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The Moth

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  3,663 ratings  ·  445 reviews
For the first time in print, celebrated storytelling phenomenon The Moth presents fifty spellbinding, soul-bearing stories selected from their extensive archive (fifteen-plus years and 10,000-plus stories strong). Inspired by friends telling stories on a porch, The Moth was born in small-town Georgia, garnered a cult following in New York City, and then rose to national ac ...more
Paperback, 410 pages
Published September 3rd 2013 by Hachette Books (first published January 1st 2013)
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Aleeda I borrowed it from NYPL. I will likely buy a used copy....the stories are exquisite, even when you have heard them via the podcast/Moth Radio Hour.

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jv poore
Jan 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
An unbelievably awesome collection of fifty true stories, The Moth is the first book that I've read that I can unabashedly, enthusiastically, recommend to absolutely anyone and everyone. Far surpassing a giant bag of Hershey's Miniatures, this genuinely has something for everyone.

This book pulls 50 stories from the archives of the not-for-profit organization The Moth; which was founded in 1997 and dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling. You may have heard one or more of the thousands of
Sep 18, 2013 rated it liked it
I'm a big fan of The Moth . Ever since a friend introduced me to the podcast in May 2012, I've listened to every show and attended every local event I could. Despite that, I was originally uninterested in the book — the spoken medium doesn't always translate well to transcription. But a promotion offered two $18 tickets to their next show when preordering the $10 book, so I picked it up as a money-saving move.

The book contains 50 stories that they promise aren't necessarily the best, but are
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't even like short stories - always find them too brief to be satisfying, and this was a book of 50 of them. I would never have read them if someone on Goodreads hadn't recommended them.
These were by far the most enjoyable that I have ever read - I think the difference was that they were all true stories and some of them were so revealing and personal. They were typically only four or five pages each but I lost count of the times when I thought I'd just read one as I only had a few minutes
All great stories but the best way to enjoy is to listen
to The Moth podcasts where you can hear these great oral
Jan 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book of short stories does what I think a great book of short stories should: delivers stories that are truly short (a few pages at most) that offer variety in terms of subject matter, tone, and/or style, while maintaining a singular premise that links them all together. Of course, the singular premise for that serves to link these stories is simple: they were all originally part of the oral tradition that is The Moth. Of course, those oral stories were all told within a time regulated time ...more
Nov 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
An exquisite collection of stories told by a variety of individuals at The Moth. The collection is nearly perfection and certainly an art form at its very best. There was not one story which didn't captivate me.

"Storytelling, story- sharing, tale- bearing in the good sense, yarn- spinning. A lot of its success has to do, as always in life, with much preparation and calculation beneath the seeming spontaneity. For all their seeming inconsequence and improvisational air, a good Moth story is as c
Sep 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The fifty stories in this volume are drawn from the thousands told at The Moth events around the country. They are presented as originally told, with no notes, before an audience, with only the barest minimum of editing. As a devotee of The Moth, I heard many of the stories when they were broadcast, and this collection -- the first of many, I hope -- has some of my favorites. In most cases, after reading one, I think: "Wow. That's the quintessential Moth story!" And so on, throughout the book. : ...more
Apr 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
My brother bought me this book for my birthday because he faithfully listens to the NPR podcast of The Moth. Me personally? I'd never heard of it, but I knew it was perfect for a road trip because each chapter is a few pages of a true, stand-alone story. This book did not disappoint. The stories were diverse and hit on so many relevant topics like love, divorce, suicide, transgenderism, family relationships, etc.. I actually read this aloud to my husband on a road trip, and because it is a podca ...more
Fascinating, brief, true stories by . . .

famous people (Richard Price, Damian Echols, Darryl "DMC" McDaniels, Joyce Maynard),

people with interesting jobs (cop, prison guard, harem member), and

people who have gone through harrowing experiences (such as being a hospital orderly trapped in a falling elevator and resuscitating a patient whose heart stopped as a result of the fall).
Sep 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
If I could give this book more than five stars I certainly would. It's that good. At times funny, poignant, thought provoking, heartbreaking and simply so damn great.
Jan 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: life-affirming, real
I discovered The Moth phenomenon, not in its original format or the podcast, but as this book. It happened through complete serendipity in a Dublin bookshop a year ago - the type of real-life serendipity which algorithms make so hard to come by online. Somehow, it called out to me, and I'm glad I listened to my gut and bought the book, as it was honestly one of the few life-altering books in my life. Plus, it led me to discover the wonderful podcast.

Maybe it's because these stories came into my
Kevin Hinman
Oct 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
A strange book to rate, considering the moth is an aural experience, but the stories in themselves, are really impressive, inspiring even. Worth checking out.
Thomas Claridge
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Misleading title; no actual Moth.
Reuben Stump
Nov 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
The other day I realized I own a book of short stories.
Perfect! :D
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-read
Staggeringly good collection of stories that deliver a punch of emotion. Highly recommend.
Neelam Babul
Oct 09, 2019 rated it liked it
A good collection of fifty (50) short true stories from people around the world. I liked some of the stories and some I did not like as much but a good collection of stories nonethless.
Mar 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
so many beautiful, moving, heartbreaking and healing stories in this book! Not ashamed to admit that one of the stories touched me so deeply I cried about it to my therapist. It would be so good to watch these stories being performed as they were meant to be, rather than reading the transcriptions - @Netflix get on this please
Peter Boyle
Apr 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For those who are unaware, The Moth is an institution dedicated to the craft of storytelling. It's a live event which occurs in cities around the world, where anyone can get up and spin a yarn about an interesting time in their life. These thought-provoking tales are available on YouTube or in podcast format and now for the first time in book form, where fifty of the best have been carefully selected.

