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 .
Fooled by Randomness Audiobook

Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets

Regular Price:$20.72
  • 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

This audiobook is about luck, or more precisely, how we perceive and deal with luck in life and business. It is already a landmark work and its title has entered our vocabulary. In its second edition, Fooled by Randomness is now a cornerstone for anyone interested in random outcomes.

Set against the backdrop of the most conspicuous forum in which luck is mistaken for skill, the world of trading, this audiobook is a captivating insight into one of the least understood factors of all our lives. In an entertaining narrative style, the author succeeds in tackling three major intellectual issues: the problem of induction, the survivorship biases, and our genetic unfitness to the modern word. Taleb uses stories and anecdotes to illustrate our overestimation of causality and the heuristics that make us view the world as far more explainable than it actually is.

The audiobook is populated with an array of characters, some of whom have grasped, in their own way, the significance of chance: Yogi Berra, the baseball legend; Karl Popper, the philosopher of knowledge; Solon, the ancient world's wisest man; the modern financier George Soros; and the Greek voyager Ulysses. We also meet the fictional Nero, who seems to understand the role of randomness in his professional life, but who also falls victim to his own superstitious foolishness.

But the most recognizable character remains unnamed, the lucky fool in the right place at the right time - the embodiment of the "Survival of the Least Fit". Such individuals attract devoted followers who believe in their guru's insights and methods. But no one can replicate what is obtained through chance.

It may be impossible to guard against the vagaries of the Goddess Fortuna, but after listening to Fooled by Randomness we can be a little better prepared.

©2004 Nassim Nicholas Taleb; (P)2008 Gildan Media Corp

What the Critics Say

"[Taleb is] Wall Street's principal dissident....[Fooled by Randomness] is to conventional Wall Street wisdom approximately what Martin Luther's ninety-nine theses were to the Catholic Church." (Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker)
"An articulate, wise, and humorous meditation on the nature of success and failure that anyone who wants a little more of the former would do well to consider." (Amazon.com)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (2215 )
5 star
 (1174)
4 star
 (654)
3 star
 (258)
2 star
 (82)
1 star
 (47)
Overall
4.3 (1482 )
5 star
 (811)
4 star
 (401)
3 star
 (187)
2 star
 (52)
1 star
 (31)
Story
4.3 (1498 )
5 star
 (781)
4 star
 (467)
3 star
 (185)
2 star
 (45)
1 star
 (20)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Marink RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil 03-08-11
    Marink RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil 03-08-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "interesting book"

    An interesting book from a very cocky author. Taleb hits important points. I believe if I had read this book earlier in my life, it could have saved me from some of the mistakes that I made. The book is a must for any trader given that it works like a medicin to desinflate one's ego. Still, I believe that the author overestimates the impact of randomness, but just by making the reader aware of its presence and importance, makes it worthwhile the read!!!!!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen van Jaarsveldt Centurion, South Africa 07-03-08
    Stephen van Jaarsveldt Centurion, South Africa 07-03-08 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    328
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    3
    Overall
    "Nice idea, but poorly written"

    The central idea of this book is interesting, but I have not read a book this badly written in years. I fully agree with another review saying that there is about 10 pages of meat and the rest is just fat. The author jumps between subjects like a frantic circus clown spinning plates on sticks, but in the end you see there is only one plate, one stick and a whole lot of pottery shards. Much ado about nothing. There are so many references to topics coming later in the book that by the middle you can anticipate them and start lip-syncing along. The one part where I disagree with the other reviewers is in the narration - I found the narrator to be clear and well paced. But good narration and a good central concept don't make up for a simply feeble writing style. If this book was re-organised to follow a logical train of thought, leading to a definite conclusion, it would be worth reading. It would also be much, much shorter.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    morton Rego Park, NY, United States 01-30-08
    morton Rego Park, NY, United States 01-30-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    786
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    171
    95
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1258
    0
    Overall
    "A Great Listen!"

    Taleb offers a wise and humorous look at financial luck and the seemingly irrational swing of many markets around the world. Is it dumb luck or real skill? A great listen and so very interesting.

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aryn 07-07-08
    Aryn 07-07-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    428
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    927
    104
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    29
    0
    Overall
    "Amazingly well thought out"

    I really enjoyed this book, although trying to listen to it AND doing whatever is a little tough; requires some thought or multiple listenings. It's an easier read than his other book, The Black Swan, but what great information and what a cogent system he has worked out. I highly recommend it.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael West Hollywood, CA, United States 04-09-09
    Michael West Hollywood, CA, United States 04-09-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    37
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    30
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Fooled by Random House"

    After nearly 2 hrs of listening I had to give up. There are endless teasers about "what's to come" but very little is ultimately delivered. What little there is comes capped by unbelievable shoddiness: "and I imagine that few of those people today are . . ." How about doing a little investigating and THEN writing a book? Random House published this "outline for a book" and fooled us all.

