• RRP: £10.99
  • You Save: £3.85 (35%)
FREE UK Delivery on book orders dispatched by Amazon over £10.
In stock.
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Antifragile: Things that ... has been added to your Basket
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by momox co uk
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: From Europe's No.1 in used books & media articles.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder Paperback – 6 Jun 2013

4.0 out of 5 stars 162 customer reviews

See all 8 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
£4.19 £3.19
Note: This item is eligible for click and collect. Details
Pick up your parcel at a time and place that suits you.
  • Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
  • Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
How to order to an Amazon Pickup Location?
  1. Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
  2. Dispatch to this address when you check out
Learn more

Man Booker International Prize Shortlist 2017
Take a look at our selection of Man Booker International Prize 2017 shortlisted books. Learn more
£7.14 FREE UK Delivery on book orders dispatched by Amazon over £10. In stock. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently bought together

  • Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder
  • +
  • Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets
  • +
  • The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable
Total price: £19.12
Buy the selected items together

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Product details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (6 Jun. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141038225
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141038223
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (162 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,349 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?

Product description


Wall Street's principal dissident (Malcolm Gladwell)

The hottest thinker in the world (Bryan Appleyard The Sunday Times)

A guru for every would-be Damien Hirst, George Soros and aspirant despot (John Cornwell Sunday Times)

A superhero of the mind (Boyd Tonkin)

Nassim Taleb, in his exasperating but compelling book Antifragile, praises "things that gain from disorder" - people, policies and institutions designed to thrive on volatility, instead of shattering in the encounter with it (Oliver Burkman Guardian)

More than just robust or flexible, it actively thrives on disruption (Julian Baggini Guardian)

full of important warnings and insights (Julian Baggini Guardian)

Modern life is akin to a chronic stress injury. And the way to combat it is to embrace randomness in all its forms...the great seer of the modern age (Guardian)

Something antifragile actively thrives under the impact of the unexpected...to embrace randomness rather than trying to control it (The Sunday Times)

Enduring volatility is one thing; what about benefiting from it?...That is what Taleb calls 'antifragility' and he thinks that it is the ultimate model to aspire to-for individuals, financial institutions, even nations...may well capture a quality that you have long aspired to without having quite known quite what it is...I saw the world afresh (The Times)

Taleb takes on everything from the mistakes of modern architecture to the dangers of meddlesome doctors and how overrated formal education is. . . . An ambitious and thought-provoking read . . . highly entertaining (Economist)

This is a bold, entertaining, clever book, richly crammed with insights, stories, fine phrases and intriguing asides. . . . I will have to read it again. And again (Wall Street Journal)

[Taleb] writes as if he were the illegitimate spawn of David Hume and Rev. Bayes, with some DNA mixed in from Norbert Weiner and Laurence Sterne. . . . Taleb is writing original stuff-not only within the management space but for readers of any literature-and . . . you will learn more about more things from this book and be challenged in more ways than by any other book you have read this year. Trust me on this (Harvard Business Review)

What sometimes goes unsaid about Taleb is that he's a very funny writer. Taleb has a finely tuned BS detector, which he wields throughout the book to debunk pervasive yet pernicious ideas. . . . Antifragility isn't just sound economic and political doctrine. It's also the key to a good life (Fortune)

A new kind of strength...not invincible but better able to handle life's inevitable surprises...such a combination leaves open the possibility of big rewards while minimizing exposure to risk (Los Angeles Times)

At once thought-provoking and brilliant, this book dares you not to read it (Los Angeles Times)

Antifragility is the secret to success in a world full of uncertainty, a system for turning random mutations to lasting advantage... (Economist)

From the Inside Flap

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the bestselling author of The Black Swan and one of the foremost thinkers of our time, reveals how to thrive in an uncertain world.

Just as human bones get stronger when subjected to stress and tension, many things in life benefit from stress, disorder, volatility, and turmoil. What Taleb has identified and calls antifragile are things that not only gain from chaos but need it in order to survive and flourish.

In The Black Swan, Taleb showed us that highly improbable and unpredictable events underlie almost everything about our world. Here Taleb stands uncertainty on its head, making it desirable, even necessary. The antifragile is beyond the resilient or robust. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better and better.

What's more, the antifragile is immune to prediction errors and protected from adverse events. Why is the city-state better than the nation-state, why is debt bad for you, and why is what we call "efficient" not efficient at all? Why do government responses and social policies protect the strong and hurt the weak? Why should you write your resignation letter before starting on the job? How did the sinking of the Titanic save lives? The book spans innovation by trial and error, life decisions, politics, urban planning, war, personal finance, economic systems and medicine, drawing on modern street wisdom and ancient sources.

