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Dark Tide

The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919
Narrated by: Grover Gardner
Length: 9 hrs and 23 mins
Categories: History, World

Non-member price: $34.76

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Editorial Reviews

One of AudioFile magazine's Best Voices of the Century and Publishers Weekly's Audiobook Narrator of the Year for 2005, Grover Gardner is the recipient of dozens of awards, and listeners will easily understand why. Gardner's diction is reminiscent of classic American radio and provides an evocative feeling to this non-fiction exploration of the molasses flood that overwhelmed Boston on January 15, 1919. The rough edge of Gardner's voice adds texture to its velvety sound as he describes the disaster and its context, easily weaving together the various elements involved, from Prohibition to the anarchist movement to immigration. Listeners will find themselves absorbed by this little-known catastrophe.

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.

What members say

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Profile Image for Matthew
  • Matthew
  • 18-08-2016

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Laura
  • 10-06-2015

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • yafftastic
  • 05-12-2018

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Eleanor H. Watts
  • 25-09-2019

A really geat read!

How can a book about a mmolasses spill be a first rate "page turner?" The tension builds throughout the book as you wonder how such a thing could possibly happen and the sticky ramifications. Especially interesting if you are familiar with the Boston area it is nevertheless a compelling story for readers anywhere.

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  • William James
  • 23-09-2019

Unimaginable Horror

He has often been echoed “the truth is stranger than fiction”. Here is an incident which occurred in Boston in the year 1919 which I had never heard of until just recently, 100 years after the event. It is totally unimaginable what the poor innocence went through but this book shares much light on that incident.
I often complain about the crazy way people drive but, nothings ever done to curtail the insanity. People die every day on our local roads here in South Carolina. Sadly, it is the nature of humanity to ignore the dangers of life, even after people die from such dangers....

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  • tllresa
  • 01-01-2017

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.

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Profile Image for Andi Andrzjewski
  • Andi Andrzjewski
  • 27-12-2016

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.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • AttyCasner
  • 21-09-2016

Excellent accounting of a true story

The author has blended the facts of the case with the human side of the story, not always the case in stories like this. Neither faction is over done nor neglected.

I am a great fan of Boston and visit at least once a year but never knew about this incident. Thank you for a great story.

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  • rara ann
  • 31-01-2016

Excellent

Wonderful choice of stories to write. Wonderful balance of story and history. Well worth listening to.

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  • Judith Barry
  • 15-08-2015

Amazing true story

Well researched and absorbing story-a real page- turner-mr pullout tells the tragic story in a kind compassionate manner.

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  • Louise
  • 21-02-2018

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 of 1 people found this review helpful