Book Reveiw 4-7
Sunday, May 1, 2005

By Denise Turney

   Blink opens with the story of specialists examining what appears to be a great piece of art.  Two of the specialists knew at once that something was amiss about the work which was, at glance beautifully and the work of a genius.  Yet on two separate occasions one woman and one man who had devoted their life to great art just knew something was odd about the work they were asked to examine.  When they shared their initial reaction with a group of distinguished peers, their reaction was viewed as less intelligent.  It didn't  make sense.  How could something so obviously beautiful and worthy have anything wrong with it?  Asking price for the art was $10 million.  After much investigation and examination by senior sculptors it was discovered that the piece for a forgery.  This is a real life story. 
    The author of Blink references various in-depth studies and uses real-life events such as how easily psychologists and marketing experts can alter our thoughts and cause us to make purchases or/and choices we never intended to make; the seven seconds police officers used to decide to shoot and kill Amadou Diallo; how it can accurately be determined how successful a relationship a couple will have by asking them a series of simple questions and observing how they communicate and respond to one another – a matter of seconds or minutes to affect an entire lifetime.
    Each of us has the ability to make split-second decisions that are accurate and on target.  The misfortune that many bring upon themselves happens as soon as they begin to question gut instinct, rationalize, or talk themselves out of believing what they know is true. 
    Gladwell is a gifted writer who addresses worldwide phenomenon head on.  His use of behavioral studies conducted by independent experts is effective at proving that each of us is born with an innate ability that allows us to just know when a choice is best or worse.  Nearer the end of Blink, Gladwell focuses on how years of training, hearing comments about certain cultures, personalities, genders, etc. can damage our ability to accurately evaluate a situation.  It is one of the most devastating results of the blind following the blind when both blind leader and followers believe what they think they see is truth.  Gladwell points out that most, if not all of us, have experienced both sides of the coin (just knowing accurately and thinking we know while being 100% wrong).
  Blink is a book that will cause you to think about how you think, how you filter information before making a decision.  Blink is a book that educators, parents, managers, coaches – everyone will benefit from reading.  I learned more about myself while reading Blink.  I think others will learn more about themselves while reading this book too.
Review by Denise Turney
Author of Portia, Love Has Many Faces and Spiral
Visit Denise online at


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