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 .
Outliers Audiobook

Outliers: The Story of Success

Regular Price:$31.93
  • 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

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

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (19521 )
5 star
 (13035)
4 star
 (5001)
3 star
 (1155)
2 star
 (215)
1 star
 (115)
Overall
4.6 (12841 )
5 star
 (8963)
4 star
 (2931)
3 star
 (724)
2 star
 (147)
1 star
 (76)
Story
4.6 (12830 )
5 star
 (8813)
4 star
 (3177)
3 star
 (688)
2 star
 (99)
1 star
 (53)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Michael Pawleys Island, SC, USA 03-08-09
    Michael Pawleys Island, SC, USA 03-08-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "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!

    13 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Koh Bock Huat 12-29-09 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "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.

    15 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew 11-04-13
    Matthew 11-04-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The data in this book has been proven to be false."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    The data was proven false. Gladwell was the subject of a fraud investigation in Canada for the material published in this book. Even if his data was credible, his conclusions are not founded and full of logical fallacies. Book is a fraud.


    What three words best describe Malcolm Gladwell’s voice?

    Fraud.


    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jay Coulter MARIETTA, GA, United States 09-18-13
    Jay Coulter MARIETTA, GA, United States 09-18-13 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Liberal Propaganda"
    What does Malcolm Gladwell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His passion for his work is clear in his reading.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    His obvious socialist leanings are in your face throughout the whole book. Unqualified statements, such as 'tax breaks are only for the wealthy' are abundant. The 'anti-individualism' mandate of current left-wing thinking dominates this work.


    Any additional comments?

    There is plenty of interesting research in this book, it is just presented in the authors very biased world view instead of a purely factual manner.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erfan LOGAN, UT, United States 08-25-13
    Erfan LOGAN, UT, United States 08-25-13 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    60
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Biggest Pile of BS since The Secret"

    I 100% disagree with all the concusions made in this book, my personal life is a good example of how I made it in life to stay above the average and it is 100% opposite of what this BS of a book suggests.

    Waste of 1 Credit. Damn... Should have bought Penn Jillete's Book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Felix Tamarac, FL, United States 04-11-12
    Felix Tamarac, FL, United States 04-11-12 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
  •  
    DeFoe London, 1680 01-07-12
    DeFoe London, 1680 01-07-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Simply a terrible book"

    The reasoning in this book was very thin. Gladwell takes a few anecdotal examples and builds a tremendously over-simplified theory of success. For example, he pontificates that the Beatles were successful because they had played long hours in a Homburg club, as if that were the only factor to their success. I found the book cloying and I really sorry I wasted my money on it.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Pittsburgh, PA, United States 11-28-11
    Andrew Pittsburgh, PA, United States 11-28-11 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    27
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    31
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2910
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    370
    305
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    545
    14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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 Carrato Williamsville, NY United States 04-04-11
    Michael Carrato Williamsville, NY United States 04-04-11 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    225
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    48
    27
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    10
    0
    Overall
    "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
Sort by:
  • Dawn
    Worcester Park, United Kingdom
    5/20/10
    Overall
    "Riveting - enjoyed it much more than the paperback"

    Malcolm Gladwell is a terrific writer; he's also an experienced and effective presenter. So when he's reading his own material it's a compelling package and I was totally hooked.
    He's dug up some fascinating statistics to back up his overall hypothesis: when someone is exceptional at something it's not just a case of luck or hard work.
    IT millionaires all born in the same 3-year period; high performers who all put in more than 10,000 hours of practice; entrepreneurs whose experience of being immigrants influenced who they knew and what they did - and many more fascinating examples.
    I'll definitely be listening to this again.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Mark
    Enfield, United Kingdom
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "I never thought about it that way..."

    As a teacher I have spent years praising kids for being smart, then, however,they rely on that to wing the exams. now I praise them for the amount of hard work they do to achieve their goals and they do better.

    Inspiring book, well read, and it has application outside its covers.

