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Range

How Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World
Written by: David Epstein
Narrated by: Will Damron
Length: 10 hrs and 17 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (104 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Range is the groundbreaking and exhilarating exploration into how to be successful in the 21st century, from David Epstein, the acclaimed author of The Sports Gene.

What if everything you have been taught about how to succeed in life was wrong?

From the ‘10,000 hours rule’ to the power of tiger parenting, we have been taught that success in any field requires early specialization and many hours of deliberate practice. And, worse, that if you dabble or delay, you'll never catch up with those who got a head start. 

This is completely wrong.

In this landmark audiobook, David Epstein shows that the way to excel is by sampling widely, gaining a breadth of experiences, taking detours, experimenting relentlessly, juggling many interests - in other words, by developing range.

Studying the world’s most successful athletes, artists, musicians, inventors and scientists, Epstein discovered that in most fields - especially those that are complex and unpredictable - generalists, not specialists, are primed to excel. They are also more creative, more agile and able to make connections their more specialized peers can’t see. Range proves that by spreading your knowledge across multiple domains is the key to success rather than deepening their knowledge in a single area.

Provocative, rigorous and engrossing, Range explains how to maintain the benefits of breadth, diverse experience and interdisciplinary thinking in a world that increasingly demands hyperspecialization.

©2019 David Epstein (P)2019 Macmillan Digital Audio

Critic Reviews

"David Epstein manages to make me thoroughly enjoy the experience of being told that everything I thought about something was wrong. I loved Range." (Malcolm Gladwell, best-selling author of Outliers)

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truly inspiring and deeply insightful!

Can't recommend this enough. Gives me a lot of hope and validation of what I am doing and what I believe in.

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  • PA
  • 18-05-20

Explore exploit

The key lesson is that in age of extraordinary information, integration if more valuable than ever

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The why of Lollapalooza!

The readers voice has the right pitch, the tone is assertive & narration is soothing to listen to. Thank you!

Coming to the Book's content: If you resonate with Charlie Munger this book is for you. Those who don't know him, this book will help you understand why the mischievous kid who sat at the last bench experimenting with everything & scored average or not so good ends up doing better in life compared to the consistent topper in early school days. The examples cited are well thought and well organized to drive home the point.

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This book was simple, profound and absolutely reassuring!!

I loved the anecdotes, the journeys highlighted and the research that the author has chosen to highlight.
I would recommend this book for people who have been meandering a lot in their careers and are still thinking that they are behind and should do something. Having rejected an offer to join the Navy right after school and jumping through college from a Biotech UG degree to an MBA and then traversing an even more diverse career path, I had a lot of insecurities. This book really helped me to come to terms with those fears first and then to deal with them. The narration was great!!

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  • Panashe
  • 08-07-19

Hopeful message for the late bloomers

Great book with some fascinating insights about the benefits of experimenting with different fields. A lot of the content is covered in other books but it comes together nicely in Range.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-03-20

Life changing

This is a book that everyone should read. Epstein’s advice, backed up with both data and anecdotes, are words which I wish I had understood when I was younger. I cannot recommend this book enough to anyone

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  • Rodrigo Echeverri
  • 19-02-20

Fantastically counterintuitive

Epstein dares challenge the very principles of society’s revered academic system, which is built upon specialisation.

He delightfully illustrates his point with several examples, in which achievements are reached only because of exposure to multi-disciplinary thinking.

This book has made me reconsider my approach to the education of my child.

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  • Hari T
  • 30-06-19

One of the best books I have listened to

A very well composed tome which draws from different spheres of life into an impressive whole, this book should be compulsory reading at 2 points in life - before starting college and when you hit middle age. The 10 hours of listening that you invest in this will pay off in spades in later life.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 25-09-19

Fantastic - As a serial career changer, this has demolished my guilt and imposter syndrome that tends to accompany such a career

A tonic for those interested in everything not just something.

Thank you David Epstein - Genius and timely

4 people found this helpful

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  • Rob B
  • 02-10-19

this book could be half the length

interesting concept but I had to give up reading as it just providing multiple examples to make the same point as the intro - stay broad to start with and then specialise later

2 people found this helpful

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  • Tyler
  • 16-08-19

Thought provoking

Great deal of detail and anecdotes to back up hypothesis. Personally came away with a changed view on specialisation.

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  • R.
  • 04-07-19

Should have been a blog post

Another book that should have been a blog post with links to the examples used.

Sadly, I can see this book being used by average performers to reassure themselves that it’s ok not to try because then they’d specialise, and that’s somehow bad.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Alessio Malizia
  • 16-12-19

Very interesting but high repetitive

Nice piece of work but too repetitive. Basically the whole book makes a case for a multidisciplinary approach to life and it all makes sense but after a couple of chapters it is basically repeating the same concept on and on again

1 person found this helpful

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  • Tommi Jokela
  • 05-10-19

Well written argument for broad knowledge

Intriguing perspective on how it might be better to broaden your knowledge rather than deepen it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Marc
  • 28-09-19

The Wide World of Why to Wander

Epstein delivers a resonant and robust case for exploring the world as a Jack of All Trades rather than (it at least before) becoming a master of one.

This book will challenge you and release you from rigid overspecialised assumptions.

Tremendously fascinating.

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  • Ms. Kyan S. Lindo
  • 01-05-20

The Journey to Achievement

This is a provocative well researched read that makes you assess the advice given from a young age and how it may have impacted your development over time. This book makes you consider what the road to achievement looks like; how it starts, continues and ends. Using a wide variety of examples the author makes a strong case for evaluating why specialism is so broadly accepted over range. What you thought was the normal road to success will likely be influenced by what you learn in this book regardless of what you thought prior to reading it.
The author did a good job and I think it is worth hearing what he has to say.

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  • Ffion
  • 18-04-20

Nice principle but dragged a bit

The narration was a bit dull and was repetitive. enjoyed some parts but struggled with others.

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  • Mr Ben HA Ramsden
  • 12-08-19

Best book that I have read in a while

Very readable, thoroughly researched and well argued. The one key theme is explored across multiple dimensions. Despite its length and single theme there is no fluff. Case studies are very engaging. I plan to re-listen immediately.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 19-05-20

Very uninspiring

This book sounds like it was narrated by a robot. Couldn’t the author narrate it? Aweful !

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-05-20

Too long for a simple idea

Go on youtube and listen to his talk. That should be enough to understand the point of the book. No need to read this

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  • Sam
  • 15-04-20

Great collection of anecdotes and discoveries

Great collection of anecdotes and discoveries all strung together by the thread of a diversifying what one does

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-03-20

Was the perfect audiobook to start a new semester

I listened to Range about a chapter a day for two weeks. For most of those days it was the most thoughful part. I found the ideas in this book to be immensely comforting, it made me want to push myself to explore .

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 16-02-20

Must read for any doctor or medical student

One of the best books I've read. Resonate with it highly. For any future medic, this is on par with House of God.

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  • danny
  • 04-01-20

great book especially if your a ranger

really enjoyed this, narrator is great. information well put together and wide ranging! highly recommend for people with varied interests or who have kids

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 30-12-19

Worthy of the bookshelf

One of my new favourites and one of those books that you read again. Wonderful work.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 29-12-19

I loved every word of this book

I will definately be listening again. This book opened up new ways of thinking and confirmed ideas Ive beem pondering.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-11-19

Range is Worth a listen

A wide variety of examples and stories compiled. An interesting listen. Would definitly recommended it.