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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the Gladwell-alike it wants to be..., 10 July 2009
This review is from: The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable (Paperback)
A word of warning to anyone who might be tempted to buy "The Black Swan" after reading any of Malcolm Gladwell's superficially similar books - don't!!

Taleb spends the book castigating those who use anecdote and graphs to prove spurious points, before going on to do the exact same thing himself. He even spends a whole subsection telling us about a person who exemplifies the notion of The Black Swan, and then admits in the next chapter that she's fictional!

On top of which, the persona Taleb adopts throughout the book (which may or may not reflect his real-life personality) is annoying in the extreme - smug, patronising and condescending - which, in tandem with the faux academic langauage, makes this very heavy going indeed.

Which isn't to say there's nothing interesting here - there is. It's just a single idea, but told in such a dull way, and repeated ad nauseam, that it seems twice as long as it is - one of those books where once you've read the blurb and a sample chapter, you've had the best of it.
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