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Outliers Audiobook

Outliers: The Story of Success

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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

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  •  
    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
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    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 2016
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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
  •  
    Koh Bock Huat 12-29-09 Listener Since 2004
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    "Not Convince By His Reasoning"

    After many rave reviews, I expected to enjoy the book but I didn't. I thought the point that success is factored upon opportunity and having the support of influential ppl was obvious. And you don't need a scientific research to figure that out or there is a need to proof it. However, I think he forgot that opportunities can be pursued and not brought to you and that's one major factor of successful ppl. In some cases, opportunities is a greater factor while in some cases the personal drive plays a greater role. I still feel it cannot be generalized.

    The 10,000 hrs rule is another ridiculous generalization and I am not convinced by his reasoning and neither do I see any meaning in such a finding.

    Sorry for the bad review... but this is just what I feel after listening.

    14 of 18 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
  •  
    Leah C. Day 09-14-09
    Leah C. Day 09-14-09 Member Since 2009
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    "Interesting"

    This was a pretty interesting book. I don't agree with all of the reasoning, but it's an interesting theory.

    The one downside to this book is that if you're looking for motivation, it might work the opposite effect.

    This book is about how luck and certain circumstances make you more likely to be successful such as your birthdate, ethnicity, and religion.

    If you easily see your circumstances as beyond your control, you may read this book and feel disheartened that you're not lucky or have the right circumstances to be successful.

    I believe luck is part of it, but drive and ambition are also important too. You DO have the power to alter your circumstances, even if you've not been given special advantages.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
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  • whoeeze
    8/9/16
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    "Thought inspiring"

    Love it. Really made me reevaluate my understanding of success and privilege.
    Malcolm Gladwell highlights the complexity of Fairness and opportunity and underlines the importance of hard work and practice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Marwan Imam
    7/25/16
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    "Oh my God!"

    Malcolm Gladwell digs deep into the many reasons for success to create a very compelling book that really shakes your world view into how things work and how successful people really get where they are.

    Fantastic book, and even better that it's read by the author himself who does a great way of properly sending the message he wants to convey through his words.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • MatrixCat
    7/7/16
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    "An Outlier in Itself"

    This book is a joy to absorb, and it challenges stereotypes like no other. Seriously. Read it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lauren
    6/24/16
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    "Great flow and really enjoyable"

    The story telling and path Malcolm takes the listener down is really interesting and engaging.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • S. Durao
    uk
    6/18/16
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    "Fantastic explanation ot ingredients for success"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Great content and very well narrated. A clear insight into success and analysis of the recipe and ingredients for success. Showing how personal success is not an egocentered thing and how many different variables are involved. It's a complicated recipe and Malcolm Gladwell manages to illustrate so many aspects influencing it. Highly recommended!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Max
    6/7/16
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    "Highly interesting book with fascinating stories"

    Very insightful approach of the author that gives plenty of well-founded and surprising insights that reveal the contexts of success. Very easy to listen to due to the many gripping stories.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    5/28/16
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    "Superb book!"

    Malcolm Gladwell gives you tremendous insights into how great success is engineered in our society.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    5/6/16
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    "Brilliant"

    What I had hoped and much more. Really enjoyed this book about to listen again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • benjamin
    2/17/16
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    "great food for thought and very well explained!"

    I found this book incredibly interesting and it really does make you you look at success in a totally different light.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 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

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