Tag: Organisations

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.

 


Peter James – Dead Man’s Time | Review

TitleDead Man’s Time

Author: Peter James

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 504

Rating 3.75/5

 

 

Dead Man’s Time is another installment in James’ Roy Grace series in which we follow the Brighton-based detective as he investigates a crime spanning 90 years. It all goes back to a murder that took place in New York City in 1922, and I quite liked the way that the two different time periods came back together, especially towards the end. It was kind of anticlimactic in a way, but it was also the only real ending that could have happened.

It’s also interesting how the bad guys in this book aren’t actually all that bad, although they do their fair share of bad things. If anything, the main bad guy in this is the one who had it in for Roy Grace and who was out to get him and his family, a story line that took place in tandem with the main story but which wasn’t necessarily a part of it.

The main story, though, basically follows what appears to be a burglary gone wrong in which an old woman is tortured until she’s on the brink of death. They also take all of her art, her antiques and her valuables, leaving Roy Grace stuck trying to track it down in a race across time across Brighton and, later on, elsewhere in the world.

 

 

I don’t think that this is Peter James’ best book, but then I’ve read quite a few of them by now and you’re always going to find some books that are better than others in any series. It’s still worth reading though, and while you don’t need to read them all in order if you don’t want to, you will get a little bit more from the story if you do. Not from the crime at the centre of it perhaps, but certainly from the back story. When I read it, there were characters there that I knew would be dead or in jail a few books down the line.

What I will say is that even though I’ve read over a dozen of James’ books (including two 500+ page books in the last couple of weeks), I’m still enjoying them, and I’m probably going to pick up another 600-pager next weekend as I’ll be spending a lot of time travelling. James’ writing is sleek and easy to absorb, and at the same time it’s not intimidating. I don’t read his books and wonder how anyone could have ever written them. I just read them and enjoy them and then look forward to the next one.

So would I recommend this? Of course I would, but I would suggest reading through them in order if you can just so that you don’t spoil yourself for some of the storylines that come in alongside the mysteries. And it was cool that James included references to charities and other organisations that support some of the issues raised.

 

 

Click here to buy Dead Man’s Time.

 


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