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Talking to Strangers

What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know
Narrated by: Malcolm Gladwell
Length: 8 hrs and 42 mins
5 out of 5 stars (68 ratings)

Non-member price: $48.62

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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

The highly anticipated new book from Malcom Gladwell, host of the chart-topping podcast Revisionist History

With original archival interviews and musical scoring, this enhanced audiobook edition of Talking to Strangers brings Gladwell’s renowned story-telling to life in his unparalleled narrating style.  

The routine traffic stop that ends in tragedy. The spy who spends years undetected at the highest levels of the Pentagon. The false conviction of Amanda Knox. Why do we so often get other people wrong? Why is it so hard to detect a lie, read a face or judge a stranger's motives?

Through a series of encounters and misunderstandings - from history, psychology and infamous legal cases - Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual adventure into the darker side of human nature, where strangers are never simple and misreading them can have disastrous consequences.

No one challenges our shared assumptions like Malcolm Gladwell. Here he uses stories of deceit and fatal errors to cast doubt on our strategies for dealing with the unknown, inviting us to rethink our thinking in these troubled times.

©2019 Malcolm Gladwell (P)2019 Malcolm Gladwell

Critic Reviews

"I love this book...reading it will actually change not just how you see strangers, but how you look at yourself, the news - the world. Reading this book changed me." (Oprah Winfrey)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Please label the chapters

Considering the amount of work poured into this masterpiece, it’s quite disappointing to see that the chapters were not labelled at all.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Love the enhanced audio book format

Really loved the audio clips, music backing tracks and interview material which interspersed the narration. This is Gladwell at his best, confronting and insightful.
This book should challenge and change you.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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What a production

Thanks for sharing your insights.
I throughly enjoyed the listen and I highly recommend everyone do the same.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A good writer, but thin arguments

Gladwell usually boils things down really well but I think he's oversimplified some complex issues in his quest to make it all easy. I think he's straying into rape apologist territory at times; and was it really just misunderstanding that led an intensely corrupt and incompetent police investigation into Amanda Knox? Too easy I think.

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Not bad

less insightful than some of Gladwell's other books but pretty good. I like the inclusion of original audio.

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Always glad for more Gladwell, but...

Gladwell never fails to entertain, and this audiobook stands out in incorporating original and re-enacted source material, but the thesis falls a little flat. No regrets, but no revelations either. Time to shake up the method?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Best audiobook ever

I would have found this book riviting anyway, but with all the brilliant production values of how podcasts, this book becomes utterly enthralling.

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Another exceptional Gladwell book.

Talking to strangers is an interesting study of human nature, entertaining, thoughtful, in depth. A great read.

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  • Alex.D
  • Gold Coast, Australia
  • 16-09-2019

best work yet

same style an insights as hus other books but done better with more up to date topics

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A little different to what I was expecting.

I have loved all of Malcolm’s work but this one just didn’t hit the mark for me.

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  • Kehinde Ruth Onasoga
  • 20-09-2019

Opens your mind to what should have been

This is a highly unique book. it takes a highly cerebral mind to have dug deeper through history books to merge similar experiences to arrive at what this book sought to teach.

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  • Leon Streete
  • 20-09-2019

very interesting concepts

just knowing how we differ, how we perceive and receive information is astounding. no wonder there is such conflict yet this book lays out a default we can refer to and use.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 17-09-2019

Absolutely worth the 8hrs!

Thought provoking! As it should be, this book had me on edge the ENTIRE time! Loved the twist of including actual interviews and the soundtrack! BRAVO Malcom!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 17-09-2019

Disappointing

The book delivers none of Gladwell's usual magic of describing a handful of unexamined historical events, and rendering their connection visible in a way that brilliantly supports his thesis. Instead, he recites a string of anecdotes, only to give the most obvious of pronouncements with a self-congratulary smirk. We often get people wrong. We assume people tell the trust most of the time.

It is politically problematic to the point of needing a trigger warning. Brock Turner is said to have raped an unconscious girl due to inebriation. The catalyst for Sandra Bland's death was not police brutality, but a miscommunication.

I enjoyed a few of his other books far too much to be able to finish this one.

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  • Kit Mclean
  • 17-09-2019

The benchmark for factual narrative audiobooks

A pleasure to listen to. A simple thesis, strongly told with well referenced, enthralling stories.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 14-09-2019

Just brilliant

Gladwell is a genius and to ramp things up a level, he makes an Audiobook unlike any you’ve ever heard before.

Featuring news interviews, recreations and even a theme song, this is the way “Talking to strangers” should be consumed.

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  • Tim
  • 12-09-2019

Unfocused and confusing

A few interesting points amongst the waffling. At one point I wasn't sure I was listening to the same audiobook. The storytelling approach which I enjoyed before is taken to an excessive extreme here.

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  • steve farmer
  • 11-09-2019

Classic Gladwell please do not leave it another 6 years

So what can I say. Within the first few minutes I’m driving along with my jaw on the floor- oh my god! All my commutes have been reduced to minutes whilst Malcom takes me on a journey of enlightenment and discovery. Forget counting down the miles, I arrive home and sit on the drive not wanting to turn this off! I have waited so long for your new book and still you fail to disappoint. Simply brilliant !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • T W Ricketts
  • 18-09-2019

Outstanding

If you love revisionist history, then you're going to love this! And if not, then you're STILL going to love this! Gladwell weaves teaching and storytelling to provide hidden insights into our current culture. Very well produced and a joy to listen to. Bring on the 'enhanced audiobook'!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • A. Lobo
  • 17-09-2019

Reviewed by a stranger

Well researched, thoughtful, intelligent and interesting perspective on human interactions. Like a crime investigation deconstructing the events and reconstructing them. Then providing a different and more realistic view of what actually happened. Could not stop listening.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr Nicholas Kyle
  • 12-09-2019

Gladwell does it again.

Great story telling for Gladwell, as always. If you like Revisionist History you'll love this book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • saad
  • 17-09-2019

excellent 👌

loved listening to this audio especially with adding of different voices and the source recorded interviews. just excellent thank you.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-09-2019

Next level audio book

Brilliant, a classic Malcolm Gladwell book combined with an entertaining podcast feel.
I really like the journey he takes you on, off on behavioural tangents, you have to go with it and enjoy the ride. You can feel sad, enlightened, annoyed, disappointed but that's the best bit whatever he writes gets a reaction and hopefully we learn something and optimistically we improve how we act.
Now I understand where some of his podcast materials came from recently ;-)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Quentin King
  • 22-09-2019

Important topic compellingly explored

Gladwell uses his formidable story telling talent to explore a subject that has been hiding in plain sight. Why we are so bad at understanding strangers and the often tragic consequences. The audio book production was especially compelling, being made like a book-length podcast. I hope this starts a trend for other non-fiction audio books to go beyond the classic actor or author reading the words.

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  • Elena
  • 21-09-2019

Paradigm shifting

Paradigm shifting multiple times read.
I love the audio version.
I love how the story comes back the the original one.
I love how the author shows both sides in an interaction without a hint of judgement and broadens our understanding.

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  • Phillip
  • 20-09-2019

Outstanding, brilliant insight !!!

Written and read by the amazing Malcolm Gladwell, a real page turner, so interesting a must read :)

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  • Anonymous User
  • 19-09-2019

Gladwell at his best - an audio triumph

I finished this audiobook in less than a week. I couldn't stop listening. It has changed the way we should experience audiobooks. Every person should listen Talking to Strangers. Thank you Malcolm for this utter triumph of a book. I loved every second (and will probably start it all over again now.)