What the Dog Saw

Have you ever wondered why there are dozens of different types of mustard but only one kind of ketchup?  How about the difference between a puzzle and a mystery and why too much information can be a bad thing?  Did it ever occur to you that having talent can be highly overrated?

If you’ve ever thought about any of these questions, and even if you haven’t thought about these but enjoy reading about oddities in human behavior than this book is for you.

Yes, it’s What the Dog Saw.  Which is a fantastic book written by Malcolm Gladwell.  This is a non-fiction book that is a collection of articles written by Gladwell over the years that he has worked for The New Yorker.  For those not familiar with Gladwell’s work, he writes a lot of stories about somewhat off the wall topics.  While he uses a lot of psychological research in his writing, it never reads as a psychology journal article.  His writing is always very accessible no matter how technical his writing gets.  He also always manages to relate all of the stories to everyday people so that we all know exactly what he is saying.

This book, being a collection of articles written over the years, is not as focused as his other books, but it’s still very well written.  A couple of the articles in this book weren’t quite as successful as others for me, specifically there was an article dealing with hair dyes and how that reflected part of the change in American culture, but while that one wasn’t as successful for me, it was still well written and I’m sure other people will love it.

Overall, the book is excellent, if Malcolm Gladwell isn’t the best person writing non-fiction in America I’d like to know who is.  The book is fantastic and I highly suggest it as well as every other Gladwell book.


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  1. I loved this book! I read this last year but many of the details stick with me. I was really interested in the articles on birth control pills (fearlessly pursued by him) and the Dog Whisperer (as a fan of dogs and Cesar Milan’s show). I definitely agree with your review.


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