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What the Dog Saw
and Other Adventures

by Malcolm Gladwell


A long-time staff writer for The New Yorker, Malcolm Gladwell compiles some of his own favorite articles from 1996 to the present. His unusual curiosity lends itself to getting inside the minds of others. When he wants to study flavor varieties of ketchup and mustard, for instance, he doesnít interview hot dog vendors at a baseball game or mothers at the grocery store, but talks to creators of mustard and ketchup to explore their market analysis and decision-making process.

The book divides these articles into three sections: 1) Obsessives, Pioneers, and Other Varieties of Minor Genius; 2) Theories, Predictions, and Diagnoses; and 3) Personality, Character, and Intelligence. Other than these three general topics, the selections are not linked by any central theme. No subject is too obscure or too unimportant to interest Gladwell, and his keen observations and insight, rather than a particularly engaging writing style, should keep readers enthralled with most of his stories.

The bookís title comes from a chapter about Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan (written in 2006), in which the author notes the smooth movements of the dog trainer. In observing Millan handle difficult dogs and their owners, Gladwell recounts the trainerís "aha" moment when he first drew a parallel between human and canine behavior. After noticing Millanís perfect posture and definitive movements, he interviewed Suzi Tortora, a dance-movement psychotherapist, who comments that Millan moves with a rhythm purposely used to relax an unstable dog. Trying to envision the dog trainer through canine eyes is a representative example of all the essays included in What the Dog Saw.

As a best-selling author, Gladwell knows how to hook his readers with an interesting story. For amateur detectives, armchair psychologists, and detail-oriented readers who want to leave no stone unturned, these intense examinations of the psychological and sociological aspects of business will help them see life from a different perspective.

The Book

Little, Brown and Company / Hachette Book Group
October 2009
Nonfiction / Miscellaneous / General
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The Reviewer

Leslie Halpern
Reviewed 2010
NOTE: Reviewer Leslie Halpern is the author of Reel Romance: The Lovers' Guide to the 100 Best Date Movies, Dreams on Film, A Writer's Guide to Fearless Interviews, and the co-author of Connections: A Collection of Poems. Coming Soon: Passionate About Their Work: Celebrities, Artists, and Experts Discuss Creativity.
© 2010