I guess I would say that I am a huge Malcom Gladwell fan. I’ve read all of his books. In fact, this was the only one I hadn’t read. So, I thought it was a must.
And it was super disappointing.
I put it down for a long time until I pulled it back up recently. And it still disappointed.
The book is a collection of essays that Gladwell wrote for the New Yorker, his main gig before writing books. Some of the pieces were interesting. In one poignant article, he talks about fertility amongst native peoples and how the estrogen influx due to monthly cycles could be linked to breast cancer. Another interesting story links football players with hiring teachers.
But above and beyond, these short stories lack the depth and interest that Gladwell sparks in his full length novels. Gladwell excels at the long narrative; that is, making one point after another in a cohesive whole. These disengaged stand-alone stories are not as powerful nor as interesting.
Check out “Blink” or “Tipping Points” (an excellent entrance into Gladwell’s world) or his podcast to get the real Gladwell.