An interesting essay that reflects the historical period it was written in; Tanizaki goes into painstaking detail about the differences between WesterAn interesting essay that reflects the historical period it was written in; Tanizaki goes into painstaking detail about the differences between Westerners and Japanese in terms of "light"; it can be interpreted as a larger metaphor for resentment towards Westerners at the time of the Meiji Restoration and a call to return to "Japanese-ness".
Can also be interpreted as slightly racist, but I think it's better to just take it for what it is and put that into context while reading. ...more
As a whole, Outliers took a really interesting approach towards answering the question about why some people are much more successful than others. I tAs a whole, Outliers took a really interesting approach towards answering the question about why some people are much more successful than others. I think with Gladwell though, you have to read him and take what he's saying as something meant to give you a different perspective.
I agree with some of his critics that some of his theories are not thoroughly explained. The trap of Gladwell is that you might get enticed by his admittedly fluid writing style and take what he's saying as absolute truth. But if you take the trap of treating his theories as complete poppycock, you're also doing a disservice and not getting anything from his books.
Ultimately if you read this book, the best thing to do is to just take in what he's saying as an alternative explanation for success and see how it applies to your life. He brings up some really valid and interesting points, like how your birthday, background, and work ethic really make a difference in an individual's success. It's interesting, and thought provoking which is what a good book *should* be. Yes you should read it critically, but reading critically doesn't mean finding flaws and hating a book because its popular to do so/it's not perfect.
I will criticize his definition of "success". Success is relative and Bill Gates' kind of success may not be success for the majority of people.
Overall, I enjoyed this book and Gladwell really knows how write in terms of making non-fiction read like a story. It's engaging and interesting and the validity of its content is wholly up to the reader. But I think it's worth a read. ...more