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Publisher's Summary

Mozart wasn't born with perfect pitch. Most athletes are not born with any natural advantage. Three world-class chess players were sisters whose success was planned by their parents before they were even born.
Anders Ericsson has spent 30 years studying the special ones - the geniuses, sports stars and musical prodigies. And his remarkable finding, revealed in Peak, is that their special abilities are acquired through training. The innate 'gift' of talent is a myth. Exceptional individuals are born with just one unique ability, shared by us all - the ability to develop our brains and bodies through our own efforts.
Anders Ericsson's research was the inspiration for the popular '10,000-hour rule', but, he tells us, this rule is only the beginning of the story. It's not just the hours that are important but how you use them. We all have the seeds of excellence within us - it's merely a question of how to make them grow.
With a bit of guidance, you'll be amazed at what the average person can achieve. The astonishing stories in Peak prove that potential is what you make it.
©2016 Anders Ericsson (P)2016 Random House Audiobooks
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Dennis on 02-27-18


This book is far too long for it's content. At some point it just gets kind of tedious to listen to as it tries too explain the same point as before in an almost identical way without using any kind of refreshing anecdotes. The book basically stresses two points. One: you are not born with skill or talent so anyone can gain equal expertise. Two: deliberate practice is the way to achieve it. Here deliberate practice is what is sounds like: practicing with the goal to improve with clear feedback. If you accept these two points there is little left to gain from reading this book.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By Einar Aune on 09-23-17

Haven't found the secrets yet.

What was most disappointing about Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool ’s story?

This book was sold as a scroll of truth - the secrets for how to do deliberate practice. I've gotten a couple of hours into it now, and all I can see are success stories. Stories claiming that deliberate practice works, and why deliberate practice is more impactful than you might think. This is fine and for the first 30-60 minutes I really enjoyed it. But I only enjoyed it because I thought they were a pretext for the wisdom to come. How do you set up a deliberate practice session?What are the experiences of a seasoned practitioner?What are the pitfalls? What are the areas that really gives a return on your investment of time, sweat and effort?But nothing so far.I'm returning the book. A huge disappointment from someone that probably had a lot of experience to share.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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5 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 10-02-16

The road is long.

Yes, the road is long, but know this: you can only improve your skills, you can never improve your self, for your self is the one who observes improvement (or the lack of it.)

Enjoy your work and redefine it as play because if you set out to improve a skill with a lot of stress and the need to improve you will enivitably contaminate all that you do and seek with negative vibes.

It is therefore wise to learn who you truly are before you learn any other subject. This may seem Needlessly esoteric but it will save you much unnecessary stress and trouble in the long run.

Peace and love.

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15 of 17 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By USER on 08-18-16

Great research findings but no decent structure

What disappointed you about Peak?

The author is correct in providing many research findings and stories about how many people from a few fields achieved their "PEAKS". However, if you are not from one of these fields or are not trying to copy other peoples stories then you may struggle to find any underlying concept other than what is already obvious and you already know.In my opinion the book lacks a good structure.

At the beginning of every chapter I was excited because the author briefly explains a good concept but then rather than strengthening and guiding the listener on that concept he just keeps criss-crossing between countless examples and inside examples, he would then drill into many different concepts, terms, many many more examples in my opinion makes the reader lose contact with the original concept the chapter is meant to cover.

The author also repeats many examples many times and drills down to the same examples. Perhaps he was trying to look at them from different angles but he should have thought that listeners haven't had the same exposure to these subjects like he has so listeners would struggle to relate the information overload to their own fields, goals or even the concepts described at the beginning of the chapter/book.There were times I had to check the status of my Audible player because I felt like it has rewound to a previous chapter.

Would you ever listen to anything by Anders Ericsson again?

Yes, I have no disrespect to the author. He clearly knows what he's talking about. In my opinion, if he improves the structure with a curious but non-expert audience in mind the book will be much greater.

What about Geoffrey Beevers’s performance did you like?

Overall a very good narrator. The only (very) minor complaint is he pronounces R in some words with too much weight for my preference.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Peak?

I would improve the structure of the book with a curious but non-expert audience in mind. I would also remove repetitions of some examples and unnecessary drilling-ins into highly scientific words and reduce the number of unnecessary scientific words and lists of them that only proves the author has read a lot of books. These things have only lengthen the book because people who read a book about "Peak" wouldn't want to learn fancy scientific words or lists of fancy things that scientists do. I personally expect an author of this kind to understand the complex things and explain those in layman terms to readers like me. After-all I am not a scientific researcher.

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18 of 21 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Joshua on 01-22-17

Outliers barely skimmed the surface.

Peak provided a much deeper look into mastery and expertise than I had imagined. I'd listened to Ericsson talk in podcasts and heard much of what others had learned from his work but this book cleared up a lot of the information superbly. A couple of chapters felt like brainwaves, especially the key one on building mental representations.
A great book for anyone interested in how we can learn effectively, and particularly those seeking any kind of excellence.

The narrator was fantastic, except that whenever he would quote anyone they'd sound American, but a sort of unintelligent sounding American. Which missed the mark completely in a number of instances. But perhaps it was only jarring compared with the rest of his eloquently British narration throughout the book.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Ken Craig on 02-14-17

Stick with it

The listener will need to break through the early thresholds of the annoying over-articulated narration and the repetition of the content for the first 4 chapters. But stick with it and this book pays huge dividends.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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