A manual for reading and writing better that explores the great plots from Plato to The Matrix and Tolstoy to Toy Story. This manual shows you how you can learn to understand it well enough to crack open any fictional narrative, and, start creating yourown. Have you ever had your heart broken, or broken someone else's heart? Have you ever won an argument but later realized you were wrong? Have you ever tripped in public or spilled wine on someone else's carpet? Have you ever tried to help someone who didn't want to be helped--or even someone who did? Have you ever been in trouble, big or small? Have you ever felt trapped? Have you ever gossiped, felt bad about it, and then found that you've been the subject of gossip yourself? Have you ever basically felt like a chimp in a pair of jeans, caught up in endless drama and with no idea of how the universe works? This is an ode to secret power of stories, and a guide to cracking those powers open.
Scarlett Thomas is Reader in Creative Writing at Kent University, where she has taught since 2004. She is the bestselling author of The End of Mr. Y, PopCo and seven other novels.