Out on the Wire: Uncovering the Secrets of Radio's New Masters of Story with Ira Glass by Jessica Abel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Since I didn't read Jessica Abel's previous book on radio, Radio: An Illustrated Guide, I had no idea this would be in graphic novel format. That took a while to get used to and at first I wasn't sure it needed the graphics or even worked in that format, but I quickly changed my mind. I soon realized that Jessica was identifying an element of radio storytelling and then also illustrating it in graphical form. But not like a diagram, kind of like a meta graphic, with the radio hosts she is interviewing performing the element well. It's hard to explain. Like she says in her epilogue, you need the book to understand the book.
I'm always looking for ways to be a better podcaster, and the answers must lie in the secrets of successful radio producers. Jessica worked extensively with people from This American Life (not just Ira but also Ira), RadioLab, Snap Judgment, The Moth, and more.
I learned about signposts and realized how much podcasters and radio people use them! I liked learning the controversy between giving the listener a conclusion vs. letting them form their own. I have a lot more to say about it and will probably talk about it on the podcast soon. Meta meta meta. It can't be helped.
And since a speech that Jad Abumrad gave a few years ago helped me keep going on my podcast, I was so pleased to encounter his German forest story again.
This is a book I need to own. It also makes me want to go back to teaching my storytelling class, armed with new ideas and strategies.
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