#77 review: Blizzard


The Storm That Changed America



Audiobook: 2 hours and 15 minutes

Narrated by Taylor MALI

Published in 2003 by Audio Bookshelf

(Hardcover published in 2000 by Scholastic)

This book counts for

My Dewey Decimal Challenge

and for

2011 Audio Book Challenge


I have to admit this is a bit strange: I really hate the cold and snow, but I was intrigued by the title, or rather the subtitle of this book, so I really wanted to read it. But I waited until August, when it is just nice and hot as I like it. And here is finally my review. I just read a forecast saying that the upcoming winter season in the Midwest is going to be so bad that everyone is going to want to move. So it may finally have been a good idea to read this book, just to know what to expect. I just hope this forecast is really off.

It is a short book, with lots of details of personal stories of what people were doing when the blizzard struck, how it impacted individual lives, as well as the whole region.

But I was disappointed and deceived by the subtitle, as actually the author showed how this blizzard changed things in the way we do things in the US only in the last 15 mn of the book! That was really what I was interesting in, not just a collection of stories, so I thought the subtitle was really misleading. The author gives finally a few examples of things we changed after this terrible blizzard of 1888, such as phone and electric cables underground, and the underground in New York.

The narrator was good, his tone fit well, giving a real sense of urgency and gloom. It actually almost sounded like a thriller, and indeed I believe the experience must have been quite frightening for people who were right in it. I’m sure glad I listened to this book, and not read it, otherwise I may have skipped to find about the impact on America.


Snow began falling over New York City on March 12, 1888. All around town, people struggled along slippery streets and sidewalks — some seeking the warmth of their homes, some to get to work or to care for the less fortunate, and some to experience what they assumed would be the last little snowfall of one of the warmest winters on record. What no one realized was that in a very few hours, the wind and snow would bury the city in nearly 21 inches of snow and bring it to a ferocious standstill. [amazon]


After attending Rutgers University and doing graduate work at Radcliffe College, Jim got a job in juvenile publishing. Starting as an editorial secretary, he worked his way up to Managing Editor. He then left to devote himself to his own writing, and published his first book, Weird and Wacky Inventions, in 1978. Jim’s varied interests, his voracious appetite for reading about subjects he finds interesting, and his immense skill as a researcher have helped him create a wide range of entertaining, provocative and multi-layered books for young readers.

Jim is the author of more than 30 books about American history. His work has received many awards.

To know more about the author and his other books, go to his website.


BLIZZARD! takes us to March 1888, when a severe winter storm froze New England and paralyzed every form of transportation. This collection of survivors’ memories of the high winds and mountains of snow creates an instructive vision of life and hardship in an earlier century. Narrator Taylor Mali maintains the tense but restrained voice that an announcer would use to report a human disaster. The sense of foreboding he creates fits the worsening conditions faced by victims of the unimaginable cold that lasted for weeks. Mali treats each word with utmost importance, and the unhurried pace allows his audience to concentrate and to remember a disaster that will surely happen again. J.A.H. © AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine– Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine –This text refers to the Audio CD edition.


3 thoughts on “#77 review: Blizzard

    • you know, when I read your comment, I thought I may have made a mistake, just checked with the audiobook publisher, it is actually only 2H15 not 2H40, so I just corrected my text. and this is Unabridged of course


  1. Pingback: 2011 Audio Book Challenge « Words And Peace

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