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Summary

In this ground-breaking and entertaining exploration of athletic success, award-winning writer David Epstein gets to the heart of the great nature vs. nurture debate, and explodes myths about how and why humans excel.

Along the way, Epstein exposes the flaws in the so-called 10,000-hour rule that states that rigorous practice from a young age is the only route to success. He shows why some skills that we imagine are innate are not – like the bullet-fast reactions of a baseball player – and why other characteristics that we assume are entirely voluntary, like the motivation to practice, might in fact have important genetic components. Throughout, The Sports Gene forces us to rethink the very nature of success.

©2013 David Epstein (P)2013 Gildan Media LLC. Published in the UK by Random House Audiobooks

What listeners say about The Sports Gene

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    4 out of 5 stars

Almost ruined by the accents

Really interesting book, if a bit overly focused on attacking a very narrow view of the 10,000 hours principle.

But why of why has the author decided to (a) narrate his own story when he has zero charisma and (b) decided to put on the most bizarre and awful accents when narrating quotes? And how did the editors let that go? Genuinely bizarre.

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Please stop doing accents!!

Great information however I stopped listening as I can't stand the narrators TERRIBLE accents.

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Brilliant - Follows the Science

Would you listen to The Sports Gene again? Why?

Yes, it's worth a repeated listen. The message is that the elites ARE different. Genes DO matter - greatly. Hard work will get you far, but it may never get you to the summit. While this may not be what the bleeding heart liberals want to hear, this is a book that deals in science, and those are the cold hard facts. The Chrissy Wellingtons and Usain Bolts of the world are born with God-given talent that, under the right environment, produces something that is simply not achieveable by hard work alone.

What other book might you compare The Sports Gene to, and why?

It's a direct opposite to Gladwell's book "Outliers" and the idea that 10,000hrs is all you need.

What does David Epstein bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

In a word: Research. Epstein has brilliantly backed up all statements with science and analysis.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes. Very easy to follow.

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Dodgy accents

Who allowed the author narrator to have a go at different world accents? Are they deliberately terrible?

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  • AS
  • 30-05-19

Great book!

Excellent book, but David Epstein's accents are a bit.... Cringey. Content however is fantastic. 5 stars.

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Good effort

Would you consider the audio edition of The Sports Gene to be better than the print version?

As always with audio non fiction, you can really focus on the content, which is fascinating.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Sports Gene?

The examples of how athletes are perceived as gifted and the physiology behind some of the best athletes in the world.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

yes, but David Epstein's attempt at a handful of accents was terrible, he shouldn't have tried this.

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Embarrassing

I got into about half an hour of this and then just couldn't continue. The accents and high pitched voices he puts on when quoting different people are beyond inappropriate and I'm not sure why he felt like it would be a good idea. It was just too awful.

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Great and Interesting

Very interesting book for the content covered but the accents are unnecessary and borderline offensive

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Insightful

Being a PE teacher, I found this book incredibly insightful and interesting. I would highly recommend to educators and coaches in sport

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Great listen

I loved it, fascinating insight in to the world of elite sporting performance. Thank you.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-04-21

Note to narrator: no more accents please

A very good book that's well researched, and narrator was pretty good but tries to use some awkward (and at times cringeworthy) accents when reading quoted statements, sometimes seemingly giving up on the accent mid way through the quote.