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Review: What the Dog Saw

January 19, 2010

What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell is a collection of essays written by the author and originally published in The New Yorker magazine.  Topics range from ketchup to Ron Popeil to failure to Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer (and the inspiration for the title).

I listened to the audio version of this book, and as you would expect, I found some essays to be better than others. The book is read by the author and at first, I didn’t think I would like his narration, but I grew to enjoy it, even though his pronunciation of a few words sounded funny to my Southern ears.

I imagine my mother’s glad I finished What the Dog Saw because I told her more than she probably wanted to know about a few of the essays.   I found “What the Inventor of Birth Control Pills Didn’t Know About Women’s Health” and “Mammography, Air Power, and and the Limits of Looking” particularly fascinating.  I thought the articles were well-researched and thought provoking.  When Gladwell made a point, he often used more than one source to back it up.  “How Nasim Taleb Turned the Inevitability of Disaster into an Investment Strategy” was over my head and I felt like I might have understood it better if I’d been able to read it, rather than listen to it.

The audio book is on 10 CDs and takes about 13 hours to listen too.  With over 20 essays, it’s easy to listen to a complete one in a short time.  I enjoyed my first experience with Malcolm Gladwell’s work and would like to read more of it now.

Challenges: Books Won Reading Challenge

I won this book in a contest on Thoughts of Joy.   I am an Amazon Associate.
34 Comments leave one →
  1. January 19, 2010 6:03 am

    This looks very interesting. I have been wanting to read Gladwell, perhaps this would be a good place to start.

  2. January 19, 2010 7:13 am

    I know my mom and friends get tired of hearing about what I read.. lol. You know, as long as I’ve been blogging and reading your blog, I never realized you were Southern! Wow. Learned something new today 🙂 I know what you mean about the way some narrators pronounce things can just annoy the stuff out of you. I have actually yelled at an audio book, correcting it. I don’t think they heard me, though 😉

  3. January 19, 2010 7:29 am

    Not sure this is my cup ‘o tea, but if I were to read it, I’d definitely get a hard copy.

  4. tea permalink
    January 19, 2010 7:46 am

    I never would have thought of it as an essay book. Great review you’ve written.

  5. January 19, 2010 8:43 am

    I think I’d really enjoy Gladwell but I’ve never gotten around to reading any of his books!

  6. January 19, 2010 8:54 am

    My mom has my audiobook right now and she is loving it. I like Malcolm Gladwell and I can’t wait to listen to this one.

  7. January 19, 2010 9:25 am

    I won this audio book and just received it. Now I look forward to listening to it. It will be the first audio book for me.

  8. January 19, 2010 10:19 am

    Sounds like an interesting book. My daughter heard Gladwell speak recently (at her company’s annual meetings). She said he was quite good.

  9. January 19, 2010 11:13 am

    Glad you enjoyed this one Kathy. Not sure it sounds like anything I would like though.

  10. January 19, 2010 11:18 am

    Nice Review Kathy. I would read and enjoy this I know. Whether I’d take a break from my normal pile to make time for it.. not so sure. This would be perfect for my car ride to work. 🙂 Thanks

  11. January 19, 2010 11:46 am

    Cool! I haven’t heard of this one, but I’m always on the lookout for new and interesting essay collections. Thanks for the heads up!

  12. January 19, 2010 1:23 pm

    sounds like an interesting book. I’ve not read this author before.

  13. January 19, 2010 1:49 pm

    I enjoy reading essays but I’ve never thought about listening to them. I should give that a try.

  14. January 19, 2010 2:17 pm

    I think I would like this one, especially the parts about women’s health. I’ll have to see if my library has it, since I’m always looking for good audiobooks for when I drive.

  15. January 19, 2010 2:36 pm

    I liked Gladwell’s Outliers and was hoping I’d win this one. Nice review Kathy! Thanks

  16. January 19, 2010 2:49 pm

    I was laughing at the bit about your mum being glad that you have finished. I can just imagine the type of things were telling her based on the titles of the essays.

  17. January 19, 2010 3:35 pm

    Thanks for the review of this one. I had no idea that it had interesting stories in it…:)

  18. January 19, 2010 4:30 pm

    This sounds like a fascinating collection of his work. Thanks for your review.

  19. January 19, 2010 5:23 pm

    I’ve never listened to a collection of essays, or stories for that matter. I enjoy reading them, but I’m not sure about listening, but I do have one here so I’ll be giving it a try sometime.

  20. January 19, 2010 5:44 pm

    nice review. I think some of these essays sound interesting. I haven’t read anything by Gladwell but have been meaning to. Maybe listening to it is a better plan.

  21. January 19, 2010 6:19 pm

    Sounds interesting. I have his “Tipping Point” waiting but haven’t started it yet. I like essays – would probably enjoy this one.

  22. January 19, 2010 7:01 pm

    I’m not partial to collections like this, but glad you liked it. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  23. January 19, 2010 7:17 pm

    I am always looking for new essay collections.. going to check it out 🙂

  24. January 19, 2010 8:20 pm

    I hear so much about this author … maybe this book would be a good intro to him.

  25. stacybuckeye permalink
    January 19, 2010 11:52 pm

    Thanks for reminding me to get this for my husband! I had totally forgotten about it.

  26. January 20, 2010 4:49 am

    He’s fun to listen to! This might be one audio book I’d actually enjoy. I’ll have to get it for Daniel (his birthday is coming up!)

  27. January 20, 2010 8:34 am

    I bet it was interesting, but I’m just not sure it’s for me.

  28. January 20, 2010 4:43 pm

    I have had this one on my list for awhile but I do think I have to read it vs. listen since I think with essays and things of that nature, my mind starts wandering…reminds me too much of lectures from my school days! ha!

  29. January 20, 2010 7:45 pm

    I enjoyed listening to Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers. He is a great narrrator and has fascinating perspectives he shares in his stories. I’d like to listen to this one or read it.

  30. January 22, 2010 2:07 pm

    Maybe it’s easier in audiobook format because it wasn’t one of my favorites, nor my brother’s.

  31. January 24, 2010 12:57 pm

    I’m glad you enjoyed this. I think you’ll like his others even more so.

  32. January 25, 2010 4:28 pm

    I have this book on my shelf and am glad to see you liked it. It looks like a really interesting read, and different than my usual fare. I will probably try to get to this one soon. Thanks for the great review!

  33. January 27, 2010 5:27 pm

    Glad to hear you enjoyed this book. I’ve liked the others I’ve read by Gladwell and look forward to checking this out too. I especially like how you mention that he backs up his points with sources – that is something I find so important in non-fiction.

  34. January 29, 2010 9:32 am

    I’ve read one of Gladwell’s books, BLINK, and loved it. I’ve seen this one at the bookstores too but haven’t bought it. Thanks for the review, Kathy!

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