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Stories include: writer Malcolm Gladwell's wedding toast gone horribly awry; legendary rapper Darryl "DMC" McDaniels' obsession with a Sarah McLachlan song; poker champion Annie Duke's two-million-dollar hand; and A. E. Hotchner's death-defying stint in a bullring . . . with his friend Ernest Hemingway. Read about the panic of former Clinton Press Secretary Joe Lockhart when he misses Air Force One after a hard night of drinking in Moscow, and Dr. George Lombardi's fight to save Mother Teresa's life.
This will be a beloved read for existing Moth enthusiasts, fans of the featured storytellers, and all who savor well-told, hilarious, and heartbreaking stories.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-10-07
- Reviewer: Staff
This archive of confession, catharsis, and the exuberance of truth lures readers to the storyteller's porch. Burns, artistic director of the award-winning The Moth Radio Hour, frees stories whetted for a live audience onto the page, proving the richness of great storytelling: that one can gain as much as a member of an audience communally cringing, laughing and weeping, as a reader privately surrendering to the complicity of human experience. Here, a Russian music teacher's tale of conviction in the face of machine gun-wielding soldiers is salvaged from the muffled audio of a handheld recorder; the clipped sentences of a veteran astronaut bear the fear in his voice as he recounts his crew's rescue of a spacewalk in peril; the fidelity of spoken pauses and "um's" retain the essence of Kimberly Reed's humor as she describes her long-lost hometown's embrace of her gender transition in the wake of her father's death. These selections bespeak the importance and popularity of The Moth as a storytelling venue. A live audience is wanted at times; some jokes are lost on the page without the accompaniment of audience laughter. However, these stories capturing the "biggest moments of their lives" remind us that those who are willing to be vulnerable are our best teachers. (Sept.)