Friday, January 16, 2009

Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers - An Honest Book Review

Admittedly, I haven't even read the book. Nor will I. But that won't stop me from telling you that this book is another pile of Gladwell crap. Why? Well, like all his others, he takes something that seems so obvious and writes a book about it. And then fills it with interesting trivia (to keep people interested after the 20th page). Then a million people, who obviously aren't aware of the obvious, will tell you what a great book it is. If you like his books - I don't mean to offend. But seriously.

See, here are his last few books. The Tipping Point. What was this book about? Well, if things get bad enough, eventually people will be pushed over the their tipping point. And how little things can grow into bigger things, reaching a point where the situation changes. Really? Damn, never would have known that. Then there was Blink. And how people can make decisions, in the blink of an eye, without thinking about it. And they can be right or manipulated. Isn't it obvious that people react given a situation. What the hell else would we do? And those reactions are based on past experiences. Hmmm.... earth shattering.

So what is Outliers about? Basically, it's about how it takes more than skill or intelligence to achieve success. It takes luck. Cultural factors. And some other things.

I read some reviews on Amazon. There was the usual litany of those who love Gladwell. And then there were the dissenters. Those people felt like this wasn't really a book, but rather a compilation of facts from online resources. Resources that may or may not be 100% valid (Wikipedia). But really, do people not think that some people succeed because of things other than skill? Of course it takes luck. It takes a lot of things.

Read at your own discretion. But don't say I didn't warn you. And at least wait for the paperback.


Anonymous said...

got to love the book review from someone who chooses not to read the book. Nice work lefty :)

Lefty said...

@Anonymous - thanks - had to leave it :)