Friday, March 22, 2013

Review: The Storytelling Animal

Author: Jonathan Gottschall
Title: The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human
Description: Gottschall describes the importance of narrative to humans.
Writing style: Pretty engaging. Gottschall walks the talk—as he understands the importance of story, he makes sure his book has plenty of stories to keep the reader interested and to prove his points.
Audience: This book isn’t as scholarly as the book on Honesty by Ariely or the book on language use by Pennebaker, but it would appeal to the same audience—people who are interested in how language affects the human situation.
Major ideas: Gottschall even ties in the imaginings of the mentally ill and the haphazard narratives in our dreams as he surveys the many ways we are tied to narrative—and how we attempt to create narrative from the most random events.
Wrap-up: I don’t see this book as breaking any ground—narrative theorists are way past this—but for the interested layperson, Gottschall makes a convincing case. 4/5*

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