I just finished reading the book, David and Goliath, by the most fascinating author in the last decade – my very favorite, Malcolm Gladwell. This book of his has become yet another New York Times best seller, as did his other books Tipping Points, Blink, and Outliers.
In David and Goliath, Gladwell starts with reminding us of the story of David, the shepherd boy who, over three thousand years ago, won the battle over the giant, Goliath, with only a slingshot and stones as a weapon. From there, the author goes on to give us all these other examples of how the underdog can win regardless of how impossible his situation seems to be. Gladwell also goes on to bring us the good news that, yes, there are indeed advantages in disadvantages, and yes, once we overcome an obstacle that can make us stronger, it can become our ticket to the strengthening of the muscles that we need to fight life’s problems. He proceeds to argue that being in a small class of a private school cannot always be, as the popular belief says, a privilege, for it actually could have its downsides too. The final word here is that medicine can be made out of poison in our lives.
I have read every book by Malcolm Gladwell as soon as it appeared on the market, and I have loved them all. In all his books, he deals with sociology, psychology, and social psychology all based on research and a lot of story telling. For example, in Tipping Point, he provides us with a handbook/instruction manual of how our mind can see and interpret things all around us differently than what they seem to be. The great story teller that he is, he can always deliciously and expertly manipulate our imagination and our logic in the most amazing way, convincing us beyond what we expect and winning every argument with us, his readers. The way he looks at things and the logic he uses he manifests from this magnificent ability to examine something from every point and every dimension possible. Even the hidden aspects of a matter, which have been buried forever in the dark, he manages to shed light on and bring every detail of it, naked and in view, to our attention. Because of this, he has always, in every book of his, given our imagination and our logic something to dwell on and something to be stimulated by.
In David and Goliath, I should frankly say that midway through the book, I felt as though I had already heard too many stories all in one place, one right after another, with their starting point from all over the geographical places of the world. Yet, somehow magically in the end, Gladwell brings them forcefully to his assigned set-up destination of proving his points. The problem with that, however, is that all these numerous stories can somehow exhaust the attention span of the reader. Don’t get me wrong, the book did not bore me, but, truthfully, half-way through the book, I felt as though I had heard all these before. There were just too many similarities between David and Goliath and his previous books that the book lacked an element of newness and surprise. It was as though this book screams at him, “Malcolm Gladwell, it is time for you to start fresh and reinvent yourself as an author,” for there is nothing worse than an artist imitating himself and getting stuck. Reading the book is like enjoying the voice singing and not minding listening to it in spite of the fact that the song is not new and you had heard it a few many times before.