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Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
I wouldn't recommend this. I've been a fan of Gladwell's since Blink. While Outliers was over-long, there was plenty of interesting stuff in there. But David & Goliath smacks of contractual obligation. The upshot is that the underdog needs to think a little differently in order to topple Goliath. Well, thanks, Malcolm.
What was most disappointing about Malcolm Gladwell’s story?
I kept waiting for him to take the stories he was telling and explain how perhaps we could apply it to our own lives. He didn't really do this. It was essentially Jackanory, with Malcolm telling a few stories - about civil rights, about the troubles in Northern Ireland - with little point. As a listener, there was a lot of "And?"
What does Malcolm Gladwell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?
Gladwell is a very good narrator. As is often the case with authors reading their own work, you can tell he really cares about his work. This certainly elevates it.
Was David and Goliath worth the listening time?
Ultimately, at seven hours, no, David & Goliath wasn't worth the reading time.
Any additional comments?
I'm still a fan of Gladwell and would check out his next work - he's an interesting voice. Let's hope this is just a rare misstep in an otherwise highly interesting and provocative career.
13 of 15 people found this review helpful
Is there anything you would change about this book?
Gladwell's continued cherry picking of selective 'evidence' in order to demonstrate a point without ever really testing any of the hypotheses he puts forward. The point was well made in the opening chapter when talking about the girls basketball team but went on a steady decline thereafter.'
What could Malcolm Gladwell have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?
See above. I know the simplification of popular psychology is his 'style' however too selective and too simple this time.
Would you listen to another book narrated by Malcolm Gladwell?
The narration was fine and where possible or practical I like to listen to an audio book narrated by the author. Gladwell does a fine job in this regard.
Do you think David and Goliath needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?
No. I think the concept was exhausted in the first chapter.
Any additional comments?
Despite my comments above I enjoyed parts of the text and it passed the time on the walk to the station. That was until the chapter on the troubles in Northern Ireland. This chapter was a biased, poorly researched abomination that presents 'facts' in such a way that anyone reading this chapter who was ignorant of the facts of the troubles would be left with a very different impression of what actually happened during this time.
The following text from another online review makes the point far better than I could, so I have quoted it below."One might imagine, on the basis of Gladwell’s account, that the majority of the casualties of the Troubles were killed by British forces. In fact, around 60 percent of the more than 3,500 people killed between 1969 and 2001 were killed by Republican forces, 30 percent by Ulster loyalists, and 10 percent by British troops. Within this overall figure, British forces and local security services suffered more than 1,100 deaths. If the British were Goliath in this conflict, they suffered a good many wounds in its course.
Gladwell’s account does more than oversimplify. It is a kind of moral cartoon, a rendition of events in which there are no difficulties that cannot be overcome by reasonable men and women of goodwill. He tells us nothing of the lengthy and tortuous path that led to the relative peace that prevails in Northern Ireland today. If only he had been around to have a quiet word with British commanders, Gladwell seems to be suggesting, and share a few academic papers with them, none of the horrors that unfolded need ever have happened."
5 of 6 people found this review helpful
What did you love best about David and Goliath?
Extremely intriguing and educating.
What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?
Very easy language.
Which scene was your favorite?
The bit where he explains the duel of David and Goliath and why David was always the favourite to win,
What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?
The bit about hitting a level below what you would otherwise just squeeze into.
Any additional comments?
Great book in the most mesmerising voice of Gladwell himself.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
To all the Davids out there, GO! DARE!
I found the stories quite enlightening and while I have a few (maybe one or two) points of divergence, this book is definitely a resource.
There are Goliath in this world, in every sphere of life.... But every single one of them can be defeated. Including sicknesses such as Cancer!