There’s a very good reason why Malcolm Gladwell’s previous books are in high demand (with long waiting lists) at most public libraries. As demonstrated in his earlier literary contributions, Blink, The Tipping Point, and Outliers, he has a gift for conveying profound humanscale insight into subjects that are often abstract or over-simplified by contemporary media. As an awardwinning New Yorker Magazine staff writer for fourteen years, Gladwell also regularly produces thoughtprovoking essays and What the Dog Saw is a carefully chosen collection of his best.
The subjects of these essays are varied but interesting: From an expose on the kings of infomercials to the history of marketing hair color, from dog whispering to ketchup, and investment strategies to birth control pills, Gladwell does not fail in engaging the reader with interesting stories. Just as with his best-selling books, the author is an artist at weaving previously unrelated variables and making complex stories accessible by connecting ideas with people and subjects with their history in a way that is relatable to everyone.
What the Dog Saw’s nineteen essays are comprehensive enough for an entertaining read and short enough for a single evening’s pleasure. And one of the most compelling aspects to Gladwell’s writing is that his presentation allows thoughtful contemplation, a respite from the sensations of the day.