Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know

Version: Unabridged
Author: Malcolm Gladwell
Narrator: Malcolm Gladwell
Genres: Psychology, Social Science
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Published In: September 2019
# of Units: 8 CDs
Length: 9 hours
Ratings:
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Overview

Malcolm Gladwell, host of the podcast Revisionist History and author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Outliers, reinvents the audiobook in this immersive production of TALKING TO STRANGERS, a powerful examination of our interactions with people we don't know.
How did Fidel Castro fool the CIA for a generation? Why did Neville Chamberlain think he could trust Adolf Hitler? Why are campus sexual assaults on the rise? Do television sitcoms teach us something about the way we relate to each other that isn't true?
While tackling these questions, Malcolm Gladwell was not solely writing a book for the page. He was also producing for the ear. In the audiobook version of Talking to Strangers, you'll hear the voices of people he interviewed--scientists, criminologists, military psychologists. Court transcripts are brought to life with re-enactments. You actually hear the contentious arrest of Sandra Bland by the side of the road in Texas. As Gladwell revisits the deceptions of Bernie Madoff, the trial of Amanda Knox, and the suicide of Sylvia Plath, you hear directly from many of the players in these real-life tragedies. There's even a theme song - Janelle Monae's 'Hell You Talmbout.'
Something is very wrong, Gladwell argues, with the tools and strategies we use to make sense of people we don't know. And because we don't know how to talk to strangers, we are inviting conflict and misunderstanding in ways that have a profound effect on our lives and our world.
The audiobook edition of Talking to Strangers was an instant #1 bestseller, and was one of the most pre-ordered audiobooks in history. It seamlessly marries audiobooks and podcasts, creating a completely new and real listening experience.

Reviews (5)

Written by Brian K. on November 11th, 2019

  • Book Rating: 3/5

I give this book 3.5/5 stars. PROS: excellent production quality. It flys by like a good episode of This American Life or Invisibilia. I wish all audio books had this level of flair. I hadnt really thought about the concept of Coupling, which is very interesting. CONS: For all its intensity, it was not particularly illuminating or revelatory— ‘be careful when talking to strangers’ ...no kidding. I also felt like he was bending hugely complicated human conflicts to fit his theories that in truth aren”t so cut and dry. For example, Gladwell doesnt even begin to consider that Officer Encinia’s obvious racism was also a factor in Bland’d mistreatment beyond simplying misunderstanding her behavior. And what about other people besides Chamberlain who met Hitler in person but werent fooled by his friendly and cooperative manners? Conclusion: Thought provoking and enjoyable (if all the super bleak stories doesnt depress you) but don’t expect any answers or resolutions. it all just hangs in the air like the smoke after a fireworks show.

Written by Monica D. on November 10th, 2019

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Fascinating book and I loved the podcast like presentation. Just finished and I am listening again.

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Written by John W. on October 17th, 2019

  • Book Rating: 3/5

My review is somewhat mixed. The production of the material was outstanding!. Using real-life audio and reenacting other scenes added immeasurably to the presentation of the material. The music was another story: whether or not it was Gladwell's intention to promote a liberal story line, the music did that, especially the repeated screams of "Say his name!" after shouting a name of a supposed "victim" such as Michael Brown or Freddie Gray. I live in a Baltimore suburb and have an entirely different view of Gray: he was a career criminal whose ultimately fatal injuries were at least in part self-induced. He was canonized by local thugs and sycophantic politicians, including a mayor who saw her political career go up in the smoke of the fires and riots that followed. Gray is no one to celebrate. Additionally, while the information was well-researched and reported, there seemed to be no real conclusions reached, no resolution, no strategies to address the problems Gladwell so clearly articulated. As a result, I found the book somewhat incomplete.

Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don\'t Know

Written by Cristobal C. on October 10th, 2019

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Don´t miss understand my rating. I had a different expectation that’s it. The book is great, the topic is excellent and the narrative flaw less. So why a 4 star review and not a 5? My expectation was to have a cheerful book, I listen to Gladwell’s podcast and I end my listening with a smile on my mind. Some chapters of this book where to obscure, left me wondering and reflecting but with a blue mood. So, if you expect a joyful book this is not it. Never than less is an excellent book. I will continue buying audio books and consuming Podcast from Gladwell in the future!

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Written by Kumar K. on October 5th, 2019

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Great book, top class narration.

Author Details

Author Details

Gladwell, Malcolm

Malcolm Gladwell is a staff writer for The New Yorker. He was formerly a business and science reporter at the Washington Post.