The Hero With a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell The Storytelling Animal by Jonathan Gottschall Into the Woods by John Yorke The Triumph of Narrative. Drawing on the latest research in neuroscience, psychology, and evolutionary biology, Gottschall tells us what it means to be a storytelling animal. Did you know. Now Jonathan Gottschall offers the first unified theory of storytelling. He argues The Storytelling Animal finally reveals how stories shape us.

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For others, it’s further signs of the approaching apocalypse. Conspiracy theories offer ultimate answers to a great mystery of the human condition: Thanks for gottscyall us about the problem. Trivia fans will love t I loved Gottschall from the first line of this book; I quickly saw he was a book fan geeking out about how awesome fiction is and I cheerfully followed along.

The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human by Jonathan Gottschall

I was reading this with a specific purpose in mind, looking for more resources for my upcoming storytelling class. Years ago someone told me of their experience in a bar. Gottschall lays bare this quirk of our species with deft touches, and he finds that our love of stories is its own story, and one of the grandest tales out thereā€”the story of what it means to be human.

Those who praised the Emperor’s new clothes were gullible, ignorant, or sycophants. I’m always going to fangirl over books on books — I can’t help it.

This is all in lieu of a more satisfying engagement with his primary sources, which are too often tacked onto anecdotal examples to grant them additional credence. Those who enjoy reading through scientific study summaries engagingly told, to be sure might enjoy those chapters more than I did.

We devour novels, films, and plays. Oh, how she regretted that she took away the frog power! It seems to me there is no doubt that people are addicted to good story. The smell of the flowers was intense, and she became thirsty.


Humans are hard-wired for story, from the oral tradition to the print era and beyond hint: Even sporting events and criminal trials unfold as narratives. Gottschall romps through a huge range of psychology, evolutionary theory, anthropology, media studies, and even the sociology of online multi-player gaming communities in spin If I could give a book a six-star rating, I’d probably give it to this book. Open Preview See a Problem?

It did not work anymore. This book artfully makes us examine the sheer amount of story that we consume and reflect upon how it forms our own personal narratives. We know we are master shapers of story.

The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human

We know we are master shapers of story. We devour novels, films, and plays.

Is Jonathan Gottschall padding a portfolio for tenure? As a general primer, yes, competent but not great. It isn’t perhaps clear that this level of description required a book-length treatment, but the book is a quick enough read as it is. There must be another spell between the two frogs. She grabbed a frog and kissed it with all the despair of foreboding: Delightful book that I put on my list a couple of years ago when I heard about it on NPR, and only now stopped to read.

But now I have plenty of new frogs to kiss, and I know what I will do. When she hauled up the bucket and drank the sweet water, she noticed a green, tiny living thing in it. He breaks down scientific studies on neurons, behavior, emotions and offers a trenchant and funny argument in support of fiction in all its forms. It’s often hugely insightful and almost always persuasive. Some of the best bits in the book come from quot I was reading this with a specific purpose in mind, looking for more resources for my upcoming storytelling class.


May 21, Neocortext rated it liked it Shelves: If you’re a breadth reader and a fan of reading, 4-star it and share a few tidbits at the next cocktail party where many stories are unfolding you attend.

But after some time, it became monotonous. The Storyteller was excited. He says emphatically that “Neverland is your home, and before you die, you will spend decades there. Delightful book that I put on my list a storyelling of years ago when I heard about it on NPR, and only ankmal stopped to read.

But her wish had been very specific, not for a companion, but for a copy. Even when the body goes to sleep, the mind stays up all night, telling itself stories. It shall be bigger and softer and with long hair like me! Gottschall does treat these various topics with a deft, albeit somewhat superficial hand, managing–also like Gladwell–to be more though-provoking than substantial.

I never thought about toddlers’ play as a sign of how embedded story is in our basic make up. Gottschall delves into the fascinating evolutionary, cultural, biological, and even neurological reasons why our species is defined by our storytelling, both communal and individual. They have been around since the dawn of man, they transport us to other worlds even as our bodies are stationary, and they are subjective stories are like line drawings which each individual fills in with color and shading, the author contends.

A gloss on the subject, granted, but a pretty good gloss.