We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
 >   > 
The Black Swan Audiobook

The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable

Regular Price:$27.99
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

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

4.1 (3310 )
5 star
 (1535)
4 star
 (969)
3 star
 (463)
2 star
 (198)
1 star
 (145)
Overall
4.2 (2002 )
5 star
 (1015)
4 star
 (540)
3 star
 (269)
2 star
 (102)
1 star
 (76)
Story
4.2 (2007 )
5 star
 (969)
4 star
 (614)
3 star
 (284)
2 star
 (84)
1 star
 (56)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    JMD 04-13-15
    JMD 04-13-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Lucid but repetitive"

    A great book to reveal your own illusions about the world. But in line with American rhetoric a bit repetitive.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yaser 03-26-15
    Yaser 03-26-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Eye opening "

    A great eye opener especially for someone who is not familiar with the why the market operates.

    It's also a book that would change one's way of viewing human behavior at large.

    Great work by Mr. Taled and would also recommend watching some of his lectures on YouTube.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 03-06-15
    David 03-06-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    "Taleb should get the Nobel prize in economics"

    Hayek and Kahneman could use the company.
    Taleb has a playful way of discussing profound philosophical ideas that, to this reader, at first seemed facile. Then, about halfway through the book, I suddenly realized that my understanding about a lot of important things was undergoing a paradigm shift. I have read this book probably ten times. I take the book as an antidote to my compulsion to conspire with the world to delude myself. But, of course, probably his most important argument is precisely that there is no antidote.
    Years ago I reacted in a similar way to the writings of Hayek and Mises.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andre 03-05-15
    Andre 03-05-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    2
    Overall
    "Seeing a black swan is believing"

    I saw a real life black swan long before I heard of or read the book. Yet, I will never look at it again in the same way. What a great read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bob 02-07-15
    Bob 02-07-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Thought Provoking"

    The book really opens your eyes to the subject of risk in the real world. A good read. Well written.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher 01-10-15
    Christopher 01-10-15 Member Since 2007
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Powerful."

    Along with Fooled by Randomness, I highly recommend this book. We all could sharpen our knowledge on Black Swans and how they affect our lives. I'm surely less impressed at the success that I see around me - including my own as I have had my own positive Black Swans as we all have as we were born and that is against all of the odds. It's very interesting to me on how we view success or failure in our society in sports, business, Hollywood etc. and then in hindsight create a story about the so called "why" and "how" this or that happened when in reality no one had a clue at the time. It's so easy for us to monday morning quarterback. This book will urge you to THINK.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cale Dansbee 01-08-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A superb brain bender"
    Would you listen to The Black Swan again? Why?

    Yes -- Nassim's book is not necessarily easy to follow, but that is only because he has dedicated his life to this concept, and I've only learned of it from the first pass through the book.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Black Swan?

    When I realized my own turkey moment -- In June 1996, while stationed in Saudi Arabia, I was injured in a terrorist bombing of our Air Force barracks. Without dying, this was as close as I've come to being the turkey, but more importantly, in realizing that while this represented a black swan event in my life, it would not be viewed as one by the world.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    horace "big city" robinson wayne, pa USA 12-29-14 Member Since 2014

    Theodore Roosevelt's "The Man in the Arena" & Raise High the Roof Beam Carpenters: Po Lo's account of the dun-colored mare @deadgametheory

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    108
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautiful ideas arise from the page."
    Where does The Black Swan rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The Black Swan is one of the best books I had read in years, and so I wanted to be able to listen to it as well. I thought that the narration was excellent, and listening to it several times seemed to better prepare me for the way in which Nassim Taleb reconstructs and further refines his ideas for AntiFragile.


    What other book might you compare The Black Swan to and why?

    The only works that I know of are Nassim Taleb's other work. Fooled By Randomness and The Black Swan become reference material to be looked back upon after hearing AntiFragile.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Realizing how oblivious most of us are in regard to the exposure we have to "rare" events.


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

    I listened to it in a very compressed amount of time, but I had already read it, and given quite a bit of thought. It is certainly really engaging.


    Any additional comments?

    Really a tremendously good investment of my time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carroll Hilo, HI, United States 11-03-14
    Carroll Hilo, HI, United States 11-03-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    96
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    225
    132
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A good way to summarize the surprises of the world"

    While a bit disjointed in the order of delivery, the author has a VERY valid thesis that is often overlooked in the American culture's view of what the world should look like... a hard listen for some, but a key point to remember for all business men & warriors.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B Oak Lawn, IL, United States 04-27-14
    B Oak Lawn, IL, United States 04-27-14 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Thought provoking, but very indulgent"

    The good: Taleb discusses some very interesting ideas. He is able to clearly articulate some abstract thoughts that I had sorta circled around in the past, but was never able to truly grasp or explain. The core ideas he states are the kind that can actually change your perspective of the world.

    The bad: He is very pretentious and self-indulgent. Take this particular quote for example: "This argument, known as Hempel's raven paradox, was rediscovered by my friend the (thinking) mathematician Bruno Dupire during one of our intense meditating walks in London—one of those intense walk-discussions, intense to the point of our not noticing the rain. He pointed to a red Mini and shouted, 'Look, Nassim, look! No Black Swan!'". Apparently, he's so enlightened that he getting rained on doesn't even register with him? And he says this as a casual aside. Keep in mind, this anecdote kinda comes out of nowhere, is never brought up again, and doesn't even really illustrate the point he's trying to make. It's just obnoxious. There are a few different things like this too: he name drops obscure philosophers as though the average reader will be familiar with them, he lists a series of thoughts in Latin (saying "primo, secondo, terso" instead of "first, second, third"), brings up cocktail parties as though they're a weekly occurrence for most people, and so on. Weirdly, he insults people who are pretentious several times in the book.

    In another bit of irony, he rallies against platonicities (basically, concepts that oversimplify more complicated and abstract realities). Yet, throughout the book, he invents dozens of new terms that seem to be oversimplifying things.

    The narrator, for better or worse, seems to match the author's tone. He's very droll and tends to come off dismissive of others.

    The book is all over the place. First, it's about him growing up in Lebanon, then he discusses a historical event, then he's using one metaphor, then another. There's a story he, at first, presents as though it was an actual account of author. Then a chapter later, he says it isn't. Then, he calls back to an earlier metaphor. It goes from math to philosophy to economics. It all becomes a blur. This book made me appreciate the writing of Malcolm Gladwell a lot more.

    Overall: if you're very interested, check it out. I would recommend Nate Silver's "The Signal and the Noise" or something by Malcolm Gladwell before this though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.