The Seven Basic Plots Why We Tell Stories eBook ´


The Seven Basic Plots Why We Tell Stories This remarkable and monumental book at last provides a comprehensive answer to the age old riddle of whether there are only a small number of 'basic stories' in the world Using a wealth of examples from ancient myths and folk tales via the plays and novels of great literature to the popular movies and TV soap operas of today it shows that there are seven archetypal themes which recur throughout every kind of storytelling But this is only the prelude to an investigation into how and why we are 'programmed' to imagine stories in these ways and how they relate to the inmost patterns of human psychology Drawing on a vast array of examples from Proust to detective stories from the Maruis de Sade to ET Christopher Booker then leads us through the extraordinary changes in the nature of storytelling over the past 200 years and why so many stories have 'lost the plot' by losing touch with their underlying archetypal purpose Booker analyses why evolution has given us the need to tell stories and illustrates how storytelling has provided a uniuely revealing mirror to mankind's psychological development over the past 5000 yearsThis seminal book opens up in an entirely new way our understanding of the real purpose storytelling plays in our lives and will be a talking point for years to come

  • Paperback
  • 728 pages
  • The Seven Basic Plots Why We Tell Stories
  • Christopher Booker
  • English
  • 12 August 2015
  • 9780826480378

About the Author: Christopher Booker

Christopher John Penrice Booker is an English journalist and author



10 thoughts on “The Seven Basic Plots Why We Tell Stories

  1. James James says:

    An absolutely infuriating book The basic premise that there are a limited number of basic structures to be found in narrative storytelling is fair enough but hardly anything new Booker makes some good connections and some of them are undeniably on the money But the whole book is infected by Booker's right wing traditionalist ideology that it becomes as it goes along a deeply unpleasant reactionary read For Booker the ideal man is a martial warrior the ideal woman a housewife same ideals as Hitler funnily enough Booker combines all this with a kind of shallow pop psychology version of Jungian archetypal theory blaming all the ills of the world on human egotism to say which is to say absolutely nothing and what is condemning any author who dares to not bring their narratives to a fulfilling satisfactory conclusion Booker trashes 200 years of modernist storytelling thinks gay and women's liberation is a egotism and the shrew that ought to be tamed seems to admire Thatcher as the Hero of the Falklands and certainly believes that Joe Orton deserved to be killed for daring to write Entertaining Mr Sloane The worst thing of all is that Booker misrepresents or just plain gets wrong a large percentage of the books and plays he is discussing suggesting that he has either not read them or is simply lying about them to advance his ideological argument Booker it should be noted is not the writer of any creative fiction at all nor is he a proper academic critic for a work of 700 pages not to include a single citation or even a bibliography is shocking This book will be the forgotten as an embarrassment in 20 years time; people would do better to go back to the work of a genuine critic of myths like Northrop Frye

