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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

What Members Say

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  •  
    George Odo 12-30-14
    George Odo 12-30-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Very stimulating intellectually!"

    Gladwell challenges the status quo i.e. That outliers are outliers only because they are special, and points out the importance of opportunity and culture....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ono 02-16-14
    Ono 02-16-14
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    "A great look "under the hood" of success"
    What did you like about this audiobook?

    Great. I would have liked some suggestions/projections as to what certain birth dates, for example, could mean for the readers - perhaps an online resource to reference, but, all and all, the book delivers on its promises.


    How has the book increased your interest in the subject matter?

    I tended to focus upon personal development (and I still will) but, now I also see that there are certain aspects that can help us achieve things at a faster rate.

    Get those 10,000 hours in fast :)


    Does the author present information in a way that is interesting and insightful, and if so, how does he achieve this?

    Great narration, easy to understand, fun analogies and stories.


    What did you find wrong about the narrator's performance?

    Occasionally a little boring, but, that's what 1.5 speed is for ;-)


    Do you have any additional comments?

    Thanks!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LA Reader Winston Salem NC 02-13-14
    LA Reader Winston Salem NC 02-13-14 Member Since 2012

    onlinela

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    "Another way to interpret data"

    The material in this book is interesting because it looks at data and puts a different interpretation on facts: Why crime rates are falling, the success of different cultural groups and why language rules makes some learning easier, etc. I especially enjoy listening to Malcolm Gladwell read his books--this is the third of his I've listened to. I plan to listen to all of them, his insights are noteworthy and his performance makes listening so soothing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Larry United States 12-22-13
    Larry United States 12-22-13 Member Since 2015
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    "Great story yet a lot of bias statistics used"
    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    The narrator does a great job pointing out that companies need to be warmer. Yet I feel that many of things the book are bias. Take for example when he says that surveys found that companies perceived as more warm and competent have a higher purchase intent. Well depending on how the survey was done you can bias your participant to believing that warm and competance lead to higher purchase intent even if the participants don't think that. Here are 2 examples: in a survey about satisfaction with cars, the first survey asked about general satisfaction, 2nd part repair frequency. Than in the other group, the order was reversed, repair frequency asked first than satisfaction. The second group reported lower satisfaction because when they realized how often they needed to repair their cars, they weren't as satisfied. Another example was a group of college students were asked to compare several brands of jam like Knotts Berry Farm vs experts. Pretty much the experts and students choices were the same. But when the students were asked in addition to preference, rate the texture, taste...the students got things backwards, the best brand was ranked last and worse first. Why? Because students aren't experts at grading texture and other suddle things. They may think gee the texture on this jam isn't that good so I shouldn't like it that much.

    Similarly if you ask first you respondents how warm and competent do you rank this product/company and then later ask about purchase intent...they could think this company doesn't seem that warm so I shouldn't purchase their products. Although if you asked about purchase intent separately, you could get a different answer. Even thing, several studies have shown high purchase intent doesn't necessarily lead to high purchases because a survey is asked in a quiet setting where a person has time to think...when you are shopping and stressed out from daily life, you may get a different picture.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William 08-30-13
    William 08-30-13 Member Since 2015
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    "Insightful, but less than fully convincing"

    I enjoyed Mr Gladwell's reading thoroughly. His delivery and voice are well suited to reading and I always enjoy hearing an author read their own material.

    As for the content, he provides a well-needed dose of appreciation for the myriad factors that contribute to the success of those who we often see as "self-made". I especially enjoyed his candid discussion of culture as it ventured into topics some people would consider taboo (i.e. why do Asian students consistently perform so much better at math?). I certainly hope that those who have the power to reform public schools take some of Mr Gladwell's insights to heart regarding summer breaks, and grade-year age cut-offs.

    The books only shortcoming is that Gladwell significantly underplays the individual characteristics of the highly successful people he profiles (i.e. Bill Gates) in order to support his thesis. He talks at length about the "10k Hour Rule" all the while downplaying the tenacity and focus of any individual capable of spending 10k hours on a single activity in order to constantly improve.

    This is underlined by his admission (in the post-book audio interview) that his narrative of the Bill Gates story ends when Gates graduates from High School and that he has virtually no interest in the story after that. It strains credulity to believe that very many people, even if presented with the same challenges as Gates, would have spent 10k hours programming in high school and college, or would have entered the computer business with the same vision that men like Gates, and Steve Jobs, and Eric Schmidt possess.

