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I saw Matthew Syed first when interviewed after Rory McRoy meltdown at Augusta Georgia. I researched his book and it certainly looked worth reading given his background as a top table tennis player who had his own meltdown at the Olympics.
But this book goes well beyond what the title suggests. This book brings together a great deal of research which suggests that the notion of talent does not exist. As in another title called the talent myth there is a tremendous amount of research to suggest that hard work beats everything and talent is a myth created by people who play down the amount of effort they have put into achieving success.
Having read this book and lead me on to a great many other similar piece of work which is definitely changing the way I think.
being heavily dyslexic means I have had to work harder than most to achieve results, and this book has helped improve my self-esteem.
11 of 13 people found this review helpful
As I started listening I thought the book was a disaster because it seemed to be a rehash of Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers. But then it offered rather more compelling evidence that Gladwell - such as the huge proportion of top British table tennis players coming out of Reading (one small town) and interesting take on the placebo effect (including religion) in sport. The end was a disappointing treatment of genetic influences in sporting prowess (Syed is keen to deny their existence completely), but he seemed to have forgotten that in just the previous chapter he was tentatively arguing for allowing athletes (and other humans) to experiment with genetic enhancements, such as resistance to cold viruses and raising intelligence. He does not offer any convincing explanation as to why certain groups of east africans dominate endurance races, and Jamaican do the same for sprints. It is facile to say that statements such as 'generally blacks are superior at sport' are false. Of course they are. But there is something to explain when only one white man (Lemaitre) has run 100m in under 10 secs. Syed's answer is 'stereotyping'. Hmm. Still, well worth reading.
9 of 11 people found this review helpful
Very eye opening, especially if you're new to the talent versus effort debate. The book started being a bit too close to Malcom Gladwell's "Outliers", which it quotes several times, but the 1st person experiences from the author bring a very good perspective and great examples. Very well narrated as well. Highly recommend.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
Fabulous narration. Matthew Syed does a deeper dive into what drives talent, beyond where Gladwell took us. Well researched insights are worth plowing through some familiar ground to get there.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful