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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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  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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  • Overall

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

  • Overall
  • Roy
  • Beaumont, TX, United States
  • 02-28-09

An Eye Opener

This book describes why some individuals seem to excell and others do not. Every chapter takes on a different group and explain what has led to their success. The analysis is so interesting particularly when the reader realizes what has been going on right before his/her eyes. The chapter on Canadian Hockey Players leaves the listener wondering "why didn't I see that?" The section on when children should start to Kindergarten is helpful as well. I subscribe to Audible to be informed about areas foreign to me. This book is one I am glad I didn't miss. The reading is great, the audio clear, the content easy to follow.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • John
  • MENLO PARK, CA, United States
  • 01-17-09

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

  • Overall

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

  • Overall
  • Kathy
  • Emmett, ID, United States
  • 03-28-09

Why Wasn't I Born in January?

I loved this book! There is a reason I'm not a terrific ice hockey player (other than I can barely stand up on skates). I was born in the wrong month. Who knew? I was hooked from the first sentence to the last. It is very reassuring to know that people who have changed the world we live in are maybe not that different from any of us, but were instead at the right place at the right time. This book will make us all want to go out and change our educational system, look at what country the pilot of our plane grew up in and marvel that our Scottish ancestors took time out from their violent inclinations to have kids. Malcolm Gladwell has a gift for taking on topics that I have not found that interesting and turning them into mind twisters that delight. If he will now explain our economy we would all be better of for it!

18 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

PLEASE READ THIS BOOK!

This book is a must read for every educator, administrator, politician, or parent.

In "Outliers", Malcolm Gladwell writes a compelling book that everyone in anyway connected to the education of our children needs to read.

For too long, education has been stagnant; floundering in a system that continues to cling to outdated policies and practices. Through out this book, Gladwell provides solid reasons for restructuring while pointing out concrete changes that if made could provide higher levels of success for many more student than the current system provides.

It is NOT about haves or have nots. We all have, but we are not all given the opportunities needed to succeed. Our education system has got to change.

26 of 35 people found this review helpful

  • 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 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Gohar
  • Issaquah, WA
  • 05-19-09

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.

17 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Ron
  • Sydney, Australia
  • 06-24-09

Fair enough

I can see why a lot of people can take good things from this book and apply them to their personal situation. But for me, this book didn't reveal anything new and spectacular. It made some fairly interesting and relevant observations and provided proof to support theories well enough. But there was a lot of repetition which always goes against the validity of an argument. And the main concepts of the thesis were fairly obvious, no real innovations. But I did learn a fair bit of History and Biographies. This book didn't change my life but it was an interesting read. And the fact that the author narrated really helped him drag the point across.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Dylan
  • Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada
  • 11-30-08

Intriguing concepts

Well thought-out book, written in a flowing and entertaining way, well read by the author... even if you don't 100% agree with everything said, you will find much value here!!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • ChilliDali
  • 11-25-17

Excellent book

Having heard the whole book I feel that I have a better understanding of myself and my environment. I can totally see why this is a bestseller

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  • Mas
  • 11-05-17

brilliant message and mind changing book.<br />

a great book indexed. delivers a crisp clean message that outliers are a product of shear hard work theirs and their inspirators and a conducive environment

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  • Alvaro Ruiz
  • 11-01-17

Repetitive

It is a little bit repetitive, the concepts is quite simple, that opportunities are presented to those who get successful. However leave a lot of questions opens. Are opportunities created or just founded along the way?

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  • Mr. C. M. J. Hunter
  • 10-31-17

super informative book

really good- if you have kids listen to chapter 9 if nothing else. overall, very good and informative. it's well researched.

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  • PJ
  • 10-04-17

Very good book, highly recommend

For all you budding entrepreneurs out there this Is a Must read....

If you distance yourself from greatness by living in fear of not being talented enough then this book will teach you that hard work Is paramount to any successful person.

Also that an opportunity must arise to be able to capitalise on that hard work.

Loved it.

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  • Mike GMT
  • 09-25-17

Must read/listen

Yet another book from Malcolm Gladwell that one should not miss. He points out quite convincing that talent alone is not enough.
He also does a good job as a narrator.

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  • Martyn
  • 09-20-17

Interesting

it is very well read and made many interesting points. Well worth a listen, especially if you have children.

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  • Charlie Gillespie
  • 09-19-17

Amazing

The studies in this book are mind blowing. Great read, very inspirational and highly recommend to anyone looking for help in succeeding in their goals.

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  • D J Hicks
  • 09-16-17

I found this so boring

I couldn't get beyond chapter 3. I found the endless statistics, & stories about the 'outliers' repetitive & boring.

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  • ao
  • 09-15-17

Awesome! One of the best books on success

One of the best books I've read on success. The Author approaches the subject of success from a different point of view, a point of view not often (or at all) mentioned when discussing Success stories. The book puts a pin in the whole bubble know as "the self made success"

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  • Eunice
  • 03-09-16

Highly recommended!

This is a Great book that is suitable for everyone. If you are a mum, you want to find ways to create opportunities for your kids. If you are businessman, you want to understand how to be an outlier. Love this book!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • P. Guichard
  • 02-18-16

Good perspective on outliers

A great perspective on what an outlier actually is! A product of his environment at the same time as an individual that grabs opportunities with work and talent.

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  • JAMES
  • 02-15-16

Awesome book

Just awesome and fascinating. Great great book. So many fantastic parts to it. Hard work and luck equal success. Worth a read

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  • Diego
  • 01-11-16

Must read!

Just finished the book and will probably listen to it again straight away. The part about airline pilots was nothing but amazing. It's well narrated by the author and most chapters will keep 100% of your attention. You will fly seamlessly from one chapter to the next!

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  • Matthew
  • 11-14-15

Powerful stories used to explain success

Great book which propels the listener into a world of success. I thoroughly enjoyed the authors perspective on education and how my own career as a teacher could use this success based thought and transfer it to my students.

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  • Bachir El Khoury
  • 05-20-15

Great read

Highly recommend. A different angle to success and how important are external factors, time period, being the right person at the right time.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Leon
  • 06-11-15

Rubbish, do not waste your credits.

Luck plays a role in Success but to achieve success requires hard work. too much emphasis is placed on environmental and luck as the key to success.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful