What the Dog Saw

When I bought the book, I hadn’t realized that Macolm Gladwell’s What the Dog Saw was a series of essays selected from his New Yorker articles. No matter, since I hadn’t read most of them anyway. One thing about Gladwell is that he writes in a way that makes the story interesting and accessible and this book (or series of essays) is no exception.

I’ve read criticism of his books recently and I think that people are missing the point. As he explains in this book’s introduction, Gladwell looks for the angle in the story that is unusual and goes after the story in that way. His mandate is to make stuff interesting and if you’ve read his work, you’ll have to agree that he does. Gladwell’s one of those people who knows how to weave a narrative and that’s something most people struggle to do consistently. (Check out his TED talk on spaghetti sauce and you’ll see what I mean.)

Anyway, the essays in the book range from the world of TV infomercials to women’s health to dog whisperers to genius and age and are in the typical Gladwell New Yorker style — well researched, interesting, and arguments presented beautifully. I have no complaints about Gladwell and his writing: he’s a fabulous writer and we need more writers like him. He seems to find connections in things that people don’t usually find and turns those connections into something interesting: he’s a modern day alchemist.

After writing this post, I realized that it is more a comment on Gladwell’s writing than about this book. Details shmetails.


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