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The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human Paperback – April 23, 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 404 ratings

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Frequently bought together

  • The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human
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  • The Science of Storytelling: Why Stories Make Us Human and How to Tell Them Better
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  • Wired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence
Total price: $42.23
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Editorial Reviews

Review

A jaunty and insightful new book...[that] celebrate[s] our compulsion to storify everything around us.  (New York Times Sunday Book ReviewEditor's Choice)


"[An] insightful yet breezily accessible exploration of the power of storytelling and its ability to shape our lives...[that is] packed with anecdotes and entertaining examples from pop culture."  The Boston Globe

"The Storytelling Animal is informative, but also a lot of fun.... Anyone who has wondered why stories affect us the way they do will find a new appreciation of our collective desire to be spellbound in this fascinating book."  BookPage

"Stories are the things that make us human, and this book's absorbing, accessible blend of science and story shows us exactly why." Minneapolis Star Tribune. 

"This is a work of popular philosophy and social theory written by an obviously brilliant undergraduate teacher. The gift for the example is everywhere. A punchy line appears on almost every page." The San Francisco Chronicle

From the Back Cover

A jaunty, insightful new book . . . [that] draws from disparate corners of history and science to celebrate our compulsion to storify everything around us. New York Times
Humans live in landscapes of make-believe. We spin fantasies. We devour novels, films, and plays. Even sporting events and criminal trials unfold as narratives. Yet the world of story has long remained an undiscovered and unmapped country. Now Jonathan Gottschall offers the first unified theory of storytelling. He argues that stories help us navigate life s complex social problems just as flight simulators prepare pilots for difficult situations. Storytelling has evolved, like other behaviors, to ensure our survival. Drawing on the latest research in neuroscience, psychology, and evolutionary biology, Gottschall tells us what it means to be a storytelling animal and explains how stories can change the world for the better. We know we are master shapers of story. The Storytelling Animal finally reveals how stories shape us.
This is a quite wonderful book. 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. Edward O. Wilson
Charms with anecdotes and examples . . . we have not left nor should we ever leave Neverland. Cleveland Plain Dealer
"

Product details

  • Publisher : Mariner Books; 1st edition (April 23, 2013)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 272 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0544002342
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0544002340
  • Item Weight : 8 ounces
  • Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.74 x 8.25 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 404 ratings

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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
404 global ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on December 15, 2018
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Conor Matthews
5.0 out of 5 stars Practically a spiritual book for writers.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 1, 2017
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Deirdre Mullaney
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 18, 2017
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N. J. Franklin
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read all round
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 16, 2018
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Joren De Wachter
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 10, 2017
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Kayleigh Marie Edwards
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 7, 2016
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