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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

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  •  
    Rob Erie, PA, United States 08-14-09
    Rob Erie, PA, United States 08-14-09 Member Since 2002
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    "Proof Through Anecdote?"

    I always enjoy Malcolm Gladwell's work whether it be in book form or the short pieces he does for The New Yorker - but I can't help thinking that he's becoming the era's Proof By Anecdote expert. 'Outliers' is interesting but perhaps more formulaic than it ought to be.

    I am afraid that at the rate Gladwell is descending into his example = proof funk his next book might be called 'Lincoln and Kennedy - Just Too Many Coincidences to Ignore'.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sierra Bravo 06-24-09 Member Since 2002

    Semi retired small business person/ college professor/ investor.

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    "Some interesting thoughts to ponder"

    This is a well-written book that brings up some important things to think about. Gladwell's conclusion that you need to be lucky as well smart and hardworking to be hugely successful is probably true. To get really far out on the bell curve you need for everything to go right, or wrong, depending on which side of the curve. Still it is dangerous to draw too many conclusions from extreme outliers, at least when dealing with a standard bell curve. If you are interested in what makes rich people rich read "The Millionaire Next Door", it deals with the more applicable part of the curve for most of us. Drawing conclusions from relatively few data points is always risky but Gladwell shows clearly the a small head start can get you far ahead.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret Dublin, CA, United States 05-12-09
    Margaret Dublin, CA, United States 05-12-09 Member Since 2008
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    "Very good parenting book"

    This is a very good book in the same way Freaknomics was a very good economics book. It goes beyond the myths of how to become successful. If you have young kids, it is also a very good parenting book, on what you should be aware of to give your kids the best chance to succeed.

    11 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen 03-18-09
    Stephen 03-18-09
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    "Are you and outlier? How did you become one?"

    The outliers in this book are people who have either succeeded or failed beyond expectation. Besides intelligence, what other factors make people extremely successful? Some of the questions that are posed and answered are:

    Why are most professional hockey players born Jan-
    Mar?
    Why were 9 of the top wealthiest men of ALL time (cleopatra to present) born in the 1830's?

    Why are many of the key people in computer technology born between 1953 and 1955? W

    hy did some immigrant groups do better than others?

    Why do asians do better in math?

    These are interesting questions and interesting observations are provided. It is not clear if even the author has an overall opinion of if you can control your own destiny. He swings from chapters where when you were born is the largest factor, to other cases where simply working hard and smarts gets you ahead. Perhaps the answer is you need both to become a Bill Gates or a Rockefeller. However, he makes an excellent case of how external factors often set you up for success.

    The other concept that is presented is the idea of working hard enough and long enough at something to become expert at something. Those that were wildly successful were experts at the right time in history.

    The audio book is not referenced so if you want to read the studies cited for yourself, you will need to get the book.

    If you have read Drunkard's Walk and Supercrunchers, this is an interesting and important addition to the factors that govern success.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John MENLO PARK, CA, United States 01-17-09
    John MENLO PARK, CA, United States 01-17-09 Member Since 2007
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    "Mildly Disappointing"

    I really enjoy Gladwell's articles for The New Yorker, and I've read his other two books, but in this one I found the evidence he presents for his "thesis" to be flimsy at best. It's posing as science, but awash in anecdotal evidence. I had a hard time taking it seriously after a while. I would not recommend to a friend except in excerpts.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Qasim Mohammad Rockville,MD 12-07-08
    Qasim Mohammad Rockville,MD 12-07-08 Member Since 2010

    AQMAISNIAME

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    "A Must Listen!"

    I read a piece on Malcom Gladwell's book in fortune and decided to listen to it. I got hooked to it right away.
    This is my first Malcolm Gladwell book and after listening to this one, I am going to listen to his other works as well.
    I took a star off because I don't agree with Malcom Gladwell 100% although I must admit, I kept saying to myself, "hmmm interesting observation...." listening to his arguments.

    There were a few success stories I can totally relate to (success story of my grandfather being one. At times Gladwell is able to convince the listener to wonder if he or she has the combination of right ingredients to be successful.

    I agree with Gladwell when he argues success has little or nothing to do with having a high IQ or a low IQ. Rather, success is substantially a product of "practical intelligence" or how i like to call it is street smartness.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    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

    HELPFUL VOTES
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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 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew 11-04-13
    Matthew 11-04-13
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    "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.


    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jay Coulter MARIETTA, GA, United States 09-18-13
    Jay Coulter MARIETTA, GA, United States 09-18-13
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    "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.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Winfield BRYAN, TX, United States 09-03-12
    Winfield BRYAN, TX, United States 09-03-12 Member Since 2011
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    "You Did Not Make That"
    What did you like best about Outliers? What did you like least?

    Because Gladwell's "Outliers" were born into wealthy families, or at certain times, went to the best schools or whatever, they excelled at the creation of new technologies, wealth, etc. -- was at first reading an interesting and slightly novel idea.


    Has Outliers turned you off from other books in this genre?

    But by the time I was finished I was struck with the thought that maybe President Obama had just read this book before he made his now-infamous claim that "You did not build that."


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

    No


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

    Yes. He needs to explain why American freedoms created the conditions for American exceptionalism and wealth which is a key factor in the evolution of these successful people.


    Any additional comments?

    I suspect that Gladwell's hidden motive for writing this book is that he is likely just another socialist hack who is envious of successful people and by attributing their success primarily to luck, can detract from their accomplishments.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
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  • 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

    6 of 6 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).

    13 of 16 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
  • Darren - UK
    4/15/15
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    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
  • Amazon Customer
    5/6/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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

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