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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Are stories, and literature in general, really supposed to underpin and foster moral behavior?

Even when the body goes to sleep, the mind stays up all night, telling itself stories. A garden appeared instantly before her inner eye. 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 there—the story of what it means to be human.

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? Now Jonathan Gottschall offers the first unified theory of storytelling.

And at least one book has even triggered a major war: Ours is storytelling the age when poetry died; it is the age when poetry triumphed in the form of song. They are full of truth. They happen because bad men live to stalk our happiness.

Fiction may temporarily free us from our troubles, but it does so by ensnaring us in new sets of troubles.

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. 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.


Authorities on the first theory are Gottschall himself referring to a study he will soon publish but of which contents or conclusions he supplies nil; Tolstoy, whose classic stance is gottscuall newsworthy; and Gardener, whose position is mentioned without comment as if it represented the definitive consensus on the subject.

Some stories promote greater gottscjall understanding or greater wariness of authoritarianism, such as To Kill a Mockingbird or Animal Farm or Darkness at Noon.

The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human

My library Help Advanced Book Search. 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. Even sporting events and criminal trials unfold as narratives. More importantly, it’s a great story. This is the kind of prose that perpetuates pseudo science and falsehoods.

The Storytelling Animal – Jonathan Gottschall

Very few of us pause to wonder why. It almost felt as if the topic should have been covered in a novella length study instead. The storytelling mind is allergic to uncertainty, randomness and coincidence. That all children act out the same kinds of stories, whether they grow up in a slum or a suburb? And if it does not lie to itself, it is not healthy. They sweat ink and cry ink, and when they are cut, they bleed ink. Drawing on the latest research in neuroscience, psychology, and evolutionary biology, Gottschall tells us what it means to be a storytelling animal.


The Storytelling Animal- free copy! When she let the frog go, and looked around, she saw a majestic creature lying on the ground, yellow, furry, strong, with a long, wild mane. How Stories Make Us Human. Feb 21, Juan rated it it was ok.

His work was featured in an article in Science describing literature and evolution. Then a small, ignorant, naive child points In the Emperor’s New Clothes, the king pays a pair of con artists handsomely to sew for him the finest clothing in all the country. Even sporting events and criminal trials unfold as narratives. Aug 02, Zack Rock rated it did not like it. They withdrew into different corners of the garden and began to collect armies of frogs for warfare.

Gottschall delves into the fascinating evolutionary, cultural, biological, and even neurological reasons why our species is defined by our storytelling, both communal and individual.

Hardcover tye, pages. I trudge to the closest bar and, after a couple of beers, proceed to tell the guy sitting on the next bar stool my life story.

She realised too late that the man she had created as her own companion, but taller and stronger than herself, and with a ferocious wish to protect her, did not need frogs.

For some, this comes as good news! 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.