Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking Blink discussion


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Not worthy of being a book.

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message 1: by Gerri (new)

Gerri This book is a waste of time. Synopsis: Sometimes you can make correct or incorrect decisions based on the extrapolation and distillation of too much or not enough information. DUH! A better title would have been "Life... A Crap Shoot." It lends itself better to a short article in some psychology/science magazine.


Kendra I only made it to page 77 when I just could not continue. It is good to see what you have said, Gerri. I thought I was missing something.


message 3: by Gerri (new)

Gerri Kendra wrote: "I only made it to page 77 when I just could not continue. It tis good to see what you have said, Gerri. I thought I was missing something."

Hey Kendra... nice to "meet" you! Yeah... I'm about to start reading the Tipping Point to see if has anymore real insight. Don't get me wrong... I believe that science is inherent in every part of life, but not everything is "book worthy". Sometimes a "cigar is just a cigar!"


Kate Li couldn't agree more


message 5: by Gerri (new)

Gerri Thanks! Great minds think alike!


Dushyanth Reddy Hurray!!I just finished reading the book.First book for me that was boring and i don't know how i picked up this book to read inth efirst place,may be the subconscious'blink' ;now i have to get some good book to clear the mind.:D


Maciej I didn't particularly agree with a lot of the premises of the book and the evidence to support his views are anecdotal and/or poorly research at best, but there's a certain level of enthusiasm in Gladwell's books. While I may not agree with many of the things Gladwell writes about; the man certainly has a talent with words and I have nothing but positive impressions of the man as a writer.


Cheryl I wasn't overly impressed by this either. I've got Tipping Point on my Mt. TBR but I just don't know if I should waste my time. Otoh, I do use the idiom fairly frequently in everyday conversation, so maybe I should read the source.


message 9: by Tami (last edited Sep 30, 2011 07:57PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tami Gladwell gave a lot of information but didn't do a sufficient job of making practical implications or summing up his points until the end. Then it was too broad, like Kendra says, DUH. I had to look at the different chunks he offered and think, how can this help me or relate to my challenges? which was a good exercise. Maybe in that way, it can be a custom fit for each reader. I don't know if that was his SUBCONTIOUS intention. Just saying...


Carol Gee, am I the odd man out or what? I thoroughly enjoyed his take and energy on all four of the books I've read of his. I think his masterful way of thinking therefore speaking are a gift I wish I had. The books were referred by a fellow Goodreads associate, but I never expected to see it draw this kind of negative response. Maybe I'm missing something here, but I really liked the way he thinks, therefore helps me to think outside the box.


Cheryl I just wish he was more scientific and gave us more authentic insights. Like the first post said, he really doesn't say much that can't be summarized in a popular magazine article, or that we pretty much knew already. But that's a common failing with pop psych books - not unique to Gladwell. His writing style is engaging, gotta give him credit for that.


Kressel Housman Carol wrote: "Gee, am I the odd man out or what? I thoroughly enjoyed his take and energy on all four of the books I've read of his. I think his masterful way of thinking therefore speaking are a gift I wish I..."

I think he's awesome, too!


message 13: by Dlemunyan (last edited Oct 04, 2011 03:13PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dlemunyan Gerri wrote: "This book is a waste of time. Synopsis: Sometimes you can make correct or incorrect decisions based on the extrapolation and distillation of too much or not enough information. DUH! A better title ..."

Im not sure thats even close to the synopsis of Blink. Sounds like you didnt read it.


Cheryl Oh I read it. Please don't insult me or Gerri.


Hriday The book is indeed a poor hashed up combination of a lot of ideas- none original. He is highly simplistic in his approach to say the least.
The positive fallout of reading this book- I bought Think! the riposte to this load of balderdash! :P


message 16: by Jeff (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jeff Gerri wrote: "This book is a waste of time. Synopsis: Sometimes you can make correct or incorrect decisions based on the extrapolation and distillation of too much or not enough information. DUH! A better title ..."
Well put! This book IS like a long magazine article. I did enjoy the real-life references, but I really didn't get much from this book in the end.


message 17: by Gerri (new)

Gerri Thanks for referencing my review, Jeff! There's actually a documentary on the sister book to this.. Freakenomics. I DVR'd it and am going to see if these types of "Can You Spot the Obvious" books are any better in action!

Happy New Year!


message 18: by Fred (last edited Jan 12, 2012 11:02AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Fred Hughes Yes, Galdwell has a very high opinion of his intelligence, and a low one of the rest of us


Roberta Carol wrote: "Gee, am I the odd man out or what? I thoroughly enjoyed his take and energy on all four of the books I've read of his. I think his masterful way of thinking therefore speaking are a gift I wish I..."

