Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell

I read a lot of books and I enjoy most of them. At times, I find a dud but rarely do I find a book so interesting and intoxicating that I run to grab anything that author has written. Malcolm Gladwell is one of those rarities. I have read every book Malcolm Gladwell has published and I have loved each one of them. Each book has been unique and fascinating. I even subscribed to Gladwell’s podcast where he continues to bring his unique investigative storytelling.

So when it was announced that a new book was coming out, I immediately ordered it. I had no clue he was working on something new, I was giddy.

Now to be honest, I was a little nervous going into this book. I was afraid Gladwell could not keep pace and keep his streak alive. I was afraid his book would be rehashed podcast material (something I have seen authors do before), but I pressed forward.

The verdict? Talking to Strangers is simply the best book by Gladwell. I could not stop reading it. I was so sad when I finished. This book seemed to have it all: stories about police officers, international spies, Cuban relations, Europe during the World Wars, court cases, terrorism.

What is the message of the book? We have a hard time understanding others. At times, humans can be insightful geniuses, but most of the time, we can be rather clueless about each other. It only takes one nonconforming variable to throw off all of our intuitions.

In short, as much as I tried to pull them back, I had extremely high expectations for this book and I was still captivated.