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Publisher's Summary

Mozart wasn't born with perfect pitch. Most athletes are not born with any natural advantage. Three world-class chess players were sisters whose success was planned by their parents before they were even born.

Anders Ericsson has spent 30 years studying the special ones - the geniuses, sports stars and musical prodigies. And his remarkable finding, revealed in Peak, is that their special abilities are acquired through training. The innate 'gift' of talent is a myth. Exceptional individuals are born with just one unique ability, shared by us all - the ability to develop our brains and bodies through our own efforts.

Anders Ericsson's research was the inspiration for the popular '10,000-hour rule', but, he tells us, this rule is only the beginning of the story. It's not just the hours that are important but how you use them. We all have the seeds of excellence within us - it's merely a question of how to make them grow.

With a bit of guidance, you'll be amazed at what the average person can achieve. The astonishing stories in Peak prove that potential is what you make it.

©2016 Anders Ericsson (P)2016 Random House Audiobooks

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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WOW! Just WOW! What a book!

I rarely write reviews, but this book is a must have. A guide to becoming a master in any art.

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The best book.

Lets say that again: The best book ever.

Everyone should listen (or read) this book. Some of my all time favourites are Jared Diamond’s Collapse and Richard Dawkins’ Ancestor’s Tale. Peak is even better.

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Haven't found the secrets yet.

What was most disappointing about Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool ’s story?

This book was sold as a scroll of truth - the secrets for how to do deliberate practice. I've gotten a couple of hours into it now, and all I can see are success stories. Stories claiming that deliberate practice works, and why deliberate practice is more impactful than you might think. This is fine and for the first 30-60 minutes I really enjoyed it. But I only enjoyed it because I thought they were a pretext for the wisdom to come. How do you set up a deliberate practice session?What are the experiences of a seasoned practitioner?What are the pitfalls? What are the areas that really gives a return on your investment of time, sweat and effort?But nothing so far.I'm returning the book. A huge disappointment from someone that probably had a lot of experience to share.

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Awesome book

Would you consider the audio edition of Peak to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the print version, so it's hard to say whether it's better or not.

What other book might you compare Peak to and why?

This can be compared to Outliers (though I haven't read that one yet). But I believe this is better than Malcolm Galdwell's book since it expands on the 10,000 hour rule

Which character – as performed by Geoffrey Beevers – was your favorite?

The narrator

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me really think about how I can improve myself or help my daughter become an expert!

Any additional comments?

Worth the listen. The narrator is great too. Loved it!

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Great book!

Best book I've listened to this year! I will surely listen to it again soon.

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Great insights and grand plans

Great narrator, science backed information and visions for the future. I recommend it to anyone wishing to better themselves and the ones around them.

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For anyone looking at learning how to learn

Recommended listening for those of us wanting to learn something new and how best to go about it.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-02-16

The road is long.

Yes, the road is long, but know this: you can only improve your skills, you can never improve your self, for your self is the one who observes improvement (or the lack of it.)

Enjoy your work and redefine it as play because if you set out to improve a skill with a lot of stress and the need to improve you will enivitably contaminate all that you do and seek with negative vibes.

It is therefore wise to learn who you truly are before you learn any other subject. This may seem Needlessly esoteric but it will save you much unnecessary stress and trouble in the long run.

Peace and love.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • USER
  • 08-18-16

Great research findings but no decent structure

What disappointed you about Peak?

The author is correct in providing many research findings and stories about how many people from a few fields achieved their "PEAKS". However, if you are not from one of these fields or are not trying to copy other peoples stories then you may struggle to find any underlying concept other than what is already obvious and you already know.In my opinion the book lacks a good structure.

At the beginning of every chapter I was excited because the author briefly explains a good concept but then rather than strengthening and guiding the listener on that concept he just keeps criss-crossing between countless examples and inside examples, he would then drill into many different concepts, terms, many many more examples in my opinion makes the reader lose contact with the original concept the chapter is meant to cover.

The author also repeats many examples many times and drills down to the same examples. Perhaps he was trying to look at them from different angles but he should have thought that listeners haven't had the same exposure to these subjects like he has so listeners would struggle to relate the information overload to their own fields, goals or even the concepts described at the beginning of the chapter/book.There were times I had to check the status of my Audible player because I felt like it has rewound to a previous chapter.

Would you ever listen to anything by Anders Ericsson again?

Yes, I have no disrespect to the author. He clearly knows what he's talking about. In my opinion, if he improves the structure with a curious but non-expert audience in mind the book will be much greater.

What about Geoffrey Beevers’s performance did you like?

Overall a very good narrator. The only (very) minor complaint is he pronounces R in some words with too much weight for my preference.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Peak?

I would improve the structure of the book with a curious but non-expert audience in mind. I would also remove repetitions of some examples and unnecessary drilling-ins into highly scientific words and reduce the number of unnecessary scientific words and lists of them that only proves the author has read a lot of books. These things have only lengthen the book because people who read a book about "Peak" wouldn't want to learn fancy scientific words or lists of fancy things that scientists do. I personally expect an author of this kind to understand the complex things and explain those in layman terms to readers like me. After-all I am not a scientific researcher.

