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The Moth | Catherine Burns | Review

the moth catherine burns book blog review

Released in 2013, The Moth is the first story collection published by the non-profit organisation of the same name, which hosts live storytelling events, also shared through their weekly podcast. The book contains fifty true tales told by a variety of storytellers, ranging from heartwarming to heartbreaking and everything in between.

The stories selected for the book are split into seven different sections - Innocents Abroad, In The Trenches, Coming Home, Generations, Shot Through The Heart, Carpe Diem and Save Me - mirroring the fact that the live events each have a theme. Each story has been transcribed from the organisation’s live storytelling events across the US and has it’s own distinctive, chatty tone, often as if you’re listening to a friend. Having only dabbled in listening to the podcast, I can understand how some of the stories would be best heard spoken by the storyteller’s own voices, however I do think the book’s editor Catherine Burns did a great job of recreating this feeling on the page. 

We strive to make every Moth night feel like an intimate dinner party, each storyteller a guest holding the attention of the table for a moment with a spellbinding tale. - Catherine Burns

With each story lasting only a few pages the book is easy to dip in and out of, however I found myself finishing the whole thing in just a few days as I was enjoying variety of stories and voices so much. Of course, some of the tales were more memorable than others but each one was interesting in it’s own way and there were very few that I didn’t find myself invested in.

For me, The Moth was a great reading experience and certainly delivered on it’s promise of '50 extraordinary true stories'. I look forward to reading 2017 release All These Wonders and would love to see more editions in future, perhaps featuring storytellers from live events around the world. ★★★★

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