Ken's Reviews > The Moth

The Moth by Catherine  Burns
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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 those that lend themselves well to the written word, with only light editing. These stories are taken from the mainstage show and thus are told by the likes of President Clinton's press secretary, astronaut Michael Massimino, rapper Run DMC, and others. Although these stories had at their core values we can all relate to — being alone, being afraid — I still found it a bit hard to penetrate the world of celebrity. (That some of the stories are by Moth staff, and the book has a preface, a forward, and an introduction, further contributes to the self-congratulatory air.)

I'd previously heard 14 of the 50 stories on the audio podcast so skipped those. The ones I did read, I could tell they were originally spoken: plenty of sentences begin with "And", I don't think much would've been lost if these transitions had been eliminated in the editing.

This ain't a bad book — but for the true experience, The Moth should be heard, not seen.
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Reading Progress

September 14, 2013 – Started Reading
September 18, 2013 – Shelved
September 27, 2013 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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Alison Thanks for reading and commenting on my site! I think I would still love to see a mainstrage show, but there is just something about that spontanaeity (sp!) of the story slams. Of course, for me, they are not quite "spontaneous" to even attend, because I have to drive at least three hours to even get to Chicago... Did you think there were any stories that shouldn't have made the cut? The very first story in the book, I remember hearing on the podast and thinking it was okay, but was I missing something? Then I felt the same way again when reading it--and that's the story they lead off with! What am I missing about this story? It's the physicist who falls in love with a musician drifter sort of guy.

message 2: by Ken (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ken Alison wrote: "Did you think there were any stories that shouldn't have made the cut?"

Good question. There were some stories I enjoyed but which I thought would've been better in the original spoken medium: "The Big Things You Don't Do" (by the professional poker player), "A View of the Earth" (by the astronaut), "Her Way" (by Malcolm Gladwell), to name a few. The specific story you mention, "Life on a Möbius Strip", I skipped because I'd already heard it on the podcast. I liked it in that format, though.

IMHO, the weakest stories were "Liberty Card", "Hair Today Gone Tomorrow", and "Where There's Smoke".

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