What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures
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What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  44,036 ratings  ·  2,970 reviews
What is the difference between choking and panicking? Why are there dozens of varieties of mustard but only one variety of ketchup? What do football players teach us about how to hire teachers? What does hair dye tell us about the history of the 20th century?

In the past decade, Malcolm Gladwell has written three books that have radically changed how we understand our world...more
Hardcover, Large Print, 688 pages
Published October 20th 2009 by Little, Brown and Company (first published 2009)
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The Devil in the White City by Erik LarsonFreakonomics by Steven D. LevittIn Cold Blood by Truman CapoteA Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill BrysonGuns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
Best Non-Fiction (non biography)
222nd out of 2,777 books — 4,726 voters
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Sociology Books
25th out of 241 books — 245 voters


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Community Reviews

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Karen
In What the Dog Saw, Gladwell offers a treasure chest of gems, each shining brightly on their own. In each essay, Gladwell usually starts with one puzzling situation and then adds information and other narratives to complicate the topic. Then the first situation resurfaces midway and at the conclusion, helping to bring the topic to closure. Most of the time, his underlying thesis runs along the lines of "Wow, things are a lot more complicated or a lot more simple than they seem." He's obsessed w...more
Trevor
I’m very fond of Malcolm Gladwell’s writing. It is hard for me to not gush about someone who is living a life I would love to live. I guess I should feel jealous of him, but instead I just feel grateful to know that someone can live that life.

And I really love his writing. He is a writer who never leaves his readers behind, who is always beautifully clear and who structures what he has to say in ways that not only compel you to go on reading, but also so he takes you by the hand and makes sure...more
Ryan
"One day, I'll find a lively, out-of-context anecdote that superficially explains why Malcolm Gladwell bugs me. Until then? I guess he wins."
— Merlin Mann
- - -

What The Dog Saw is a series of catchy social-science essays by Malcom Gladwell, best known for his long-form books The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers. The book's essays are culled from a decade worth of his writing in The New Yorker.

I'm on the fence about Malcolm Gladwell. On one hand, his books are thought-provoking and enjoyable. O...more
Tania Lukinyuk
I finally-finally finished it! But not because it is boring - it is collection of articles by Gladwell, so it does not go down like one single book. All articles clearly demonstrate inquisitive mind and quick wit of Gladwell, but not all of them are of equal interest and thrill. Some articles feel like they are concocted out of thin air, some are too plain and unexcited. But I was fascinated by the stories of colorant revolution in the US, value of talent and specifics of human perceptions at jo...more
Riku Sayuj
Probably the best Malcolm Gladwell book that I've read, and I've read them all.
Thomas
Not my typical reading fare - you can tell by the dearth of nonfiction on my Goodreads shelf and the time it took me to read this. What the Dog Saw is divided into three sections: Part 1 - Obsessives, Pioneers, and Other Varieties of Minor Genius, Part 2 - Theories, Predictions, and Diagnoses, and Part 3 - Personality, Character, and Intelligence.

I didn't enjoy Part 1 as much as 2 or 3 because I could not connect with the anecdotes or the characters within each short story. They weren't actual f...more
Robert
Sep 11, 2011 Robert rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2011
I didn't buy this book because it is a collection of already published articles, nearly all of which I have read already. But I saw it at the library and decided to read it anyway. What a wonderfully fun experience.
There are quite a few criticism I could make of these articles. Gladwell is a storyteller and sometimes lets telling a good story take precedence over reality. In his case, this usually means making all of the pieces fit together just so, instead of revealing the messy way that the w...more
Richard
Feb 10, 2010 Richard rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Richard by: Trevor McCandless
Shelves: cognition, nonfiction
I hadn't realized this was a collection of Gladwell's essays, many (most? all?) have seen publication in the New Yorker. I found this out while reading the New York Times essay on the book, Malcolm Gladwell, Eclectic Detective, by none other than Steven Pinker. His evaluation of What the Dog Saw is mostly laudatory pretty hostile*, although and he takes the opportunity to get a dig in at Outliers:
The reasoning in “Outliers,” which consists of cherry-picked anecdotes, post-hoc sophistry and false
...more
Kenny Tang
MMmmm... Leftover scraps... This book felt like a forced dish of leftovers from other books or articles. It lacked a clear central theme to derive a clear lesson unlike other books in Gladwell's collection like Tipping Point (Small things builds critical mass and changes norm), Blink (Small samples can help make valuable decisions), Outliers (10,000 hours of practice to achieve greatness). This book was just a mish-mash of stories, some good, some so so, but mostly unrelated or at least I was to...more
Cortney
I know, I know. Malcolm Gladwell brings out extremes in readers. In one camp, you have rabid fans who think he is a transcendent genius, who will change previously held beliefs on the strength of one carefully crafted and engaging TED talk. On the other, you have cynics who sneer at the lemmings who behave as I previously described and dismiss him as a pop psychologist. Ok, perhaps that was even more extreme in my description, but the point is I'm in the middle. If one thinks of him as a philoso...more
Julie
I've got to hand it to Malcolm Gladwell; the man knows how to engage his reader. What the Dog Saw is a collection of articles Gladwell has written over the last ten years or so, each about 20-30 pages. Frankly, I think this is the perfect length for his writings, long enough to delve into the topic, but not so long that it feels he's making the same point over and over. The Time review called Gladwell "an omniscient, many-armed Hindu god of anecdotes," and that's actually what it feels like to r...more
ucha
review 1#

