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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Unfortunately, aside from a useful summary of the state of the art or the science, I should say, neuroscience regarding our brain’s compulsion to weave narratives from the data of everyday life, and an interesting bibliography that probably contains the books I was hoping this one would be, The Storytelling Animal is direly short of actual insights from the author.

Like the magnificent storytellers past and present who furnish him here with examples and inspiration, he takes a timely and fascinating but possibly forbidding subject—the new brain science and what it can tell us about the human story-making impulse—and makes of it an extraordinary and absorbing intellectual narrative. We know we are master shapers of story.

It’s a well-studied phenomenon that our memories of the actual facts of our lives are notoriously unreliable.

And at least one book has even triggered a major war: None of this is to say that the book isn’t good or worthwhile. Or about the fact that our dreams are stories in jonafhan.

The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human

Those who enjoy reading through scientific study summaries engagingly told, to be sure might enjoy those chapters more than I did. The Storyteller watched the happy union of the two frogs and felt very sad and lonely. Return to Book Gohtschall. Gottschall does a wonderful job of drawing on the world of story-telling to illustrate how life can imitate art, on a grand scale.


Account Options Sign in. Even sporting events and criminal trials unfold anlmal narratives. Gottschall romps through a huge range of psychology, evolutionary theory, anthropology, media studies, and even the sociology of online multi-player gaming communities storytellijg spin If I could give a book a six-star rating, I’d probably give it to this book.

Furthermore, Gottschall seems too eager to discuss all his ideas which results in choppiness and a lack of clarity he constantly mentions topics and ahimal states that he will get back to them. Unwilling to admit his lack of regal-ness, the king proceeds to parade about naked in front of his subjects, who, also terrified to admit they might be un-cool, praise the beauty of his raiment.

And it shall not be tiny, and cold, and green. More importantly, it’s a great story. Very few of us pause to wonder why. She still thought she was the entitled one, while aniaml sister storytelllng a usurper. I get that this is a popular nonfiction title for a general audience, but your readers deserve more than a couple of short Steven Pinker quotes when you casually cast away thousands of years of religious traditions and replace it with World of Warcraft.

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

Gottschall does treat these various topics with a deft, albeit somewhat superficial hand, managing–also like Gladwell–to be more though-provoking than substantial. Jul 06, Damian rated it it was amazing. Mar 13, Son Tung rated it liked it.

In fiction, it can be in the forms of novels, poems. That article was the reason I chose to read The Storytelling Animal. There are many distinguished scholars who write interesting and informative books for the general public.


This is by far the most compelling non-narrative nonfiction I’ve read in simply ages, and what’s more, it should be required reading for every single reader and writer out there. After a while, there were more frogs, a whole community. Jan 12, Lisa rated it really liked it Shelves: That smile changed her life.

The Storytelling Animal is another in a recent spate of Malcolm Gladwell-inspired essay collections, learned yet at the same time so breezy that your shirt might lose some starch. From now on, we are on our own!

He was even taller and stronger than her own man, and she felt envy creep into her heart. Without fiction, we’re beavers or ants, running around looking for mates and food and building houses and alliances.

Gottschall does treat these various topics with a deft, albeit somewhat superficial hand, 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.

Conspiracy theories offer ultimate answers to a great mystery of the human condition: 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 test? To him, they hhe not so much escapist nerds as wise people who are simply embracing a more palatable world and story at the expense of a more boring and despairing one the story that is their lives in the “real” world.