Will Storr

The Science of Storytelling

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{"strong"=>["‘If you want to write a novel or a script, read this book’ Sunday Times"]}
‘The best book on the craft of storytelling I’ve ever read’ Matt Haig
{"strong"=>["‘Rarely has a book engrossed me more, and forced me to question everything I’ve ever read, seen or written. A masterpiece’ Adam Rutherford"]}
{"strong"=>["Who would we be without stories?"]}
Stories mould who we are, from our character to our cultural identity. They drive us to act out our dreams and ambitions, and shape our politics and beliefs. We use them to construct our relationships, to keep order in our law courts, to interpret events in our newspapers and social media. Storytelling is an essential part of what makes us human.
There have been many attempts to understand what makes a good story — from Joseph Campbell’s well-worn theories about myth and archetype to recent attempts to crack the ‘Bestseller Code’. But few have used a scientific approach. This is curious, for if we are to truly understand storytelling in its grandest sense, we must first come to understand the ultimate storyteller — the human brain.
In this scalpel-sharp, thought-provoking book, Will Storr demonstrates how master storytellers manipulate and compel us, leading us on a journey from the Hebrew scriptures to Mr Men, from Booker Prize-winning literature to box set TV. Applying dazzling psychological research and cutting-edge neuroscience to the foundations of our myths and archetypes, he shows how we can use these tools to tell better stories — and make sense of our chaotic modern world.
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268 printed pages
Original publication



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    Натаhas quoted2 years ago
    To help us feel in control of the outside world, our brains lull us into believing things that aren’t true.
    Натаhas quotedlast year
    The storytelling brain enters a state of war. It assigns the opposing group purely selfish motives. It hears their most powerful arguments in a particular mode of spiteful lawyerliness, seeking to misrepresent or discard what they have to say. It uses the most appalling transgressions of their very worst members as a brush to smear them all. It takes its individuals and erases their depth and diversity. It turns them into outlines
    Натаhas quoted2 years ago
    A recent study of eighteen hunter-gatherer tribes found almost eighty per cent of their stories contained lessons in how they should behave in their dealings with other people. The groups with the greater proportion of storytellers showed the most pro-social behaviour.

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