The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories

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Continuum, 2004 - Literary Criticism - 728 pages
33 Reviews
From The Epic of Gilgemesh to Jaws and Schindler's List, Christopher Booker examines in detail the stories that underlie literature and the plots that are basic to story telling through the ages. In this magisterial work he examines the plots of films, opera libretti and the contemporary novel and short story. Underlying the stories he examines are Seven Basic Plots: rags to riches; the quest; voyage and return; the hero as monster; rebirth and so on. Booker shows that the images and stories serve a far deeper and more significant purpose in our lives than we have realised. In the definition of these basic plots, Booker shows us we are entering a realm in which the recognition of the plots proves only to be the gateway. We are in fact uncovering a kind of hidden universal language: a nucleus of situations and figures which are the very stuff from which stories are made. With Booker's exploration, there is literally no story in the world which cannot be seen in a new light: we have come to the heart of what stories are about and why we tell them. Here, Christopher Booker moves on from some of the themes he outlined in his hugely bestselling book The Neophiliacs. Seven Basic Plots is unquestionably his most important book to date.

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Review: The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories

User Review  - Surin - Goodreads

A very good introduction to the concept of plot and character archetypes. As a person who has a great interest in Jungian Psychology it was interesting to see how the author was able to intepret the ... Read full review

Review: The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories

User Review  - عبدالله السعيدي - Goodreads

A recurring theme throughout the literary cannon is the quest. The quest manifests itself in renowned tales such as Homer's Odyssey, Dante's Divine Comedy, and popular contemporary works like JRR ... Read full review

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About the author (2004)

As a noted commentator on the political, social and psychological history of our time, Christopher Booker has in recent years, through his weekly Sunday Telegraph column, become the most conspicuous 'global warming sceptic' in the British press. He has based his view on exhaustive research into the scientific evidence for and against the theory of 'man-made climate change'.

His professional interest in this issue grew out of research for his previous book Scared To Death, co-written with Dr Richard North, a study of the 'scare phenomenon' which has been such a prominent feature of Western life in recent decades. Booker's other recent books have included The Seven Basic Plots, a best-selling analysis of why we tell stories which has established itself as a standard text (also published by Continuum). He has been an author and journalist for nearly 50 years, and was the founding editor of the satirical magazine Private Eye.

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