Sunday, September 18, 2011

What The Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell

What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell

What the Dog Saw is an accumulation of different articles that Gladwell has written for the magazine The New Yorker, split in to three categories: Obsessives, Pioneers, and Other Varieties of Minor Genius, Theories, Predictions, and Diagnoses, and finally Personality, Character, and Intelligence. Most of the articles are written pre-2005 which dates some of them, though this doesn't negatively impact the book. Gladwell is a creative thinker and I started this book with high expectations having really enjoyed his other works. Though you'd think that reading small articles would make the book easier to read, I actually found it harder because every 15 pages or so I'd have to start fresh with a new story.

Of the three sections, I enjoyed Theories, Predictions, and Diagnoses the best because it had the most food for thought. For example, why should the Enron guys be put in jail when they clearly made everything public and didn't hide what they were doing with the company vs. Nixon who hid everything. Both lied, cheated, and stole so what differentiates them? I liked the Obsessives, Pioneers, and other Varieties of Minor Genius the least. There was one article I couldn't even get through.

While I did enjoy this book, I would recommend Gladwell's others over this.

First Line: "The extraordinary story of the Ronco Showtime Rotisserie & BBQ begins with Nathan Morris, the son of the shoemaker and cantor Kidders Morris, who came over from the Old Country in the 1880s, and settled in Asbury Park, New Jersey."


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