Review of Blink

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Blink book summary


9 Overall

9 Applicability

9 Innovation

9 Style


Malcolm Gladwell, who wrote The Tipping Point, has built an enduring brand as an author who teaches readers something new, helps them understand the world, encourages them to use their perceptual gifts, entertains them and provokes them to try new modes of thinking. He is reliable, consistent and unique – or he was unique before so many other writers started trying to copy him. The Gladwell method is straightforward. Each book is based on a thesis. In Blink, he argues that your instant or reflexive decisions can be “every bit as good” as your deeply considered choices and that your intuition can be as sound as or better than your most rigorous, logical processes. These propositions, like those at the core of his other books, at first appear to contradict popular wisdom. But Gladwell’s arguments aren’t all that counterintuitive. In fact, getAbstract finds, his books are so popular and his ideas permeate the culture so thoroughly, that once he explains a supposedly counterintuitive concept, it becomes conventional wisdom. As with Tipping Point, countless commentators cite his conclusions, thus making them more widespread and accepted.

About the Author

Malcolm Gladwell is a staff writer at The New Yorker. He is featured in three popular TED Talks and has written several other bestsellers, including The Tipping Point and Outliers.


Gladwell’s Genius

Few authors before Gladwell could pull off such outstanding brand maintenance. Remarkably, his mass popularity never undermines his reputation as a credible public intellectual, a rigorous, groundbreaking thinker who writes clearly and accessibly. He is an unusually intelligent man who can write and – as his three TED Talks show, speak – in simple bestseller prose. His consistent writing, rather than his deep thinking, may be Gladwell’s true genius. He posits his ideas as new ways of thinking. He cites scientific, academic and anecdotal research and interviews people who describe how they learned that his construct is correct. He’s expert at taking what you know and explaining it back to you in interesting, sometimes even revelatory ways.

Yet, Gladwell isn’t perfect. Blink sometimes reads like a stretched-out magazine article, and it repeats some ideas. Some case studies are fascinating; some aren’t. Blink is an incongruous Gladwell book in that if you skip a few pages, you probably won’t miss anything important.

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    Remus Gogu 8 months ago
    On one hand, I think too much effort has been put in this review 'into the author' rather than the book itself.
    From a structure perspective, I do not see a clear demarcation line between the review part and the summary part. The structure of the book or the ideas in the book do not seem to me as clear either.

    With respect to the content of the summary - maybe it's the book not the summary - but I don't feel like I've learned something useful. I understand that split second decisions are good sometimes (and they may turn out to be better in some instances than well thought decisions) but I don't see here any techniques to help me take 'good' blink decisions. Also how to decide when it's good to take a blink decision and when it's a good idea to ponder a bit on things.
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      Kevin Hollingsworth 8 months ago
      Agreed, the summary is more about the author and his skill than the content of the book.

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