A practical guide to "narrative thinking", and why it matters in a world defined by data.
In The Sea We Swim In, Frank Rose leads us to a new understanding of stories and their role in our lives. For decades, experts from many fields - psychologists, economists, advertising and marketing executives - failed to register the power of narrative. Scientists thought stories were frivolous. Economists were knee-deep in theory. Marketers just wanted to cut to the sales pitch. Yet stories, not reasoning, are the key to persuasion.
Whether we’re aware of it or not, stories determine how we view the world and our place in it. That means the tools of professional storytellers - character, world, detail, voice - can unlock a way of thinking that’s ideal for an age in which we don’t passively consume media but actively participate in it. Building on insights from cognitive psychology and neuroscience, Rose shows us how to see the world in narrative terms, not as a thesis to be argued or a pitch to be made but as a story to be told.
Leading brands and top entertainment professionals already understand the vast potential of storytelling. From Warby Parker to Mailchimp to The Walking Dead, Rose explains how they use stories to establish their identity and turn ordinary people into fans - and how you can do the same.
"Terrifically readable, as compelling as the many successful stories and stories of success it tells." (Brian Boyd, author of On the Origin of Stories)
"A master storyteller on the story of stories. Frank Rose deconstructs them expertly - how they make us pay attention, how they move us, and why we remember them. His eloquent toolkit will help us make our own stories more effective and avoid being buffeted by the strange modern sea of digital stories that surrounds us." (David Kirkpatrick, author of The Facebook Effect and founder of Techonomy)
"Frank Rose’s fascinating new book is an essential companion for our age - when narratives, no matter how incredible, produce real-world outcomes that defy all reason. The Sea We Swim In takes us systematically through the elements that create compelling stories and offers a practical guide both to creating powerful tales and to resisting the pull of the most dangerous." (Rita McGrath, author of Seeing Around Corners and The End of Competitive Advantage)
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- chris boutte
Although I read and write non-fiction, I’m always fascinated with how stories impact the world. When I saw this new book coming out from Frank Rose, I decided to check it out, and it was great. Rose covers a ton of topics in this book that helps you get a better understanding of how stories affect everything from the economy, to polarization, and how businesses can succeed. Not only that, but he also dives into some psychological research throughout the book and explains why different stories and narratives affect us the way they do, which is something I really enjoy learning about. As someone who works in marketing, I can see the majority of this book being beneficial to organizations and entrepreneurs who are working on developing their brand, but I also think the average person will enjoy this book because it helps explain a bit more about how the world works.