What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures Audiobook, by Malcolm Gladwell Play Audiobook Sample

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Author: Malcolm Gladwell Narrator: Malcolm Gladwell Publisher: Little, Brown & Company Audio Length: Release Date: October 2009 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9781600249167

Plot Summary

What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures is a collection of essays by Malcolm Gladwell which were originally published in The New Yorker. Grouped into three parts, the text gets its name from the fact that each article attempts to tell its story through the eyes of someone who witnessed the events, even if that someone is, in fact, a dog.

The first section, Obsessives, Pioneers, and other varieties of Minor Genius, outlines the stories of several individuals who meet two apparently disparate characteristics. First, these individuals are very good at what they do, to the point of being worthy of being considered leaders in their respective fields. Second, these individuals are all mostly, if not entirely, unknown.

Second is Theories, Predictions, and Diagnosis, which is a section devoted to describing the problems inherent in attempting to make predictions. In this section, Gladwell addresses the famous Enron scandal, as well as the concept of intelligence failure.

Finally, there is Personality, Character, and Intelligence. This final section is dedicated to exploring a wide array of psychological and sociological matters. Topics like criminal profiling and the difference between early and late bloomers are featured in this section.

This collection of essays will give you a great deal to think about. The carefully crafted pieces are able to meaningfully address their topics in the brief space they are each allotted, and may very well leave readers wondering what it is that their dog sees.

Malcolm Gladwell is a British-Canadian author, speaker, and journalist. The author of four bestselling works of nonfiction, Gladwell has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1996. A graduate of Toronto University's Trinity College, he was the recipient of the American Sociological Association's first Award for Excellence in the Reporting of Social Issues in 2007.

Publisher Summary

The bestselling author of The Bomber Mafia focuses on "minor geniuses" and idiosyncratic behavior to illuminate the ways all of us organize experience in this "delightful" (Bloomberg News) collection of writings from The New Yorker.

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 TheNew 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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Quotes

  • “This book full of short conversation pieces is a collection that plays to the author’s strengths. It underscores his way of finding suitably quirky subjects and using each as gateway to some larger meaning.”

    - New York Times
  • “Gladwell is a writer of many gifts…He avoids shopworn topics, easy moralization, and conventional wisdom, encouraging his readers to think again and think different. His prose is transparent, with lucid explanations and a sense that we are chatting with the experts ourselves. Some chapters are masterpieces in the art of the essay.”

    - New York Times Book Review
  • “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.”

    - Barnes & Noble, editorial review
  • “Malcolm Gladwell reminds us that authors can effectively read their own books by turning in a well-crafted, subtle performance. His slightly husky upper-register voice is calm and assured, and he knows exactly where to pause, provide emphasis, and how to deliver a punch line…he seems to relish bringing to light the ideas and people he finds fascinating.”

    - AudioFile
  • “Fans who are not familiar with Gladwell’s articles will be delighted to discover that his shorter work contains the same level of insight, wit, and talent for making the mundane fascinating as they've come to expect from his longer work. Gladwell’s writing here is filled with colorful characters, acute analyses, and intriguing questions.”

    - Library Journal

Awards

  • A New York Times bestseller
  • A USA Today bestseller

Customer Reviews

Write a Review
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " Not bad by normal standards, but rather blah by Malcolm Gladwell standards. Read his other books first, then come back to this one if you're a true fan. "

    - Jeff, 2/20/2014
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Malcolm blows me away with helping me think about what's going on in the other person's head. "

    - Morakinyo, 2/16/2014
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Best thriller writer I've ever read. He knows how to tie the reader in knots, then brings a satisfying conclusion to the stories he tells. Would love to see Gladwell try his hand at fiction. "

    - Stephen, 2/7/2014
  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

    " Very disappointing after reading all of Gladwell's other books. This is merely a collection of previously printed essays. "

    - Doug, 2/6/2014
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " It was...good. It just pales in comparison to his other books. Perhaps each article, read separately, would seem more original and thought-provoking. Read one after the other, though, a pattern or template becomes apparent. Also, you'll notice more and more sweeping un-referenced statements than I'd like. In short, the articles are good entertaining pieces with some real insights in several of them. Good. Just not great. "

    - John, 1/26/2014
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " Unlike other Gladwell books that all support a central thesis, this book is a collection of his past articles on individual subjects. Each is typically Gladwell, full of stories to support the central idea, but they are separate so you can put it down and pick it up a lot of times without losing anything. "

    - Amy!, 1/13/2014
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " I simply enjoy Gladwell's writing. It is so good. Also, not the run-of-the-mill topics can be expected from him like "The Ketchup Conundrum." "

    - Mikeal, 1/7/2014
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " Good collection of articles the author put together. "

    - Jessica, 12/27/2013
  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

    " Pretty repetitive "

    - Galateia, 11/11/2013
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Pretty good if you're a fan. Some essays are better than others. "

    - Paul, 8/4/2013
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " super great collection of odds and ends, each of which really impresses and educates. "

    - bobby, 7/21/2013
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " No doubt about it, this guy's brilliant. His curiosity is boundless, but mine's not. Some of these essays were very compelling, but others bordered on boring, because he gets so into *everything.* Learned a lot, though.Listened to it on audiobooks "

    - Melanie, 7/1/2013
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " I had a blast with this book. Sometimes I thought, "I'd like to see the study he's referring to, cause I'm not sure I believe it," but overall, some really interesting points. "

