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What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures
By Malcolm Gladwell

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What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures

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What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures
By Malcolm Gladwell
Read by the Author
Hachette Audio, (2009)
An Unabridged Recording on 10 CDs
ISBN: 978-1-60024-915-0
Genre: Nonfiction

This title is also available in large print.

Reviewed by Angela Evans - November 20, 2009

Malcolm Gladwell has mystified us with his foray into how to think without thinking in his book Blink. In Outliers he taught us how to understand success and in The Tipping Point he explored how little things could have an enormous impact. Now in What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures Gladwell once again takes us on an eye opening journey through, well, just about everything.

What the Dog Saw is a collection of nineteen of Gladwell's essays, all of which were originally published in The New Yorker magazine. They tackle just about everything from a piece on the inventor of the birth control pill to the impact that advertisements for hair-dyes had on history. There are also essays on Cesar Millan the "dog whisperer," ethnic profiling, Ron Popeil, taste research and its impact on condiments, lessons to be learned from football players, the hiring practices of Silicon Valley, pasta sauce, safe cars, an assessment of who gets into Ivy League schools, how to solve the Homelessness problem, and intelligence tests. While the essays are loosely organized into three broad sections covering the varieties of minor genius, theories and predictions, and personality and intelligence, they do not need to be read sequentially. Rather they serve to shine a spotlight into unexpect corners of the human psyche and by extension, western culture. As such, you may find that these essays explore unexpected avenues, and that they all serve to engage your mind and spark your curiosity. They provide ample fodder for countless conversations, making it essential reading for anyone who is on the cocktail circuit or who frequents the water cooler and could use some unique tidbits of information to share with their friends.

As always, Gladwell's writing is engaging, and his ideas stimulating. Gladwell acted as his own reader in the audio edition of this book, so you get to hear his essays with all the nuances that he intended. The only draw back to this audio edition is that it is a bit harder to skim through the book, looking for a topic that might interest you. However, this is a minor inconvenience, and if you are a Gladwell fan, or simply looking for a book that is both informative and entertaining, you will not go wrong with What the Dog Saw.


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