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What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures Paperback – December 14, 2010
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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.
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." (Time.com Alex Altman )
"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." (New York Times Janet Maslin )
"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." (The New York Times Book Review Steven Pinker )
"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."- (Bloomberg News Craig Seligman )
"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." (Louisville Courier-Journal Scott Coffman )
"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." (The Oregonian Alice Evans ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
For my part, before picking this one up, I thought Blink was my favorite -- a really cool weaving of pop psych and interesting stories -- and that the other two suffered from the full-scale book's requirement of a coherent argument, a requirement which in their case made their contents seem artificially bound. While Outliers, for example, had some interesting stuff, I felt that Gladwell's attempt to stuff all those stories into a big argument seemed artificial and forced. At the end of the day, the book seemed cheapened by his rather pointless thesis that (to simplify) hard work + luck = success.
What the Dog Saw, then -- because it is chock full of fascinating Malcolm Gladwell stories but entirely uninhibited by this annoying need to press these stories into some sort of ill-fitting form -- may be my favorite of the lot. It's just extremely thought-provoking and diverse.
His stories cover a huge range of interesting material -- the difficulties of mammogram reading, the inevitability of disaster, how hair coloring slogans mimicked and shaped changing definitions of 20th-Cent feminism, the slippery definitions of plagiarism -- in a way that lends itself to your drawing your OWN opinions about the interrelations of ideas. The book really makes you think, and I've found much of what I read here applicable to much of what I've seen while and since reading it. He really is a very thoughtful and lucid writer, and he turns this varied world of ideas into a series of comprehensible and well-laid out pieces.
Just a very interesting read in general. Two last notes, for those who haven't seen many other reviews of the book. One, the articles will be hit or miss for some people; I found some things interesting that others here appear to have been bored by, and visa versa. And then two, of course, if you've faithfully read his New Yorker pieces since 1996, then you will be disappointed to find that this book represents nothing other than a reprint of some of his best.
That said, though, I'd highly encourage buying it. It's just been a fascinating read.
"Late Bloomers" and "Most likely to Succeed" are the topics correlating with his former work "Outliers." He warns negative aspect of "Blink." We have a particular prerational ability for judging others by the power of first impression. When we make a snap judgement, we feel it's very clear and have no difficulty in articulating. But this is the place the trap is hidden. He also warns against our folly attitude toward generalization, homology between character and action. He points out the every details of our situation causes much effects on our behavior than the unchangeable inner driver of us, which makes us difficult in predicting someone's future and profiling action.
What caught my eye mostly is his thought on plagiarism. To whom the words belong? Everyone composes sentences by selecting words based on his/her own history, world view and social customs he/she lives in. Some other people quote some part of them by their own comprehensions. In this sense, Malcolm is very generous to who uses his creation. This would be from the reason because he truly think highly of intellectual property.
For the Japanese who experienced Fukushima, his point out of risk homeostasis in "blowup" is very suggestive. We need to concentrate our efforts in establishing nuclear power plant safety based on the fact we tend to compensate for lower risks in one area by taking greater risks in another. Our faithful enactment of the rituals of disaster should not be ended as another example of hypocritical commitment.
One I found especially interesting was the chapter that discussed certain cities' unorthodox solution to homelessness.
Gladwell is a good writer and he engages the reader in a variety of topics that I otherwise wouldn't have considered or thought to be interesting.
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This book is a collection of his New Yorker columns.Read more