The Story of Success

Book - 2008
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Identifies the qualities of successful people, posing theories about the cultural, family, and idiosyncratic factors that shape high achievers, in a resource that covers such topics as the secrets of software billionaires, why certain cultures are associated with better academic performance, and why the Beatles earned their fame.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Co., 2008.
ISBN: 9780316017923
Characteristics: ix, 309 p. :,ill. ;,21 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Dec 19, 2020

Very interesting and enlightening book!

Nov 29, 2020

The majority of people wish to achieve some level of success, but are unsure of how to go about it. Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell examines the principles of success as well as the success stories of some of the most accomplished people, pointing out certain patterns and universal truths. He explores every aspect of success, from things as obvious as habits to topics as seemingly trivial as the day you were born. It is not about the debate over if it pure hard work or sheer luck that make a person successful; rather, it a combination of a variety of different factors, and it can even be generational. He emphasizes the notion that it is less about being a genius than being savvy enough to recognize certain opportunities and pursuing them.

Although some people dislike nonfiction books, especially those focused on self-improvement, I believe that are crucial because they do exactly that, help people improve themselves. It is definitely one of the most motivating books out there, and extremely famous at that too. This is a must when trying to understand what success truly is, and how to achieve it. My favorite part is that it dispels the notion that one has to be a genius or extremely rich to succeed. Instead, he explains the threshold principle in a way that is easy to understand for everyone, succinctly making his points in a effective manner.

This book is perfect for anyone who seeks to become a better person than they were the day before, who is self-motivated and willing to take action on their desire to achieve success. Individuals who are old and young can apply these principles, and you might just find yourself in a more productive, successful life soon enough!

Age rating: 10+
Star rating: 5 stars

Nov 21, 2020

Kind of uneven. I thought the book started strong but lost course and by the end turned into a nostalgia trip. He has a formula and it is entertaining, but I wanted a little more concreteness. There were a lot of statements that we (as readers) are to assume are facts even though there wasn't a lot of supporting evidence.

FPL_John Oct 05, 2020

I enjoy Malcom Gladwell's work because of his talent for making me see the world in a different way. He pulls together information to make you realize that although you thought you understood how something works, there is really more involved than you realized. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

Sep 30, 2020

Outliers is a nonfiction book by Canadian author Malcolm Gladwell. Outliers is a book about the best, and how they became the best. He argues that these outliers are not only outliers because of their abilities but also because of how they were nurtured and the opportunities that they were presented. Gladwell includes many instances of anecdotal evidence from The Beatles to Bill Gates. The book is not very scientific but rather looks at trends by analyzing successful people. This book has also popularized the theory that it takes 10000 hours of deliberate practice to master a skill. Overall this book is highly interesting and an enjoyable read but it does lack scientific evidence to back it up. I would rate Outliers four out of five stars.
@Nessie of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

Jul 15, 2020

This is one of the most impactful books I've read recently. Gladwell presents us with a well-constructed and thought-provoking examination of the factors that lead to success, and also the dynamics that get in the way.

Feb 08, 2020

This book is very well researched. It teaches us how opportunity plays a critical role in the success of the individual.

A revealing quote:
"No successful person succeeds of their own efforts. They are products of their times, places, and environments."

Jan 13, 2020

Reading a Malcolm Gladwell book is like peeling the layers of an onion but without the tears. Layers and layers of thought. Always thought provoking.

Jan 10, 2020

Highly enjoyed this book.

Dec 29, 2019

Another book to make you see things differently. This time it is the concept of personal success which, if you believe the author’s research (and it makes sense), is due more to the good luck of timing, opportunity and cultural legacy (a new concept for me) than intelligence and ambition. It became more interesting the further I read and caused me to sit and think about the course of my own life. I think this could be a valuable book for anyone to read - maybe especially would-be parents.

View All Comments


Add a Quote
Oct 17, 2018

"... the Beatles didn't recoil in horror when they were told they had to play eight hours a night, seven days a week [for early gigs in Germany]. They jumped at the chance. Hard work is a prison sentence only if it does not have meaning. Once it does, it becomes the kind of thing that makes you [successful] ...". (p. 150)

Dec 15, 2011

To build a better world we need to replace the patchwork of lucky breaks and arbitrary advantages that today determine success – the fortunate birth dates and the happy accidents of history – with a society that provides opportunities for all.

Nov 05, 2009

... and no one - not rock stars, not professional athletes, not software billionaires, and not even geniuses - ever makes it alone.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability
Aug 16, 2018

hawkinsc thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


Add a Summary
Oct 17, 2018

"... We are so caught in the myths of the best and the brightest and the self-made that we think outliers spring naturally [into existence] ... But that's the wrong lesson. ... To build a better world we need to replace the patchwork of lucky breaks and arbitrary advantages that today determine success ... with a society that provides opportunities for all. ... The outlier, in the end, is not an outlier at all." (p. 268, 285)


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at LPL

To Top