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Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite
Chain of Ghosts: Resonance in Language, Story, and the Brain by Loren W. Cooper is an insightful book that takes readers on a journey through some of the patterns that exist in storytelling, and how we learn, teach, and engage in this human art. The book does not talk about the recurring patterns that we see in stories; instead, the book educates readers on how to use a pattern to write a better story. The author also shares strategies and techniques on what tools work and where these tools come from. The book also deals with the modern techniques of writing and compares these with the writings of Aristotle's Poetics, the Epic of Gilgamesh, and modern neuroscience.
Loren W. Cooper's approach to the topic is new and unconventional and that makes the book engaging. He allows us to look at the storytelling tool with different perspectives and speaks about archetypes and symbols, and the connotations of words which cannot be ignored while writing stories. The author delves deep into the topic and it is good information to know about the common elements between current writing styles and Aristotle's Poetics. Writing a book on these connections gives writers additional tools to make their storytelling more powerful. The author is very expressive with his words and gives a detailed narration on the subject, making it palpable. Everything changes, hence resonance is the key to the story. The unique set of perspectives and experiences shared by the author reiterates the fact that a good story has to connect and it has to resonate.