Tag: Heavy

Malcolm Gladwell – David & Goliath | Review

Title: David & Goliath

Author: Malcolm Gladwell

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count: 308

Rating: 3/5

I usually enjoy reading Malcolm Gladwell’s stuff, but this one was a little bit of a disappointment. I think the problem was that it was just far too basic – it basically shares a simple idea in a couple of pages and then spends the remaining 300 pages to give a bunch of examples. By about halfway through, I was thinking about DNFing it, but I stuck with it. I’m not sure whether I’m glad or not.

Basically, the idea is that it’s often the underdog who comes out on top, because they’re able to be more nimble and to use that to give them a competitive advantage. We see this in the story of David vs Goliath, although Gladwell argues that David was always the likely winner because he had a sling and Goliath was wearing heavy, cumbersome armour. He had no chance of getting close to David in the first place.

Then he talks at length about all sorts of different organisations, from the classic examples like Apple and Google to more obscure examples, such as the guy who campaigned for the three strikes law in California. It turns out that while the idea of harsher punishments might be a smart one, it just doesn’t really work in practice.

Overall, would I recommend this? Nah, I would not. It’s not that it’s terrible, it’s just pretty boring and not Gladwell’s best by a long shot. I’d recommend something like Blink instead. I still intend to read all of his books at some point, but it might take me a little longer to get to them now. He’s gone down a lot in my esteem and that’s a bit of a bummer. But it is what it is.

Learn more about David & Goliath.

 


Alan Dean Foster – Aliens | Review

Title: Aliens

Author: Alan Dean Foster

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 250

Rating: 3.75/5

This book is the novelisation of the second Alien movie, and it’s actually a pretty good read. Foster is a well-known and well-loved novelist in his own right, and before picking up this and Alien, I’d already read Midworld, which is my friend Todd the Librarian’s favourite book. That was great, Alien was great and so was this one.

The only real flaw for me was that it’s a little top heavy and so the last twenty pages contain the most climactic scenes. But at the same time, I can see how this could happen when you’re writing a novelisation based upon a movie. Movies and books work differently, and it’s kind of noticeable here.

Still, Foster’s writing style combined with the original script make for a compelling read, and I was impressed again by the way that he was able to bring the story to life. His writing style is super evocative, so at times you feel as though you can smell the stench of alien blood burning its way through steel decking.

Of course, the downside is that by this point, most people have seen the movie and so they already know what happens. That kind of gives it the weird sensation of being a re-read even if it’s the first time you’ve picked it up. That’s not a bad thing though, and I thought it was decent.

Click here to learn more about Aliens.