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A quite wonderful book (E. O. Wilson, Harvard)

A new book explains why humans like to spin yarns—and why we’re so likely to stretch the truth when we do (The Atlanticread full review)

Whatever the reason, we’ll keep spinning yarns, simply because we are hardwired to do so… (Oprah Magazineread full review)

A lively pop-science overview of the reasons why we tell stories and why storytelling will endure. [Gottschall’s] snapshots of the worlds of psychology, sleep research and virtual reality are larded with sharp anecdotes and jargon-free summaries of current research… Gottschall brings a light tough to knotty psychological matters, and he’s a fine storyteller himself. (Kirkus Reviews–read full review)

[An] insightful yet breezily accessible exploration of the power of storytelling and its ability to shape our lives…Much to his credit, Gottschall wears his erudition lightly, displaying a deep knowledge in a refreshingly jargon-free narrative that explores the role that storytelling has played across the centuries…Gottschall packs the book with anecdotes and entertaining examples from pop culture… (The Boston Globeread full review)

Gottschall views narrative in terms of evolutionary biology in this insightful consideration of all things story. Witty and admirably self-restrained in examining arguably overimaginative storytellers and interpreters from Freud to 9/11 “Truthers” to James Frey, Gottschall…[is] unconventional, entertaining, and instructive…The work complements such emergent popularizations of neuroscience as Jonah Lehrer’s equally anecdotal How We Decide. (Library Journal–Read full review)

The Storytelling Animal is informative, but also a lot of fun, as when Gottschall vividly describes the “Neverlands” his daughters create in their playtime. Anyone who has wondered why stories affect us the way they do will find a new appreciation of our collective desire to be spellbound in this fascinating book. (BookPage–read full review)

A fascinating and riveting account of why we all love a story (Michael Gazzaniga, UC Santa Barbara)

The Storytelling Animal is a delight to read. It’s boundlessly interesting, filled with great observations and clever insights about television, books, movies, videogames, dreams, children, madness, evolution, morality, love, and more. And it’s beautifully written—fittingly enough, Gottschall is himself a skilled storyteller (Paul Bloom, Yale)

Jonathan Gottschall is a storytelling animal–and I mean that in the nicest sense. Like the magnificent storytellers past and present who furnish him here with examples and inspiration, he takes a timely and fascinating but possibly forbidding subject–the new brain science and what it can tell us about the human story-making impulse–and makes of it an extraordinary and absorbing intellectual narrative. The scrupulous synthesis of art and science here is masterful; the real-world stakes high; the rewards for the reader numerous, exhilarating, mind-expanding (Terry Castle, Stanford University)

They say we spend multiple hours immersed in stories every day. Very few of us pause to wonder why. Gottschall lays bare this quirk of our species with deft touches, and he finds that our love of stories is its own story, and one of the grandest tales out there – the story of what it means to be human (Sam Kean, author of The Disappearing Spoon)

Story is not the icing, it’s the cake! Gottschall eloquently tells you ‘how come’ in his well researched new book. (Peter Guber, CEO, Mandalay Entertainment and Author of the #1 NY Times bestseller, Tell To Win)

Jonathan Gottschall has written an extremely interesting and captivating book…This is by far the most compelling non-narrative nonfiction I’ve read in simply ages, and what’s more, it should be required reading for every single reader and writer out there. (As the Crowe Flies;

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