You know, I think I'm done with Malcolm Gladwell. I intentionally try to read a fair number of currently-popular books, so this is the third of his that I've read. Once or twice a year, I come across a book I just can't finish (why, hello, Jean-Paul Sartre! Nausea defeated me!) This, I think, is the beginning of a new personal category: authors whose books I've been able to finish, and haven't massively pissed me off (hey, Jodi Picoult!), but which I have no interest in reading further.
I read The Tipping Point first, and it was okay, interesting at times, but from the beginning it was clear in my mind that Gladwell is a popularizer, not a thinker. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, if it is done well. The Outliers was interesting as well, although I started to notice some intellectual sloppiness.
And now, with What the Dog Saw, what you have is a book chock full of essays, some of which remain mildly interesting, but a number of which fail to ask obvious questions, while chiding others for doing the same thing. It's fine if you're okay with being plagiarized, Malcolm Gladwell, but what about the woman who's life was directly stolen and put on stage? It's fine to say we need better teachers, but will financial manager-style business interviews do the job? And what's with the presumption that every teacher is either amazing or terrible right from the get-go? Do those financial manager-style interviews end up with good financial managers? Is menstruation really worse for women's health than constant pregnancy? Do you see why I might want to you ask those questions, Gladwell?
So, yeah, I'm done. The books are fine, and popularize some interesting studies, but somehow, they don't add up to as much as he thinks they do. And you, Malcolm Gladwell, are relegated to my "don't bother" pile.