Sunday, March 21, 2010

What The Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell (highly recommended)

I just finished What The Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell. I thought that it was excellent. I would highly recommend it.

It is a collection of 19 essays by Gladwell. The essays were organized into three categories: Part 1-Obsessives, Pioneers and Other Varieties of Minor Genius (I really liked the Ketchup Conundrum, True Colors and What the Dog Saw from this section), Part 2-Theories, Predictions, and Diagnoses (I liked Million-Dollar Murray--this article in particular was fascinating--, Something Borrowed and The Art Of Failure), and Part 3-Personality, Character and Intelligence (I liked How Do We Hire When We Can't Tell Who's Right For The Job and What Pit Bulls Can Teach Us About Crime).

Collections have both strengths and weakness. A strength is the bite-sized length of the articles. Because of each article's brevity, it kept my interest and didn't try my patience. A weakness is the unevenness. Some articles are great and I wanted them to go on but others were not so great. A good thing about Gladwell's book is most of the articles are very interesting. I think I only thought 2 or 3 of the 19 articles were not-so-good.

Gladwell's writing style is great. I like how he starts with specific case studies to catch our attention and then he moves on to generalizations afterward. I find similar books to be abrasive but Gladwell's tone is respectful and even and I feel that he respects the reader.

Overall, I thought this book/collection was great. It was very provocative. I had a discussion about this book with a friend and it provided context and fuel for a very lively and dynamic discussion. The book was well written, well paced and very interesting. I highly recommend this to anyone who likes nonfiction/current events. Fantastic. :)