There is something here for everyone, no matter where your interest may lie. These fascinating s
Kathryn Bashaar
Mar 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Warning: this review contains a couple of minor spoilers
I read this book in a day, lying on the couch recovering from some minor surgery. I liked almost every one of these stories. They all come, of course, from the famous Moth storytelling events, which started in NYC and now take place in many other cities. So all of the stories are true, and well-told. The best part about them is that so many of them are confessions of stupid or mean things that the storyteller did that they are sorry about n
Apr 05, 2018 rated it liked it
I very slowly savoured this book of short but real stories. For those of you who haven’t heard of the Moth, it started as a movement in the US. People would meet up and share stories. True stories from their life on the stage. The idea has grown and taken on a life of its own and this is a collection of fifty of those stories, transposed to the written form for the reader.

The Moth is the perfect addition to your bedside table. I found myself picking it up and reading a few stories here and ther
Aug 15, 2013 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this -- and individually, I really liked some of the stories. Many of the stories. Maybe all of the stories? There were only one or two that didn't strike me in some way.
But that's the problem with this collection. It's just too much.
With the archives that The Moth has, I can't imagine it was easy to start to narrow down the tales. But more needed to be done. It weakened the best of the stories to share company with so many others, and when lines -- like "straight out of central castin
Sep 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I stumbled across The Moth on my car radio one day and have been a fan ever since. The Moth is simply True Stories, Told Live.

"Since its launch in 1997, the acclaimed not-for-profit organization THE MOTH has presented thousands of stories, told live and without notes, to standing-room-only crowds worldwide. It is a celebration of both the raconteur, who breathes fire into true tales of ordinary life, and the storytelling novice, who has lived through something extraordinary and yearns to share
Apr 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
With a tag line declaring that the book contains 50 extraordinary stories you are setting the reading expectation bar pretty high. Thankfully that is precisely what these stories are, extraordinary and moving and beautiful and earth shattering, and more. A stunning read that reconnects the reader with the diversity of realities faced by their fellow human beings, exceptionally humanising and an absolute must read.
Giddy Girlie
Dec 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Great content, as you'd expect from The Moth. The one from Darryl McDaniels about his experience meeting Sarah McLaughlin made me cry with happiness.
Aug 01, 2017 rated it did not like it
In my review of "The Moth Resents: All These Wonders" I said, "After my son's creative writing class went to a Moth event at Portland's (Maine) State Theater, I was excited to read this book. What a disappointment. Most of the storytellers are famous authors, screenplay writers, and actors from New York and Los Angeles. Where were the tales of average Joes from Ohio, the experiences of regular Janes from Louisiana? I mean, if I want to hear from Meg Wolitzer or Jane Green, I can go to my library ...more
Ciaran Monaghan
I didn't know much about the Moth before I was given the book and it seemed like an interesting idea - that everyone has a story to tell. But, reading the book, it didn't feel very true to that idea and just seems like a money-making gimmick - a story-telling TED talks. Most of the story tellers were well-known in some industry or other (not just normal people) and the stories they told were not especially extraordinary (although something may be lost when these stories are written down and they ...more
Jul 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anyone listen to The Moth podcasts? I'd never heard of them until I stumbled across this book in a friend's review. They are true stories originally told live to an audience by the person who experienced them (first person). The Moth took 50 of their best stories and put them to paper with great results. All of the stories are entertaining, and a handful are incredible. Now I'm wondering if they'd be even better in podcast form?
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic compilation of fifty stories which were all originally told to live audiences as part of "The Moth", a live storytelling event which apparently has been ongoing since 1997. I confess I had never heard of it but the variety and caliber of the stories contained within this novel makes me want to search out the podcasts of NPR to hear some of these and other tales which were all initially told live. I think many of the stories I thoroughly enjoyed would be even better when heard as they w ...more
Russell Reidelberger
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 Stars = I really enjoyed it, so much so I'd recommend it to others.

I read this collection of stories originally looking for performance pieces for my speech and acting team. I did find some really good pieces, but surprisingly I found that each story (even the ones that probably wouldn't work for our team) was a little piece of inspiration. If you are like me and sometimes get bogged down by all the negativity and devisiveness in the world, these stories will remind you that life truly is won
Christie Munson Muller
I'm into reading and writing nonfiction and love a good true story. This collection of "extraordinary" true stories didn't disappoint. I tend to read in little chunks of time and the short essay style allowed me to do just that. It's inspired me to check out one of the local Moth StorySLAMs in the Phoenix area. This book has highlighted how a good raconteur can help connect us, so we can see the humanity in each other.
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Catherine Burns is artistic director of The Moth and the editor of The Moth: 50 True Stories, The Moth Presents All These Wonders, and The Moth Presents Occasional Magic.

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