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Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell


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I'm rereading this book and it seems to me like some chapters in Part 2 have nothing to do with the book. Why is the whole chapter about the feuds in there? Why the whole airline thing? I mean, they're fascinating chapters, but I'm not getting what they bring to the book. It almost seems like they're in there to make the book longer. And the epilogue about his family seems, to quote Simon Cowell, "self-indulgent." It almost seems like the really persuasive case he made in the first part is left hanging while he tells a bunch of stories that don't have much to do with it. Or am I missing something?

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You know I really wanted to love this book. I got it from the library and it had to be returned before I was finished. I was thrilled to find a used copy at Goodwill so I could finish.

 

Like you I was left with that Huh? feeling. I've read a ton of self-help books over the years and in the end it sounded like that. The 10k hour information was helpful, even the part about the birthdays of male athletes. Beyond that I felt kind of blah about the book. I ended up selling my used copy to Amazon. :D

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On the whole, I love the message of the book. I find that many people think you can just "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" and be successful. He makes it clear that behind every success story are some real advantages the person had.

 

But aside from some sweeping "We need to remake society so more people can be successful" comments, there's nothing really practical here.

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It's been awhile since I read it, but I think the part about the feuds was just about how there are subtle things that drive us that we might not be aware of. That success can involve overcoming stuff that you don't even know is there to be overcome.

 

I guess...

 

I had fun reading it!

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