I liked it too!


message 20: by Andy (new) - rated it 1 star

Andy Rix One of the worst books ever!


Kirsys Capellan All these people complaining about not liking this book are entitled to their opinion but would not have anything to say if you hadn't read at least some part of it. So what these are recycled ideas? The fact is that non of you put them together.
Ironic that while you take the time to complain about Gladwell's books he does not even know who you are and your opinion to him, I hope, does not matter. That is exactly the point of this book.


James Inman I think the people who don't like this book never really use that part of the brain he was talking about. You're too busy thinking. Anyone who is partial to Zen or the Tao te Ching would love this book. I thought it was great.


Arvind Raina Actually this book is more of research based facts which i think is not meant for a common man to think on...need a lot of patience and endurance to go through the book...i only made upto 92 pages....couldnt bear it more....but interests are different may be others like it...!!!!!!!


Selina I didn't make it far into the book, as soon as he started talking about and applying his theories to "business situations" and the like that's when alarm bells started ringing for me and I lost interest.


Terry Pearce I found it pretty good for a pop psych book. As I understand it, the chief complaints seem to be (1) that the book is fairly anecdotal and doesn't reference much research, and (2) that the book states the obvious. Leaving aside the fact that (2), if true, should obviate the need for (1): I actually agree with (1) to some degree, but it's a pop psych book, fairly clearly aimed at entry level. I personally would've liked reference to more studies, but I didn't really expect it; the book was more a case of suggesting insights to see if they resonated with you. Many of them did, with me, and I've actually made some better decisions on occasion since.

(2), on the other hand, is, I think, a fairly silly assertion. Given that 70,000 people on here rated it an average 3.7, and assuming that the wider (much larger) actual readership's views are probably not too dissimilar, we can safely say there are plenty of people that the book's ideas aren't obvious to. If you feel that they're obvious to you, well good for you, but to say it therefore doesn't deserve to be a book and exclaim, 'duh!' suggests arrogance or a poor grasp of how others see things. Or both.

In fact, summarising the (entire!) books key lessons in a line or two, it would be easy for people to say 'I knew that', or at least 'I guess I knew that'. I'd be very surprised, however, if all of those people actually lived in a way where they never fell into the traps the book outlines, which is kinda the point. Knowing something and living it are two different things.

I also think it's a little ironic to say 'DUH!' to Malcolm on a site where 70,000 people liked his book to an average on 3.7, and then complain about being insulted. If you didn't get the book, or don't think you need it, why not write about a book you did like, or at least phrase your criticisms of this book in a way that isn't so pugnacious.


message 26: by Jeff (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jeff I found this book to be shallow and pedantic.


4030lisa I went with my 'gut' when I bought it and I must say upon reading it cover to cover (yes even those pesky case notes,) I am quite pleased for having done so. It was well written, very entertaining and it eloquently explained the ability of SOME of us to make accurate assessments and competent, correct decisions on 'the fly' as well as the lack of that same ability (to 'think without thinking') in others.
I use my ability to 'size up' unfolding scenarios, people in them and the things involved 'in a blink of an eye' everyday...It's a strength that's taken me from being one of the many minor players to one of leadership in all kinds of situations, it's even helped save a few lives, (both mine and a few others).
It was a joy to see it put down on paper in such an easily read format that forgoes the technical linguistic jargon and just offers smoothly well written examples to explain the theories behind this very special ability.


Karen I had so many people recommend this book, so I decided to give it a shot. Like the majority on this forum, I couldn't finish it. I felt like it was redundant.


Angela Bertone I enjoyed this book. Yes I can see where people may feel the redundancy but it really did not bother me. On the contrary it gave me different ways to think. To each his own. That is what makes the world go round. Just one more thought. I usually for the good in people and find what I like. The things I don't like I usually just leave on the table.


Deeba Irfan Angela wrote: "I enjoyed this book. Yes I can see where people may feel the redundancy but it really did not bother me. On the contrary it gave me different ways to think. To each his own. That is what makes t..."

I like this approach too.


Deeba Irfan Cheryl in CC NV wrote: "I wasn't overly impressed by this either. I've got Tipping Point on my Mt. TBR but I just don't know if I should waste my time. Otoh, I do use the idiom fairly frequently in everyday conversation..."

If you didn't like - 'BLINK', you will not like The Tipping point for sure.

I liked them both, though, I agree with most here that the thought was better suit to an article rather than a full length book. I was longing for the end, however the real life references were nice!


message 32: by John (new) - rated it 1 star

John pierard Gerri wrote: "Thanks! Great minds think alike!"
Before I read the book I "thin-sliced" that it would be trivial. Should have listened...--JWP.


