Pub Writes

About the publishing Industry, editorials, and reviews

Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

Posted by Caitie F on February 25, 2010

Title: Blink

Author: Malcolm Gladwell

Hardcover: 277 pages

Publisher: Little, Brown, and Company

ISBN: 0316172324

Rating: +++

Summary: In his second book, Malcolm Gladwell talks about how we think without thinking, and about choices that we make in the blink of an eye. He also talks about how experts can predict and/or determine things just by looking at things we do and say in our unconscious.

It doesn’t just talk about the good things that come out of using what you get in the blink of an eye, but also to sometimes catastrophic results — and how to fix them.


I have wanted to read this for a while because I thought it sounded fascinating. Can we really make big decisions in just the blink of eye? The answer turns out to be sometimes.

I don’t like that you open the book to the inside flap and it says “Don’t think—blink!” because it does not represent what the book really says. The book concentrates on “thin-slicing” when looking at things. It is mainly taking what you see down to the most important aspects and just looking at that. We do it all the time. everyday without realizing it.

I don’t buy everything in the book. There is one scientist that claims he can look at a conversation on a minor disagreement between a married couple and can tell if they will still be married in 15 years. Some of his methods are probably accurate, like looking at four areas of how they respond to each other and unconscious movements and facial expression. He still is only correct 85% of the time, while people without his training do a little better than 50%. It is a difference, but I don’t know if I buy it. Being bale to tell if people will get divorced based on fifteen minutes just seems a little far fetched. If I had less in my TBR pile, I would look further into his study.

The other study that was very interesting was one on facial expression. A scientist has numbered all of the possible facial expressions and can evaluate a conversation based on it. He knows what it means when your eyebrow goes up or your mouth twitches, even if it is for just a couple milliseconds. He can also teach people how to read things in others, which I would love to try!

They also talk about how thin-slicing affects police officers and how they react to situations. It talks about a few instances of police shooting innocent people and show the explanations of what they thought was happening, and then what really happened. It made me see why they did what they did, but also made me sad that a misjudgment of a situation can be fatal in a matter of seconds.

I really liked that it said how to fix these problems, such as have police officers in a car alone so they have to wait for backup and can access the situation for more time, which makes them more accurate.

I could go on and on about the issues brought up in this book, but I am sure no one wants to read a dissertation. You should read the book though. My husband and I argued about some of the claims made in it, which was fun.

Have you read it? Were their any claims you thought were dead-on or ones you thought were ridiculous? Let me know in the comments!

This counts for the 2010 TBR Challenge!


3 Responses to “Blink by Malcolm Gladwell”

  1. […] by Suzanne Collins (Done and reviewed!) 2. Absolutely Maybe by Lisa Yee (Done and reviewed!) 3. Blink by Malcolm Gladwell (Done and reviewed!) 4. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson 5. The Queen’s Fool by Philippa […]

  2. I just recently read my first Gladwell book – What the Dog Saw – recently and really enjoyed it, so I’d like to read more of his work. This one sounds like it makes you think even if you don’t agree with all of it.

  3. […] Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins 2. Absolutely Maybe by Lisa Yee 3. Blink by Malcolm Gladwell 4. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson 5. The Queen’s Fool by Philippa Gregory 6. Inkspell by […]

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