Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Blink! – My Review.

blink Malcolm Gladwell is a genius.

It is extremely difficult to make science appealing to the layman, and there are only a couple of authors who can write science like a novel – without missing the point. The other writer I can think of in that genre is Bill Bryson; whose ‘A short history of nearly everything’ has taught me more about science than my school science textbooks! Anyway, that’s a different story.

Blink! – The power of thinking without thinking – is a book which takes us through something that we are all truly experts in – thin-slicing. This is the process of taking decisions in an extremely short duration of time, and if you think about it; each of us goes through that process several times in a day. This book analyzes this process of taking really fast decisions, and Gladwell guides us through the whole scientific jargon like a traffic constable at a busy junction. Another reason why I simply loved this book is because Blink! does not just talk about science – it is equally steeped in psychology, and that is an even more difficult topic to write a blockbuster about!

Malcolm Gladwell has written an earlier bestseller – The Tipping Point (which I have to read now) which is another book that takes the reader into the depths of the human mind without losing us!

Blink! is a book that reminded me several times that I am more than the average Joe – as a lot of things the author talks about were things I noticed at various situations. The book can do that to you – to make you feel really good (even the average Joe) by letting you know that you are an expert in psychology, an expert in decision making (unless you are autistic – about which there is an example in the book), an expert in thin-slicing, and so on.

Finally, a big thanks to the researchers whose findings are mentioned in the book – these guys (and gals) have spent countless hours in trying to decipher the strange ways our mind works, and if we are somewhat closer to the secrets of the mind, it is thanks to them. But Blink! will also tell you that there is a very long way to go yet in understanding the complete works of the human mind.

This is a book you simply have to read. If you are a fan of general writing or science, you will relish this book. If you are a fan of fiction (like me), you will still relish this book, and feel better for it.

Blink! – The power of thinking without thinking – is being adapted into a movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio, and is expected to be released in late 2010.

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