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Bounce

Mozart, Federer, Picasso, Beckham, and the Science of Success
Narrated by: James Clamp
Length: 7 hrs and 50 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, Economics
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,187 ratings)

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Summary

Winner of the Best New Writer category of the British Sports Book Awards 2011.

Why have all the sprinters who have run the 100 meters in under 10 seconds been black?

What's one thing Mozart, Venus Williams, and Michelangelo have in common?

Is it good to praise a child's intelligence?

Why are baseball players so superstitious?

Few things in life are more satisfying than beating a rival. We love to win and hate to lose, whether it's on the playing field or at the ballot box, in the office or in the classroom. In this bold new look at human behavior, award-winning journalist and Olympian Matthew Syed explores the truth about our competitive nature: why we win, why we don't, and how we really play the game of life.

Bounce reveals how competition - the most vivid, primal, and dramatic of human pursuits - provides vital insight into many of the most controversial issues of our time, from biology and economics, to psychology and culture, to genetics and race, to sports and politics.

Backed by cutting-edge scientific research and case studies, Syed shatters long-held myths about meritocracy, talent, performance, and the mind. He explains why some people thrive under pressure and others choke, and weighs the value of innate ability against that of practice, hard work, and will. From sex to math, from the motivation of children to the culture of big business, Bounce shows how competition provides a master key with which to unlock the mysteries of the world.

p> PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2010 Matthew Syed (P)2010 HarperCollins Publishers

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A slow start....

I'm finding this quite a hard book to get into - although, after looking at reviews, I think I should persevere!!
I don't find the narrators voice very captivating. I think it may be a better book to read than listen to as I have dipped into various sections that have been more interesting.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

so much more than the title suggests

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.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Bad start and end - good middle

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.

11 people found this helpful

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Must Read!

The first part of the books just seems like common sense that people ignore on a day to day basis. I would strongly recommend this for any young parents or soon to be parents.

2 people found this helpful

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A decent listen(audiobook)

Having read malcolm gladwells outliers was keen to find out syeds take on the issue. A decent explanation though nothing greatly new from outliers.

In agreement with the concept that true effort and work at gaining knowledge as the most important thing but think it does downplay the role of genetics somewhat. Too much is placed on genetics but it's undeniable that myself as a 5 7" white man was never going to play in the NBA no matter the graft and effort

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing insight and blueprint to Success

This is an amazing audiobook. There is so much combined research to completely dispell the myth that success is based on talent.

It made such an impact that I went to interiew the book's author, Matthew Syed.

You can listen to it here: http://www.maximisepotential.co.uk/matthew-syed-author-of-bounce/

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

The book is a great read. The audio book is lousy

This book is an excellent read. Sadly, the audio book is awful, thanks to the monotonous drone of the narrator who has amateur and immature intonation, no subtlety, no irony and a timbre and metre that switches you off when it's not being highly annoying. His reading was more suited to advertisements for dodgy hair products or calling the Bingo than a serious audio book. Ruined it. I cannot recommend this product, although I CAN endorse the book

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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good stories, well structured, lots to learn

I enjoyed the associated stories. well balanced. lots of good insights. I will share it with my son

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Truth

As a professional athlete and successful scientist, I can say nothing achieve unless one works hard for it! (10 years being the #1 in my home coutry from when I was 14, with loosing any matches! it was hard work and dedication)

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great Book

I don't think any book has ever changed how I see certain things so significantly like this book.

The simplicity of the message, but yet the power of it was astonishing. I have already integrated concepts of this book in my daily life!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Andy
  • 25-05-10

takes us beyond Outliers

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 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nothing really matters
  • 19-07-13

Great book about top performance

Any additional comments?

I really enjoyed this book. It explains very interesting aspects of top performances in sports and other areas. It's one of the few books I've read that discusses the phenomenon of "choking under pressure". (Come on researchers, do more research on choking.)

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • V.D.
  • 28-09-10

great book from an essential perspective

the chapter on drugs felt out of place, but the rest of the book was awesome. even if you are familiar with some of the content (as i was from reading outliers and other similar books), the material in this book is more exhaustive, and Syed's perspective on the topic (as a world champion and an outlier himself) is essential to understanding topics like expert chunking (e.g. the part where he plays tennis with a pro). great book

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Joao
  • 14-06-10

Very eye opening

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 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Peter Levius
  • 07-05-10

One of my favorite books

I have been collecting Self Development books for years but I got to say this one is one of the best. It gives you a clear goal, if you want to be best in your field you need to invest 10 years or 10000 hours to hone your skills, it is not about the talent. Syed provides lot of data to support this argument and it got me to set up a new goals instantly :)

8 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Areli Valencia
  • 19-07-19

There is hope, if you still have time

The book was very motivational and makes you want to put in some time into those hobbies you thought you were not good at. This could be a really good book for the adolescent going through a hard time in their sport or chosen activity. The bppl challenges the idea of natural born talent and gives you the many examples of why talent is not born with rather it is acquire through hard work and most importantly PRACTICE. I recommend as this was a quick read. I enjoyed the third person narratives and story line, it felt like I was watching an episode of history channel with vivid imagery and interviews. Love the execution really does transport you.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • TravelingDentist
  • 01-06-14

Very similar to Talent is overrated and Outliers

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. Tells us things we want to hear. The harder to try at something, the better you'll get. It levels the playing field. Letting us know that just about anything is within our grasp with enough practice.

What did you like best about this story?

I love the fact that he used his personal experience as a ping pong champion to illustrate the concepts in the book.

If you could give Bounce a new subtitle, what would it be?

There is no such thing as talent.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Louann
  • 06-02-12

Loved it

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes I recommend, I enjoyed the energy of the narrator. His narratives describing the theories were excellent.

Have you listened to any of James Clamp???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not listened to this narrator before, but will listen again.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 25-01-20

Amazing

Excellent book. Must read! If you loved outliers you will love this book also. It took outliers to a whole new level.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tom Van Hill
  • 24-12-19

very good read

author touches on a lot of psychological thresholds, a very good read for any athlete, career oriented or human trying to be the best that they can be.