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


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Back Bay Books; Reprint edition (Dec 14 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316076201
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316076203
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 14 x 3.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A. Volk #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on Oct. 27 2009
Format: Hardcover
Malcolm Gladwell has done it again in that he's written an interesting book about the human condition. To be fair, it's not really a book per se. It is a collection of previously published New Yorker articles. Since I don't read the New Yorker, they were new to me. If you're a regular follower, this will probably be a book of deja vu.

The book is split into three broad sections: 1. Obsessives, Pioneers, and Other Varieties of Minor Genius 2. Theories, Predictions, and Diagnoses 3. Personality, Character, and Intelligence. Each section has several essays that generally discuss the themes, and they cover a lot of varied ground. Some of the essays, like the one of Ron Popeil (Ronco Food guy from TV) were quite interesting. Others, like the article on ketchup, where a little less interesting. It's not so much that some articles were better written than others, but that the subject material is so varied that you're bound to like certain topics/ideas more than others (there are other kinds of ketchup on the shelves, saw them today- spicy and mexican to name two, plus I kind of think of steak sauce, some salsas, and BBQ sauce as alternate forms of ketchup).

Overall, the book had less impact than some of his previous work (e.g., Tipping Point) where he took one idea and really developed it. Still, as light reading, this book is a good buy. The essays are self-contained, so it's pretty easy to pick it up, read for a while, then put it down again without worried about losing track of an argument or line of thought. The wide range of topics make it likely that most readers will enjoy at least some, but probably not all, of the essays. So if you like Gladwell's other books, and are looking for something similarly amusing, but a little lighter, than this is probably going to be a good (if not great) book for you.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on Nov. 13 2009
Format: Hardcover
One man's opinion, Malcolm Gladwell is at his best when writing essays for magazines (notably The New Yorker) or when writing Outliers: The Story of Success, his most recently published book. (I do not share others' enthusiasm for his earlier books, The Tipping Point and Blink.) In Outliers, he provides a rigorous and comprehensive examination of the breakthrough research conducted by Anders Ericsson and his associates at Florida State. One of the major research projects focuses on individuals who have "attained their superior performance by instruction and extended practice: highly skilled performers in the arts, such as music, painting and writing, sports, such as swimming, running and golf and games, such as bridge and chess." Geoff Colvin (in Talent Is Overrated) and Daniel Coyle (in The Talent Code) also discuss the same research.

In this volume, we have 19 of Gladwell's essays, all of which originally appeared in The New Yorker. They are organized within three Parts: Obsessives, Pioneers, and Other Varieties of Minor Genius (e.g. "The Pitchman: Ron Popeil and the Conquest of the American Kitchen"); Theories, Predictions, and Diagnoses (e.g. "Million-Dollar Murray: Why Problems Like Homelessness May Be Easier to Solve Than Manage"); and Personality, Character, and Intelligence (e.g. "Dangerous Minds: Criminal Profiling Made Easy"). In the Preface, Gladwell observes, "Curiosity about the inner life of other people's day-to-day work is one of the most funfamental of human impulses, and that same impulse is what led to the writing you now hold in your hands.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Oliver TOP 500 REVIEWER on Jan. 18 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is a collection of essays about the ordinary. Why is is that supermarket contains numerous brands of mustard, in all different styles, while most of the ketchup sold is good old Heinz? Gladwell tells that story, as well as the story behind the Ronco Vego-0-Matic, and many others, in this collection of essays which were originally published as magazine articles. Gladwell's enthusiasm, intelligence and writing style make this book a pleasure to read. The short story format makes this a good book for the bathroom, or for an airplane, or to keep with you whenever you have some free time.
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Format: Paperback
Malcolm Gladwell does a great job of digging deeper into old topics from the birth control pill to branding of ketchup and mustard. Amazing stories well told.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
so much powerful information ,. giggles and smiles. and it's all real and has happened. the player are real and exist
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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Pauline on Jan. 17 2010
Format: Hardcover
Malcolm Gladwell has written several books: 'The Tipping Point', 'Blink', and 'Outliers', all of which I have read. This one "What the Dog Saw" is a collection of essays he has written over the past ten years.

Some of the essays were attention-grabbing and some were not; the book contains a wide range of topics and depending on the person reading the book, some will be intriguing and some will seem tedious.

The essays cover such topics as the discovery of the birth control by a dedicated Catholic who thought his discovery was in synch with his church's teachings, but as it turns out that Catholic Church thought the opposite. There is an essay that explains about designer mustards and why they were successful, but why designer ketchups cannot capture the market from Heinz. Other topics include the influence of hair dye in women's lives, plagiarism, Enron's problems, and all sorts of other stories.

This book is a simple read and it does keep one's attention, but I found it lacking in cohesion. The topics while educational just do not seem to pull together to make a whole. I finished the book and felt like the book was just a collection of random essays. They do have some consistency, but I get the general feeling of disjointedness. I favour his other three books.
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