Blink is written in a similar style to the author’s previous work, The Tipping Point. The reader is invited to look at the world in a different way. The author’s arguments combine scientific observation, real-life supporting examples, and logical reasoning. The book has a threefold purpose that seeks to change the way we make quick decisions in our lives. First, Gladwell observes that snap judgments can be just as accurate as — and sometimes better than — slow, deliberate decisions. Next, the book presents examples when blink-of-an-eye choices can go awry and how our senses can be fooled and fail us. The last chapters of the book demonstrate ways we can learn to control our ability to make snap judgments and use it as a tool for making choices.
I liked the way Gladwell presents the idea of taking “thin slices” of information and recognizing moments when our quick-decision engine kicks in. I’m glad he also acknowledges the folly of always trusting those snap decisions. One pet peeve: at several points the book refers to itself, almost like a person referring to himself in the third person. Gladwell seems to think that the purpose of the book needs to be reiterated in almost every chapter with phrases like “That’s what Blink is about,” or, “The purpose of Blink is to…,” even though you’ve already finished more than half the book. That’s a fairly minor annoyance, and I liked the book overall for its unique and counter-intuitive approach to thinking.
Rated: Moderate. There are a few tame and semi-harsh expletives sprinkled throughout the book. There are also three instances of strong language included in quoted dialogue and one minor sexual reference.