lima alasan untuk lima bintang

bagus tidaknya tulisan bukan dinilai dari kekuatan kemampuannya meyakinkan. sukses tidaknya dinilai dari kekuatan kemampuannya untuk membuat Anda terlibat, berpikir, memberi kilasan mengenai isi kepala orang lain - bahkan jika pada akhirnya Anda simpulkan bahwa kepala orang lain itu bukan tempat yang Anda ingin datangi. -m.gladwell-

Akhirnya petualangan dengan buku ini terselesaikan juga, sejak pengantar hingga cerita terakhir,tulisan2 Gladwell sangat menar...more
Eileen Souza
Another solidly enjoyable book from Malcolm Gladwell! He's definitely in my top 5 "I can count on a good book by..." list.

This is a compilation of New Yorker articles that he has written over the last 15 years. There were riveting chapters on why the Pill is a monthly medication (and it's impact on women - basically quadrupling the number of lifetime periods, and directly correlating to cancers), another on why there are many different mustard types, but there's only Heinz ketchup (actually quit...more
Loy Machedo
After being rejected by more than a dozen advertising agencies, Malcolm Gladwell went from obscurity to literary reverence. I mean the guy can write. Not just write but write about stuff we take so for granted and wish we had asked the same questions he asks.

One of the most imaginative non-fiction writers of our times, a man who not has had 3 best sellers and a title to die for (being judged as the Time magazine’s 100 most influential people) – his strength is his innate ability to make his read...more
Punk
Non-Fiction. A collection of essays previously published in The New Yorker, with publication dates ranging from 1997 to 2008.

Gladwell is at his pop science best here, taking on Enron, corporate hiring practices, pitbulls, homelessness, Cesar Millan, plagiarism, and the hair color industry. He even manages to make stock options transparent for a while. As always, his writing is deft, easy, and accessible.

I particularly enjoyed the piece on the Morris-Popeil (of the Ron Popeil Popeils) Dynasty, th...more
Mark
Malcolm Gladwell has become a "hot" non-fiction writer, although he has obviously been around for a while. His recent books "Blink", "The Tipping Point", and "Outliers" have been hugely successful. I found his latest "What the Dog Saw" in the library. When writers finally hit their stride, some of their earlier work gets re-published. These are short essays he wrote over the last 20 years.
Gladwell's appeal is that he is a charming "geek" (just look at him!) who picks unusual subjects and makes...more
Jamie
Unlike Outliers, The Tipping Point, or Blink, Malcom Gladwell's newest book What the Dog Saw isn't an examination of one topic cut from whole cloth, but rather an eclectic mix of articles that originally appeared in The New Yorker. In it he examines everything from why it's impossible to improve on Ketchup, why Enron's failure was a mystery but not a puzzle, what makes for a good dog trainer, and what FBI criminal profilers have in common with psychics. It's good stuff.

The format of What the Dog...more
Kiwiflora
What makes the writing of Malcolm Gladwell so interesting and compelling to read is that he looks at the everyday stuff of life just a little bit differently from the rest of us. He must have been an incredibly curious child, probably driving his parents completely crazy with question after question about absolutely everything. And most of the stuff he writes about is stuff that from time to time may flash through our minds, but there it stops. In 'Outliers', for example, he looks at why Asians...more
Benjaminxjackson
Every time I read Malcolm Gladwell's work, it makes me think about my life and what is going on around me with a slightly bigger lens. Often, there is something in his work that makes me want to sit up a little straighter and work a little harder.

This book was a collection of his articles written for the New Yorker magazine. All of these pieces were interesting and fun to read. You don't necessarily need to agree with everything in them to enjoy them.

The value of the articles here is not in th...more
Josh Meares
What the Dog Saw is a compilation of Malcolm Gladwell's best writing for the New Yorker. As always, Gladwell's work is informative, provocative, and fun to read. While I don't always agree with Gladwell's opinions, I always enjoy reading them.

In this work, my favorite piece was called "John Rocks Error: What the Inventor of Birth Control Didn't Know About Women's Health". This may surprise you because I'm not a woman, and I'm not really interested in birth control. I am very interested in the cu...more
Rebecca
A little background: I really love Malcolm Gladwell. I was first introduced to him through my Persuasion class I took while studying abroad last summer. We had to read Blink, his first published book; it was one of the most interesting books I have ever read for a class. He is no stranger to writing, though. His full-time occupation is as a journalist for the New Yorker.

