The Seven Basic Plots: why we tell stories by Christopher Booker
I chose this book as Creative Arts Book of the Week because I have stockpiled this title in my own library at home and if I don’t remind myself of its existence I will never get round to reading it. I own hundreds of books. It’s a bit of a problem! I saw Seven Basic Plots on the library bookshelves a few years ago and fell in love with the cover. I knew I had to have my own copy. I am a shallow person.
So what about the contents I hear you say! The spine titles on the cover say it all: Overcoming the Monster; Rags to Riches; The Quest; Voyage and Return; Comedy; Tragedy and Rebirth. I am guessing that most of you can think of an example for each of these plot types. Ah ha! So this is why Lord of the Rings is so popular – it has them all!
Seven Basic Plots examines the basis of story- telling in literature, film, and libretto. It also provides stimulus for creative writers and this is why I bought it. Christopher Booker uses a wealth of examples, from ancient myths and folk tales via plays and novels of great literature to the popular films and TV soaps of today. He also discusses the psychology around why people read what they read: their emotional needs and intellectual development.
Our academics like it. It’s on at least six reading lists and is perfect for Humanities and Creative Arts students. There are nine copies in stock although most are out on loan over Easter. It’s also quite a chunky read so until I find the time I shall have to be content dipping into my favourite genres for some post-dated inspiration…..for when I eventually get round to writing my own best seller.
STOP PRESS: Coming soon to the library – Portsmouth Fairy Tales. Fifteen short pieces (for grown-ups) written by some of our home-grown talent!
If you are interested in joining a Portsmouth writing group click here for more details.