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  • The Science of Storytelling

  • Why Stories Make Us Human, and How to Tell Them Better
  • By: Will Storr
  • Narrated by: Will Storr
  • Length: 7 hrs and 4 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (41 ratings)

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The Science of Storytelling

By: Will Storr
Narrated by: Will Storr
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Publisher's Summary

Sunday Times best seller.

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 audiobook, 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.

©2019 Will Storr (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

"One of my absolute favourite writers." (Decca Aitkenhead)

"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)

"Storr is irascibly good company, and has something approaching genius for marshalling his material." (Sunday Times)

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The best book on storytelling that I’ve ever read.

Rather than imposing a set of rules, Will explains why these storytelling tools and techniques work based on how our own brains function and perceive reality. Well worth the read!

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Brilliant!

Recommend for those wanting an insight into writing. I will listen again when I need a refresher. I’ve taken many notes.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Speculative and simplistic

It started off seeming like it was going to be really really interesting. But it quickly devolved into speculative history, oversimplification, references to “Hunter, gatherers” and lines like “humans are tribal people”. The use of Nabokov’s Humbert as an example of an antihero was a grave missunderstanding of the text. Frustrating because there’s also so many interesting ideas in there.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Too many assumptions

Don’t get me wrong; so many great insights in here. Thoroughly researched. But too often are the authors conclusions traced back to assumptions about history and the nature of mankind. Too often in this book is theory declared as fact. The arrogance was so frustrating that I gave up 2/3rds in.

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Essential how to for writers

Will Storr lays it out - wonderful guide if you have a work in progress.

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Excellent

I really enjoyed this book, well written and very insightful. It outlines all aspects about storytelling.

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