I had been seeing rave reviews about this non-fiction account of the Theranos/Holmes scandal all over Bookstagram. Initially, I didn’t even know what the book was about, but I was definitely intrigued. I finally had the chance to read Bad Blood and here is my review.
About the Book
Author: John Carreyrou
Published: May 2018
Other works: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People-3 Book Collection
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.
“The way Theranos is operating is like trying to build a bus while driving the bus. Someone is going to get killed.” -Alan Beam
I want to start off by saying that this scandal was totally new to me. I had never heard anything about this start-up company or Elizabeth Holmes; and that is scary. It’s scary because it makes you wonder if you have ever had a lab test performed on these janky devices that she tried to develop.
This story is white female privilege personified. I cannot believe the things this women got away with. Billions of dollars in investments on a system that did not work and that could have killed someone, left someone in financial ruin, and who knows what else. And the ruthlessness of her attorneys and her right hand man (boyfriend) Sunny Balwani against anyone who tried to expose them. They threatened people with lawsuits, and basically harassed people. I don’t understand why no one ever reported then to the authorities. But then, it was as if everyone that was being warned about the issues with the blood testing devices were under some kind of spell; as if she could do no wrong. I just know that not everyone would have got the benefit of the doubt like she did.
It is a little hard for me to accurately review this book because at the moment I am still livid about the fact that this woman is not in prison. I could only imagine if it would have been someone else; less blond and more ethnic. I am not trying to make this about race, but by golly. To knowingly deceive people for years for profit is very disturbing. Especially when this was and could drastically effect ones health. Holmes is definitely a sociopath! This woman had no remorse or pity for what she did and she would have kept going had she been able to.
As for the book itself, Carreyrou did a great job detailing everything and I thank him for working tirelessly to expose this monster of a woman/company. I mean this book read like fiction. But that was because this shit was too crazy to be true. It took me a while to get through this book because in the middle it got a little slow, which I always notice with non-fiction. I was glad to have pushed through and finished it because I definitely learned something I never knew about. There are a couple of YouTube videos about this scandal and I plan to watch them soon. I would love to see this woman explain herself.
Overall, I gave this book a 3⭐️! I highly recommend it if you are into non-fiction at all.
Have you read this book? What did you think?