by Catherine Burns
From storytelling phenomenon The Moth, 45 unforgettable true stories about risk, courage, and facing the unknown, drawn from the best ever told on their stages.
If you can’t guess by the title I have some mixed feelings about this read. I was really pumped about this read, too. I hadn’t heard of the podcast, but I really needed a collection of short stories and I felt like this was a great choice. I mean, Neil Gaiman wrote the forward. And some of the stories are worth his name. Some are wonderful and even left me crying. Which, honestly, doesn’t happen often expect things that are done well. And those stories were done well. I have a bunch of dog ears in my copy of those stories whenever I need to draw inspiration (I was out of sticky notes). But there were stories that bombed really hard. I was so tempted to skip them too.
It’s important to remember that these stories were performed on stage or in the podcast and my guess is, they did better in that. Without a face, without seeing those emotions, I honestly watched a lot fall dead to me that I wanted nothing to do with. There were even stories that I gritted my teeth at and wanted to skim simply because the person who told it didn’t realize how ignorant they sounded in certain situations. I couldn’t find sympathy when they couldn’t bother to learn names or a language or how lucky they really were in comparison of others. It was so frustrating. Enough so that I had to put the book down for a while.
But the stories that were good, that were able to capture emotion in the book, I can imagine doing the same on stage. They truly blew me away and I just sat there in tears having to give myself a few moments to recover before heading on. And maybe, that’s why the other stories didn’t do it for me, because they just simply couldn’t compare with these stories.
It’s hard to say writing style or quality when it’s simply a transcription, so I can’t get into that exactly. Do I recommend it? Yes and no. I think that maybe checking out the podcast would be a good start. If you enjoy that and want to have a collection in words, then give it a go. I wish I could just give you guys the small collection of those good stories instead, but again, it depends on the person and how they feel about such things.
Rating: 3 stars