    15 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marten Washington, DC, USA 01-22-08
    Marten Washington, DC, USA 01-22-08 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    "Taleb tells it like it is"

    An eye opening and thought provoking book. Essential for anyone interested in the stock market, but also for those involved in science.

    7 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dubi New York, NY 09-29-15
    Dubi New York, NY 09-29-15

    People say I resemble my dog (and vice-versa). He can hear sounds I can't hear, but I'm the one who listens to audiobooks.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    821
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    293
    292
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    34
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Is This a Practical Joke?"

    Ha! Good one -- you really got me. I thought I was going to read a book about how people trick themselves into believing that random events are the result of smarts or skills, but instead, I was fooled by random collection of disjointed, incomplete, ill conceived, illogical, and often even fallacious thoughts.

    I don't disagree with the premise that luck plays a greater role in our lives than we are willing to admit. I chose to listen to this book to gain a deeper understanding and some facts to back up that notion. I was a choir in search of a preacher. So that's not why I had such a negative reaction to it. In fact, I would argue that Taleb does more to refute the notion of randomness than to make any cogent case.

    It doesn't help that Taleb is a narcissist who thinks he's smarter than the average bear (in direct contrast to his very thesis that it's not smarts, it's luck), and that he is judgemental as all get out (without ever backing up his royal pronouncements), and that he is clearly out to gain revenge on everyone who has ever done him wrong (starting with journalists, all his past co-workers and supervisors, and every teacher he ever had).

    But that is hardly the point. For one thing, the errors are legion. For example, he repeatedly attributes the saying "It ain't over till the fat lady sings" to Yogi Berra (even after correctly attributing "It ain't over till it's over" to the recently departed Yogster). A little fact checking goes a long way toward justifying one's position, especially when one place oneself atop a very high horse.

    Taleb goes out of his way in the preface to the second edition to defend himself from all-or-nothing criticism he has received, stating that he never meant to say everything is the result of randomness and luck, just that more of it is than we think. But that's a bogus defense -- he does indeed argue that it's all random. In fact, he makes the fallacious all-or-nothing argument that even if something is less than 100% certain, it is by definition 100% random.

    This book is utter nonsense. I don't have a clue how it became so successful that an entire series ensued. Actually, I do have a clue: the luck of the draw.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Raleigh greensboro, NC, United States 03-30-15
    Raleigh greensboro, NC, United States 03-30-15 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    272
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    110
    104
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "arrogance / science / insight"

    ? does the noisy clutter of modern life fool and overwhelm you
    ? is it hard to sort out cause and effect and true meaning
    ? does it seem, you just can't connect the dots the way you'd like to

    nassim taleb (NT) has written an arrogant and insightful book for you
    he elegantly teases out the increasing role of randomness in our lives
    but his smug style, makes the truth of his message a bit hard to swallow

    most human beings aren't hard wired for dispassionate observation
    we bring with us prejudices, fears, doubts and a healthy dose of ignorance
    it's hard for us to tell the difference between "co-incident" and "caused"

    NT repeatedly relates the story of his many successes on wall street
    his ability to not "be fooled" has made him a gifted stock picker
    but making rich men richer wasn't enough for him, so he wrote this book

    the cognitive strain of insightful thinking may simply be beyond some people
    they're content to take what they're given and not sift it out too much
    but if you'd like to see through the BS, clutter and noise NT would like to help



    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Raised by Wolves 05-20-10 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    78
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Fooled, for certain"

    Do I have to give it a star? I wonder what book the positive reviewers listened to. I wish I had bought that one instead. I have to admit that there was fair warning in the opening pages that what was to follow would be a stream-of-consciousness opinionated diatribe without the slightest foundation of research or reason. I cannot decide whether the narrator's smarminess was artistic contribution or an unavoidable consequence of reading these empty egotistical prattlings.

    Read "The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives" by Leonard Mlodinow instead, if you prefer to be entertained or enlightened by the subject, but still don't want to do any math.

    8 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PugFamily 02-03-08
    PugFamily 02-03-08 Listener Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    34
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "The Author Thinks He Is Great!"

    The book has some good points and interesting thoughts but it is difficult to get by how much the author clearly thinks he is better then anyone else. This book is not worth the listen.

    13 of 23 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.