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on 6 October 2011
The title and dustcover illustration are eye-catching but do not seem particularly apt for a collection of articles or essays on diverse subjects but which have in common a necessity for lateral thinking. As a dog in reality is often hard put to actually attribute consequences to causes he would be even more flummoxed by Dr. De Bono's speciality. (No pun intended !)

Having said that I enjoyed these reprints from the New Yorker immensely, since I am a non-subscriber and don't hang about dentists' waiting rooms long enough. If Malcolm Gladwell's other books are much better, I can hardly wait to get my hands on them.

It is a measure of his genius that he can interest me in subjects in which I really have not the slightest interest ! Ketchup and American football to name but two. In fact the fascination lies in the way he tells a story and develops a parallel line of thought that causes one to have a double-take about the lesson to be drawn from the seemingly simple tale. He is so engagingly readable and straightforward that he can get away with this twenty times in this one book ! I can strongly recommend it.
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on 10 December 2009
"But what if we look at that problem through someone else's eyes, from inside someone else's head?" writes Malcolm Gladwell in his collection of chosen New Yorker magazine articles. Malcolm has certainly succeeded in writing another entertaining and thought provoking book that inspires the reader to look outside their own world and satisfy their curiosity of how others live and work. Curiosities of how people think, day in, day out, in all types of occupations lead us to inventions like the ez squirt Heinz ketchup bottle! Simple, yet amazingly brilliant!

Another book I highly recommend is called "Working on Yourself Doesn't Work: The 3 Simple Ideas That Will Instantaneously Transform Your Life" by Ariel & Shya Kane. Their ideas showed me ways to create and maintain a life worth living with satisfaction and meaning. Good news is you can also hear the Kanes on their radio show titled "Being Here".

Pick up either book for entertainment but trust me - you will also find inspiration and awe for the wonders of the world you live in and of which you are a part.
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on 16 February 2010
Having read many of his previous books including the excellant Outliers I quickly bought this. What a disappointment - this is simply a collection of previously published articles from a newspaper article Galdwell wrote. Most of these stories are simply boring and don't seem to have any particularl point. In the end I got half way through this and gave up rather than waste my time slogging through this. Avoid.
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on 1 September 2011
I read a few of Gladwell's books including outliers, the tipping point and blink, based on which I had high expectations for "what the dog saw", however was quite disappointed as the level of insight was not to my expectations. It seemed to be slightly disconnected and lacking structure and flow, a bit like cut and paste. I know it is a collection of articles yet still could have done better.
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on 10 March 2011
Perhaps it's because I read this after reading several of Malcolm Gladwell's other books, or perhaps it's a reflection on the nature of a book that is an amalgamation of newpaper columns - but in my opinion this book isn't as strong as his other works.
For example, I read Tipping Point first - it created it's own Tipping Point, and I moved on to read other the MG books (Blink, Outliers). I loved all three of these - I felt that they were very readable, and had an effect on the way I think about the world around me.
By contrast, What the Dog Saw is a disparate collection of largely unrelated observations - the work here just isn't as powerful or insightful as in MGs other books. I had no 'eureka' moments, and was left feeling that I had learned very little after reading this one.

Perhaps it'd be a stronger work if read before other MG books - but in my opinion it's one probably best left unpurchased - spend your money on a different Gladwell book.
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on 18 August 2010
Not much to add to other reviews here that will comment on each of the chapters and such, but I consider this effort is a better achievement than other Gladwell's books. Maybe it is because it is no more than a compilation of articles written thru' the years, and therefore each of them deals on wholly different issues, which makes the book more agreeable than, for example, Blink. There are more than one single thesis here, and the articles show each of them has research and insight behind. Maybe he could do a book from almost each of the articles, and at times this can feel to some readers like a Reader's Digest, but I found it more illustrative. One can learn a lot because in the end Malcolm always is busy with fringe thinking, with different points of view, being as he is fascinated with outliers. Funnily, some reviewers prefer Gladwell's Blink rather than this, so I guess it's a matter of opinion, but definitely, I found this is a much better choice.
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on 18 November 2010
"Full of playful yet profound insights", says the blurb. Playful, yes, profound...no, not really. On an initial reading, the odd connections made in this book do indeed seem insightful and thought-provoking, but when you examine the proposals more closely, they are mostly empty, with too much opinion stated as fact, too much anecdote proffered as supporting an argument with no evidence to back it up.

Some of the concepts in here are just silly - we're told that the reason more accidents happen to pedestrians who cross at designated pedestrian crossings than those who cross the road at where they shouldn't is that people assume that they are safe at pedestrian crossings and so take more risks...actually the reason is simply that vastly more people cross the road at designated crossings, so statistically more people are likely to be involved in accidents there. There's an essay on whether genius springs naturally from youth, or requires years of hard work to develop, which would be good if it actually had a point.

Ultimately, apart from the occasionally diverting passage, this tries to hard to be a Freakonomics-style adventure into the hidden world of counter-intuitive thought. It ends up as a mildly diverting collection of anecdotes for nerds to coo over.
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on 2 February 2011
It's not often that you come across a book like this. For a start, I don't generally like to read books made up of short stories. But the stories within the book are for the most part either charming or totally mesmerizing. The first story about a guy who sells kitchen gadgets wasn't very strong and I started to have my doubts about the book, but once I'd got past that one, the other stories were so interesting.

Get this book if you're looking for a charming collection of really readable stories about different facets of life. I'm not sure I learned anything from it, but I had a great series of evenings and afternoons reading these beautifully written stories!
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on 30 November 2010
I am most of the way through "What the Dog saw". As usual, Malcolm Gladwell has provided a very interesting read, with something for everyone in this book. There are comparisons of reading Mamograms to reading aerial images used for target bombing in wars. Some of the chapters are more interesting to me that others, but its sometimes good to be taken out of your comfort zone and read about things which you would not normally read about.

Once again, he writes about his personal experiences; including a story about copyright infringement.

My favourite book of his is still Outliers, and then Tipping Point, and then Blink. I have read them all!!
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on 14 October 2010
I read Malcolm Gladwell's Blink! a while back, and although I found it quite interesting it did strike me as being an article that had been stretched to the length of full book. The was an awful lot of repetition to the point where I wanted to say "Enough! I get it already!"

So when I saw this book become available, which is a collection of his previous articles, I thought it would be more my cup of tea. I was right. The short articles in here are very interesting and they cover an amazing range of topics from ketchup to dangerous dogs. There isn't a duff article in the whole collection and Gladwell's writing style is entertaining and accessible. I hope he produces another similar collection in the near future.
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