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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

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (20772 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Leah C. Day 09-14-09
    Leah C. Day 09-14-09 Member Since 2009
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    "Interesting"

    This was a pretty interesting book. I don't agree with all of the reasoning, but it's an interesting theory.

    The one downside to this book is that if you're looking for motivation, it might work the opposite effect.

    This book is about how luck and certain circumstances make you more likely to be successful such as your birthdate, ethnicity, and religion.

    If you easily see your circumstances as beyond your control, you may read this book and feel disheartened that you're not lucky or have the right circumstances to be successful.

    I believe luck is part of it, but drive and ambition are also important too. You DO have the power to alter your circumstances, even if you've not been given special advantages.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    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
  •  
    Kathy Emmett, ID, United States 03-28-09
    Kathy Emmett, ID, United States 03-28-09 Member Since 2007
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    "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
  •  
    J. Reichel SA TX 05-28-09
    J. Reichel SA TX 05-28-09 Member Since 2009

    all about the tunes

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    "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
  •  
    Koh Bock Huat 12-29-09 Member Since 2016
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    "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
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  • Robert Bush
    Soham, Cambs United Kingdom
    3/2/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Thought Provoking"

    A well read and very thought-out poking take on what it takes to be a success. The key question becomes "what can I do with this information and how can I find those opportunities".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Marcus
    2/25/17
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    "An interesting read"

    A solid study and interesting read with some really memorable stories delivered by Malcolm himself, which makes all the difference.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Father of three
    1/23/17
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    "Bright enough? Work hard."

    Bright enough? Work hard.

    over simplic, but the general message of this book makes sense.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • paulchelarescu
    1/19/17
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    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
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    "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
  • Amazon Customer
    1/8/17
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    "Gladwells strongest book. Excellent read. 5 stars"

    easy to listen to Gladwells style of writing. found it interesting how we are all so influenced by our culture and the chain of events that happen to get us to where we are today.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jimmy M.
    1/5/17
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    "Fascinating book"

    Truly fascinating book. Will definitely at some point in the future listen to this again

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Danny
    1/5/17
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    "Brilliant!!!"

    Some interesting ideas and concepts! Very thought provoking! Excellent to listen to. Very Highly recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dmitri Lihhatsov
    11/6/16
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    "Changed my view on success."

    Malcolm Gladwell's theory about Outliers is very similar to the ideas of B.F. Skinner and behavioural psychology in that they also postulate that it's not so much the inner qualities of a person but her culture and environment that influence person's behaviour. This audiobook gave me a practical outlook with real-life examples supporting this theory. I cannot recommend it enough to those willing to understand the prerequisites of success.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • BEHNAZ
    10/24/16
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    "agree and disagree"

    As a professional athlete who have worked hard to achieve success, I truly agree with the author about the hard works. I also agree about the fact that the environment can effect ones future. But I disagree with him that u can still be an outlier eventhough u never get the chances but u create ur chances. I think u should always be ready and there so that if they distribute luck u can get it. :-)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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