Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Book Review: Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

Throughout history, there are people who stand out, people who excel dramatically more than others, people who would be considered outliers. So what is it that makes a person into an outlier? Are they born with some outstanding quality that no one else has? Are they handed opportunities that others don't receive? Are they simply lucky?

In Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell explores what really makes someone successful. For many, it's the timing of their birth, whether it be the year or the month that matters most to the career path they take. For others, it's the nature of their culture and the beliefs with which they are raised. For still others, it's a combination of many little things throughout their lives that build and grow to form a foundation on which they are able to rise above the rest of their peers.

Gladwell highlights many fascinating examples from outliers within many different fields such as technology, business, law and sports. I found it quite interesting to read about why most of the best hockey players are born in January, and why many of the wealthiest people throughout history were born within a short period of time. It's a fun book to read, offering unique tidbits of information about what leads some people to success.

I didn't find Outliers to have a great impact on me, though. While the information Gladwell presents is interesting and will likely make for a full discussion at my book club meeting this week, I ended it with a feeling of, "Okay. That's interesting." And that's about it.

My Rating: 3/5

For more information, visit the author's website.
Read an excerpt.
Reading group guide

This review was written based on a copy of Outliers that I borrowed from the library.


  1. This book did have quite an impact on me and I found myself quoting the statistics and facts to different people. I have been thinking about how long 10,000 hours are so I can see what it takes to be an expert (an expert on what, I am not sure).

  2. At the time I also mostly found it interesting, but it has come up in conversation DOZENS of times since I read it and I got another copy (I had given mine away) for my BF to read as he was tired of me telling him about it.


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