• The Worst Hard Time

  • The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl
  • By: Timothy Egan
  • Narrated by: Jacob York
  • Length: 12 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Americas
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (44 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

In a tour de force of historical reportage, Timothy Egan’s National Book Award-winning story rescues an iconic chapter of American history from the shadows.

The dust storms that terrorized the High Plains in the darkest years of the Depression were like nothing ever seen before or since. Following a dozen families and their communities through the rise and fall of the region, Timothy Egan tells of their desperate attempts to carry on through blinding black dust blizzards, crop failure, and the death of loved ones. Brilliantly capturing the terrifying drama of catastrophe, he does equal justice to the human characters who become his heroes, “the stoic, long-suffering men and women whose lives he opens up with urgency and respect” (New York Times). In an era that promises ever-greater natural disasters, The Worst Hard Time is “arguably the best nonfiction book yet” (Austin Statesman Journal) on the greatest environmental disaster ever to be visited upon our land and a powerful reminder about the dangers of trifling with nature. 

©2006 Timothy Egan (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about The Worst Hard Time

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Not a John Steinbeck. Sorry

This Author wrote a very interesting story that helped me to 'see' a bit of the life during the dust bowl. He bounces a bit too much between families, and I found myself backtracking in the book to find out who 'Johnny' was... Oh, that's Bam's Son, OK.
The Narrator was to blame for some of this too, as he mispronounced words, and read a bit dull like.
All in all, a good book.

1 person found this helpful

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Local Pronunciation

I really enjoyed hearing the stories, many of which involved places or names so familiar. It would have been much more enjoyable, though, of the narrator had troubled to learn local pronunciation. For instance, Boise City is not pronounced the same as Boise, Idaho. Rather it is simply "Boyce" City. Other than this, I enjoyed the book.

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Perfect narrator for an epic book.

Beautifully written and narrated about the profound “dirty thirties”, and the people who endured it all.

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Blowing excitement

brings the story to life with just enough detail to be data driven, but exciting enough to not put down.