What The Dog Saw

Author

Malcolm Gladwell

Book Cover

dog_saw.jpg

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Book Review

I’m big fan of Malcolm Gladwell. I read his blog regularly which is entertaining and stimulating, and read all his earlier books and found them the same. I didn’t like this book however. The obvious criticism is that this book, as an anthology of his pieces for the New Yorker, is merely a reprinting of old content. But beyond that, the pieces leave me wanting more. Like Blink and Freakanomics, the pieces often look at subjects which science tells us happen very differently to the way we perceive them. But Gladwell tells the beginning and the middle of the story, and doesn’t give a conclusion or make any recommendations. If the pieces are for entertainment’s sake only then potentially a conclusion is unnecessary, but in order to persuade the reader to accept the argument and motivate them to change (which is the only reason for writing a non-fiction book, surely), then the pieces need endings. Gladwell’s writing is entertaining and engaging, of course, and this book is an interesting, if unsatisfying, way of whiling away an hour or two. However, there are more educational and persuasive books available.