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Description Summary | A riveting unreal tale that is more like a Hollywood thriller movie than non fiction. A total showstopper.
Book Summary (Goodreads) | (Skip to Review)
The full inside story of the breathtaking rise and shocking collapse of Theranos, the multibillion-dollar biotech startup, by the prize-winning journalist who first broke the story and pursued it to the end, despite pressure from its charismatic CEO and threats by her lawyers.
In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup “unicorn” promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood testing significantly faster and easier. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in a fundraising round that valued the company at more than $9 billion, putting Holmes’s worth at an estimated $4.7 billion. There was just one problem: The technology didn’t work.
In Bad Blood, John Carreyrou tells the riveting story of the biggest corporate fraud since Enron, a tale of ambition and hubris set amid the bold promises of Silicon Valley.
That was one hell of a ride. There are three things I need to say about this book:
- This is probably the best non fiction novel I’ve ever read.
- This is easily one of my top 10 reads this year.
- This book might make it into my favorites shelf.
This is a book you don’t want to read if you want to lose your faith in humanity (again).
“Her ambition was voracious and it brooked no interference. If there was collateral damage on her way to riches and fame, so be it.”
There are no other words for it: it is absolutely disgusting what Holmes and her associates did to make some money.
Before reading the book, I had an initial bias in the sense that I was genuinely interested and I love nonfiction books about corporate scandals and all kinds of business crime.
That being said, after reading it, I think regardless if you’re not really a fan of this genre or are total sucker for it, you MUST take a chance on Bad Blood. The story is too fascinating, and the way Carreyrou built up the timelines is fantastic. You’re never lost and even if you’re following little trails of stories within, it always comes back to Theranos’s big story. I appreciate that because it cuts down on unnecessary chapters and provides a greater perspective on how big and reaching this is.
John Carreyrou has this astounding ability to make all the mundane tellings of investigations sound like your next Netflix true crime documentary. It is this talent in immersive writing that made the book highly engrossing, any relevant quotes or information where integrated within the story as if you’re reading a fiction novel. I was immediately hooked from that first chapter and it was with sickening fascination that I read about Theranos’s spiral and downfall.
I’ll end this review with an RIP to Ian Gibbons, it such a shame what happened to him and he deserved way more than he got credit for. He deserves to be remembered as much as Elizabeth’s notoriety.
Do I recommend? A solid yes.