    - Lana, 6/13/2013
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " I liked some essays more than others. "

    - Liz, 4/27/2013
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Audio version. A fun read. "

    - Chris, 12/15/2012
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " While not a part of my normal genre, I enjoyed most of the author's complied articles. It was an interesting book that definitely has continued to make me think. "

    - Stacia, 12/12/2012
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Some of my favorite New Yorker articles. "

    - Nancy, 10/29/2012
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " This book was hit or miss for me. Some parts captured my attention, like the birth control or criminal profiling sections, but he spends a lot of time on topics like the Exxon collapse and the stock market, which were a bit more dry. I'd recommend it, but only to jump through at your convenience. "

    - Cecilia, 10/3/2012
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " I loved this book. It was engaging, quirky, and educational. Gladwell successfully wraps his head around the mundane, and makes it interesting. I can't wait to read more of his work. "

    - Tina, 8/19/2012
  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

    " meh...didn't even finish it. "

    - Aftan, 4/2/2012
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Malcolm Gladwell is an excellent story teller, so this collection of essays on eclectic topics was very enjoyable. Favorites were the article on ketchup, failure, late bloomers, homelessness.... "

    - Angelina, 2/4/2012
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " I would love to have Malcolm Gladwell over for a spirited discussion of his work and essays in the New Yorker:)! He makes you THINK:)! "

    - Tanisa, 11/16/2011
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " I really enjoy Gladwell's writing style. A real talent for making even the most mundane topic interesting. He has a way of speaking simply about complex issues, and also inticing you to think about life, society, your own biases in new ways. "

    - Summer, 11/4/2011
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " The essays on their own are interesting enough, but it doesn't really translate into a collection. I suppose I was expecting something akin to Ouliers, and there are flashes of it here as well as some truly interesting stories, but I wouldn't call it a "must read". "

    - Matt, 10/28/2011
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " I didn't enjoy this as much as Gladwell's other books--this is a collection of short pieces and the quality really varies. Some were excellent, others, while thought-provoking, were not very engaging or ended too abruptly. "

    - Jane, 9/22/2011
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " This compilation of some of Gladwell's former magazine and newspaper pieces in four or five sections are eye-opening and entertaining. "

    - Lanier, 8/13/2011
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " This one I didn't like as much as the other two Gladwell books I've read - I think this is because I enjoy reading him better in long-form. That said, there were some very interesting essays that I enjoyed reading - in particular, the essay about the Dog Whisperer was really riveting. "

    - Eileen, 8/2/2011
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " excellent collection of interesting essays. Listened on tape "

    - Matt, 6/20/2011
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " I found some essays more interesting than others, but overall this was an entertaining and enjoyable read. "

    - Ashley, 6/1/2011
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " A nice book which is a collection of newspaper articles about ketchup, homeless, hair coloring, etc. The authors puts forward lots of assertions but provides little evidence to them up. An interesting read that as complemented by an interesting book group discussion. "

    - Maha, 5/22/2011
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " I love Gladwell's books and this one is great as well. He raises great questions and makes me want to research more on the subjects. "

    - Tim, 5/21/2011
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " This was an interesting book; but not as good as his others. "

    - Susan, 5/20/2011
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " Mixed bag of short stories, but Gladwell is always worth reading. "

    - doug, 5/19/2011
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Excellently written, fascinating topics & correlations. Some bits got a bit too heavily laden with details, but mostly great. "

    - Niree, 5/12/2011
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " Some of the stories were really interesting and entertaining, but the first couple were pretty awful (reminded me why I think Gladwell is a mostly just a verbose egotist who uniquely presents things others have already figured out). "

    - Emily, 5/11/2011
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " I like Malcolm Gladwell; he makes me understand and get excited about topics I wouldn't otherwise spend time thinking about. Some of the pieces in this collection are dated, and a few didn't grab me, but reading it was time well enough spent. "

    - Blythe, 5/8/2011
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " This is a series of essays on the order of Freakonomics. Some were better than others, although all give reason to look at and think about things in a different way. I liked it. "

    - Crystal, 5/5/2011
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " Absolutely great. I hate his politics but his ability to explain the complex is awesome "

    - Jp1961, 5/4/2011
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " On page 199, and absolutely loving Malcolm Gladwell's easily grasped essays, making any subject or comparison or conundrum he grapples with interesting and entertaining. "

    - Darlene, 5/2/2011
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Unlike Blink and the Tipping Point, this book is a collection of Gladwell's essays over many years. So they are independent and yet they hang together well. Each one taught me something and made me look at the world through a new lens. "

    - Erica, 5/2/2011
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " excellent collection of essays by a great writer - learned a lot from this. "

    - Phil, 5/2/2011
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " A lot of really interesting stories. Didn't realize that this was a compilation of pieces he'd written for the magazine. Still, a fun read. "

    - Kurt, 5/1/2011

About the Author

Malcolm Gladwell has been a staff writer with the New Yorker since 1996. He is a former writer at the Washington Post and served as the newspaper’s New York City bureau chief. He has won a National Magazine Award, and in 2005 he was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People. He is the author of four books: The Tipping Point: How Little Things Make a Big Difference, Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking, and Outliers: The Story of Success, all of which were #1 New York Times bestsellers. His book What the Dog Saw is a compilation of stories published in the New Yorker. Gladwell graduated from the University of Toronto, Trinity College, with a degree in history. He was born in England, grew up in rural Ontario, and now lives in New York City.