  2. Richard Richard says:

    Addendum the New Yorker cartoonist Emily Flake implicitly argues there are only six basic plotsBack to the regularly scheduled uasi review                    ❦All in all there is some incredibly worthwhile information here Too bad it’s overlong and much worse it shows a nasty writer at his opinionated nastiestBut it looks like I never got around to constructing an actual review So here are my notes They'll have to doRecommendation◼︎ Read all of Section 1 containing descriptions of the seven basic plots in erudite detail◼︎ Skip to Chapters 21 through 24 of Section 3 These explore the “dark” and “sentimental” variations of the foregoing◼︎ Skim Chapters 26 and 27 wherein the author is revealed to be a sexist reactionary Keep in mind that if one can enjoy the music of Frank Sinatra while ignoring the fact that he was a sexist jerk one can read the balance of Booker's book with the same forbearance◼︎ Either read or skim Section 2 which explores commonalities of all the plot archetypes including character archetypes But it will probably feel pretty redundant◼︎ Finish with Chapters 28 29 25 and 30 in that order The first two of those introduce and analyze two modern plot types; the third explores Thomas Hardy's psychological novels; the final goes into a fascinating analysis of Oedipus and HamletSome explicit details Section I the seven basic plots are1 Overcoming the Monster incl subgenre “The Thrilling Escape From Death”;2 Rags to Riches;3 The uest;4 Voyage and Return;5 Comedy not necessarily funny;6 Tragedy; and7 RebirthSection II what they all have in common the character archetypesSection III “Missing the Mark” discusses how the plot archetypes go awryFirst examines each of the plots in their “Dark” and “Sentimental” versions In the “Dark” versions the protagonist never achieves “enlightenment” in symbolic form due to an egoistic focus In the “Sentimental” versions the story and ending appear happy but without ingredients necessary for archetypal closure Chapters 21 to 24Then to Thomas Hardy Ch 25 documenting how his oeuvre shifted from “light” to “dark” in parallel with his increasingly frustrating and dysfunctional personal lifechokengtitiktitikchokeng 382 “George Lucas drew on the knowledge of Joseph Campbell in an effort to ensure that his story matched up as faithfully as possible to their archetypal patterns and imagery But however carefully Lucas tried to shape his script around these archetypal ground rules it had not got the pattern right”Then the worst two chapters 26 27 reeking of personal biases and opinions regarding nihilism violence sex and the appropriate roles for womenFirst of three “modern” archetypes mostly unseen in classic literature Ch 28 Rebellion against “The One” except Job; then Ch 29 The Mystery actually diagnosed as usually a sentimental comedy with a hero unintegrated into the basic storyFinally best chapter of the book on Oedipus and HamletSection IV “Why we tell stories” pretty boring unless you want an examination of how religious texts can be perceived in archetypal patternsCh 27 points out many books and films pushed out the boundaries of what was acceptable in terms of sex and violence eg Texas Chainsaw Massacre But he conflates this with a fundamental shift in the center of gravity of story telling ignoring that many of these extreme works have a narrow public appeal and are not considered as having intrinsic lasting importance Frankly his reactionary rage notable in his columns is barely suppressedCh 27 Sexism In discussing the movie Alien he states “the basic plot is very similar to that of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” p 486 He astonishingly ignores the fundamental distinction between mayhem performed by humans acting as monsters and that performed by actual monsters The perverse horror of Chainsaw is in the very disturbing transformation of humans into monsters — even into a family of cooperating monsters Being killed and “consumed” by the Alien is basically no worse than an attack by a shark or a lionAlso he is uite sexist here “The image of women was becoming de feminised No longer were the styles of women's clothing intended to express such traditional feminine attributes as grace allure prettiness elegance they were designed to be either in a hard direct way sexually provocative or sexlessly businesslike” Frankly I find Trinity in The Matrix which he doesn't discuss to be an paragon of grace allure and elegance as well as sexually provocativeApparently an archetypal hero must be masculine and thus to portray a woman in heroic terms is a contradiction of the archetype He sounds outraged “There was now a premium in showing animus driven women capable of competing with men and outperforming them in masculine terms Female characters were expected to be show as just as clever and tough as men mentally and physically” His only saving grace is the uncertainty whether he believes prescriptively that women should properly behave only in a ladylike way or whether he believes descriptively that the fundamental archetypes in our psyches are limited thus I don’t think he ends up on the right side of that thoughBut frankly his chapters on the modern subversion of the archetypes display irritation than admiration and so we’re left with a sneaking suspicion that the author is a social reactionary which also seems to be evident in his columns for the TelegraphConsider the author makes a strong case that these plot archetypes are fundamental and universal as I understand Jung had attempted to establish with personality archetypes? But does this make them eternal and unchanging? And even if that is given does it make them good and true? Many inheritances from our evolutionary past are dysfunctional; perhaps it is proper that we should rebel against aspects of these archetypes especially those that are arbitrarily constraining Booker doesn't perceive this possibility implicitly treating any deviation from his perception of these rules as dysfunctional Although he isn't consistent the fact that the heroic Ripley in Alien is a woman he finds distressing; the fact that Oedipus marries and has children with his mother is brillianceCh 31 beginning of Part IV “If there is one thing we have seen emerging from the past few hundred pages it is the extent to which the stories told by even the greatest of them are not their own” The stories told by Shakespeare Dickens Hugo — not their own? Because they have been influenced by ghostly skeletons of plots and characters in their subconscious? This is incredibly arrogant Booker has spent so many decades in his labors that he can't see the forest for the treesSide note illuminating arrogance fn 3 p 553 “Various attempts have been made in recent years to provide a scientific definition of the difference between human consciousness and that of other animals A fundamental flaw in all of them lies in their failure to take account of the conseuences arising from the split between ego and instinct” Booker — a journalist and author — apparently believes himself competent to evaluate and judge any effort regardless of the expertise involvedMinor annoyance does the uote attributed to Churchill belongs to Bernard Shaw? p 576