    Mark from Enfield

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Judy Corstjens
    8/4/12
    Overall
    "Just so stories"

    Mr Gladwell has a nice voice and is a natural storyteller, but unfortunately he cannot think straight for an extended period (such as a book). He contradicts himself: at one point, to succeed you need the 'right', well connected, parents (high IQ elementary kids) at another point the key to success (for New York lawyers in the 1970s) is to be born on the wrong side of the tracks (jewish immigrant). He has extraordinarily low standards of 'proof': having demonstrated that certain successes (Steve Jobs, Bill Gates etc.) got lucky breaks, he then breezily states, 'Now we have shown that circumstances are actually more important than raw talent'. I find this very irritating. The main thesis seems to be 'you need luck as well as talent'. Duh?? Is that a thesis or a statement of the bloody obvious? The three stars is because, despite all this, Outliers is quite listenable. It is so low powered and well read that you never need to hit the repeat button, which is handy if your hands are muddy (as mine usually are when I'm audioing).

    18 of 21 people found this review helpful
  • Walter Rothon
    London , United Kingdom
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "Interesting, engaging and very informative"

    If you've read Freakonomics, then you'll love this. Malcolm Gladwell delves deep into the reasons and circumstances around what makes some people more successful than others. The people and groups he highlights will surprise you - but more so you'll be amazed at what things had to align for them to reach that point of success. Easy to listen to, simply stated but very engaging it was hard to pause while listening on my commute to work.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Hannah
    3/10/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Recipe of Success"
    What did you like most about Outliers?

    This book dishes out the recipe of the coveted secret sauce of the world’s most successful and exceptional. Gladwell contextualizes the roots of their success and the breadth and depth of his examples, and the everyday application, powerfully shows how the seemingly impossible is made possible. I loved learning about the surprising links between birthday’s and sporting heroes, a free machine and Gates’ achievement and the reason why airplanes crash....I couldn’t wait to hear how one fact about a person, environment or time impacted something else.

    When these connections were brought into focus, I began to look at the world around me with a new lens; would timing the birth of my child help them succeed? How would where I lived, how I was educated impact my chances of success or dictate decisions I wasn’t even aware I was making?

    Far from reducing the admiration for these individuals, understanding that it isn’t just about personal greatness but a combination of factors, makes their success even more remarkable.

    I now know, thanks to Gladwell’s Recipe to this Success’ Secret Sauce, that an Outlier is produced but 1 cup of sheer talent, 220g of Opportunity and 7.75oz of Cultural Legacy and stirring determinedly for 10,000 hours


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Rentaghost
    3/9/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "fascinating insight"

    Excellent listening, well researched but not too heavy. Demystifies success. well narrated by the author too.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Darren - UK
    4/15/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Essential reading."

    A fascinating and thought-provoking book, with some excellent insights into human nature, and what goes into making great people great.

    The narrator and the quality of the recording were very good.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs. O. Fatona
    Kent ,UK
    11/3/12
    Overall
    "Fantastic!"

    I am really pleased I read this book. My mindset is changing & my vision has no limits.



    Thanks to Sam Adeyemi (I hope to meet one day soon) for recommending this book.



    A GOOD READ!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Richard
    GlasgowUnited Kingdom
    11/3/09
    Overall
    "Great listen"

    Fascinating book with lovely insights into the development of so-called Outliers. Well read by the author. If the subject matter piques your interest, it is worth the time listening.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Alexander
    Great Dunham, United Kingdom
    2/2/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "round in circle"
    What did you like best about Outliers? What did you like least?

    Never seem to get to the real point of the book in any concise way.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Never seem to get to the real point and title of the book in any concise way.


    Have you listened to any of Malcolm Gladwell’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    no


    If this book were a film would you go see it?

    no it would not work.. good documentary thou


    Any additional comments?

    seem like self centred philosophy for his life rather than a completely thought through work. Some very interesting sections about how chance plays so much of a role in life, and why some people do better in certain fields, but can't real say that as well rounded Englishman I feel any way enlightened by this book. If I lived in a bubble, may be...

    3 of 5 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.