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Outliers Audiobook

Outliers: The Story of Success

In this stunning new book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of "outliers"--the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different? His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing.
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Publisher's Summary

In this stunning new book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of "outliers"--the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different? His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing. Along the way he explains the secrets of software billionaires, what it takes to be a great soccer player, why Asians are good at math, and what made the Beatles the greatest rock band.

Brilliant and entertaining, Outliers is a landmark work that will simultaneously delight and illuminate.

©2008 Malcom Gladwell; (P)2008 Hachette Audio

What Members Say

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Performance
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  •  
    Gohar Issaquah, WA 05-19-09
    Gohar Issaquah, WA 05-19-09 Member Since 2015

    I enjoy sci-fi, fantasy, non-fiction, historical fiction genres. Liked Stormlight, Mistborn, GoT. Last read: Shadows of Self

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    "A new perspective to success"

    This book talks about successful people and how everything around them helped them get there. There were a few chapters that were stretched just to make a point. Certain chapters like the first one where the author keeps on talking about hockey players born in January was very slow and boring. but the latter ones with software entrepreneurs was very interesting. Malcolm Gladwell doesn't say anything new here except for the fact that every individual needs to work hard and practice makes perfect. The only difference here is the amount of research the author has gathered is remarkable and many of his facts and researches prove a point. The epilogue chapter was completely unrequired. I gave a 4 rating beacuse of those certain unrequired chapters. Great research and a good book to read once.

    16 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Pawleys Island, SC, USA 03-08-09
    Michael Pawleys Island, SC, USA 03-08-09
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    "Excellent!"

    Gladwell is a fine writer and this book, in the same style as Blink, explores the real factors that contribute to the success of those we think are so above and beyond us (Bill Gates, the Beatles, etc.). Gladwell makes it clear that their talent, drive, energy, and intelligence WERE key to their success but that these, alone, would not have done it for them. They needed unusual opportunities. In fact, the opportunities given them that were not given others were as important to their achievements as their personal qualities. This book helps reduce the "superstars" down to human level. If you had been given the opportunities these were, you might have achieved what they did or more!

    12 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian 03-19-13
    Brian 03-19-13 Member Since 2015

    Asosa

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    "Statistical Stupidity"

    In a culture of conformity, it doesn't take a rocket scientist or even a statistician to predict that success is predicated on an individual's environment. This is not a book about outliers. It is a statistical substitution of social determinism for true accomplishment.

    Completely vacuous.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Felix Tamarac, FL, United States 04-11-12
    Felix Tamarac, FL, United States 04-11-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Too many examples, not enough ideas..."
    Would you try another book from Malcolm Gladwell and/or Malcolm Gladwell?

    I am rating this book at 3 stars because there are too many examples and statistics terms used by the author; however, the main ideas are simple and were very well presented on a book summary I read online at no cost. Though I enjoyed listening to the book, I feel reading the book summary would have been enough.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The relation between the facts as presented by the author are certainly interesting parts of the book. The least interesting is where the author gets caught up on statistical data and tries to reinforce a point with too many examples.


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

    Not sure.


    Do you think Outliers needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    I wouldnt buy a follow up book.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lmmb. 03-19-12
    Lmmb. 03-19-12 Member Since 2009
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    "The Story of Success? Really?"
    What disappointed you about Outliers?

    Outliers is nothing but pop culture bunk. To call it ???science??? goes beyond the pale. The only time Gladwell isn???t making epic jumps of logic are the times he is pompously stating the obvious.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Pittsburgh, PA, United States 11-28-11
    Andrew Pittsburgh, PA, United States 11-28-11 Member Since 2013
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    "Not as revelatory as you'd think"

    It takes lots of actual practice to master something. It also takes opportunities that are not in our control. So basically, Gladwell is trying to prove Calvinism (hard work + predestination). Pinpointing the web of circumstances that leads to success is something that we obsess over as a culture and Gladwell provides a very interesting analysis of how this works. But I do not feel like I heard any revelations here that I did not learn from my father when he encouraged me to get internships as an undergraduate.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan Somerville, MA, United States 10-29-11
    Ryan Somerville, MA, United States 10-29-11 Member Since 2005

    Gen-Xer, software engineer, and lifelong avid reader. Soft spots for sci-fi, fantasy, and history, but I'll read anything good.

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    "A bit fluffy, but enjoyable"

    ***1/2

    In this book, Gladwell asks whether highly successful people, the elite athletes or powerful business leaders that society sees as "outliers", are really so different from the rest of us. Is their innate talent and drive so exceptional, or do they benefit from special advantages along the way? It's not the most controversial question -- we all understand the value of being in the right place at the right time -- but Gladwell goes deeper to examine how myriad factors like birthdays, cultural background, parenting style, and classroom time can be powerful determinants of success (or missing out on it). As with Gladwell's other books, Outliers is enjoyable for its case studies, which approach a familiar question with the kind of engaging narratives that a talented teacher might use to get his or her kids thinking about an issue from a fresh angle.

    Taken as a whole, though, Outliers isn't a very cohesive work. Gladwell flits from topic to topic without much in-depth analysis or scientific rigor to tie them together. Sometimes his reasoning is overly simplistic (as in the "why Asians tend to be good at math" study) and he makes assumptions while showing little evidence to back them up. I get the impression he'd previously written a few articles on intriguing social phenomena (such as the hockey player birthday study or the way culture played into the Korean Airlines plane crashes of the 1990s), noticed a common theme, and cherry-picked a few more studies that he could massage into a book.