  3. Milena March Milena March says:

    Though I'm a little uncomfortable dismissing a book that has taken someone half a lifetime to write I can't help but think that when it comes to The Seven Basic Plots the author's time could really have been better spent There were points where this book outright insulted me; as a literature student as a feminist as a psychology major and as a lover of stories in generalThe idea of applying Jungian theory to literature is not new but reading this book often had me wondering whether such a reductive approach is actually useful Booker doesn't really offer any compelling information which enhances my experience of literary criticism or of literature in general In fact I had so many problems with this book that I think it's probably best to just list them in no particular order1 Booker's prose is at times very poorly crafted For a writer who has a chapter entitled 'The Rule of Three the role played in stories by numbers' he seems to take a kind of perverse delight in presenting the reader with endless sentences listing countless plot examples without pausing for breath My advice? Give that poor semicolon a break and focus on putting 'the rule of three' into action2 I was about halfway through this book when I realised that just about every story examined in depth in this book barring folk and fairy tales was written by a man And I'm not the first person to pick up on Booker's gender and cultural bias either3 On the above point the moment when I honestly thought I was going to hurl this book at the wall Booker's analysis or accurately his outright dismissal of two of the best known female English novelists of all time was absolutely insulting to the intelligence He begins by adopting the tiresome and oh so ignorant line that Jane Austen was desperately in love with her Irish cousin Tom Lefroy and that the entirety of her writing career was her attempt to compensate for the fact that she would never marry him and have all of his babies As I've mentioned before this sentimental and degrading little folly is an invention of the Victorians and later of Hollywood in an attempt to explain just why Austen was so good at writing about love and marriage given that she apparently had no experience in either field As just about any serious Austen scholar will tell you there is absolutely no evidence that Austen was overcome with love for a boy she met only once or twice in her life and for only a few weeks at a time What Booker does is latch onto this sweet but irritating little story as a way to explain why a woman would want to be a writer not just in Austen's day but at any point in history Austen is 'acceptable' to Booker because she is trying to compensate for her supposed 'inability' to complete the archetypal journey from childhood to parenthood by re creating her failed romance in a new setting which she can manipulate toward a new 'happy' ending This portrait of one of the most well respected and loved English novelists of all time male or female is degrading Booker does not given Austen credit for being an extraordinarily intelligent woman a perceptive social critic and an accomplished writer in all aspects of techniue and style In the few instances Booker does turn his attention to the writing of women throughout history he constructs them as somehow 'piggybacking' on the fame intelligence or inspiration of significant men in their lives He does this with Mary Shelley and Frankenstein and though he doesn't analyse Bronte directly when he looks at Jane Eyre he wilfully misinterprets plots and characters in order to fit it into his overall design4 Which brings me to another point There is a lot of subtle twisting of plots in order to make them fit into Booker's overall plan If a situation ending scene or character doesn't fit in with his scheme then it is conveniently ignored A uick Google search using only the book's title as a keyword threw up an article which points out that Booker ignores the final chapter of Middlemarch and the character of Stephen Dedalus in Joyce's Ulysses So it's not just me that has this problem Of course all literary analysis does this to some extent but Booker so wilfully ignores it that reading The Seven Basic Plots you begin to wonder if you read the same version of these books as he did5 Why on earth does Booker feel he has to retell the entire plot of popular fairy tales in excruciating detail? Who doesn't know the plot of Cinderella?6 The book also promises to explain 'why we tell stories' The answer to this uestion according to Booker is uite infuriatingly simple we are trying to re create the generational transition of child becoming parent growing into their 'place' in the world but takes so long to actually answer that the point however unexciting it may be is lost 7 At the risk of sounding like a literary snob it is vital that anyone who reads this book takes note; Booker is NOT a literary critic Neither is he a psychologist This is important to remember because what becomes apparent very uickly is how little citation there is in this book It's a reflection of the assumption that to become a literary theorist or critic one simply has to read a lot of books As someone working towards a degree in literature I can honestly state that most of literary criticism involves reading around the text Citing the Introductory Notes to The Thousand and One Nights just isn't going to cut it The few references which do crop up are so ridiculously out of date that it makes the reader feel like Booker is too cheap to buy new books and too lazy to visit the library; instead his references seem to be solely those he can download free off Project Gutenberg or books he bought when he was an undergrad at university and never got round to throwing out8 The thing which bothered me the most the fact that Booker dismisses any story which doesn't follow the archetypal pattern as 'wrong' or 'bad' fiction that it is somehow a failure I just I can't even begin to talk about this one9 Where is postmodernism to fit in all this? Reading this book one would assume that the last sixty years of literary development never happened Either Booker is too traditionalist to even crack open the cover of a postmodern novel or else he wilfully ignores them because he knows they refute his argument Is everything that literature has become in the past few decades also 'wrong' because it doesn't fit neatly into Booker's personal preferences for literature?There are a few interesting points in this book but ultimately I don't think it contributes meaningfully to our understanding of storytelling It is an out of date book full of unenlightened ideas and little to really challenge the reader Read it if you must but be warned; finishing this book may bear a startling resemblance to the outline of Booker's 'Overcoming the Monster' plot

