I saw an advertisement today for a free download of Malcolm Gladwell's new book, 'Outliers'. Of course, until I followed all the links, I was signing up for a 14 day trial of Audible.com, which I have no intention of keeping.
This is my second audio book of recent weeks, but to be frank, I'm not a big fan. First of all, I read way faster than most audio book readers. They take a LONG time to listen too...plus I talk to people and get talked to by people most of the day, so sitting down and hearing only the voice(s) in my head is more calming than you can imagine. Audio books seem like an extended meeting to me - one that I can't respond to. That said, it's hard to resist free Gladwell. :)
Comparing the two books - Gladwell's 'Outliers' and Seth Godin's 'Tribes', I'd pick Gladwell over Godin even though I'm only 20 minutes into 'Outliers'. It's not that Godin doesn't have good material. In fact, it's almost E.W. Kenyonesque in that I could listen for 5 minutes and shut it off and think for 30. He speaks in sound bites that actually bite and force you to apply them to your own situation.
Gladwell wins for one reason: Story telling.
No one tells a story like the Canadian-cum-neurotic-New-Yorker Malcom Gladwell. He speaks with clarity and intensity, but also with a quizzical sound in his voice, as if he's discovering the story along with you. Think a younger Garrison Keillor minus the Minnesota flavor and restricted to fact.
Godin makes me think of a million applications of his one, eight word thought....but Gladwell makes me want to listen to him.
Plus, he's got that wicked cool hair.