the storm had passed, the city that had existed just hours before was gone. Shattered, grief-stricken survivors emerged to witness a level of destruction never before seen: 8,000 corpses littered the streets and were buried under the massive wreckage. Rushing water had lifted buildings from their foundations, smashing them into pieces, while intense winds had upended girders and trestles, driving them through house walls and into sidewalks. In less than 24 hours, one storm destroyed a major American metropolis - and awakened a nation to the terrifying power of nature.

The Storm of the Century brings this legendary disaster and its aftermath into brilliant focus. No other natural disaster has ever matched the havoc caused by the awesome mix of winds, rains, and flooding that devastated this bustling metropolis and shocked a young, optimistic nation on the cusp of modernity. Exploring the impact of the disaster on a rising nation's confidence - the pain and trauma of the loss and the determination of the response - Al Roker illuminates both the energy and the limitations of the American Century, and of nature itself.

©2015 Al Roker (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about The Storm of the Century

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent read

Lots of information about the hurricane of course but also about the National Weather Service development and their role in the story. Newspapers also play a significant role.
Individual stories are intertwined to bring a full picture of this traumatic moment in history.
Well written and read.

6 people found this helpful

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Review of "The Storm of the Century "

This was an interesting story of an event that as never been told so vividly. It had a few flaws, in my view, of the reader, that were distracting to me. 1. The reader did not pronounce the towns in Texas, as Texans do. ie San Jacinto, Boliver, Sabine etc. if the book is about Texas he should know how to describe the location. 2. Mr. Wagner spoke in a sort of monotone that almost put me to sleep..not a good thing when you are talking about such a vivid happening. Several times I found myself going back and re listening to whole chapters. 3. Perhaps you should have gotten a Texas native reader. It just didn't seem to fit. The dialect and the subject. Having said that, the story was well written and well researched. I really would recommend it. A lot of information there that was new to me, and a fascinating tale of the awesomeness of nature. I particularly liked Mr. Roker's obvious knowledge of the subject matter.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Brilliantly written and thereby illuminating,

Would you consider the audio edition of The Storm of the Century to be better than the print version?

I enjoy both mediums. Through any form this historical catastrophe should be a must read for all public servants from grass-root groups straight up to the highest office of the land. Considering our brand of democracy is only as good as the education of its citizenry, each and every American, and citizens of any nation should be aware of how much our elective officials and greater still how much each citizen is prepared for disasters that WILL happen.

What did you like best about this story?

The humanizing approach of the community that went a long way to make the reader KNOW that but for the grace of God...

What about Byron Wagner’s performance did you like?

His abililty to keep the reader engaged as well as perplexed by the human frailities of character that played critical roles in the scope of this tragic catastrophy. Therefore this event was not just a natural castrophy.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes! Maybe naively, I conistently marveled at the egos that contributed to the scope of the handling of this disaster.

Any additional comments?

I hope Al Roker, with his depth and expertise in his field as well as his keen observation of human behavior, writes more on human conditions intersecting with nature and the unique historical outcomes.

4 people found this helpful

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On par with David McCulloch stories

Who will enjoy this? Anyone interested in American history, the intersection of Joseph Pulitzer, William Randolph Hearst, Clara Barton, the Cuban revolution and and and and the harrowing tale of America's worst natural disaster and overcoming incredible odds through the storm and rebuilding beyond fiction. Reader Byron Wagner turns a fine story into a riveting report. I was surprised that Al Roker didn't read it himself, but can't imagine him doing a finer job than Mr. Wagner

3 people found this helpful

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Wonderful and accurate

Much research and interviewing went into this story. The voice of the reader was pleasant.

2 people found this helpful

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From a different perspective.

I’ve been fascinated with the Great Galveston Storm sine a kid in the 60s. I’ve read most every book, but this covers in depth, angles not covered or fleetingly mentioned. Mr. Roker has done a masterful job!

1 person found this helpful

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Great book

Great account of disaster that my great grandparents survived. I felt like I was there...

3 people found this helpful

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Galveston 1900 vs Galveston 2008(Ike) 108 years

To begin, the narrator is beyond excellent; perfect is not an exaggeration. The tone set during my experience (Mr. Roker's writing style) began as a surprise, especially handicapped with this being my first litany penned by his hand.
I did get my factual spreadsheets regarding the event via Wikipedia,  the Rosenberg Library, small pamphlets collected over the years, and my most cherished of any aforementioned, during a babysitting afternoon, my Grandma Felipe' lured me into an afternoon nap with a story of another "babysitter ", (which was really her, and pregnant with her fourth)and a young 6-year-old son.(much like me) The reality was that grandma Felipe' was the first-hand survivor mentioned above. Being a second-generation Italian immigrant, she was moved to our then small Galveston Bay Hamlet of Seabrook, physically by this storm. I will end my discussion of this endearing touch stone by saying her days with this storm never changed with the at least half dozen times I remember her recount; the last being as in Mr. Roker's, having to lovingly beg her to love us all by including herself one more time in this story. 

Al Roker's book includes all the classes of Galveston at the time, their knowledge of destructive tropical weather at the time, and even surprisingly, for me, how fake news is nothing new. For this reader, this audiobook on this subject, that is available, is without a doubt, the best.

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟


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Fascinating

fascinating story. I wish the performer would have done some research on how to pronounce the local names.

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such a well put together account

this is a well put together account of a truly horrific and harrowing natural disaster!