  4. Jessica Healy Jessica Healy says:

    So I was uncomfortable early on with the extreme heteronormative attitude and the appropriation of FreudianJungian discourse as if these theories are just self evident but I gave it a bit of leeway because if problematic that kind of analysis is at least widespread But my discomfort and suspicion grew and at last I could read no I gave up after he attempted to discuss Frankenstein by Mary Shelley Here are the sentences that almost broke my brain The uestion which then arises is how did such an extraordinarily dark inverted story come into the mind of a young girl who had never written anything before in her life? A good deal of the answer as various commentators have observed lies in the personality of the man who was by far the most dominating presence in Mary Godwin's life Shelley himself 357How could a GIRL have written a clever dark subversive story? BECAUSE OF HER BOYFRIEND DUR How could a teenage girl the offspring of such revolutionaries as WILLIAM GODWIN and MARY FREAKIN WOLLSTONECRAFT for crying out loud possibly think of anything for herself until her sexy smart super famous romantic poet of a hubby came along and thought it for her? Booker goes on to uote Shelley's reaction to the novel as if his reaction to the novel somehow ananchronistically makes him responsible for its inception? Also there's an astoundingly misogynistic comment about Mary's cousin Clare flinging herself at ByronSo no I cannot value what this man has to say I was suspicious of the breathtaking assurance of the subtitle why we tell stories because there's only one very clearly identifiable reason right? I was unhappy with the language of psychoanalysis and I considered the fact that he never engaged with any other theorists dubious But I was intrigued by the premise by the promise of a well researched far reaching theory of story tellingI was wrong This is nothing but patriarchy condescension and tunnel vision

  5. Katie Katie says:

    700 pages A great deal of which is repetition of ideas and extensive plot summaries of exemplar stories throughout time and can be skimmed The ideas put forth in this book are appealing intuitively if ultimately unfalsifiable and familiar if you've ever gotten into Jungian psychology or Joseph Campbell Basically we're talking about archetypes the psyche and evolutionary drives; the human desire to reconnect with something greater which might be god or likely perpetuation of the species The plots he identifies as the seven basic are for those curious overcoming the monster rags to riches the uest voyage and return comedy a specific plot not necessarily humorous tragedy and rebirth and he later adds a few; the universal plot is the struggle of light against dark; the archetypal family drama is the rise of the sondaughter to inner maturity and sexual union to become the fathermother himherself Whatever is confusing to you from my brief summary just might be cleared up by readingskimming these 700 pages yourself Overall I found it stimulating reading and often found myself jotting down abstract notes pertaining to works in progress if I didn't as I hoped find the solution to all my narrative problems I did find an illuminating new way of framing them

  6. Rachel Rachel says:

    Finished at last What an utter waste of time but in a sick sort of way I just had to keep going to see just how bad it could get He started off with a good idea that a lot of stories have similar basic plot outlines Unfortunately he then gets a bit carried away comes up with a formula then applies it not just to literature but the whole of human history Which is all a decline from some prelapsarian state of blessedness It's like the theory of the four humours in medicine it seems like it might make sense at first the trouble is it's all wrong Ninety five percent of everything in this book is just wrong The amount of sexism homophobia snobbery and racism was frankly shocking However I'm sure the author wouldn't give a damn what I think because as a woman I'm obviously only supposed to feel and guess not think It's a long time since anything offended me as much as this

  7. Michael Herrman Michael Herrman says:

    This book is 5x thicker than it needed to be If it didn't make a very few fine observations I would have thrown it against the wall which would have left a considerable holeRepetition aside its greatest weakness is Booker's inability to disentangle his personal prejudices from what makes a story work in the general sense For example according to Booker if the hero doesn't vanuish the villain and run off with the victimized female who he maintains is nothing than a projection of the anima it's because the culture that spawned the story has run off the rails He also makes sweeping assertions on the immaturity of a culture by citing various examples of stories that ended in ways that he doesn't personally like There are numerous counter examples that don't fit with his theory of course but he ignored themIt's not a worthless read but don't cling to every wordUpdateI've upgraded this book by one star The I think about his insistence on archetypes and the logical ends to which they should arrive re the story arc the I think he may be right His arguments on the cult of sensationalism through the lens of the Maruis de Sade's snuff porn Justine in particular and the lack of closure in such narratives makes sense to me

