S Town: The New Podcast from the Makers of Serial

With more than 10 million downloads in its first four days, S Town is a phenomenon: a seven-part podcast that explores the small town of Woodstock, Alabama, and its most distinctive resident, John B. McLemore.

What do you think of this series?

MASSIVE SPOILER ALERT: Do not read further if you have not listened to S Town. There’s not much way to talk about this podcast without instantly talking about spoilers, so please come back after you’ve made it through the seven episodes.


I was ready to give up on this series until the last few minutes of the first episode, and then I was hooked.
Another good podcast is Crimetown, a riveting story about my hometown Providence RI.

I really liked this series. I know it’s not Serial but it felt like it delivered on Serial’s premise better than season 2 did: one story, told over time, complete with multiple mysteries and a big reveal. What a tragic story. Did anyone else have a weird desire to try their hand at working on clocks??

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For me it’s sundials! The professor’s voice cracking when he talked about his long-delayed sundial totally did me in.


I was mesmerized by this, and had to binge listen because it was so fascinating. Loved the clocks and sundials.

Have you all looked at their Instagram? I think it is @stownpodcast. They showed the sundial John B made for his professor as well as several of his clocks…they’re amazing! I wish they were videos because for some of them, I can’t imagine how they work!


We listened to it straight through while driving from Connecticut to Illinois (it got us as far as Ohio). We were so absorbed that we barely noticed Pennsylvania , which is a sizable slog.
The editing is brilliant.
Did anyone else wonder If any of his clock friends tried to warn him about mercury poisoning earlier in his life? They must have known he was using that process and it’s hardly a secret how dangerous it is.


I have just listened to first episode, am I the only one continually asking “where’s the dead boy’s family???”

I loved it! I binge-listened over a weekend, and really identified with John B. Not really because I’m like him, but because he did remind me of people I have known. He was a fascinating man. And his self-reliance was his downfall, which is interesting to think about - self-reliance is the “American way,” but we are all better off when we are surrounded by others. And his clock friends, especially (I think), cared about him, but weren’t able to help him - or didn’t realize he needed their help.

What’s your theory on the gold/treasure? I don’t think Tyler found it; he seemed like the kind of guy who would go on a spending spree if he had.

I’m guessing John B had purchased gold before, for his clock restoration. But perhaps there was no buried treasure.


I’ve just deleted the post I previously put up because it felt too snarky and had been bothering me ever since I posted it. I’ll just say this show pushed all my conflicted feelings about growing up in Alabama during the 1960s-70s. But it it’s an interesting contribution to the ongoing saga of how the rest of the world sees the southern US and it it is a dang fine piece of audio editing!

Food for thought on the privacy aspects of this podcast:

Was the art of S-town worth the pain?

S-town is a stunning podcast. It probably shouldn’t have been made.

I have mixed feelings, but in the end I loved the podcast and found it beautiful. A tribute to a complicated life.

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Liked the podcast. It was good but I think the creator might have had a difficult time ending it. Really enjoyed the final ending of the last episode.

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