Malcolm Gladwell is the author of The Tipping Point: How Little Things Make a Big Difference (2000), Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (2005), and Outliers: The Story of Success (2008).
Gladwell's fourth book comprises various contributions to the New Yorker and makes for an intriguing and often hilarious look at "the hidden extraordinary." He wonders "what... hair dye tell[s] us about twentieth century history," and observes firsthand "dog whisperer" Cesar Millan's uncanny ability to understand and be understood by his pack. Gladwell pulls double duty as author and narrator; while his delivery isn't the most dramatic or commanding, the material is frequently astonishing, and his reading is clear, heartfelt, and makes for genuinely pleasurable listening. A Little, Brown hardcover. (Nov.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
Gladwell (The Tipping Point) has gathered 22 of his pieces that have appeared in The New Yorker since 1996, arranging them into three sections: "Obsessive, Pioneers, and Other Varieties of Minor Genius," "Theories, Predictions, and Diagnoses," and "Personality, Character and Intelligence." 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. However, be warned that the organization of the articles by topic rather than by date can be confusing, especially since much of what Gladwell is discussing has since changed. For instance, although articles about the Challenger explosion, the stock market, and Enron all have postscripts about developments that occurred after the original publication of these pieces, the original publication dates are indicated neither in the table of contents nor at the start of the pieces, frustrating readers' attempts to learn what time period each article covers. VERDICT Fans of Gladwell's writing will want to add this to their bookshelves. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/09.]-April Younglove, Rochester Regional Lib. Council, NY Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.