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Coming Home to Story: Storytelling Beyond Happy Ever After Hardcover – 12 Oct 2011

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Vala Publishing Cooperative Ltd (12 Oct. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1908363002
  • ISBN-13: 978-1908363008
  • Product Dimensions: 22.2 x 2.2 x 14.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 946,849 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Born into the post-war baby-boomer generation, Geoff was the first member of his family to go to university (and the first to drop out). He quickly returned to complete his studies in mediaeval history after a salutary period washing cars for a living. With not much idea of what he really wanted to do, he cut off his shoulder-length hair and joined the police service which he left three decades later as a chief superintendent.

During those years he did pretty much everything from walking the beat to directing national police leadership programmes and from commanding a police district to training with the F.B.I. in Virginia, U.S.A. En route he also found time to train as an organisational consultant, complete an MBA,a postgraduate diploma in Gestalt psychology, and a PhD in action research.

He has worked as an educator, executive coach and organisational consultant for nearly two decades in the boardrooms of blue chip companies, universities, public sector organisations and government departments. In recent years he has specialised in board development, group facilitation and the use of story and narrative in organisations. Geoff is Director of Narrative Leadership associates - a consultancy using storytellng to help develop sustainable lreadership.(www.narrativeleadership.com)

He was on the faculty of the Prime Minister's Top Management Programme and has co-designed and led national leadership programmes for the Cabinet Office. He has published a wide range of book chapters and articles on aspects of organisational and leadership development, action research (and latterly on storytelling) in professional and academic journals.

Geoff has four grown up children, five grandchildren and an entirely unreasonable love of Morgan sports cars. He divides his time between his partner's house in the Cotswolds and Lyme Regis where he writes and lives in sight of the sea.

Product Description

Review

"The art and craft of storytelling from the inside out. The reader is taken on a fascinating and visceral journey into the heart of storytelling, living alongside the author as he falls in love with his new calling, wrestling inner and outer demons along the way. If you are even remotely interested in the power of story to transform your life, read this book. Richard Olivier, founding voice within Mythodrama and Artistic Director of Olivier Mythodrama Geoff shows how stories can take us beyond "happily ever after", into a world of adventure and passion, imagination and heart, in which the listener and teller can participate in the whole of existence. Judith Hemming, Founder, MovingConstellations In "Coming Home to Story" Geoff Mead does a lovely job of enchanting the world, of breathing a touch of magic into our daily existence. Omair Ahmad, Author of "The Storyteller's Tale" Written with an insight, rigour and vulnerability that moved me on many levels, I can heartily recommend this book to anyone who senses the possibility of a deeper connection with the story world of imagination and meaning. Sue Hollingsworth, Co-Director, The International School of Storytelling"

About the Author

Geoff Mead is a professional storyteller who tells traditional stories, runs story-based workshops and teaches storytelling at venues in the UK and as far afield as Spain, Canada and Japan.


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Penny Russell on 29 Nov. 2011
Format: Hardcover
I bought this in support of Vala Publishing Co-op as it's their first book, but wasn't really sure what to expect or whether it would be 'for me'. I often don't finish non fiction books - they always take me ages to get through. However Coming Home to Story was a really enjoyable mix of Geoff's own journey into becoming a storyteller, with some really fantastic stories (most of which I will be using with students I teach...) It was a book of self discovery without evangelising, or self congratulation which you often find in 'personal development' books. In fact, surprisingly I found myself looking up courses in storytelling (who would have thought such things existed!) and am planning to go on one, I was so taken with the ideas in this book. I should also mention that this edition, in hardback, has beautifully simple charcoal illustrations at the head of each chapter and is printed on some gorgeous paper called Munken Premium which added something tactile to the whole book. As an English teacher, and video 'storyteller' amongst other things, I found this a really inspiring read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Nick Owen on 9 Dec. 2011
Format: Hardcover
Why would anyone interested in personal, professional, or organisational transformation want to read a book about stories and storytelling? The answer is astonishingly simple. Well chosen, well told stories are probably the most profound and elegant way to bring about ecological and sustainable change in ourselves, others and our world.

Stories are the principal means through which we construct our reality. A traveller asked Aesop if he was on the right road for Athens. "Straight ahead, big city. You can't miss it." I'm a stranger. What are the people of Athens like? "Where do you come from and what are the people there like?" I'm from Argos [the city not the store] and the people there are friendly, warm and generous. "I'm sure you'll find the people of Athens exactly the same." Ten minutes later, another traveller asks Aesop if he was on the right road for Athens. "Straight ahead, big city. you can't miss it." I'm a stranger. What are the people of Athens like? "Where do you come from and what are the people there like?" Argos. And the people there are mean, unfriendly and extremely spiteful. "I'm sure you'll find the people of Athens exactly the same."

And it's not only our own stories. The stories of others that we accept as true also construct the scaffolding of our reality for good or ill. Perhaps the biggest and most destructive story running at the moment is a story that's been current since the 17th century: that we can continue to exploit our planet's resources at the expense of all other life forms without consequence. This is a story that today needs to be challenged and changed into a newer, more humble, generative, and transformational story: a post-heroic story for post-heroic times.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By P. Pinger on 8 Nov. 2011
Format: Hardcover
Rarely have I read a book which has engaged both my head and my heart in the same way. I burnt the midnight oil last night as I couldn't put down the book which had me quite enchanted. "Coming Home to Story" is no mean feat as Geoff Mead masterfully spins his tale: His book - exquisitely illustrated by Chris Seeley - provides at the same time a very frank and moving account of finding a calling in becoming a professional story teller, a collection of beguiling versions of wonderfully thought-provoking and inspiring stories, and an insightful exploration of the uses stories can be put to in communities and organisations.

Petra Pinger
Coach
Cologne, Germany
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Carol Thompson on 15 Nov. 2011
Format: Hardcover
It usually takes me weeks, sometimes months to finish a book. I gobbled this up in three goes. I am now going through writing down phrases, words of wisdom and references I want to remember and follow up. This is a really inspirational book! I think all who read 'Coming Home to Story' will find something of value for themselves in their own journey.

Carol Thompson
Laughter Leader and Clowning Facilitator
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David Green on 2 Nov. 2011
Format: Hardcover
I have just finished reading Geoff Mead's "Coming Home to Story". I found it to be a wonderful account of his personal and professional journey to becoming a storyteller whose craft is employed in a wide range of contexts.
He both illuminates and illustrates the importance that living stories have always played in personal exploration and understanding, in identification, in relationships, in sense-making, in community, and in organisational life.
There are plenty of scholarly and thoughtful references to the ideas of others, which help to tie the narrative together, yet the overwhelming sense which comes through is just how personal and real he is able to make the whole account. I was strongly moved several times, as his journey touched various points of struggle or insight from my own life.
He has managed a particularly complex achievement - to interweave reflections and learning about the craft of the storyteller with his own development story, and then incorporate the actual (mostly traditional) stories which carry the wide-ranging themes he explores in each chapter. At the same timme, the experience is not of reading a complex thesis, but a readily understandable and coherent description.
I will look back at various chapters for a long time to come.

David Green
Leadership Development Consultant
Melbourne, Australia
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