    Then again, Gladwell's not an author you read for a deep, critical examination of an issue -- you read him because he challenges you in an entertaining way to think about a broad question. I consider this a worthwhile book if it gets more people to reevaluate the "self-made man" myth that still influences American politics, and to think about the powerful and complex roles that privilege and historical legacy can play in determining a person's success. If our society paid more heed to its structures of opportunity, there'd be many fewer children left behind, and many more who'd achieve their full potential as productive citizens. Even if Gladwell's own answers are a little fluffy, there's no doubt that he's getting us to think seriously about crucial questions.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Williamsville, NY, United States 04-04-11
    Michael Williamsville, NY, United States 04-04-11 Member Since 2001
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    "I enjoy Gladwell's writings"

    I know there are some who are critical of Gladwell for glossing over facts and oversimplifying conclusions, but I have enough of a brain to be able to draw my own conclusions, some of which differ from Gladwell.

    For example, Gladwell stresses the role of hard work and chance in those who find great success, but I think he underemphasizes the role of talent and natural ability. Sure, hockey players in Canada have a better shot at greatness if they're born in certain months, but you still need size, speed, skills, and even competitiveness to succeed. That fact sometimes get lost in Gladwell's analysis.

    Having said that, I still very much enjoyed this book, the third I've read of Gladwell's (Blink, Tipping Point). I like his style of writing (and reading)

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katy Crumpton 01-25-10 Member Since 2013
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    "Very thought provoking."

    This book caused me to re-evaluate my perceptions of success and how it is achieved. It is a great listen for parents of young children since parents can have a major influence on many of the contributing factors of success that are mentioned in this book. Enjoyable on many levels.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Nedreberg Eureka, Utah 11-09-09
    Thomas Nedreberg Eureka, Utah 11-09-09 Member Since 2015
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    "Taking the mystery out of Outliers"

    I've seen Malcom Gladwell speak twice and read both "Tipping Point" and "Blink," which I really enjoyed but "Outliers" is his crowning work. The book is written in an organized way yet displays profound out the box thinking. Many of us like to think of our heros as truely exceptional people but Mr. Gladwell shows us in his book that many times it's taking what's been given to us, practicing, and being in the right place at the right time. I enjoyed the entire book but what most impressed me was his personal tale about himself, his mother, and grandmother and how being an Outlier has more to do with what went before us then what we actually were able to do ourselves. I liked how the book made me think about how even if I wasn't an Outlier that by me providing opportunities as a teacher or a parent that I may help a future Outlier.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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  • Kwesi R.
    1/29/16
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    "Highly recommended!"

    Fascinating and very easy to listen to! I'll listen to this one again really soon I'm sure, there's a lot more to unpack in here.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Zaccone
    England
    1/26/16
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    "Great Book"

    Starts strong and then degenerates into a string of interesting but disorganised thoughts. While I am inclined to agree with the views presented the author speaks too much about his own thought process and is unable to back his views up credibly (which is a real shame).

    Overall great read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Paul Lunny
    12/28/15
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    "Thought provoking and very immersive!"
    Would you listen to Outliers again? Why?

    Yes, I found it very interesting, thought provoking and very well laid out.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Outliers?

    The reason for Korean Airplane Crashes!


    Any additional comments?

    Well worth a read!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tendi
    11/18/15
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    "Fascinating and thought provoking"

    This is an excellent read (listen). I've been interested in the psychology of success for a while and this book brings an additional dimension to the recipe and talks about how opportunities seized unconsciously can be the difference between success and failure.

    The concepts are extremely clear and well explained. I also enjoyed the reading style kg author! It makes light work of this masterpiece.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Inuwa Shehu Mohammed
    8/21/15
    Overall
    "A good book."

    A good book. Will advise my kids to have a go at it. Thank you Malcom.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Yasmine
    8/18/15
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    "Interesting!"

    Gives very interesting insights into the world of success and opportunity. I would recommend to anyone.
    Very well read by the author of the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Paulo Matos
    Cambridge, UK
    6/22/15
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    "Hype makes sense"

    The hype makes sense. The book is very well written and narrated. It's one of those that will make you look ignorant if you haven't read it yet.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sylvia
    6/10/15
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    "A great insight into the mechanics of what makes people successful"

    I was sceptical as to whether I'd like this book at first but as the story went on i found it gripping and really interesting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Debbie
    5/20/15
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    "Eyeopening"

    brilliant book, it was gripping, brilliantly researched and has really made me think about the thin line between success and failure. could have listened to more and more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lee
    4/2/15
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    "Fascinating, thought provoking piece of work."
    Where does Outliers rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It is the best non-fiction book I have ever listened to.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The weight of evidence that backs up the assertion that hard work is essential to real success is peculiarly heart-warming to me. Luck will only get you so far, it's the work that really matters.


    What about Malcolm Gladwell’s performance did you like?

    His voice was perfect. It is clear and concise, like the prose.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The chapter on the plane crash was harrowing. I wouldn't recommend listening to that before boarding a flight.


    Any additional comments?

    I would recommend this work to anyone with an interest in human achievement, which, I would hope, is everyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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