Tag Archives: podcasts

Like a Novel you Can’t Put Down: The Best and Worst Single-Story True Podcasts via /r/podcasts

Like a Novel you Can’t Put Down: The Best and Worst Single-Story True Podcasts

I’ve always loved stories. In my younger years, I was a voracious reader and especially loved true crime and non fiction books. Now, as a married adult with a 50 hour white collar desk job work week and a long daily commute, I haven’t had the time to read as much as I like. Podcasts have been a saving grace for me to be able to get my story-fix in while still being able to do other things, like drive or pour over spread sheets.

Over the past 5-6 years, I’ve listened to a ton of podcasts. Here are my very basic reviews and recommendations.

My favorites (like a book I couldn’t put down):

  1. Crimetown S1- about the criminal underworld and political atmosphere in Providence, RI and the best podcast I ever listened to. So engrossing and engaging

  2. Last Seen- about a Boston art heist. Very underrated and very well done

  3. Serial S1- about a teenage murder in Maryland. The OG and what got me into podcasts.

  4. Slow Burn S2- about the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

  5. Public Official A- about the Rod Blagoivich scandal in Chicago.

  6. Bear Brook- about the New Hampshire Bear Brook murders

  7. Caliphate- about a Canadian who joins ISIS and returns

  8. Dirty John- very engrossing story about a very gullible woman and a con man

  9. Conviction- about crime in a disadvantaged NYC neighborhood.

  10. Gladiator- about the Aaron Hernandez story.

Worth a listen (good stories, almost great)

  1. Cold- about a disappearance and likely murder in Utah. Tragic story and reveals a crazy family dynamic. I almost included this in my favorites list but the series had a ton of episodes and felt drawn out.

  2. Teacher’s Pet-about a disappearance and likely murder in Australia. Like Cold, series had a ton of episodes and felt drawn out.

  3. In the Dark S2- about a murder in Mississippi that may have led to the wrong man being convicted. Really good, but can be dry at points.

  4. Slow Burn S1- about the Watergate Scandal. Well done, just couldn’t really get into it since it was before my time.

  5. The Dropout- about the Theranos scandal. Was great but the last episode fell flat.

Wouldn’t recommend (finished the season, but didn’t like it)

  1. Over My Dead Body- about a murder in Florida. 6 episode season that’s could’ve been done in 2.

  2. Serial S2- about Bowe Berghdahl. Huge let down coming off of S1

  3. Someone Knows Something S2- about a murder in Canada. Felt like by the end, no one knew anything.

  4. Serial S3- about the criminal justice system in Cleveland. Didn’t grab my interest. Felt like a very drawn out NPR segment.

  5. S-Town- about a mans life in a small southern town. Really liked the show, but felt it was exploitive of the subject’s life. Felt like reading a deceased man’s diary, and it made me uncomfortable.

Gave up on (didn’t finish the season because I disliked it so much)

  1. Dr. Death- about a maniacal surgeon. This show is supposedly incredibly well done and people love it, but listening triggered my health anxiety and freaked me out. You should listen if medical shows/drama interest you though.

  2. Up and Vanished S1- about a murder in Georgia. The host is absolutely insufferable, self promoting, and frankly seems like an asshole.

  3. Crimetown S2- about crime in Detroit. Huge let down for me coming off S1. Just couldn’t get into it at all. Also only available on Spotify which sucks.

  4. Missing Maura Murray- about a girl who disappears in the woods of New Hampshire. Didn’t like the host and couldn’t get into it. What happened to her seems like not much of a mystery

  5. Thunder Bay- about a Canadian city, crime, and race relations. I really wanted to get into it but I just couldn’t. Felt like the host was trying to get me to feel a certain way which I didn’t like

I’m currently listening to Stranglers and about halfway through and it’s decent. I have Uncertain Hour and American Scandal (all seasons) in my queue.

What do you guys think? Are my rankings wrong? Is there a super great podcast out there you think I’d love that I’ve missed?

Edit: formatting