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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy, but don't plan your life on it
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...
Published 12 months ago by Mac McAleer

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45 of 50 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very pretty. But, can it fight?
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...
Published on 7 Jan 2011 by Allen Baird


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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So much for ubermensch..., 7 Feb 2009
A clear, concise and largely coherent analysis of the ancillary congeners to success. As stated in previous reviews, Gladwell makes a case for the idea that success is as much dependent on a serendipitous amalgam of environmental factors - temporal, cultural and even linguistic - as innate ability, effort and persistence. That the difference between achievement and disappointment is as much a function of where you came from and the opportunities available to you as it is your own actions is a sobering one. What's more he makes the case in an entertaining way with frequent recourse to fascinating anecdotes and vignettes of individual histories. I really enjoyed reading it.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Outliers - The Story of Success, 4 Feb 2009
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D. S. Arscott (London) - See all my reviews
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Outliers: The Story of Success
I'm a huge fan of Malcolm Gladwell and this is another good read which raises fascinating social and personal issues. It really explains how our life's journey is shaped by many external factors, and though perhaps obvious when you look at them individually, their compound effect is extraordinary. Malcolm is so good at setting things in context and making them feel personal that he really helps to show how our communities work and where we might fit in. A great book to read and reflect.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A well written book on success, 4 Feb 2009
Outliers: The Story of Success. Is a great book on success, I throughly enjoyed learning how success can be achieved and how life circumstances can lead to opportunities that we need to grasp and develop if we are to succeed in life to the fullest of our potential. I have been recommending this book to everyone.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 19 May 2010
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K. Dal (Robinhood country) - See all my reviews
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Excellent review of what makes a successful person. A very compelling read once started. The simple message underlying the story of success and should be relayed on to all individuals.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Uplifting and Inspiring, 15 April 2010
By 
Apurva (Romford, UK) - See all my reviews
I'm not sure why exactly, but I feel greatly uplifted having finished this book.

My kids are young enough to become something of their lives, and by heck am I going to become a pushy parent!

In a nutshell this book looks at success and boils the reasons down to two main factors.

First, luck/opportunity. I'm a firm believer in making your own luck, and this is where the '10,000 hour rule' comes in.

Secondly, cultural legacy. If you can become aware of limiting factors and or obstacles, you can do something about it.

As an aside, I had a very interesting conversation over the weekend with a friend who is currently working in South Africa. Whereas the apparent barriers of apartheid have been removed, in people minds, it is very much alive and kicking. The cycle needs to be broken.

I'm not suggesting that this book can break that cycle, but unless you are aware that there is a cycle, you're not going to even think about breaking it.

And that's what this book does. On one hand it looks at the causes of success. On the other, it looks at the causes of failure.

I disagree with all those who say the book is aimless on that basis.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Has promise, but fell short, 19 Mar 2010
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A. Perri (Durham, UK) - See all my reviews
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When I ordered this book I thought it definitely had the potential to be an interested read - and it was. I dont disagree with the idea that some of the theories in this book could actually work, but the way the author went about proving them really threw me. As a scientist it is blatantly obvious when people are manipulating statistics. The author seemed to be cherry-picking numbers to fit his model, which is unfortunate because many of these models probably do work, he just went about showing that in the wrong way.

Another issue for me was his style of writing. Personally, I found it disjointed and hard to follow. Many of his chapters didnt seem to flow into each other very well and his voice was a bit too confident for the biased data he was presenting. Again, really unfortunate that he decided to use data in this way as I think a lot of his ideas have some real merit. Worth reading for the potential to explore the ideas alone, but not to be convinced by the data presented by the author.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars slightly underwhealming, 29 Dec 2008
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I wanted to love this, really I did, but it's one very simple idea (albeit a fairly good one) spun out to fill an entire book. Not up to the standard of "The Tipping Point".
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7 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Well written but lacking substance, 5 July 2009
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R. Hartley (Birmingham, England) - See all my reviews
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This book relies heavily on borrowings from the business bestseller "Talent is Overrated" and I have to say I was very disappointed with it. Gladwell is a professional writer, not necessarily a bad thing but he brings little of any considerable originality.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very selective research and only tells a partial story, 17 Feb 2012
I was really looking forward to reading Outliers, having also read Matthew Syed's 'Bounce' and Daniel Coyle's 'The Talent Code,' however I have to admit that I really struggled to complete the book.

I genuinely felt that although his research had core merit, Gladwell was extremely selective with the facts / elements of the story that he chose to share.

I fully agree with his points regarding how a sequence of events can greatly impact the outcome of success, however he failed to mention (in my opinion) the most important element of the equation . . .

The person who MADE all of these 'chance' events amount to something.

There is nothing in the book that recognises the effort, initiative, enthusiasm and dedication that the individuals invested year after year to reach the top of their game.

I would have felt much happier with Gladwell's book if he had made reference to this OR compared the success that his select group of case studies had against numerous others who co-existed within the same 'bubble' of events, yet failed to do anything with the opportunity.

Overall, if you are seeking a book that helps you uncover how successful people reach the top of their field, personally I would read Daniel Coyle's 'The Talent Code,' combining it with Carol Dweck's 'Mindset.'
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Success is a Group Project, 2 Mar 2009
By 
Susan Donlon - See all my reviews
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For me Malcolm Gladwell has done it again! He's written another book that I found fascinating, entertaining and enlightening. In "Outliers" Gladwell shares examples of people whom he considers "outliers" who for one reason or another have accomplished or succeed way beyond the rest of our population. Instead of taking the common approach of looking at these individuals separately, Gladwell examines the characteristics and traits of these individuals as a whole and discovers fascinating patterns that arise. Patterns in common birth years for the most successful of software engineers or lawyers born to a specific ethnic group at a specific time in NYC and so on.

In reading Gladwell's books I am always left with a greatly expanded view and awestruck appreciation for the world I live in. And of the incredible impact we make individually and collectively in our everyday lives. If you enjoy Gladwell's books I'm sure you will thoroughly enjoy the works of Ariel and Shya Kane. The Kanes are expert guides in pointing out a transformational way for people to lead brilliant extraordinary lives with ease and grace. The Kanes' books include "Being Here: Modern Day Tales of Enlightenment", "Working on Yourself Doesn't Work: The 3 Simple Ideas That Will Instantaneously Transform Your Life", "How to Create a Magical Relationship: The 3 Simple Ideas that Will Instantaneously Transform Your Love Life" and an internet radio show called "Being Here" on Voiceamerica.com I highly recommend the Kanes' work and any of Gladwell's books for anyone interested in discovering the beauty, magnificence and wonder of the world we live in.
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