The Random Hedgehog I for one thought it was a brilliant book that opened my eyes to a lot of things.


message 34: by Meg (new) - rated it 4 stars

Meg Geez. I don't know what you guys were expecting... Gladwell is not a psychologist or a scientist...he's a JOURNALIST. This book (like all of his books) is not a self-help book or a research paper or a textbook, it's series of observations he makes around a central theme. His observations are entertaining and thought provoking (and I thought) were for the purpose of generating discussion.

Which it did.


Denise I thought Tipping Point was interesting so gave Blink a try. The stories and observations were enough to get me through, but after reading both I've decided I prefer my books to be a little more science heavy.


Kressel Housman Do any of you actually own the book? I'd love to know his source on "unpacking the face."


rivka Kressel wrote: "Do any of you actually own the book?"

I'm actually in the middle of it. But I either haven't yet reached "unpacking the face" or don't recall that term. And the index isn't helping enough.


Kressel Housman Oh, you'll get there. It's about how much you can read a person's character just from his face.


message 39: by K.D. (new) - rated it 5 stars

K.D. Rose I have to disagree with the bad reviews. There is a lot of info in here for anyone working to understand the world around them.


Verity Carol wrote: "Gee, am I the odd man out or what? I thoroughly enjoyed his take and energy on all four of the books I've read of his. I think his masterful way of thinking therefore speaking are a gift I wish I..."

I also really enjoyed his thinking and therefore the book.


AnYee Lovegood Read it for the anecdotes. Those are interesting. And his style. And clarity in explaining.


rivka Kressel wrote: "Do any of you actually own the book? I'd love to know his source on "unpacking the face.""

I believe you are talking about the research of Silvan Tomkins and Paul Ekman.


Kressel Housman Thanks.


message 44: by Jean (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jean Reece Totally agree. A good length article would have sufficed just fine, but why do that when you can stretch it out to book length by essentially repeating the same ideas over and over till the reader gives up out of boredom? How did this become a best seller?!


Saurabh Sharma Jean wrote: "Totally agree. A good length article would have sufficed just fine, but why do that when you can stretch it out to book length by essentially repeating the same ideas over and over till the reader..."

I agree completely. The ideas are virtually repeated to death by the author. Sure, there are interesting anecdotes and examples but far too much space has been used to elaborate on simple theories, needlessly complicating them in my opinion.
Also, I feel that Thin Slicing works at the subconscious level and that makes it extremely difficult to regulate when it actually happens. Given this scenario, knowing that we thin slice information can hardly be of much use as a decision making tool.


message 46: by Joe (new) - rated it 3 stars

Joe I had a similar knee jerk reaction. You read it, and think.... so what? There is no real ending or revelation, just a bunch of "stuff".

But then I remembered, Gladwell is a journalist. This isn't written by a scientist - it's like a long human interest piece. It was fun to read, but if you were reading it to learn something, like how to make better decisions in a snap, or how to harness the hidden powers of the human brain, you are in the wrong place.

If you accept that, I think it becomes a much more enjoyable book - you won't be waiting for the second foot to drop.


Stephen Mettee Would have made a good magazine article. Not up to Gladwell's normal standards.


message 48: by John (new) - rated it 3 stars

John Gerri wrote: "This book is a waste of time. Synopsis: Sometimes you can make correct or incorrect decisions based on the extrapolation and distillation of too much or not enough information. DUH! A better title ..."

I disagree.
I think the author makes some good observations backed by appropriate research on how our brain works in regards to assimilating information and making decisions.

I definitely didn't think it was his best work and his preoccupation with certain individuals became tedious but overall I think it was worth the read.

Not one I would read twice, but not disappointed I read it once.


message 49: by Matt (new) - rated it 3 stars

Matt I largely agree with others in that Mr. Gladwell doesn't break any real ground here. I was disappointed with the book once I finished, he is long on anecdotes and short on actual science. I've read other books of his, some of his columns, and listened to him on various podcasts. Mr. Gladwell is very smart and has unique insight into what drives human and social actions. The thing about the concepts of "Blink" is that there are scientific reasons behind the concepts he describes.

I found the book interesting - it led me to look for other writings on the topic of human decision making, but I think "Blink" is mainly entertainment and not so much for learning.


Katrien Kressel wrote: "Carol wrote: "Gee, am I the odd man out or what? I thoroughly enjoyed his take and energy on all four of the books I've read of his. I think his masterful way of thinking therefore speaking are a..."
I'm with you guys. I love Gladwell and read everything of his. I think the trends he finds are fascinating to think about. I guess I'm not as concerned about some people as to whether they are "scientific." I just find them interesting, and, to me, the mass of anecdotal evidence he finds makes it compelling. My husband regularly find examples from Tipping Point and Outliers in our daily lives--don't you know a "maven'??


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