What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures

What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures

3.7 477
by Malcolm Gladwell

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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

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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 and ourselves: The Tipping Point; Blink; and Outliers. Now, in What the Dog Saw, he brings together, for the first time, the best of his writing from The New Yorker over the same period. Here is the bittersweet tale of the inventor of the birth control pill, and the dazzling inventions of the pasta sauce pioneer Howard Moscowitz. Gladwell sits with Ron Popeil, the king of the American kitchen, as he sells rotisserie ovens, and divines the secrets of Cesar Millan, the "dog whisperer" who can calm savage animals with the touch of his hand. He explores intelligence tests and ethnic profiling and "hindsight bias" and why it was that everyone in Silicon Valley once tripped over themselves to hire the same college graduate. "Good writing," Gladwell says in his preface, "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." What the Dog Saw is yet another example of the buoyant spirit and unflagging curiosity that have made Malcolm Gladwell our most brilliant investigator of the hidden extraordinary.

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Editorial Reviews

The Tipping Point woke us to the wonders of Malcolm Gladwell; Blink, bringing us up with a start, confirmed his talents of discernment, and Outliers proved that this conscientious outsider was still watching us, picking up clues to how we all tick and synchronize our tics. In this batch of inquiries, Gladwell covers the world: from insurgent warlords to ketchup makers; from canine whisperers to ethnic profilers; from NFL signal callers to high school teachers. Most of us don't fit into any of those categories, but that doesn't lessen our interest in his observations. What the Dog Saw challenges us to think like other people and see like other species.

