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What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures Paperback – December 14, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0316076203 ISBN-10: 0316076201 Edition: Reprint

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What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures + Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking + Outliers: The Story of Success
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Back Bay Books; Reprint edition (December 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316076201
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316076203
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (500 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Gladwell's fourth book comprises various contributions to the New Yorker and makes for an intriguing and often hilarious look at the hidden extraordinary. He wonders what... hair dye tell[s] us about twentieth century history, and observes firsthand dog whisperer Cesar Millan's uncanny ability to understand and be understood by his pack. Gladwell pulls double duty as author and narrator; while his delivery isn't the most dramatic or commanding, the material is frequently astonishing, and his reading is clear, heartfelt, and makes for genuinely pleasurable listening. A Little, Brown hardcover. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

GREAT PRAISE FOR WHAT THE DOG SAW:

"[Malcolm Gladwell] is one of the brightest stars in the media firmament...Gladwell's clear prose and knack for upending conventional wisdom across the social sciences have made The Tipping Point, Blink and Outliers, as well as his lengthy magazine features on topics ranging from cool-hunting to ketchup, into must reads."—Alex Altman, Time.com

"This evidence of a Gladwell effect helps to predict something larger: that Mr. Gladwell's new book will be as successful as his first three...This book full of short conversation pieces is a collection that plays to the author's strengths. It underscores his way of finding suitably quirky subjects (the history of women's hair-dye advertisements; the secret of Heinz's unbeatable ketchup; even the effects of women's changing career patterns on the number of menstrual periods they experience in their lifetimes) and using each as gateway to some larger meaning."—Janet Maslin, New York Times

"Gladwell is a writer of many gifts. His nose for the untold back story will have readers repeatedly muttering, "Gee, that's interesting!" He avoids shopworn topics, easy moralization and conventional wisdom, encouraging his readers to think again and think different...Some chapters are masterpieces in the art of the essay."—Steven Pinker, The New York Times Book Review

"Uniformly delightful...Malcolm Gladwell can write engrossingly about just about anything...His witty, probing articles are as essential to David Remnick's New Yorker as those of Wolcott Gibbs and A.J. Liebling were to Harold Ross's...Gladwell has a gift for capturing personalities, a Borscht Belt comic's feel for timing and a bent for counterintuitive thinking. He loves to start a piece by settling you onto a cushion of received ideas, then yanking it out from under you."-—Craig Seligman, Bloomberg News

"Malcolm Gladwell triumphantly returns to his roots with this collections of his great works from The New Yorker Magazine....Do yourself a favor and curl up with What the Dog Saw this week: It is more entertaining and edifying than should be legal for any book."—Scott Coffman, Louisville Courier-Journal

"In What the Dog Saw, Malcolm Gladwell leads the reader on delightful side excursions, shows with insightful conversation how one path interweaves with another, and suggests meaning-he is, in short, an interpretative naturalist of American culture."—Alice Evans, The Oregonian --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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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

I liked the book and considered reading it to be time well spent.
WryGuy2
The thing I enjoy the most about his writing and research is the way in which he makes the reader stop to ponder things you just never seem to give much notice to.
Lydia Ayala
I always enjoy Malcolm Gladwell so was very pleased to read his latest book, as usual, full of interesting and thought provoking stuff.
Mrs Scarlett Dymond

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

392 of 404 people found the following review helpful By E. Bukowsky HALL OF FAMETOP 100 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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439 of 457 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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233 of 272 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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59 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Sreeram Ramakrishnan 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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