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by Malcolm Gladwell What the Dog Saw, And Other Adventures 1 edition Unknown Binding – 2009

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Product Details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (2009)
  • ASIN: B0030H542Y
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.7 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (575 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,831,909 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Malcolm Gladwell has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1996. He is the author of The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, and What the Dog Saw. Prior to joining The New Yorker, he was a reporter at the Washington Post. Gladwell was born in England and grew up in rural Ontario. He now lives in New York.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

417 of 430 people found the following review helpful By E. Bukowsky HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Malcolm Gladwell's "What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures" is a compilation of the author's favorite work from The New Yorker, where he has been a staff writer since 1996. This book is divided into three parts 1. Obsessives, Pioneers, and Other Varieties of Minor Genius 2. Theories, Predictions, and Diagnoses 3. Personality, Character, and Intelligence. In the first part, Gladwell includes portraits of a pitchman for kitchen gadgets who is so persuasive that he could sell clothing to a nudist. In addition, he discusses three female advertising pioneers, a canny investment strategist, and a "dog whisperer" who is able to tame even the most intransigent canine. What these people have in common is an understanding of how human beings (and four-legged creatures) think and feel, supreme self-confidence, and the ability to promote themselves and their ideas. The second part deals with the art of thinking and seeing clearly. Gladwell describes the series of events that led to the Challenger explosion and the collapse of Enron. Could these catastrophic events have been foreseen and prevented? In part three, the author discusses various aspects of genius and talent, and whether it is possible to profile criminal behavior or predict how a prospective employee will fare on the job.

"What the Dog Saw" has some intriguing passages that will impel readers to say, "I never thought of this subject in quite that way before." The provocative Gladwell enjoys toying with conventional wisdom and challenging our preconceived notions. For instance, in one article, he defends certain forms of plagiarism, a transgression that many would consider indefensible.
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463 of 483 people found the following review helpful By William Dunn on November 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Not a review so much as a notice. If you don't need the actual book itself, you should know that all of these pieces are available on Malcolm Gladwell's website for free.
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243 of 287 people found the following review helpful By BTrain on November 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a big fan of Gladwell's previous three books and how each of them took an idea and fully developed it over the course of a book. Admittedly the books were small, but that makes sense because I don't think you could write another 100 pages or so on any of those topics and keep the books as interesting to read as they were. When I saw a new book by Malcolm Gladwell out I jumped on it and went ahead and ordered it without even looking at a description of the book. Shame on me for granting Gladwell the status of having anything bought site-unseen. This book is merely a collection of previously published articles written for the new Yorker magazine. As articles they lack the depth and level of development seen in his previous books. Articles seem to be just that, magazine articles covering one subject rather than trying to take one idea and really expand upon it and explore it in depth. Yes, the articles are organized into an attempt to tie them more together into what the subject matter they are covering but that feels forced and like it was the little work the publisher had Gladwell do in putting this book together before they could print it and sell it to you.

Buy it if you don't get the New Yorker and don't really care that it isn't anything new or very similar to his previous books.
Don't buy it if you can wait for the paperback, or have already read his articles in the New Yorker, or are thinking this will be something like his previous books.
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62 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Jijnasu Forever VINE VOICE on October 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover
In a compendium of previously published articles (as old as 1996 and as recent as 2008), Gladwell attempts to provide a unique window to the human psyche mostly in terms of its creativity, inventiveness, decision making and biases. While the articles themselves are very engaging read and informative, the compendium-of-best-articles, leaves the reader fairly direction-less due to the lack of an explicit theme or an overarching premise to contextualize the articles. Moreover, Gladwell doesn't use the opportunity to self-critique older articles and provide any additional insights that would have significantly helped the reader. Gladwell fans and frequent users of his website/blog may find the lack of new material disappointing.

In the first part Gladwell zigzags his way through kitchen gadgets, ketchup, Wall Street, hair dyes, birth control and dog whisperers. The range of the topics, notwithstanding, the reader is treated to unique glimpses of "hidden extraordinary" as the book jacket frames it. (Other reviewers have talked about the contents in the other two parts, but expect a wide plethora of topics) In a way, the lack of cohesiveness of the topics encourages the reader to wander to very different topics which oftentimes leads to surprising insights. The articles being written at different times shouldn't be expected to be able to maintain a uniform sense of engagement or interest to the reader.

After reading through the entire book,the reader is likely to have come across few instances or discussions that will force you to rethink, but overall, the book doesn't provide a relatively succinct theme or question such as the Outliers did for understanding success or the Tipping Point's take on ideas or Blink's take on gut responses. As entertaining and interesting a compendium this turned out to be, a reader will need to manage expectations with respect to this collection of articles.
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