Who would we be without stories? Stories mould who we are, from our character to our cultural identity. They drive us to act out our dreams and ambitions, and shape our politics and beliefs. We use them to construct our relationships, to keep order in our law courts, to interpret events in our newspapers and social media. Storytelling is an essential part of what makes us human. There have been many attempts to understand what makes a good story – from Joseph Campbell's well-worn theories about myth and archetype to recent attempts to crack the ‘Bestseller Code'. But few have used a scientific approach. This is curious, for if we are to truly understand storytelling in its grandest sense, we must first come to understand the ultimate storyteller – the human brain. In this scalpel-sharp, thought-provoking book, Will Storr demonstrates how master storytellers manipulate and compel us, leading us on a journey from the Hebrew scriptures to Mr Men, from Booker Prize-winning literature to box set TV. Applying dazzling psychological research and cutting-edge neuroscience to the foundations of our myths and archetypes, he shows how we can use these tools to tell better stories – and make sense of our chaotic modern world. About the Author Will Storr is an award-winning writer. His work has appeared in the Guardian, Sunday Times, New Yorker and New York Times. He is the author of four critically acclaimed books, most recently Selfie: How the West Became Self-Obsessed. He teaches popular journalism and storytelling classes in London. He is an in-demand ghostwriter whose books have spent months at the top of the Sunday Times bestseller chart, selling more than 300,000 copies in 2018 alone.