Book Review: David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell


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David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell is a bookshelf must in my opinion. A beautifully written piece, this book can be devoured in a single read (though it took me 2 days). David and Goliath isn’t like your regular novels to have a story line and a set of characters spinning around it. It’s one of the most empowering books that carries an aura of reality and sensibility. I’ve read many books in the past but this is nowhere close to it. I think the message that was intended to be conveyed was laid out perfectly without any confusion. If you’re a person who like reading about practicality, sense peppered with a little of psychology then this is “the one”. Being myself, I was initially quite skeptical about purchasing a bestseller. Thankfully that sense of doubt didn’t overwhelm me to leave it out of my bookshelf. It’s not penned in a complex manner, it’s very simple such that even a layman can understand the information it carries.

First of all, I again repeat this isn’t our titty tatty novel types. This is a non fiction book that talks about the misconceptions we’ve been perceiving throughout our lives. It talks more of the probability in which events we think won’t take place, does take place with lots of statistical data. it defines the thin line between reality and our thoughts. I personally think the author went out of track in the last few pages where he couldn’t sketch his references properly. The main concept was sidelined in that part of the book (maybe some ten pages). Nevertheless, it conveys the point it was primarily purposed to.  At some point, I felt that there were too many repetitive examples around the same subject. Though it was a way to prove a point, but at one point it became predictable as to what he was trying to convey. Even though I might take a lot of information from the book, I think repetition and the side tracking of the main objective (in the latter part) could have been avoided. Malcolm gives a lot of information on the war histories in different parts of the world over and over, this can be a major keep away for people who are ignorant about history or dislike history. It can take away the engaging ability of the reader.

The first half is engaging. I like how he shatters our notions one by one slowly. That was exhilarating. The main objective of the book is that Giants are not powerful and a sheep isn’t weak. He draws out examples as to how a sheep can also have a considerable success rate when confronting giants. He talks about situations where weakness doesn’t retard you at all. My favorite part would be the place where he talks about Jay and the Impressionists. I might have learned a lot from those two chapters than what I’ve learned throughout my life. This book kind of reached me at the right time and at the right minute when I had to undergo terrible turbulence in my decisions. One of the biggest messages I take from this book is this ” Never be a little fish in a big pond. Be a big fish in a little pond”.

Would I recommend this book? Yes, certainly. It has so many advantageous takeaways over cons. It was an engaging read in my perspective. But from others? It’s up to you to decide. I would say go for it if you like shattering your opinions, reading about wars, inventions, how you can battle your weakness and most importantly how to handle giants using your brains.

Overall Rating: 4.3/5

Language: 4.6/5



2 Comments Add yours

  1. Brian Geiger says:

    I’ll have to pick this one up. Having just finished Outliers, despite some hesitance to give Gladwell a shot, I thoroughly enjoyed it. He’s an excellent writer, if a bit hypothetical.


    1. Yes, I feel he has a lot of repetitions in his work. I read Blink and ‘David and Goliath’. Both have the same set of mild flaws of repetition and sometimes at certain junctures I feel the interpretation to be a bit absurd. Also at times to prove a certain point, he gives examples from similar incidents and moves it along with them which is a bit of a drag. Do give it a shot. Never read Outliers though. I should.


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