Written By: Malcolm Gladwell

Narrated By: Malcolm Gladwell

Date: November 2008

Duration: 7 hours 18 minutes


From the bestselling author of The Bomber Mafia, learn what sets high achievers apart—from Bill Gates to the Beatles—in this seminal work from "a singular talent" (New York Times Book Review).

In this stunning book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of "outliers"—the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different?

His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing. Along the way he explains the secrets of software billionaires, what it takes to be a great soccer player, why Asians are good at math, and what made the Beatles the greatest rock band.

Brilliant and entertaining, Outliers is a landmark work that will simultaneously delight and illuminate.


  • Emily W

    I think this book starts off pretty well but there were points that I felt like could have been expanded on a bit more. Some of the outcomes of outliers seemed pretty clear and then at other points I felt like there were examples just thrown in that weren't really explained very well. I also thought this book lacked diversity in the examples and tended to favor certain groups, languages, etc. I understood the concepts and what the author was trying to get across but it would have been nice to learn about more non-white male examples of outliers. They're out there, it's just up to authors to make an effort and priority to find them.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

  • Betty O.

    Great book but we know Malcolm has a way of grabbing the attention of his audience right from the beginning.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Adam H.

    Extremely interesting. Great book.

  • Siaka K.

    Malcolm use statistics, human psychology and organizational behavior to dispel myths. Excellent read for anyone who assumes that assumptions are all factual. Malcolm, explains data and takes the reader through a thorough process of inductive and deductive reasoning and how to identify inference in situations to challenge the status quo way of thinking.

  • Victoria S.

    Thoroughly enjoyed this book. It reminds the reader that successful people get to where they are through a lot of luck and circumstance and not just through hard work and genius. This book makes you feel less envious of successful people and inspires you to make your own luck and opportunities.

  • Lisa H.

    Interesting! Challenged the way I think about successful people.

  • Brian K.

    Great book. Quite mind boggling & insightful. As much as I enjoyed it, my mind cannot simply agree with his entire concept. Of course we're all privileged in certain ways. There will always be someone in a worse situation. I think Malcolm completely undermines the internal sacrifice & drive that carries people to success. Bill Gates for example, chose to take up the opportunities he got while other boys his age opted to gallivant. The Beatles accepted the job offer of playing daily rather than opting for an easier path. In my opinion, we definitely all need support up to a life stage, from there your desire & will to achieve your objectives makes you notice opportunities that've always been there but for which your mind was not activated to. Nevertheless, interesting book.

  • Taha T.

    c'est un bon livre

  • James F.

    I disagree with the recent 3 star reviews. I find "Outliers" excellent in all respects: surprising revelations, interesting summary theories, and fun to listen. As always, Gladwell's narration (tone, inflection, etc.) adds much to his book.

  • David R.

    Starts off well but gets off track. I got the feeling the author was looking for similarities that fit his narrative vs getting all the relevant data. At least I know where President Obama got his "You Didn't Build it" idea from. I agree that we are a product of our generation and environment but not giving serious credit to the personal hard work and effort to rise through mediocrity does not give people the respect they deserve.

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by Malcolm Gladwell

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