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Outliers: The Story of Success [Large Print] [Hardcover]

Malcolm Gladwell
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (264 customer reviews)

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Book Description

18 Nov 2008

From the bestselling author of Blink and The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers: The Story of Success overturns conventional wisdom about genius to show us what makes an ordinary person an extreme overachiever.

Why do some people achieve so much more than others? Can they lie so far out of the ordinary?

In this provocative and inspiring book, Malcolm Gladwell looks at everyone from rock stars to professional athletes, software billionaires to scientific geniuses, to show that the story of success is far more surprising, and far more fascinating, than we could ever have imagined.

He reveals that it's as much about where we're from and what we do, as who we are - and that no one, not even a genius, ever makes it alone.

Outliers will change the way you think about your own life story, and about what makes us all unique.

'Gladwell is not only a brilliant storyteller; he can see what those stories tell us, the lessons they contain'
  Guardian

'Malcolm Gladwell is a global phenomenon ... he has a genius for making everything he writes seem like an impossible adventure'
  Observer

'He is the best kind of writer - the kind who makes you feel like you're a genius, rather than he's a genius'
  The Times

Author, journalist, cultural commentator and intellectual adventurer, Malcolm Gladwell is a staff writer for the New Yorker magazine. His first book The Tipping Point captured the world's attention with its theory that a curiously small change can have unforeseen effects. His other international bestselling books are Outliers, which looks at the stories of exceptional individuals and reveals the secrets of their success, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking and What The Dog Saw, a collection of his most provocative and entertaining New Yorker pieces.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Outliers: The Story of Success + The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference + Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 452 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; Lrg edition (18 Nov 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031602497X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316024976
  • Product Dimensions: 19.9 x 11.3 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (264 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,054,317 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Malcolm Gladwell has been a staff writer with The New Yorker magazine since 1996. In 2005 he was named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People. He is the author of The Tipping Point: How Little Things Make a Big Difference (2000), Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (2005) and most recently, Outliers (2008) all three of which were number one New York Times bestsellers.

Product Description

Review

You will never again think as you did before about [success] ... This book deserves the gold star that adorns its front cover (The Times)

Malcolm Gladwell is a cerebral and jaunty writer, with an unusual gift for making the complex seem simple (Observer)

Makes geniuses look a bit less special, and the rest of us a bit more so (Time)

Gladwell deploys a wealth of fascinating data and information to illustrate his thesis ... Outliers challenges accepted wisdom (FT) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Review

'Gladwell deploys a wealth of fascinating data and information to illustrate his thesis ... Outliers challenges accepted wisdom.' --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy, but don't plan your life on it 10 July 2013
By Mac McAleer TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Outlier is a term used in statistics for a data point that stands out from the rest of the sample and this book is about the outliers of success. Near the beginning of the book the author says "... there is something profoundly wrong with the way we make sense of success." There is always more to success than the magical, in-built brilliance of the successful and that is being at the right place, at the right time, having the right background, having the right mix of talents and being prepared to work hard with those talents.

This book is a series of anecdotal articles on success with some interesting insights. It is not a rigorous analysis and it has not found a new Law of Success.

If you are a young little league Canadian hockey player and you are good at the game make sure that your birthday comes just after the cut-off point of the annual selection date. That way you will be one of the oldest in the next year's selection. If you are a talented musician, work very very hard at your craft. If you were a New York lawyer make sure that you graduate when the type of business skills required is changing so that you can get in before the old established firms have time to come to terms with the new world. If you are interested in computer programming be of an age when mainframes make way for time-sharing machines so that you can get direct, un-mediated experience. If you are going to be clever, do not have an IQ off the scale but just a very good one and balance it with a good emotional; and social intelligence.

Halfway through the book the author says: "Can we learn something about why people succeed and how to make people better at what they do by taking cultural legacies seriously?
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Series of remarkably unremarkable observations 4 Nov 2012
Format:Paperback
Once I've started a book I don't like to stop short of finishing it but this one required real perseverance to get through.
To be fair, the first two chapters contained the vaguely interesting observations that hockey players born just after the January 1 cutoff day fared better, and the '10,000 hour rule'. However, there is nothing of note which isn't contained in the amazon description. He just sort of rams the point home over and over, with painstakingly laborious examples. In fact, I've literally told you everything you need to know about the book. Well, that and the fact the the Beatles spent some time playing all-nighters in Hamburg before they got big.

