I read Blink recently.
If you haven’t heard of it, then that’s weird. It’s one of those books that everybody seems to be talking about. All my friends are reading it/have read it/are going to read it, and I’ve been getting impromptu and unsolicited reviews on the book from everybody and his mamma over the past month or so.
I decided that, for once, I wasn’t going to let a big piece of pop culture phenomena pass me by, so I went down to the store and picked up a copy.
“Have you read that yet?” asked the cashier.
I thought that was kind of a stupid question since I was buying it. While it’s possible that I was buying it as a gift after having initially read and fallen in love with it, it’s much more likely that I had not, in fact, read the book.
“No,” I replied.
“You really should,” was the cashier’s follow-up.
I thought that was good, sound advice. I probably never would have thought of doing that WITH THE BOOK I WAS BUYING RIGHT THEN AND THERE GOD DAMN IT WHY ARE SOME PEOPLE SO ****ING DUMB AND STUPID AND HOW DOES HE EVEN TIE HIS GOD DAMNED SHOES IN THE MORNING AND…
I’m a little hormonal right now.
Anyway, I took the cashier’s fabulous advice, went home, and got going with the book.
If you haven’t heard much about it, here’s a summary of the entire book, condensed into one small paragraph for your cerebro-ocularescent feasting pleasure:
Blink is a book about snap judgments and decisions and how they’re often more important than the decisions we arrive at after actually thinking and reasoning. This is stated both on the book flap as well as in the first chapter. The next 972 pages consist of anecdotal evidence to support the author’s boring, stupid claim.
My snap judgment? The book sucks.
My reasoned, thought-out judgment? The book really sucks.
I don’t want to be little Mr. Negativitypants, but this book is a serious stinker. It’s reminiscent of the conversations I used to have with my friends after cramming large quantities of illegal drugs into our bodies.
“Duuuuuuuuude… Wouldn’t it be crazy if… if TV watched us? Whoooooooooooooaaaahhhhh….”
Sure. It’s a fun thought, but it’s not the kind of thing you want to write a whole book about.
The other reason I’m opposed to all this “Blink” philosophy is that I think there’s quite a bit too much of this “Blink” thought going on already.
Salesman: This bracelet has energized Q-Particles which cure herpes, insomnia, and bad luck. They were used by Cleopatra, who got them from the Atlanteans before they mind-warped to the Gamma Quadrant. They come in blue and purple because those colors exist in the Magna-Ether Energy Band. They’re only $99 a piece – what do you think?
[.000024 seconds later]
Sucker: Q-Particles? Sounds good! I’ll take two.
If anything, we need less BlinkThink(TM).
The idea behind this book strikes me as the kind of thing people in suits get excited about because they think they’ve just been shown a new portal to consumers’ souls. If you’re stuck in a rut with your regular old mode of thought, then this book might shake the Etch-a-Sketch that is your brain into a new way of looking at the world, but only if you’re really, really desperate.
I realize that I’m kind of pooping all over this book, but I’m left with the impression that the author is riding the coattails of his own success, and used the opportunity to push this sucker out the door to throngs of impatient fans of his previous stuff.
That, or this is just a contractual obligation book, in which case the author is hereby absolved of all responsibility to produce a work that doesn’t stink.
Either way, I want my $25.00 back.