The Science of Storytelling: Why Stories Make Us Human, and How to Tell Them Better (Hardback)
  • The Science of Storytelling: Why Stories Make Us Human, and How to Tell Them Better (Hardback)

The Science of Storytelling: Why Stories Make Us Human, and How to Tell Them Better (Hardback)

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Hardback 288 Pages / Published: 04/04/2019
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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.

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
ISBN: 9780008276935
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 350 g
Dimensions: 204 x 135 x 28 mm


'Rarely has a book engrossed me more, and forced me to question everything I've ever read, seen or written. It's a masterpiece. I am in awe.' - Adam Rutherford, author of A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived

'The best book on the craft of storytelling I've ever read.' - Matt Haig

'Reading this book feels like cheating. It gives you an unfair advantage over other writers. A fascinating new way of looking at writing and how to exploit the fact that storytelling is hardwired into our brains.' - Charlie Higson

'A brilliant, accessible and very human book not just for writers but for anyone interested in how the mind works - not least their own. Will manages to be both detached and compassionate on every page, sometimes within the same sentence. That such a complicated book is so easy to read is testament to his clarity of thought and skill as writer. A stupendous achievement.' - Robert Webb

'A hugely compelling reading experience. Storr's superb exploration of the enduring appeal of the novel offers a smart, fascinating exploration of the science and psychology behind our most sophisticated art form that also works as an effective how-to guide.' - Alex Preston, Observer

'If you want to write a novel or a script, read this book. It is clear, compelling and tightly shaped around one fascinating and productive idea ... Storr wants to free writers from programmatic, plot-based writing guides, and his approach feels liberating.' - Sunday Times

'There's nothing else quite like Will's approach, with its illuminating, scientific take on storytelling. All writers, no matter what their level of experience, are likely to go away with a new understanding that will deepen and nourish their work.' - Craig Pearce, screenwriter of Strictly Ballroom, Moulin Rouge and The Great Gatsby

'So much more than a book about how to write stories. It's a book about what it means to be alive.' - Tim Lott

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“Another wise voice to learn from in the art of storytelling!”

The intriguing pairing of science and storytelling comes together in Will Storr's book on the craft of storytelling. For years, millennia really, some of the greatest philosophers have pondered the meaning of... More

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