Cahterine Burns, ed, with preface by Adam Goppnik and foreword by George Dawes Green, The Moth: 50 True Stories (New York: Hyperion Books, 2013)
I have been listening to The Moth podcast for some time, so it seemed natural to see how the distinctly oral stories translated into written stories. The answer, in short: magnificently. Most of the stories in the book were familiar to me, having heard them in podcasts of story slams held in various locations. However, good stories are worth re-visiting and reading the stories is quite distinct from hearing them in the words of their authors.
I think it is safe to say that there are things to be learned of the art of storytelling from reading stories as well as from listening to them. Of course, the book doesn’t have the unique voice of each storyteller. I tend to read in my own voices. However, the stories are so unique that each has its own voice.
Some of the stories are well worth having a written record. These, of course, are not my stories. Nor are they ones that I can tell. However, reading them adds to the experience of hearing them.and they become unique teachers of the craft of storytelling.
I would definitely recommend this book to a reader who doesn’t navigate the podcasts. I don’t need to recommend it to fans of The Moth. Chances are they have already read it.