April 16, 2012

The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human

by Jonathan Gottschall

Houghton Mifflin Hartcourt, 2012

250 Pages, $24

This book begins with startling questions, such as, “The riddle of fiction comes to this: Evolution is ruthlessly utilitarian. How has the seeming luxury of fiction not been eliminated from human life?” and picks up other equally thought-provoking ones along the way—why is storytelling fixated on trouble, why do boys and girls play in different ways, what is the link between madness and creativity and exactly what role do stories play in religion?

But instead of answers Gottschall begins slinging whatever he can lay his hands on.

The book reminds me of something I would read in high school behind the cover of text books. A smattering of Wagner, Curb Your Enthusiasm, John Wayne Gacy, that grab your attention, but lead nowhere.

When I was done with The Storytelling Animal, I remembered the original questions and, maybe I shouldn’t have expected answers, but I certainly was lead to believe there were some.

Buy this book directly from Amazon for $15.54. Click: The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human


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