Book Review: Talking to Strangers

less than 1 minute read


Gladwell’s Talking to Strangers is a pop psychology book about the difficulties of communication. He weaves together case studies of misunderstandings and deception to argue that human communication is filled with folly.

Here’s the paperback and audiobook.

Utility: ⭐ (1/5) Gladwell doesn’t develop a clear thesis, and it’s unclear what to infer from all of the case studies.The stories seem to be much better explained in the context of their circumstances than by overarching claims about the nature of human deception. He leaves us with the bitter reality that we “will never know the whole truth” without much practical advice to wash it down.

Writing: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4/5) Despite the lack of a thorughline, his mastery of narration continues to shine through. The stories are exciting and well-paced. While certainly not his best work, it makes for good light reading.