Review: Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell

A note on the audiobook: This is an audio experience. Malcolm Gladwell talks about it a bit in the beginning. He chose to use audio recordings of interviews, etc., wherever available instead of just reading the quotes himself. There’s music spattered throughout. It’s kind of a book/podcast. It is not just a direct reading of the text. Also, Malcolm Gladwell has a soothing voice but covers some unsettling topics, so you can definitely listen to this one and not fall asleep.

I won’t say I enjoyed this book, because how can you enjoy something that talks about all the unpleasant side effects of misinterpreting interactions with strangers? But it was incredibly interesting. We hear about what went wrong with Amanda Knox, the Brock Turner trial, and Sandra Bland, amidst many other examples. I love books like this that examine psychology through real life things. My favorite section is the one on default to truth, I think, although it’s hard to pick.

I definitely feel like I learned something from Talking to Strangers, and for me, that’s really the best way to judge a nonfiction title.

I listened to an ALC of this title in my job as a bookseller.

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