    In the end a fair treatment of the topic would have acknowledged the role that both individual characteristics, and circumstances play in understanding success. That being said, I recommend the book for the valuable perspective it adds to our understanding of those individuals who have risen to the top, and how they got there.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Gardner 08-25-13

    Conductor of Magical Publishing

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    "Great Ideas, sometimes tedious storytelling."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this book to all curious minds.


    What other book might you compare Outliers to and why?

    It's not as compelling a story as Black Swan. And the early focus on financial markets and players nearly kept me from finishing the book. But just as I was about to hit fast forward, the story connected with real life events in my world.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Henry Chatswood, Australia 06-20-13
    Henry Chatswood, Australia 06-20-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Lives up to its reputation as an essential read."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. This book has combined good story-telling, insightfulness, and interesting characters that make for a very memorable non-fiction book.


    What other book might you compare Outliers to and why?

    To other Malcolm Gladwell books. The guy has a great talent for storytelling and analysis.


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

    NA


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    The part about being born in the first half of the year vs the seconds half of the year and how this influences the opportunities for success.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael 06-18-13
    Michael 06-18-13 Member Since 2015
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    "Amazing book! A life changer!"

    With 165 downloads and a small library of paperbacks I think it is fair to say I have read my share of books. And with having said that, I can say that this is one book that I will read over again multiple times. It is one of the most interesting books I have ever listened to.

    What makes this book so amazing are the multiple studies of personalities through recent history that have fallen outside of the norm and defined what an Outlier actually is. The concept of Outliers is very interesting and it is eye-opening to hear how some of the highly successful people in the book were not just "phenoms" who happened to get lucky in life. From The Beatles to Steve Jobs to Professional Hockey players, the studies are interesting and presented in a format that is easy to listen to and understand.

    I would recommend this book for everyone high school age or older. If you have not listened to this book you should. As a parent I have discussed some of the concepts with my children who are a little young to read it now and will make sure they read it as they embark on their careers.

    This book can be a life changer if you let it. It shows how successful people become successful. And it is not a load of BS like you see on late night infomercials. It is the real deal - find what interests you - work hard - stick with it - and if you are not as successful as you had hoped, you have at least passed these values on to your children who will have a much better chance at success in whatever they decide to do.

    Once again, everyone should listen to this book. Period.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roger 05-22-13
    Roger 05-22-13
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    "Mandatory Listening"
    Would you listen to Outliers again? Why?

    I would most definitely listen to Outliers again. The case studies presented are intriguing. The book is well researched and presented and it never gets boring. There is no padding or unnecessary presentation of facts. The author who is also the presenter (which in itself is pretty impressive) does not beat around the bush but gets straight into it.

    I really enjoyed this title. It has such broad appeal that people from various disciplines would find merit in what the author has to say. Its mandatory reading/listening whether you are in HR, The Military, Info Tech, Sales or whatever your walk of life is. You should just pick up this book. For me its an instant classic and I am going to see what else Mr. Gladwell has to offer.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicholas 02-24-13
    Nicholas 02-24-13 Member Since 2015
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    "Entertaining and thought provoking!"
    If you could sum up Outliers in three words, what would they be?

    intriguing, entertaining, useful


    Any additional comments?

    Outliers connects the dots on seemingly unrelated subjects and makes a convincing argument for the role that circumstances, luck, and advantages play in the success of popular, wealthy, and notable figures. Interesting and useful in a way, especially in regard to planning education and children's involvement in sports! Example: makes me want to hold back my young pre-kinder child instead of starting her early, for an explanation, read the book!

    1 of 2 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

    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).

    17 of 20 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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    "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
  • paulchelarescu
    1/19/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Tries to make a point, fails by cherry picking"

    There is value from this book. Not IN in this book. It tries to give a point of circumstances influencing individuals, but HOW ABOUT individuals who make their own circumstances? Throughout the book the author makes a point of how lucky those people/nations were to have the right circumstances. What I thought to be a story on how outliers make themselves, it was a story on how outliers arise. Good. Well I'll tell you what the author missed. People can make their own environments which then shape them further which helps them make better decisions and open their own opportunities. The world is more fluid, dynamic, fast and changing than it's ever been before. The exact slight things the author misses by focusing on the last century are the ones most important in the present day. No longer are you such at the mercy of your elements. Today your chances need not be so great for you to grow as much. I really wish the author gave that idea.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Vincent
    1/18/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting"

    Gladwell has cherry picked so that his narrative can fit in. So, does it mean that Outliers are not Outliers after all?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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