Book Review: The Moth 2: All These Wonders

Genre: Non-fiction, True Stories
Publisher: Allen & Unwin

The Moth is, in a sense, the best kind of secret society. Though many have never heard of their exploits, to those in the know, they’re a not-for-profit phenomenon taking the world by storm. The Moth’s aim is simple: championing the art of storytelling by bringing together personal truths, brave storytellers, and willing listeners. For twenty years, The Moth has been filling venues with people eager to share their truths, or engage with the truths of others. It’s highly emotional, entertaining, and engaging entertainment.

‘All These Wonders’ is the second collection of stories from The Moth’s global events, bringing together names you know and love (or love to hate) with a new wealth of talent to explore. This, too, is a wonderful part of The Moth’s work: it’s not about showcasing the big names, or valuing certain truths over others. Instead, every voice is held up as inherently valued, with something important to share. ‘All These Wonders’ introduces readers to the reality of life on the other side of being a child soldier, to life as an outsider, to life in privilege or celebrity, all without placing judgement on whether wealth or circumstance impacts the right to hold truth and speak it to the world.

We all have stories, and ‘All These Wonders’ is a timely reminder that everyone’s story matters.

If you’re looking for a quick, passive read, this isn’t the book for you. These are the sorts of stories you can’t help but linger over, like fables for adults without the irritating moral superiority. They’re beautifully crafted, generous offerings from a wealth of talented souls that explore in myriad ways what it means to be human in a complex and often overwhelming world. There’s humour and heartbreak, victory and loss- moments of stumbling into greatness, and moments of working tirelessly to see it happen.

‘All These Wonders’ is a gloriously affirming read, a dose of hope for bad days for anyone game to pick up a copy and meander through. The beauty here is that even in circumstances that the average reader may never be able to relate to, there’s always, always a nugget of profound connection in the stories. Maybe we’ve never, say, created an icon’s most iconic hairstyle, but we’ve all had moments where it’s felt like fate has dragged us down pathways we’d never thought possible.

It’s in that sense of shared humanity and connection that the magic of ‘All These Wonders’ lies.

‘All These Wonders’ is published by Allen & Unwin, and is available at leading retailers. And for those who find themselves in love with The Moth, you can find them through their podcast, and at story slams around the world.

Rating: 4 and a half stars

Review by Kylie Thompson

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