The rest of the book is filled with massive (though, in fairness, not entirely unjustified) cultural stereotypes (Jews are hard working, East Asians are better at maths etc). He prunes and frames his examples so they tenuously fit his overly neat and simplistic conclusions - ah, so all plane crashes are due to pilots coming from countries with a low 'power distance index' (throughout the book, you will find Gladwell over complicates things by using terms like this for otherwise simple ideas), are they? great. Why don't we just save ourselves the bother and hire Gladwell to run our airline safety programs?

Most of the conclusions which he draws are mind-numbingly boring and obvious from the start of the (unnecessarily long and convoluted) chapters. Right, so you mean that the more you practice, the more likely you are to succeed? I never would have guessed. And poor people living in poverty have to work harder to earn a wage? crazy stuff Malcolm... What's next? Black people have darker skin? Chinese people come from China?
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62 of 68 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Read 28 Dec 2008
By NeilC VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
I'm a fan of Malcolm Gladwell having read his previous Blink and The Tipping Point. All his books are about interesting topics and are told in a way that keeps the reader engaged. Similarly to the other books the criticism can always be made that he makes about 4-5 valid points and stretches them out to a full book but when the writing is engaging and takes you on a journey it doesn't really matter.

The book itself takes you through what drives success. Arguing that it's a combination of intelligence (both IQ and emotional intelligence), luck (opportunties and timing), cultural context and hard work (the much-reported 10,000 hours). All this could be argued to be fairly obvious but through the examples and anecdotes Gladwell dispelled many myths at the same time as entertaining.

All-in-all a good read.
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48 of 53 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very pretty. But, can it fight? 7 Jan 2011
Format:Paperback
Perhaps the main problem with the book is its use of the word 'outliers' to refer to exceptional people, individuals who achieve so much more than others. It should instead refer to the exceptional circumstances that allowed them their meteoric rise to success. These factors - such as year and era of birth, family background, race and place of education - contain the quirks of fate that allow the merely talented to achieve the successes that lie so far outside the norm. This is Gladwell's major thesis.

Gladwell's target is the traditional American story of success: rugged individuals, by dint of hard work and raw talent - perspiration and inspiration - achieve those magnificent success levels that elude others. Instead, Gladwell wants to show the place of circumstances and situation in this story. He wants to give success a context beyond that of one man and his willpower. Fair enough.

In order to do this, Gladwell tells some stories of his own. Lots of them, in fact. The book is one, big collection of counter-cultural stories about the nature of specifically American success. By 'counter-cultural' I mean contrary to the 'rugged individual' myth described above. This story-method is Gladwell's greatest strength or weakness, depending of what you're looking for. Me, I wanted to read something fascinating, provocative, and launch-pad like. That's exactly what I got.

Most of Gladwell's detractors find his method of extreme induction - "Here's one case so that means there's a pattern" - infuriating. I find in fun. When I read a Gladwell book, I'm not on the lookout for rigorous sampling methods or objective self-criticism. Let's leave that to university textbooks, can't we? Gladwell does pop journalism with ideas and trends.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A mesmerising read, from beginning to end.
This book is incredible. It's insights are fascinating and challenging. Gladwell puts his point across so clearly and methodically, with humour and great storytelling along the... Read more
Published 4 days ago by Adam Dawkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
loved it - bought the paperback too
Published 4 days ago by alex
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A great read
Published 8 days ago by Frankie Boy
5.0 out of 5 stars The Truth is Here
A great read that had me hooked through out.

Malcolm Gladwell is a greta author whose books never seem to fail to entertain. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Mr. William Oxley
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
An excellent read!
Published 10 days ago by Tarun Jasani
5.0 out of 5 stars Changed my perception of success!
A great book for motivation
Published 11 days ago by Fredrick
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
really interesting.
Published 19 days ago by Louise Cooke
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fascinating, enlightening and in many ways reassuring. Well written and thought provoking. A very enjoyable read.
Published 20 days ago by S. Elcock
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read though, I wasn't bored....
Liked this a lot, but then I'm a chronic underachiever so I probably would.
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Gladwell book
Best Gladwell book, this book made me bought 3 others from the same authors, disappointing compare to this one ! It changed the way I think (a bit)
Published 1 month ago by lolita
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