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Little, Brown and Company
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What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 477 reviews.
SantaMonicaArtist More than 1 year ago
"The trick to finding ideas is to convince yourself that everyone and everything has a story to tell" (xix). In my opinion, What the Dog Saw is a clever way to gain insight on information that Gladwell calls "adventures;" a collection of 19 articles placed into three specific categories: minor geniuses, theories and predictions. I am not usually intrigued by social science or psychology... I am, after all, a senior in High School who prides myself on being an "abstract thinker," "creative," and an "artist," but surprisingly Malcolm Gladwell took particular topics and articulately portrayed experiences with a tone of great excitement and curiosity for the subjects, which allowed me to continue reading the book with an excited anticipation. I understand the arguments from people who had previously read Gladwell's articles in The New Yorker; it was nothing new. But for those craving a logical book filled with facts, and a bit of passion, it was refreshing, to say the least.
Booknut62 More than 1 year ago
I have read with pleasure Malcolm Gladstone's books "Blink" and "Outliers" with fascination and interest and with level of intensity that made those two books quite enjoyable. I did not have the same experience with "What the Dog Saw." It is not the same. Perhaps Gladstone's attempt to cobble together old columns and writings just does not work for me. I found reading this book and getting through it an ordeal. I always finish a book even when I am not particularly enjoying it. This one bordered on being painful to get through. Then again, it could just be me. I am not a fan of short story books either. Some of the topics addressed by Gladstone were interesting such as the opening chapter about "The Pitchman," but that interest and intensity of writing is just not sustained throughout the whole book. "Outliers" and "Blink" were thought-provoking, engaging, and fascinating, but this one never rises to the same level. There are books that I would call not very enjoyable, but a worthwhile read. I am sorry to say that I just can't call this one a worthwhile read. I'm afraid this one was one of those published with the hopes that because of Gladwell's previous successes, it would see success as well. I am sure it has sold well, but this is one of those books that can make you not want to read any more by this author.
Henry_Boyer More than 1 year ago
I enjoy books and articles that give me a bigger picture of the world. Malcolm Gladwell does it with prose that is both faced paced and substantive. Many people will suspect that these reprinted articles from the New Yorker are just a way of cashing in on previous successes, and they may well be, but they are well worth the read. These insights into human nature and experience, giving us the real story behind people and events, are perhaps the only real truths available to us. "What the Dog Saw" spoke to me on both emotional and intellectual levels in a very satisfying way. Light, enjoyable reading that informs and inspires is a big part of what good writing is all about. I enjoyed his earlier book, "Outliers," in much the same way. But here the greater variety of subjects, each presented with sufficient depth that never bogs down, was even more insightful, expanding and encouraging. With the constant deluge of bad news, and with the winter chill freezing us out even down here in Florida, Malcolm's writing is a fresh, warm and fragrant breeze. I looked forward to reading "What the Dog Saw" in the same way I look forward to getting together with good friends. However, this book always fit into my schedule.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I devoured this book. And then I had to talk about all of the fascinating, interesting, well written, diverse topics with anyone who would listen. From the history of the Pill to the history of ketchup, to the efficacy of serial killer profiling to the art of the job interview, I learned all sort of things I would not have ever considered otherwise.
searcher_10 More than 1 year ago
I bought What the Dog Saw on impulse which usually is not a good thing. I was pleasently surprised when I found that I actually enjoyed reading Mr Gladwell's articles even on topics that I would have skipped over if I was reading the original in the magazine. I would not have expected to be interested in articles on womens hair coloring or pitchmen for TV kitchen gimmicks but I was. A very good book for when you want to read something short but interesting and well written
Karpfish More than 1 year ago
These articles are so far ahead their time that you wonder what planet Gladwell came from. He is clear, yet scholarly, profound but research based, concise yet detailed. He is so on target. What other writer, particularly a non-fiction writer, had four books on the best seller list at the same time?
PAFPF More than 1 year ago
Malcolm Gladwell is a supreme writer. Be it any one of his three past bestsellers or his newest book, Gladwell's writing is clear, exciting, and clearly holds the interest of the reader. In What the Dog Saw, Gladwell shares his favorite columns spanning the past thirteen years from his regular writing gig with The New Yorker magazine. The title came from his interview and research for a column he wrote, and included in this book, on Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer. When Gladwell started writing that particular column he wondered what Millan was thinking as he trained some of the most difficult and ill behaved dogs one can find. In the middle of writing the column, Gladwell decided the more interesting question was what did the dog see during Millan's training. The author also shares a bit of his personal and professional life with readers in this book. And, he gives his secret for finding columns on subjects that may not readily lend themselves to writing about. Topics such as gourmet mustard and regular ole ketchup are brought to life and make the reader think. This is a great read by a great contemporary writer and columnist.
theBookChubi More than 1 year ago
I listened to the audiobook and I think that was a good idea. First off, Gladwell has a great vocal quality that can both present information in a neutral tone (avoiding the problem of biasing the reader straight from the start) but is also very animated and really helps bring the information alive. Although the words themselves are what is important, without the additional presentational quality of the author I feel this book may come off as dry or too factual (as opposed to the stated purpose of providing an alternative idea). He takes you along the entire thought process behind the theories and ideas he is writing about so that you aren't simply confronted with the "solution" but get an idea of each step taken to arrive at that conclusion. Some of the endings are blunt, which may work well for The New Yorker (where the articles were sourced from) but do seem a bit abrupt for a collection of stories in a book. Gladwell is fantastic about bringing each story around full circle and creating a through-line which, rather than sounding like a college paper (as these articles could have been doomed in another author's hands), provide a rich plot which happens to provide valuable information in the mean time. You will learn something even if you don't mean to and in the context of this book that is a positive factor. All in all this book deserves your attention (it sure managed to capture mine). Read the full review at: http://thebookchubi.blogspot.com/2009/11/i-hope-i-have-encouraged-people-in.html
Macknick More than 1 year ago
I listened to Malcolm Gladwell read his book, What the Dog Saw, and it was excellent! I have a background in marketing, and many of the stories in this audiobook will strongly appeal to business-minded people. I'm almost always listening to audio books on long drives, and this is one of the best-read books I've heard. I probably would not have enjoyed reading this book nearly as much as I enjoyed listening to it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hard to put this book down. Great, thought provoking read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved his other three books...but this one was hard to finish.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another very innovative and compelling book from Gladwell. The topics covered are diverse, but the overall point is -- like Gladwell's other books -- to get the reader to think about different topics in an entirely new way. In this regard, Gladwell succeeds. I always learn something new and ultimately, improve my own way of thinking.
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What the Dog Saw was an interesting insight on the different events that people have gone through and the stories behind them all.
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Will read others by this author.
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I got this book in audio form and it's made for a fantastic drive. It's been fun, entertaining, and interesting. I wish I had bought it in book form as well.
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