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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It grips the reader with both stories and stories about the telling of stories, then pulls it all together to explain why storytelling is a fundamental human instinct. Selected pages Page 2. Fiction is potent stuff. But the Storyteller felt her heart break, her stomach turn, her head burst. Gottschall does treat these various topics with a deft, albeit somewhat superficial hand, managing–also like Gladwell–to be more though-provoking than substantial. But as Gottschall shows in this remarkable book, stories can also change the world for the better.

How stories are told has changed over time, from a group of hunter-gatherers listening to a storyteller around a fire to online role-playing games, but they’re all stories.

The Storytelling Animal – Jonathan Gottschall

Happy stories create happy people. I always find it humourous when people try to distinguish themselves by claiming that they never waste time reading fiction, just non-fiction. Did you know that exposure to even just one short story or short TV show fiction can alter someone’s moral stance on an issue, or even alter the person’s results on a personality jonathsn He has most of the facts straight, and gottschxll way he tells the story makes it sound really interesting.

And you can fight, and possibly even defeat, bad men. Some, on the other hand, promote hatred, such as DW Griffith’s silent classic film Birth of Nation, which created a jonxthan for the Klu Klux Klan in the early 20th century by painting that organization as the savior of the white race in the post-Civil War southern U.


It is an age when most of us know hundred of these poems by heart. Account Options Sign in. And yet ink people press effortlessly through the porous membrane separating their inky world from ours.

It was inevitable, of course, for such a book to argue about the future of literary gottschqll in a time where the decreasing of reading is a worldwide phenomenon.

Gottschall does treat these various topics with a deft, albeit somewhat superficial jonathxn, managing–also li This was a decidedly popular rather than academic treatment of the subject–something akin to a Malcolm Gladwell or Stephen Johnson approach to storytelling than, say, a closely analytical approach.

Gottschall takes joy in not just reading, but all forms of storytelling, from country music songs to commercials and films. Combine these two books please! Open Preview See a Problem? The Storytelling Animal finally reveals how stories shape us. Stormy clouds brought rain that filled raging rivers and flooded the beautiful grassland. Not only is the book short on insight and useful or innovative conclusions, it is written in the typical pop science style of endless repetition, entertaining but obvious exemplar anecdote and condescending tone of the schoolmaster.

Dec 23, Thee Reading Envy rated it liked it Shelves: Humans live in landscapes of make-believe.

The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human – Jonathan Gottschall – Google Books

If you’re a depth reader and a fan of reading, 3-star it and mine what you will. We devour novels, films, and plays. Gottschall talks about the nature of story, how a predicament and conflict is necessary, how similar all stories are at their fundamental roots. And it shall not be tiny, and cold, and green.


As I read this I could see the torch being passed and realized that I was reading the words of the next great mind in Non Fiction.

The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human

Is Jonathan Gottschall padding a portfolio storytslling tenure? But when the storyteller leaves, my guy just sits there nursing his beer. Did you know that the more absorbed you are in a story, the more it changes your behavior? Written by an Engish professor at Washington jonahtan Jefferson College, Jonathan Gottschall, it’s as good as anything you will ever read about stories and how they mold us as individuals and hold our societies together.

Fiction may temporarily free us from our troubles, but it does so by ensnaring us in new sets of troubles. Stories hold societies together, providing them with a set of common, shared myths: The accuracy of our jonsthan fades, but our confidence does not. So, you know, the best kind. It almost felt as if the topic should have been covered in a novella length study instead.

Humans live in landscapes of make-believe. At the core, they’re all 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.

Yet the world of story has long remained an undiscovered and unmapped country. And they varied slightly from Storyteller to Storyteller, for from the beginning of time, Storytellers have tried to surpass and outwit each other with ever-growing imagination.