There have been many voices in disciplines as various as philosophy, history, psychology, hermeneutics, literary theory, and theology that have claimed that narrative is fundamental to all that is human. Here is a book that in an engaging and amusing way presents a coherent thesis to that effect, connecting the Joke and the Story (with all that comedy and tragedy imply) not only with our sensing and perceiving the world, but with our faith in each other, and what the character of that faith should be. Although at one level it could be said to draw ethics, logic, metaphysics and aesthetics in a highly original argument, it deliberately does not move outside the scope of the understanding of the ordinary reader. It is not too much to say that, should its claims prove justifiable, not only will the basis of science have to be rethought but our policies with regard to fundamentalism, xenophobia and the like will have to be transformed.

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