See all Product description

What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dolphin #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 3 Mar. 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I found the underlying points made by Taleb interesting and enlightening in the sense that it offered a fresh perspective albeit that the underlying issues are not novel. To an extent his subject material is the behavioural equivalent of evolution. Our behaviour is informed by negative events as well as positive and this makes us more resilient. Someone who has the occasional minor prang in a car is probably going to be safer than those who have never experienced a shunt and go round in a bubble of false security.

I do not pretend that this is a comprehensive deconstruction of Taleb's thesis but neither am I sure it should have taken 425 pages for him to make his point and a bibliography running to 24 pages to have got there. They say that a driver should drive for the comfort of their passenger and I believe that a writer should write with much the same objective in mind.

A point can be made in a pithy way and 'Freakanomics' achieved this on the subject of statistics. That brace of books may have been more frothy in tone but Levitt and Dubner succeeded in communicating some quite intricate concepts. Taleb made some interesting observations in Black Swan but I would not use the word succinct.

I often worry that popularity causes individuals to become caricatures of themselves, identifying and emphasising those characteristics which they believed made them popular to the degree that it becomes irritating. The comedian who ceases to be funny, the actor who elongates their dramatic emphasis, the writer who takes interesting thoughts but turns them into a belief system which they then name.

To my taste, Taleb laboured his points as if he relishes the cleverness of his own words and this rather put me off.
Read more ›
7 Comments 109 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In the 500 pages of this book there is a really good 50-page extended essay, which is a bit obscured by the increasingly idiosyncratic writing. I can't complain because I knew what I was letting myself in for, having previously read the Fooled by Randomness and Black Swan books and this is really just a continuation in both content and style. In fact one of his earlier books has actually changed my life in a very real way - about five years ago I gave up reading newspapers after decades of ploughing through at least one of the broadsheets every day - so I don't take him lightly.

I think it is fair to say that Taleb could do with a strong-willed editor. There is a well-known principle in presentations that you need to reinforce an ide through repetition (tell them what you are going to tell them, then tell them, then tell them what you have told them) and this takes that idea to extremes with a list of contents that spans nine pages, then three pages of chapter summaries and then a prologue that basically summarises the whole book in a few pages. Each section of the book has a brief summary as does each chapter in the section. In addition to that there is an appendix to the prologue (!) an epilogue and 80 pages of index, appendices, notes, bibliography and acknowledgements. The point is that you can cutout 20% of the pages and still be left with the whole book to read.

As for the actual meat of the book, it can get a bit ranty. The author has a long list of people he doesn't like and misses no opportunity to lay into them.
Read more ›
2 Comments 21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition
I haven't read Black Swans or Fooled by Randomness so came to this book with no preconceptions (aside from an interview with Taleb from the Guardian which piqued my interest in his ideas). I imagine that if the reader is fond of his previous work the frequent back-references will be appealing, whereas I found this a little repetitive and excluding.

It seems that the successes Taleb has experienced both intellectually and financially have lead to him being able to indulge in an over-long exposition of ideas that could fit into a single essay (as opposed to this 5-books-of-essays collection). He also seems to have many axes to grind and a need to boast about his physique and luxurious dining habits.

The most frustrating aspect of putting the time into reading and making notes on this is that: it is all "set up" and very little conclusion. Just as a neat summation/distillation seemed immanent he changes track. The best way to read might be to take the 1st paragraph of each essay and no more - the rest is just bloat.

I did enjoy aspects and have taken away some food for thought, but would take Taleb's own advice and stick to proven thinkers with a little more track record. It's fine but nothing special.
1 Comment 31 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An economics book club choice, and a long, tedious and unrewarding one at that. As for the concept of antifragility, it is one that the author struggles to define, and ultimately seems to include everything that he approves of, while anything he disapproves of is labelled fragile. Too much of this book was simply a rant against modernity, and 500 pages in the company of Mr Taleb's ego is 480 too long. Here are my notes:

Taleb coins a new word, antifragile, to describe systems that gain from disorder or volatility. Examples of antifragile systems, include:
• The human body, which is strengthened by stress, exercise or mild doses of poison (Hormesis)
• Nature, which is strengthened by the death of its weakest members
• Rebellions, the oppression of a few can result in a massive growth in the movement
• Free market economies that thrive through a continual process of creative destruction
Examples of fragile systems are:
• Command economies, whose inflexibility makes them unable to respond to demands for change
• Complex systems, such as the modern corporation which are riven with principal agent problems, rendering them unfit for purpose
• Complex technologies, such as the Titanic
Another definition of antifragile is anything where there is an asymmetric payoff to shocks. A recent example would have been buying a call option on the Swiss Franc versus the US Dollar, in the expectation that the currency peg would break. In the short term you would have lost a little money every day that nothing happened, but then made a fortune when the peg was abandoned.

Definition of antifragile: Any new idea should be able to be defined clearly and concisely in a few paragraphs (think of the Oxford English Dictionary).
Read more ›
1 Comment 32 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews