consume me: the moth

So I completely failed at the whole week of podcast reviews thing.  Alas, life tripped me up and left me sufficiently distracted to ignore my blog.

But now I’m back!  With a review of another of my favourite podcasts: The Moth.

There isn’t much more I can say to describe The Moth than their own brief description at the beginning of every podcast: “true stories told live without notes.”  These stories are selected entries from their storytelling evenings held in New York, LA, and occasional touring shows across the States.

Most are stories of regular life, the kind of stand-out moments we all repeat over and over again in our favourite personal anecdotes.  Some of these are told by celebrities or successful writers, some by random folks who’ve clearly never stood on a stage before.  The Moth is extremely hit or miss, with the occasional overly trite attempt at a tearjerker or the more common semi-successful comedic writer trying too hard to be funny.  These misses are usually just boring – but at a maximum of 15 minutes I never feel too put out.  However, when The Moth hits, it does so very hard.  Episodes like Jack Hitt’s recent “Slumlord” story, a story which slowly and intricately builds to a hilariously satisfying conclusion, make it all worthwhile.

While The Moth isn’t always great, it has enough excellent moments in its weekly updates (one 10-15 minute story a week) to make it a definite keeper on my podcast list.  If you subscribe, be sure to delve into the archives (which unfortunately only go back a few months) and download the aforementioned “Slumlord” story.  This alone, I’m fairly certain, will convince you to stick with The Moth.

The Moth (and a direct iTunes link)

Next: This American Life

Previously: Search Engine, Podcasting


5 Responses to consume me: the moth

  1. Jonny Gruder says:

    Will deffo do this.

    Been a massive podcast fan for a while, although looking at my list they are all exclusively British. It’s about time I added a bit of Across the Pond flavour to my Itunes.

    Keep going with the blog, i’m enjoying it.

  2. adamgilg says:

    Thanks for the encouragement. I get blog stats telling me some people are coming to the site, but they don’t tell me if anyone is actually reading, let alone enjoying what I post. And me being endlessly self-critical, I assume that everyone thinks its absolute shit. So it’s nice to hear that someone (particularly someone who’s opinion I respect) is both reading and enjoying it.
    I also am in need of a bit of ‘Across the Pond’ – albeit in the opposite direction – on my iTunes. As much as I love what I have, I’m always looking for more. Recommendations for some good British stories and shows are very welcome.

  3. Shawna says:

    Yay! So excited to listen to this one. Hit or miss aside. Thanks for sharing. And don’t give up on the blog, despite the lurkers. We’re here reading if not always commenting.

  4. junior says:

    If you subscribe to the RSS feed, you can see Moth podcasts listed going back to 3/7/08 (starting with Elna Baker’s “Yes Means Yes” story). At least, when subscribing to this RSS feed with Google Reader, I find this to be true.

    Unfortunately, as you point out, despite being on the list, beyond a few months back, you cannot hear the older podcasts any longer.

    HOWEVER, given that the list gives the names of the tellers and titles, you will find that many of the older casts are out there somewhere. Elna Baker’s aforementioned story is on her personal website ( and Malcolm Gladwell’s “Perverse and Often Baffling” is replayed as part of a The American Life broadcast on the Chicago Public Radio site ( Many more examples exists.

    I love these podcasts so much, I’m searching out all the ones I’ve missed and discovering some interesting things along the way.

    I also bit the bullet and bought a 10 CD set from website along with a t-shirt. What can I say? I’m a fan.

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