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The Black Swan Audiobook

The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable

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Publisher's Summary

Maverick thinker Nassim Nicholas Taleb had an illustrious career on Wall Street before turning his focus to his black swan theory. Not all swans are white, and not all events, no matter what the experts think, are predictable. Taleb shows that black swans, like 9/11, cannot be foreseen and have an immeasurable impact on the world.

©2007 Nassim Nicholas Taleb; (P)2007 Recorded Books, LLC

What the Critics Say

"[Taleb] administers a severe thrashing to MBA- and Nobel Prize-credentialed experts who make their living from economic forecasting." (Booklist)
"The hubris of predictions - and our perpetual surprise when the not-predicted happens - are themes of Nassim Nicholas Taleb's engaging new book....It concerns the occurrence of the improbable, the power of rare events and the author's lament that 'in spite of the empirical record we continue to project into the future as if we were good at it.'" (The New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (3027 )
5 star
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4.1 (1756 )
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Story
4.1 (1762 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Scott Brady Oakland, CA United States 11-27-13
    Scott Brady Oakland, CA United States 11-27-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I hated this book"

    I thought I was getting an interesting analysis of long tail risk issues. I got an incoherent rambling set of anecdotes that are fiction (but not clearly disclosed as such) in some sort of pseudo-Socratic philosopher format. I loved books like "The Big Short" and "The Greatest Trade Ever"...this was not like those books. This was one of the very few audible books I have ever not finished. To be clear, I listened to most of it. The concept is great: unexpected events happen more often that you would think. However, that is the extent of the insight of this book. It is not about finance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah Martin Ithaca, NY United States 10-09-13
    Sarah Martin Ithaca, NY United States 10-09-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Meh"

    Was really hoping to enjoy this, but just couldn't get into it. Love research in this niche and typically burn through them, feeling as though I've come away better educated about human behavior, decision-making, and situational influences. This book jumped all over the place, was a little self-aggrandizing, and quickly became a chore to get through. Costs outweighed benefits, and I called it a day.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Becky 09-04-13
    Becky 09-04-13
    ratings
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    6
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    "What a narcissistic windbag"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Focus on the black swan phenomenon rather than on the author's presumed intellectual superiority.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Death by Black Hole by Neil DeGrasse Tyson


    What three words best describe David Chandler’s voice?

    serviceable


    What character would you cut from The Black Swan?

    n/a


    Any additional comments?

    Waste of my time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Craig Berg Munroe Falls, OH 04-05-13
    Craig Berg Munroe Falls, OH 04-05-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Interesting concepts; tough to get through"

    This book presents some very interesting ideas: we are very poor at predicting events that happen because we base a lot on historical evidence. We don't look for those things that are completely unexpected because they are so far outside of our experience that we can't imagine they exist. Those events are what the author calls "Black Swans."

    In spite of this interesting treatise, this book was incredibly difficult to get through. It is hard to imagine an author that is more pretentious, condescending, and pompous than Taleb. He is simultaneously egotistical and insecure. He revels in telling stories of how he is the smartest person in the room and everyone else is beneath him. It gets old quickly and made finishing the book a chore.

    I felt David Chandler did a great job of telling the story in the tone that I would imagine Taleb would have were he reading it himself. He conveys a feeling of superiority that seems to come through in the author's writing style. Very well done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew 03-31-13
    Matthew 03-31-13
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    "Great ideas, mixed presentation"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I am glad I listened to this book because it was cited by a couple other authors whose work I enjoyed (Apparently this book is somewhat influential). But while the central ideas and themes were very interesting, the presentation frequently was not. The author does not have Malcolm Gladwell's gift for writing, and sometimes comes across as trying too hard to be like him.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick 03-18-13
    Patrick 03-18-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Black Swans Revealed"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This is one of the most insightful book I have read / listened to on business risk, innovation and strategy. I would reccomend it to anyone exposed to economic, social or political networks.Your investment in this book will return Black Swan positive effects in your life.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Mediocrastan and extremeistan, because they demonstrate our inability to frame our thinking outside of linear networks, and see most of the networks we touch as non-linear dynamic experiences. We are thus condemned to bouts of mediocrity followed by extremism


    What about David Chandler’s performance did you like?

    Excellent


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, though it was not possible to do so.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pranav Milpitas, CA 03-12-13
    Pranav Milpitas, CA 03-12-13

    Work for software, read when going to work!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Monotonous narration"
    Would you try another book from Nassim Nicholas Taleb and/or David Chandler?

    No


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Suspense/thriller


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of David Chandler?

    Anyone else


    What character would you cut from The Black Swan?

    None


    Any additional comments?

    The narration is very monotonous and boring, also the content of the book feels very opinionated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    judy Marion, IA, United States 03-11-13
    judy Marion, IA, United States 03-11-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Reading for a class"
    What did you love best about The Black Swan?

    I am not sure i would have completly gotten the understanding of this, had i not been reading this for a class. However, I find it extremely interesting, motivating and thought provoking. This is definately one that make you go out of your comfort zone!

    A really good book for a club to bring up conversations around!!


    What did you like best about this story?

    The fact that it makes me think.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Remsen Avenue Boy Brooklyn NY 03-07-13
    Remsen Avenue Boy Brooklyn NY 03-07-13 Member Since 2015

    Canarsie Brooklyn, what more can I say

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "it's good"

    I like the way Nassim thinks, his stories have nice twists, I recommend this book as a nice
    way to spend leisure time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sam 03-06-13
    Sam 03-06-13

    I love to learn, grow and evolve as an being!

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    "Powerful"
    Would you listen to The Black Swan again? Why?

    yes, very insightful


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    i just liked the entire book


    What does David Chandler bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    nice and fun presentation


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    hard to say exactly


    Any additional comments?

    a good listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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