Tag: Idea

Agatha Christie – The Pale Horse | Review

Title: The Pale Horse

Author: Agatha Christie

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 266

Rating: 3.5/5

This is nowhere near the best of Agatha Christie’s books, but even here when she’s average I guess at best, she’s still better than most other writers. Plus I could be a little biased there because neither Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple appears here, although Ariadne Oliver does and she might well be my favourite of all of Christie’s supporting cast of characters.

I also quite liked the idea of the pale horse and the way that was used as a recurring theme throughout. Christie is great at doing that and we’ve seen her do it throughout her career with the various different books that play with nursery rhymes. This book is like a twist on that I guess, and with the added bonus that Ariadne Oliver is basically just a mouthpiece for Christie to share some of her own thoughts on life as a writer.

What’s kind of funny is that in many ways, she’s more open and honest about her relationship with writing here than she was in her autobiography. She always seemed to think of herself as more of a housewife than as an author, despite the fact that she’s one of the bestselling authors of all time.

So when it comes down to the question of whether or not I’d recommend this one, it really depends. If you’re new to Christie then it probably makes sense to start with one of her more well-known books instead of going for this one. Yeah.

Learn more about The Pale Horse.

 


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.