The Way of the Storyteller Reprint Edition

10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0140044362
ISBN-10: 0140044361
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The Way of the Storyteller + The Storyteller's Start-Up Book: Finding, Learning, Performing and Using Folktales + Improving Your Storytelling: Beyond the Basics for All Who Tell Stories in Work and Play (American Storytelling)
Price for all three: $36.26

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ruth Sawyer (1880-1970) traveled through America, Ireland, and Spain collecting tales. Her retellings were authentic, backed by scholarly research. A frequent and much admired speaker in the United States, Sawyer collaborated on the Caldecott Honor book, Journey Cake, Ho! with her son-in-law, and noted children's book author, Robert McCloskey.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (January 27, 1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140044361
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140044362
  • Product Dimensions: 4.9 x 0.7 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #212,724 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Daniel L. on September 17, 2008
Format: Paperback
The handful of other reviews here are not very substantial. I'm not an oral storyteller; I'm a writer looking for help with pitching stories. So my perspective on this book differs from other reviewers.

First, the positives. Ms. Sawyer is a passionate and eloquent advocate of oral storytelling as an art form unto itself. She draws on a lifetime of experience and travel to argue that the art is worthy of an approach by practitioners that is reverent, rigorous, and passionate. She advocates that storytellers study subjects like music, voice, folklore and culture to deepen their art. There is also a fine selection of folk-tales that comprises the entire second half of the book.

All of this is very good--but in my opinion amounts to little more than a pep-talk for librarians who want to tell stories to children. As proof of this I would cite that when Ms. Saywer revised the book in the Sixties she only added two chapters, one on children's literature and another on adding poetry (for children) to the story hour. Telling stories to children is a fine ambition--it's just not one this reader shares.

However, there is plenty in the book that can be applied to other storytelling venues. But, as the author herself admits in the introduction, she has not written a practical manual on storytelling.

So if, like me, you are looking for practical tips on ways to improve your storytelling (and not just deepen your appreciation for what storytelling can be) then you can safely skip this book.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
The literature will help you see the big picture. Life is all about the detail and it is that detail that one has to focus on when doing a story. The practice of story telling is one in where one must too have lots of experiences, such as? Going on trips and seeing the different cultures and lands of other countries for example along with socializing with people. This also includes reading a lot of books and magazines in order to get ideas. Just read it, and don't judge the book by its cover and i hope you get the material in order to make your storytelling in writing or in oral situations fruitful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. Dale on February 26, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Delightful, inspiring, helpful!
Highly recommended for anyone desiring to tell stories, listen to stories, or just simply appreciate the role of stories in human civilization.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By McTavish on October 31, 2014
Format: Paperback
So far, this book has been helpful in my efforts to improve my storytelling techniques! It's been around for decades and keeps being re-printed, so it must be good!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Helen E. Curran on August 18, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is a classic, with tips for tellers and some fine stories at the end of the book. A must for debutant tellers.
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