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Bad Blood [review]

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Bad Blood by John Carreyrou
Published by Knopf on May 21, 2018
my rating: ★★★★ (4 stars)
Goodreads avg:
4.40 (as of 2022-01-27)
Spoiler-free review

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If someone had written this as a fictional story, readers would have said “this is unrealistic” and “there’s no way that could happen.” Unfortunately, this really happened.

I first learned about Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos (I will never get over how bad this name is) when my friend Zoey recommended the podcast The Dropout. Compelling and well-research, I listened from the beginning and caught up just as Holmes’ trial began. I was absolutely flabbergasted at the depth of Theranos’ misdeeds. I almost skipped Bad Blood, thinking that the podcast was adequate. I’m glad I didn’t.

Carreyrou is able to get into the real nitty-gritty details of this story. While I still highly recommend The Dropout, particularly the episodes analyzing the trial itself, there were even more unbelievable details in Bad Blood. I dropped a star off this review because I found the first third or so a bit dry, but once things start getting wild, it’s almost impossible to put this down. There were literal jaw-dropping moments, and I found myself shaking my head almost every other page. It is truly unbelievable that Holmes thought she could get away with all of this — but it’s even more unbelievable that she DID get away with this for so long.

I’ll be highly recommending Bad Blood (and The Dropout!) to everyone I meet, whether they already know about Theranos or not.

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