  8. Santiago Ortiz Santiago Ortiz says:

    This book is actually many things An introduction to the seven basic plots and their many associated archetypes that work in combination A system It can be applied to any story you know and it’s fun to do so A tool An almost obligatory read for anyone who invents stories If you don’t tap on this 37 years research you’re simple on disadvantage It’s not that everyone should follow the author's guidance in order to write stories that fulfill the self and not the ego on the contrary a writer might find herself not wanting to do so but the structure the book provides is a map to decide when and how to move away or within the Self archetypical path A partial and moral history of literature and an even partial and eually moral history of Western culture A psychoanalis of our modern western culture throughout the stories we invent and the ones we tell ourselves And it's indeed a moralistic analysis something that can pull the nerves of a grownup reader A compendium of great and diverse stories A source of unexpected spoilers if you read the book be very careful with this for it reveals the plot of so many stories and books that chances are it will spoil something you want to read I had to overlook several paragraphs when readingThe Odyssey versus Ulysses ET versus Encounters of the Third Type Terminator versus Frankenstein in each comparison the author prefers the first and rejects the second option Interestingly this framework or as I called it system allows strange and yet consistent and justifiable comparisons such as Jaws versus Gilgamesh borrowing a famous gedankenexperiment from Chomsky if someone told these two stories to a martian it will think they are just two slightly different versions of the same It’s refreshing to see how the author jumps without loss of continuity from Hollywood B movies to universal classics And this tool's lack of respect for the boundaries between high and low cultures the below the line and the above the line archetype which is itself a moral construct compensates in my opinion its otherwise unbearable moralism regarding other aspects ego versus self In summary vaccinate yourself against moralism enjoy this awesome construction and the many stories it contains be aware of spoilers and use what you learned to write great new stories

