Such Stuff as Dreams Paperback – 15 Jul 2011
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Such Stuff as Dreams: The Psychology of Fiction explores how fiction works in the brains and imagi....
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Top Customer Reviews
This "Non Fiction" book will leave you with fascinating insights into the contribution which fiction can make to your roundedness as an individual and it does this with wit and skill
Drawing on the latest psychological research, the author looks at how fiction can change our personalities and reports that contrary to popular opinion those who read fiction are not loners with no friends or family. In fact it is those who read non-fiction who are more likely to fall into this category. I found it fascinating that reading a story can affect your personality to a measurable extent and that those who read fiction usually have better social skills and are better at relating to others. Whether that is cause and effect is not clear though the fact that reading a story can affect the reader's personality makes it seem that reading fiction can give you better interpersonal skills.
The book covers the rapid growth of book clubs throughout the civilised world, both online and face to face. Talking about books read can increase our own understanding of them and also our enjoyment. Book clubs, the author suggests, are as important as departments of literature at universities.Read more ›
I read this book to convince myself that it was worth getting back into the habit of reading fiction. Am I convinced?
The core of the book for me as a layperson was in chapter 7 - Effects of Fiction - and I was particularly interested in the test of adult empathy and theory of mind to be found on the web site cited in the book. I have often wondered if fiction is good for the soul as I personally have tended more towards reading philosophy, psychology and general non-fiction than material that apes reality. I found it interesting that the author draws on Plato as someone who banned poetry and all fiction. This is because rather like Plato I felt that truth does not exist in this world, only shadows. Fiction is thus just 'a shadow of a shadow on the walls' of the cave wherein we are prisoners. However, emotion is part of being human and we can't ignore it and ignore it at our peril.
Reading this book has indeed convinced me of the value of getting back into the habit of reading fiction. Through fiction the author shows us that we grow to understand others and their way of thinking and indeed 'emoting'. We see through the eyes of others who we may never encounter in real life.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a fascinating read about how fiction "works" and how it affects us - our lives, our minds etc. I love books like this so I ate it up with a spoon. Read morePublished on 21 Aug. 2012 by GreenBookAL
As I am half way through a psychology degree, I have a bit of an understanding of the way we think, but hadn't really considered our relationship with fiction. Read morePublished on 27 July 2012 by Leon Crawley
Ever found yourself dreaming about something you have read? Ever wondered about how some terms from fiction appear to have filtered into common cultural consciousness? Read morePublished on 29 Jan. 2012 by pacem et amorem
What I thought would be an interesting book turned out to be a thesis on how dreams are crafted and a look at how fiction and playwrights have influenced dreams. Read morePublished on 24 Oct. 2011 by J.Y
Keith Oatley's book sets out to explore the effects that fiction has on the human mind and its ability to determine, even alter our thought processes. Read morePublished on 22 Oct. 2011 by Graeme Wright
Some of the ideas explored in this book seem somewhat obvious, such as fiction being an extension of make believe. Read morePublished on 26 Sept. 2011 by GM Harlow
There's much good stuff in this book but the author is long-winded and doesn't always get to the point quickly enough. But it is definitely worth persevering.Published on 7 Sept. 2011 by Kate Gardener
As a writer, I was quite interested in this non-fiction. How, I wondered, can I invest more layers of meaning into my own work? Read morePublished on 31 Aug. 2011 by Rachel Green (author)
I don't think my brain has worked this hard for over a decade since I left university, but like riding a bike it's amazing how much comes back to you. Read morePublished on 25 Aug. 2011 by Jo Bennie