What is the role of the storyteller in 21st Century society? Do stories possess the power to change the world we live in? In this most original and stimulating study Alberto Manguel, award winning author of "A History of Reading", sets out to investigate the ways in which stories can lend an identity to a whole society. From "Gilgamesh" to the Bible, from "Don Quixote" to "The Fast Runner", Manguel explores how books can hold the secret to what binds us together. His thesis is argued here in an engrossing and highly personal book that encompasses narratives of autobiography, mythology, history and theology. He also raises concerns that technological developments - the internet, for one - may well fatally undermine the publishing industry and threaten the survival of the individual around whom the entire literary industry was originally constructed: the beleaguered author. This book is also about the art of reading, at a time when Manguel argues that it is still possible for stories to change us and the world we live in.