  9. Mark Mark says:

    The Seven Basic PlotsAuthor Christopher BookerPublisher Continuum International Publishing GroupPublished In New York City NY London UKDate 2004Pgs 728REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERSSummaryA small number of basic stories permeate the world They are hardwired into the human psyche These plots exist in ancient myths folk tales play novels campfire tales James Bond Harry Potter and Star Wars These plots go to the way that we imagine stories and human psychology Stories that lose touch with their archetypal underpinning GenreLiterature FictionHistory CriticismPolitics Social SciencesFolklore MythologyCriticism TheoryWhy this bookWriting and writers and the stories that they tell and we readThe concept of The Seven Basic Plots is awesome in scope once you consider itThe FeelIt is interesting that the s shattered as they did in the 1950s when with Lady Chatterley's Lover seeing full publication in all of its details for the first time in history along with other novels and specifically Lolita which predated the unexpurgated Lady Was it the shift of a flush society free from heavier wants causing this? A freedom from the power of the church in everyday life? Taken in context with Hitchcock's Psycho and its focusing on Norman’s murders and voyeurism and other less artistic movie and page moments that rounded out the later half of the 21st century we see how these treatments of those topics and the way that they are explained and touched upon fits in with the seven basic plots And while all of that is fascinating as a study of the shift in morality it’s not like it’s the first morality shift ever It’s just the most televised and widespread visually and aurally Despite this fascinating sidelight this really doesn’t get the premise of the book This book is about half again as long as it could have been Favorite Scene uoteRelating the epic of Gilgamesh and James Bond’s Dr No adventure is sheer genius Puts the concept of this book in perspective immediatelyTotally agree on the great majority of World War 2 fiction being Overcoming the MonsterPlot HolesOut of CharacterAndrocles and the Lion doesn’t really fit with the Overcoming the Monster paradigmI do think that the monster is sometimes wholly humanIs Mystery an 8th basic plot or is Mystery the plots dressed in different circumstances with a macguffin thrown in and a sense of suspense?Hmm MomentsLoved Jaws hated Beowulf never really considered that at base they were the same storyAmazing on how many Overcoming the Monsters stories there are out there throughout historyFeel that the stereotypes of Monster as Predator Holdfast or Avenger fits either for protagonist or antagonist rolesI begin to wonder at where Frankenstein would fit OtM may only work if Victor is indeed the monsterAppreciate Ian Fleming’s Bond pattern being given a few pages Despite the repeating pattern I did enjoy those books It just wasn’t the same when Gardner took over and then onward to the plethora of authors who became associated with fictional Bond age The pattern which holds true for the majority of the Fleming Bonds the call anticipation initial success dream confrontation frustration final ordeal nightmare miraculous escape death of the monster This Bondian pattern appears throughout literature The Thirty Nine Steps used the same format The Lord of the Rings is called a uest And while it is a uest it is also an OtM in that Sauron and by extension the Ring itself are the monsterWTF MomentsThe dismissal of The Lord of the Rings as a “not a fully integrated grown up story” plays as elitist drivel when taken in context with the author’s own assertion that LOTR exhibits all 7 basic plot elements I believe that LOTR may be one of the best fully realized stories and worlds ever presented in literature pulp classical neo classical modern post modern whateverMeh PFFT MomentsLists The Magnificent Seven as an OtM I see The Magnificent Seven as a The uest or a Rags to Riches with the riches being redemption as these bad men find their place in the sun By the same token the Sevens both Magnificent and Samurai could be seen as Rebirth storiesI’m not in general a big fan of the Rags to Riches story type I also disagree with the idea that Jack and the Beanstalk is a Rags to Riches instead of an Overcoming the Monster I guess that some of these fit than one categoryDisagree with the idea that Lolita is a veiled Raging Temptress I see it the in vein of a weak protagonist who fails to Overcome the Monster with himself as the MonsterWisdomTalks of Dracula and how Jonathan Harker unexplainedly escaped the castle at the end of Part One of Dracula Always felt that Dracula let him go as both preamble and herald of Dracula’s coming to England to bring his scourge and reign onto England’s nighttime sceneThis has shown me that perspective shows us that many of the stories that we think of as examples of this type can in many cases be categorized in many different ways What I’m gathering from this book despite Booker’s protestations in classifying classical and neo classical stories into the seven basic plots is that many crossover and merge many elements from across the basics Maybe part of what makes a truly great story is when it’s a little bit Overcoming the Monster Rags to Riches The uest Voyage and Return Comedy Tragedy and RebirthMissed OpportunityThe failure to focus sharply on the seven basic plots 8 if we go with the mystery ideaLast Page SoundI’m disappointed that’s not really fair I’m unhappy that the reason I read this book the reason brought up in the title isn’t given full service in the book which that isn’t really fair either The ideas and the frameworks of the seven basic plots is here The problem is that it is covered over in a cat box full of othter ideas It’s like the author wanted to get into the ideas of the self and ego than the seven basic plots I would argue that there are at least two or three tangentially related books hidden inside these 700 some odd pagesAuthor AssessmentI don’t know would depend on subject matter length and whether I felt the focus was tight enoughEditorial AssessmentFailure to drive focus to a laser pointor a dull scooping spoon There were three good books about writing here but they weren't’ scooped into their own pilesKnee Jerk Reactionnot as good as I was lead to believeDisposition of BookIrving Public LibrarySouth CampusIrving TXDewey Decimal System 809924B724sWould recommend tono one

  10. Rita Crayon Huang Rita Crayon Huang says:

    I didn't mean to read this book I just wanted to know see what the seven basic plots were But I devoured the first 300 pages in a way that made me realize I just might read all 700 It's just so lucid With all this yummy discussion of well known stories from throughout the ages FOR all ages The next 150 pages or so have made me increasingly uneasy as we discuss all the ways in which stories can go wrong AND what this says about their authors Not to mention us as a society AND as we also discuss in depth a number of failed stories of the violent and explicit type I normally avoid; so reading recaps of those was upsetting on another level For one thing it's just fun to think about what makes great stories work than to go negative This author also feels no compunction about reading his thesis right into these other authors' personal lives issues failed marriages or lack of marriages the way they died And the big ideas are getting repetitive But I'm still on board I inherently believe storytelling should have some moral value which helpsEven if I don't find the concluding few hundred pages as illuminating as the first I'd still recommend this book Seriously Other classic books on plot and archetypes may have better prepared me for this book but this really is the oneCaveat I find myself continually distancing myself from some of the blatant gendered terminology used I'm familiar with the whole inner feminine and inner masculine concept from other psyche texts and the idea that everyone male or female needs to balance both in their personalities is great I once wrote a 35 page paper using those ideas But I'm not sensing this author cares to make any distinctions bt these terms and his real world politics The farther in you read the clearer it becomes He's saying exactly what he's saying

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