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What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  93,027 ratings  ·  4,854 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
Hardcover, Large Print, 444 pages
Published October 20th 2009 by Little, Brown and Company (first published 2009)
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Dec 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is an interesting collection of Malcolm Gladwell's writings that were originally published in The New Yorker. In the preface, Gladwell says this collection includes his favorite articles. I've read most of his books, and What the Dog Saw is a similarly fun mix of popular sociology, psychology, economics, social history and marketing. My favorite articles in the bunch were the ones on Ron Popeil, hair color, Cesar Millan, homelessness, plagiarism, criminal profiling and pit bulls.

Gladwell i
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
Aug 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures by Malcolm Gladwell, in audio form, is read by the author, which always contributes to the enjoyment of his essays. This is a compilation of essays written for The New Yorker over a period of ten years. And as usual, a Gladwell book is always food for thought. He covers a broad spectrum of ideas: people we remember, others we've never heard about, bits of this and that, all of it so informative. His interest in almost everything is passed on to his readers. ...more
Jan 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012
"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
Jun 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Malcolm Gladwell hand-picked 19 of his own articles from the New Yorker with the running theme of seeing social, political and other issues from other perspectives. A highly thought provoking and entertaining read. 8 out of 12.
Riku Sayuj
Oct 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Probably the best Malcolm Gladwell book that I've read, and I've read them all. ...more
S.Baqer Al-Meshqab
Sep 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
This could be my least favorite book for Gladwell. In my opinion, it is usually hard to construct a book that is likeable enough, out of a collection of articles or blogs. I honestly didn't expect too much out of it.

However, being my least favorite doesn't make it bad. It is actually good, real good. For a book that compiles several titles, Galdwell did a good job in explaining each idea and support it with social experiments and Statistics. I can't say that I liked EVERY article, because I didn
Jan 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Tania Lukinyuk
Jan 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
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
May 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
What the Dog saw….

What the Dog Saw … is sort of a bunch of essays that Gladwell has published in The New Yorker.
What I like about his work is that it is packed with common sense and good judgment, but always from his point of view… and then the dog’s. What always draws me in is his ability to ferret out the hidden facts that are quite visible, once he points them out.

He finds the most interesting points in things like selling kitchen appliances, or the Ketchup wars, and contraceptive pills… did
Jul 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Curious people
This is a series of essays, non-fiction. They were very smart and interesting.

1.) The Pitchman is a about a salesman.

2.) The Ketchup Conundrum is about how tastes are developed and how people deal with challenges to that developed taste.

3.) Blowing Up is about investment strategy, it's kind of boring.

4.) True Colors. This is about hair dye and advertising. I liked it.

5.) John Rock's Error. This was about birth control. He raises some interesting points, but I don't know if I agree with all
Each of the articles first appeared in The New Yorker and was handpicked by Gladwell to show us the world through the eyes of various people and even a dog. The book is divided in 3 parts: Obsessives, Pioneers, and other varieties of Minor Genius, Theories, Predictions, and Diagnoses and Personality, Character, and Intelligence.
Nov 09, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Loy Machedo
Dec 06, 2011 rated it liked it
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
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
May 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essays, ebook, non-fiction
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
Mar 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Feb 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I like this author. I like the way he draws a line connecting what seems like perfectly random things or ideas. My friend says this particular author always writes in hindsight. I don't even know what he means by that but I'd listen to anything this author writes because I am always entertained. It is kind of fascinating how his mind works.

Now with all that said, this particular book wasn't my favorite, but he made my afternoon a lovely ride. So 3 stars.
Jan 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Pradnya K.
While reading this book I was wondering all the way - how nice it would be to open a magazine and find such intriguing, well-researched, knowledgeable post with a morning tea!
Yes, these are the posts from The New Yorker where he has been working. Such fine posts are rarity these days.

I like non fiction. Especially when they're told in intriguing way like this. It's fun to read and many times I found myself waiting for what's next? This is hard to achieve when it comes to research and real life
Mar 12, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Ed Erwin
Aug 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
I've never had any interest in reading any of Gladwell's single-topic books. But this collection of magazine articles on a variety of topics was quite interesting. He can write well, and chooses interesting topics. Whether his conclusions are correct or not, I have no idea, but he is persuasive in most cases. ...more
Caidyn (he/him/his)
This review and others can be found on BW Book Reviews.


I have to say that this was average. A very average book that had many interesting stories (or adventures as Gladwell called them) but not many that stood out. I can think of four stories, technically three topics, that really stood out to me.

The first was one that dealt with plagiarism. Since I’m a new graduate from college, I definitely know all about that stuff and how important it is not to do that. Gladwell took a story — a woman w
Malcolm Gladwell is a Canadian journalist, author and speaker who has written 6 books.

What the Dog Saw is a compilation of 19 articles by Malcolm Gladwell that were originally published in The New Yorker which are categorized into three parts. The first part, Obsessives, Pioneers, and other varieties of Minor Genius, describes people who are very good at what they do, but are not necessarily well-known. Part two, Theories, Predictions, and Diagnoses, describes the problems of prediction. This s
Jim Fonseca
Dec 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
A selection of Gladwell’s writings, most of which appeared originally in the New Yorker magazine. The book has three clusters of essays: entrepreneurs and “minor geniuses,” such as Ron Popeil of kitchen gadget infomercial fame, Shirley Polykoff, ad writer for Clairol and Caesar Millan, aka the Dog Whisperer. A lot of this is about advertising and we get the now-famous musings about the jam and jelly study (consumers get can get overwhelmed by too many choices). And the spaghetti sauce studies: w ...more
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Malcolm Gladwell is the author of five New York Times bestsellers—The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, What the Dog Saw, and David and Goliath. He is also the co-founder of Pushkin Industries, an audio content company that produces the podcasts Revisionist History, which reconsiders things both overlooked and misunderstood, and Broken Record, where he, Rick Rubin, and Bruce Headlam interview musici ...more

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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.” 209 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.” 32 likes
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