18 of 21 people found this review helpful

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  • rjj
  • 10-16-17

tedious and pointless

This is more of an academic study than a helpful guide. To summarise: it is easy to reach a plateau so practice and study with a goal to continually improve. That's it. A far better book is "The Practicing Mindset" which is actually applicable and much more than a pointless thesis.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-28-17

Purposeful and focused it is not

if you want a book that spends 12 hours trying to explain what an hour or two should do, then this is the book for you. Why do authors do this? Do they think they can charge more just because it is several hours longer than it should be? i feel like billing them for my time.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Reviewing dad
  • 03-31-17

A thought provoking and inspiring book

Listened to this over 8 or 9 days. It's profoundly affected my thinking and as a parent, teacher, coach, trainer and learner, I'm fizzing with enthusiasm for implementing its lessons.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Quinn
  • 11-14-16

These are the guys that wrote Gladwell's rhymes

Empowering. The best way to improve examined. Weakness: doesn't answer the question fully about what environmental factors supercede practice and doesn't consider the work world much. Overall worth a listen, very well read and laid out arguments in a meaningful fashion

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • dsodonoghue
  • 10-29-16

Deliberate practice

This book describes one of the most important insights of the last half century and provides both evidence and anecdotes that strongly support its conclusions. The narration is clear and delivered at a very comfortable pace. I have strongly recommended this book in all formats to friends and family.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-03-17

Excellent Read!

I have the book and the Audible file to listen to when driving. Provides a very good overview of the Deliberate Practice concept. A good mixture of theory and practice makes for a rewarding read and listen!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr. P. A. A. Banjo
  • 06-13-16

A life changing book. I highly recommend it

This is a life changing book that dispels many myths around talent, genius, savants and others. It has caused me to embark on a quest of self improvement with more rigour.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • MuffinMan
  • 05-28-17

Challenging all our assumptions and beliefs

This book is intriguing, interesting and disrupts the beliefs of talent as portrayed and propagated heavily by the media. It has challenged me to consider how what I do in life and business should be improved.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Joshua
  • 01-22-17

Outliers barely skimmed the surface.

Peak provided a much deeper look into mastery and expertise than I had imagined. I'd listened to Ericsson talk in podcasts and heard much of what others had learned from his work but this book cleared up a lot of the information superbly. A couple of chapters felt like brainwaves, especially the key one on building mental representations.
A great book for anyone interested in how we can learn effectively, and particularly those seeking any kind of excellence.

The narrator was fantastic, except that whenever he would quote anyone they'd sound American, but a sort of unintelligent sounding American. Which missed the mark completely in a number of instances. But perhaps it was only jarring compared with the rest of his eloquently British narration throughout the book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Ken Craig
  • 02-14-17

Stick with it

The listener will need to break through the early thresholds of the annoying over-articulated narration and the repetition of the content for the first 4 chapters. But stick with it and this book pays huge dividends.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Chris Gorton
  • 08-11-17

persevere to be rewarded

A book well worthwhile staying with as the conclusion brings it all together. Definitely practical and of use to me, my team, and above all my children.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Robert Gronbeck
  • 11-13-16

best practice for becoming or coaching experts

listened to thrice and still continue to soak up the knowledge. Research, stories and really useful points to direct your training to improve as much as you want.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • The Nautrual
  • 05-28-16

Awesome, liberating, inspiring

This book put to the sword many of the myths that have held me back and allowed me not to try. It enabled me to start challenging myself to at 53 to start learning mandarin and write a book. Let's see what it helps u do. Listen to what Anders says and U too will believe in ur ability too revolutionize yourself and the world of those who surround you. Listen enjoy, practice and just watch what happens! 😳😊

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-10-17

Title should be Deliberate Practice

I really enjoyed the narrator, he made me feel like I was in The Galaxy's Guide to the Universe. I put him on 1.25x though.

first few chapters were explaining things, chapter 7 onwards is where the application stuff is at. I love learning about studies and concepts so I like this book a lot. However it is genuinely an entire book on deliberate practice.
this is a book I'll need to listen to twice to be able to fulling conceptualise the content.
over all, I really enjoyed it.

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  • Paul F. Herring
  • 08-10-17

a must read for educators

Read it twice already! now to implement what I've learned! awesome and empowering. The new frontier of learning.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-15-17

Life affirming

I'm glad to have read this book. It's science is convincing, the guidance is practical and the message is very life affirming.

The style of writing and the reader is one of the best.

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  • efrencham
  • 05-09-17

Brilliant life changing concepts

Persevere through the somewhat stiff, formal vocal performance because this book contains real gold. I am completely revising the way I practise in response. Brilliant!

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  • janemitc
  • 04-28-17

Good listen

Really great book! Easy to get the principles to understand mastery and expertise, now to set aside 10,000 hrs