The Memory Palace

Publisher:
Nate DiMeo, Radiotopia

The Memory Palace

4.9/5

Critic Rating

From public radio producer, Nate DiMeo, comes The Memory Palace, a finalist for the 2016 Peabody Award and one of iTunes Best Podcast of 2015. Short, surprising stories of the past, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes hysterical, often a little bit of both. "The most potent pieces of audio being produced today." - The AvClub thememorypalace.us The Memory Palace is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX, a curated network of extraordinary, story-driven shows. Learn more at radiotopia.fm


Critic Reviews

Score: 5

Alice Florence Orr • PodcastReview.org Jan 4, 2023

"The Memory Palace celebrates the people and places that sit at the heart of historical events. Host Nate DiMeo has taken an ambitious approach, forgoing the convention of a serial format to craft a show that can be listened to in any order. The result is a sonic tapestry of emotionally charged storytelling. …"

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Score: 4.5

Kat Rooney • PodcastReview.org Oct 28, 2021

"Taken at face value, many episodes of The Memory Palace are eloquent, compelling, and impressively compact accounts of history’s more unexplored moments. They give us a unique opportunity to think deeply about what it was like to be someone else, somewhere else, at some other time, perhaps long before ours. But in his loyal attention to the trees –– so often overlooked –– DiMeo sometimes misses the forest. Drawing conclusions about historical events can be a messy affair, one that entails nuanced and often competing interpretations. It can be maddeningly difficult, and more often than not, there is no single right answer. The Memory Palace is not history as told in your high-school textbook, nor as told in a peer-reviewed journal, and it would not work if it resembled either. The episodes are informative, yes, but perhaps more important is the artful way in which they are delivered. The stories DiMeo tells are detailed and thoroughly researched, but above all they are beautifully told, which moves us and makes us want to keep listening."

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Score: 5

Sarah Griffin • Irish Times Mar 9, 2019

"The gift of this podcast is that listeners can have so many varied experiences in such a short space of time. Each episode feels like an incredibly detailed image, or a poem. It is focused, easy, and huge. I am so glad to have so many episodes left to listen to: you will be, too."

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Score: 5

Fiona Sturges • Financial Times Sep 30, 2018

" Please use the sharing tools found via the share button at the top or side of articles. Copying articles to share with others is a breach of FT.com T&Cs and Copyright Policy. Email licensing@ft.com to buy additional rights. Subscribers may share up to 10 or 20 articles per month using the gift article service. More information can be found at https://www.ft.com/tour. https://www.ft.com/content/3054962c-c301-11e8-84cd-9e601db069b8 Set to a gently tinkling soundtrack, these elegantly written, bite-sized tales often whizz by in 10 minutes and yet they pack in a huge amount. DiMeo waives academic detachment in order to give voice to the thoughts and fears of his central characters. As a result, the episodes take on the shape of novellas or small pockets of poetry. Such is their atmospheric nature, it’s hard to remember that they are fact rather than fiction."

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Score: 4.8

Sarah Larson • New Yorker Jan 25, 2018

"DiMeo omits episode descriptions in an effort to make the listener just surrender to listening. “The Memory Palace” is transporting, provoking gratitude for its humanistic historical lessons and DiMeo’s care and attention. In other moods, it can make me feel a bit impatient. DiMeo’s vocal style—earnest and gentle, at times inflected with something like pride—can remind me of the self-conscious delivery I’ve heard at poetry readings, both heightening the language and distracting from it."

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Score: 5

Melissa Locker • The Guardian Feb 14, 2016

"DiMeo has the ability to make history beautiful, bringing the past to life without sinking to the level of animatronic Abraham Lincolns or requiring travel to see the historical re-enactment at Colonial Williamsburg. Whether he’s talking about the tragic tale of John James Audubon’s wife left behind while her husband became famous in birdwatching society or detailing the history of the lobster or a runaway slave turned civil war hero or a teenaged human cannonball, DiMeo’s soothing voice and skilled use of music makes history lessons go down easy. "

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Score: 4.8

Fiona Sturges • Independent (UK) Jul 1, 2015

"...in their idiosyncratic way, quite remarkable. It can be hard to remember that these historical snapshots aren't in fact fictional stories, such are their outlandish narratives and the atmospheric nature of their telling. The Memory Palace deserves its success. "

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Score: 5

Nathan Rabin • AV Club Sep 16, 2011

"The five- to 10-minute stories feature a kind of precious, deadpan delivery similar to This American Life, but more humorous, backed by a surprisingly evocative and effective musical score."

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