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on 6 September 2017
Very enjoyable, I like this author
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on 28 November 2009
I have followed Malcolm Gladwell for a long time, and look forward to reading his work. He is thoughtful, lateral, creative. He writes simply and conveys difficult concepts simply. Gladwell has become an important writer. And for me Outliers has been one of my most important reads of the last few years.

All the same, with What the dog saw, Malcolm could do better. Most of the articles I had previously read through the magazine that he writes for and I subscribe to. This could've been stated on the dust-sheet but wasn't. The book was great, Gladwell wrote it. But... I had read it before in New Yorker-size installments.

I'm now conflicted. I don't tire easily of reading the works of Malclom Gladwell. Repackaging old New Yorker copy to compile What the dog saw, and not making this clear to readers is unfair.

Gladwell and his publishers should be careful not to alienate their long-term loyalists.
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on 24 October 2010
If you're expecting a bundle of short essays in the style of 'blink' or 'the tipping point', you're going to be dissapointed. This book lacks the wit and wonder of Gladwell's best work. Instead, what you get is a series of only mildly entertaining stories about the life and work of a range of characters from all works of life.
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on 27 March 2017
Someone at work mentioned this book and it sounded interesting. After reading some reviews I ordered a copy but it is not for me. It is a collection of rambling stories. Some people may find them interesting but I don't. I wish I had not wasted my money and after two chapters I certainly won't be wasting any more of my time. In essence I could not care about how people who invented kitchen gadgets prospered or how up market brands of ketchup and mustard were successfully introduced. I have totally had enough and don't want to read any more !!!!
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I am a huge fan of Malcolm Gladwell, and have read all his books. However, take care, if you are a fan of Malcolm Gladwell, you will be disappointed in this book as most of the ideas have been re-written and expanded in his other books, and there will be very little that is new to you. If you are new to Malcolm Gladwell, this jumbled collection of short pieces is probably not the best place to start being blown away by his ideas and writing. This book is a pulling together of his articles, but as I said, all his good ideas have been expanded upon in his other books. I feel this book is a lazy money making exercise by Malcolm's publishers.
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on 17 July 2014
This isn't as coherent as his other books because it is a collection of articles, but nevertheless, it is interesting in the way only Gladwell can be. He always takes a fresh view of his subjects, whether they're deadly serious (like terrorism) or more frivolous, like the marketing of hair dye - although he manages to use the latter to discuss women's perceptions of themselves.

The final section of the book was, for me, the best. In it, he deals with the personal, such as why some geniuses are late bloomers.

Not his best, perhaps, but still very interesting
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on 7 May 2015
Comfort reading in UK’s fraught election week. A collection of Gladwell’s New Yorker pieces, covering topics as various as criminology, ketchup, dog training and job interviews. Reliably readable. Finding the intelligent insights that give the lie to the obvious.
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on 8 November 2015
I've read this book twice now, and I'm sure we'll read it again in a few months time. Thought provoking, interesting & stimulating articles about fascinating topics. I wish he would publish another collection of his works.
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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 11 November 2009
Quite clear this book was strategically released right after Outliers, from the same author. Outliers is a brilliant book and the editors clearly wanted to get ride on the good momentum that book created for the author. Unfortunately I feel in the trap. I read everything Malcolm releases but this book is not like his previous books (Tipping Point, Blink and Outliers). This is a collection of his publications in The New Yorker but they are no near as interesting or insightful as the stories from his previous books. Some of them as simply boring and you end up asking yourself what is the point of the last pages you've just read. Buy everything else Malcolm writes, just don't buy this book... Editors and Author simply got greedy for money.
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