Why is he so amazing, might you ask? I'll tell you. Malcolm Gladwell has this amazing ability in his writing to find things tha...more
David
There seems to have been a bit of a backlash against Malcolm Gladwell during the last year, but this book, a collection of his New Yorker pieces, reminds us why he achieved such prominence to begin with. Gladwell's particular talent is to take a subject which might seem initially to be irredeemably dull and to poke at it from all sides until he locates the particular angle which will allow him to tell a story, simultaneously entertaining and edifying his readers. There's a little more to it than...more
Cassandra Kay Silva
I always pick up this guys books, and at this point he could write about almost anything and I think I would be engaged by it. I really just like his writing. It feels like a guilty pleasure even though its non fiction. This one is a little more disjointed than his other books, but it is of course still chock full of good information, that is always clearly his own.
Elizabeth
What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell (pp.432)

Malcolm Gladwell may be one of the most consistently fair and accessible popular non-fiction writers today. In his fourth book, Gladwell capitalizes on the fame of his previous bestsellers (Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers) by publishing 22 articles previously printed in the New Yorker. Where his last books have had a central theme, the articles in What the Dog Saw are loosely categorized by theme, but cover a wider span of topics.

It’s hard to quant...more
Ensiform
A collection of Gladwell’s articles from “The New Yorker” – musings on what makes people tick, why some ideas fail, and how well we can predict a person’s success in a particular field, profiles of leaders, “obsessives,” and quirky geniuses. As with all of Gladwell’s books, he turns every story into a human-interest story, every idea into a lesson about what humans believe in their innermost souls. So the tireless Ron Popeil (of Ronco fame) and Cesar Milan and the female copy writers behind hair...more
Jane Stewart
Some parts were a little slow, but other parts were very worthwhile.

Malcolm has written some wonderful sociology/psychology books. My favorites are: David and Goliath, Blink, and Outliers. I suggest reading those first. Then if you’re in the mood for more, go for The Tipping Point and this book. Not everything he says is irrefutable fact. Some of his information is anecdotal. But he raises good questions. I think what he says is true, even though opposite or different views may be true. This bo...more
Nate Q
Gladwell in New Fun-Size! Covering a broad range of topics, from dog whisperers to the Veg-o-Matic, NASA to mustard, and such awesome-sounding topics like risk homeostasis and creeping determinism - Gladwell delivers once again with his series of essays from the New Yorker. He meanders pleasantly from theme to theme, so you're not stuck with any overarching idea for too long, and yet he still manages to put together some incredible comparisons and conclusions. What is the difference between chok...more
Tim
3 stars

Malcolm Gladwell is at his best when he's questioning conventional wisdom, making compelling, seemingly counterintuitive arguments that the way we look at a certain issue (genius, viral trends, decision making) is not the only way or the best way to look at it. Several of the essays in this collection do just that--they point out the dangerous similarities between criminal psychological profiling and small-time magician mind reading tricks, argue that plagiarism may not be as bad as we ac...more
Nada Elfeituri
I think I've gotten used to Malcolm Gladwell. His writing would once make me marvel; I have never read an author like him before. His social analyses and commentary, his calm rationality, the way he would tie up an article with a perfect conclusion; he's a great writer and an even greater social commentator.

However, that being said, it becomes old hat. The same calm, well-paced article tends to get boring, even if the subject matter is different. I've gotten used to it.

What the Dog Saw is a grou...more
Spencer
This book is the most recent from Malcolm Gladwell, and just as with his other 3 books, I loved it. Gladwell is a brillant thinker. He is able to make remarkable connections between seemingly unrelated things and events, and in the process allows us to view things we are familiar with in an entirely new way. He brings us along on his adventures, carefully drawing us into each story, expertly guiding us through the scientific studies, finally to present us with his fascinating conclusions. Differ...more
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Malcolm Gladwell is a United Kingdom-born, Canadian-raised journalist now based in New York City. He is a former business and science writer at the Washington Post. He has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1996. He is best known as the author of the books The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (2000), Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (2005), Outliers...more
More about Malcolm Gladwell...
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference Outliers: The Story of Success Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants Theories, Predictions, and Diagnoses: Part Two from What the Dog Saw

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“Good writing does not succeed or fail on the strength of its ability to persuade. It succeeds or fails on the strength of its ability to engage you, to make you think, to give you a glimpse into someone else's head.” 121 likes
“Nothing frustrates me more than someone who reads something of mine or anyone else's and says, angrily, 'I don't buy it.' Why are they angry? Good writing does not succeed or fail on the strength of its ability to persuade. It succeeds or fails on the strength of its ability to engage you, to make you think, to give you a glimpse into someone else's head—even if in the end you conclude that someone else's head is not a place you'd really like to be.” 17 likes
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