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on 9 January 2017
The Moth is a storytelling platform and this volume collects 50 diverse pieces by these writers/orators. There is an oratory element to each of these tales that gives an immediacy and rawness without the polish of a written story, and rightly so because they all originated from standup storytelling sessions.

In Neil Gaiman's introduction, he explains one of the basic tenets of the Moth: "Honesty matters. Vulnerability matters. Being open about who you were at the moment in time when you were in a difficult or an impossible place matters more than anything."

Each storyteller chooses a moment in their own lives as basis for the content of their stories and they tell it as it is; except that they don't. These are stories, not fact. And being honest and "leaving out things you don't need" is not the same as not embellishing them with your own perspective, distorting accounts to highlight or tune out aspects of the situation accordingly. And that's what makes this collection enjoyable. You develop a relationship with each storyteller in those few moments that you listen to (or in this case, read) his or her tale, empathising, being wowed by, and at the same time learning more about the teller, because his or her personality inevitably slips through. Whether it is the high class socialite who tells about her trysts with the Brunei prince and his brother in his harem unabashedly, the junkie who falls in love with a fellow rehab patient who was suffering from AIDS and finds a moment of grace that he is forever unable to repeat, or the death row inmate who was wrongfully accused and spent eighteen years in prison, they all have a confession or some learning to share.

Some stories work well, and some not as well, but what is captivating about them all is the way they appropriate the feeling of a campfire sharing session, and whether you are totally engrossed by the story or distracted by your burning marshmallow, you feel the warmth of the fire and the intimacy of the baring of souls.
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on 20 September 2017
Lots of smaller stories, so it's a good second book. Themes for everyone, making it an enjoyable read.
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on 27 July 2017
These stories are brilliant and absorbing. I have also recently read the sequel.
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on 7 October 2017
Love these stories. Nice book, great variety, bite size bed time reading!
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on 7 October 2014
A superb collection of short stories taken from an inspired event that I only hope might catch on in the UK. I'll never get tired of listening to or reading a short story
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on 9 November 2017
Great book. Worth the money.
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on 1 October 2017
Love the moth
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VINE VOICEon 5 September 2014
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
You can't really go wrong with a book that is in any way affiliated with Neil Gaiman. He may not have written this book, but he provided the foreword so that's good enough for me. Generally his name isn't associated with poor work so I had hoped that I'd be in for a treat with this book, and I wasn't disappointed.

The moth is a story-telling event that travels to cities throughout the US (and internationally also this year it would seem). Anyone can submit a story and, if successful, they'll be asked to come to one of the events to read it, and the Moth directors will help them to tell the story better. It doesn't sound like anything particularly special, but it is. The stories are all true, and it's the way in which they're told and the connection with the audience that makes these events work. At the time of the book's printing, there have been over 10,000 stories told, and this is a collection of just 50 of them.

There are some stories that interested me more than others, but that's to be expected. This is a solid collection of stories and I wouldn't say there are any bad at all. The stories range from light-hearted and funny to downright heartbreaking. Some are for entertainment only, while some seem to offer lessons and some are truly inspirational. There's a great mix of story-tellers too, from 'everyday' non-famous people to celebrities, and everything in between.

While writing this review I skimmed through the book again as I wanted to list my favourites, and what I actually ended up doing was spending a good hour reading some stories again. What this little exercise showed me was actually how stellar this collection is. There are far too many great stories in this book for me to list every one that I loved, but a few of my favourites were 'A Kind of Wisdom' by Ellie Lee, 'A Perfect Circle by Carly Johnstone, 'My First Day with the Yankees' by Matthew McGough and 'Whatever Doesn't Kill Me' by Ed Gavagan.

I think it's a fair assumption to make that anyone who loves to read enjoys a good story. I therefore would recommend this collection to everyone. Even if you're not a fan of the short story form when it comes to fiction, I'd still say give this a chance, you might be surprised as it really does work for true stories.
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VINE VOICEon 25 July 2014
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The Moth is a wonderful collection of true stories, as varied as the human life, all concise and brilliantly told. It is a big book to dip in randomly, all stories having something very direct, very human to tell. Some are funny, lots are moving or even harrowing but all are taken straight from life, direct from a lived experience and in a brief, well-told format, and that makes it a pretty rare read. Apparently all these stories are narrated out loud to audiences across the US and that is obviously what gives them this vibrancy in the telling. A great book of human experiences, anecdotal perhaps but essential.
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on 26 August 2014
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
An intriguing collection of stories based on the US Moth storytelling events which presents fifty from thousands of tales told since it began.

The stories are ostensibly factually based although a number clearly blur the fact with a touch of fiction, although that's not a problem. The tales are on the whole well told and at times affecting, although as expected from such an eclectic collection there are some misses. A very good contemporary collection to delve into as each story in it's own way has something to say to us about what it means to be human, which is quite an accomplishment.
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