'If at first you don't succeed, try, try again' ... in the case of Elizabeth Holmes' biotech startup, it was more a case of 'lie, lie again'. When the teenage Stanford dropout first launched her company Theranos, with its revolutionary blood testing system in 2003, the world was her oyster, propelling her to become Silicon Valley's first female billionaire entrepreneur. Even while the technology failed to deliver over the next decade, the hype continued and the coverups began.
A compelling exposure of potentially life-threatening corporate fraud, this is a notable example of investigative journalism and a mesmerising story of the power and seduction of greed and ambition. [Small font]
Best book this year!
Mixed reaction to this one. Everyone had strong reservations about the narrative style of the book. Lots of vignettes of people in the company, but not connected together in any sort of structure until very late in the book, when the author himself gets involved. The tale told, once you made it out, was interesting. Not sure we would recommend it to another group, given the narrative problems.
One of the most discussed books we have read. Enjoyed by all members which led to more googling for further information.
"Enthralled and appalled" was the overriding reaction to this book. It prompted lively discussion about the author, the woman who was the main subject of the book, the nature of the writing, US society and much more!
Our group read this book before the present Lockdown "hit". Multiple characters were hard to keep track of, but the author had done amazing research. One member noted by email that there were repetitive themes of false promises, lies, manipulation, control and greed. The 'Sunday' programme on TV1 was very well timed for us, and we saw Elizabeth in the flesh, and also the author John Carreyou. All of us will watch the court case now, happening this week, and the fate of Elizabeth and Balwani.
Most of the group thought was this was a fascinating and engrossing read. Two members were so disgusted with Sunny and Elizabeth that they couldn't finish the book. Led to a lively discussion about Silicon Valley, venture capital and charismatic leaders. Incredibly timely as Elizabeth's criminal trial has just started.
A very interesting book. We were incredulous that such well known Americans were swayed by Elizabeth Holmes to invest such huge sums in her start-up. There must be a follow up, including the up-coming court case.
This book was a riveting read and provoked much interesting discussion. The issues raised will be discussed for a long time yet! Excellent investigative and courageous journalism. The many names and cases described was very dense, but the narrative was enthralling.
Very interesting; a journalistic style rather than 'literature', some people felt too long and wordy and too much detail. Queries over legal status and potential impact on their looming court case.
Very absorbing, and with the court case still pending, we will be waiting with 'bated breath' to see the outcome.
A chronicle of jaw dropping falsehoods and immense greed. The group was amazed how this individual could "take in" heavyweights in the political and business worlds - Schultz, Kissinger, Murdoch.
We were all absolutely mesmerised by the level of folly and greed demonstrated in 'Bad Blood'. Most of us thought the author had done a good job making the saga so readable and coherent. Several researched the ongoing court battle on Google. Two felt there was too much padding.
Mixed reaction from our group, split about the enjoyment of the book. It is exceptionally well researched and written and a fascinating insight into start-ups and Silicon Valley. How anyone could get away with what happened is beyond us, just shows that charm, greed and vanity and ethics (or lack of) have no bounds.
The group was split about their enjoyment of this book. Those who enjoyed reading it found it a fascinating insight into the culture of Silicon valley start-ups. And were amazed at Elizabeth's ability to convince investors of her credibility. Well researched and written by the journalist author. Some of us couldn't put it down until finished whereas others in the group were left cold!
I think we were all gripped by this one and afterwards the book members were emailing links to the court case which was going on at the time. A good illustration of how greed has no limits and how one narcissist/psychopath can suck in so many seemingly sensible people and string them along when everything is pointing to the lie of what they are doing. Incredibly well written, one of the best non-fiction books we have come across.
This book generated a robust discussion about startups, medical process supervision, gullibility, charismatic leaders and the lack of power of some individuals. Well worth reading. Especially relevant in these times of unknowns in the financial and business worlds.
A very interesting well-written book. We were all "gobsmacked" about the scam! Great for discussion.
It certainly was a thriller, very well uncovered by the writer. Comments ranged from "unbelievable" to "totally believable!" Anyway we are thoroughly cautioned as to the ways and workings in this area of our world. Plenty of good discussion, and we are awaiting the outcome of the story...
We loved this book.
Not all members read this book, however those that did really enjoyed it - and are looking forward to following the court case scheduled for this year!
Such an interesting book. Very readable and hard to believe it's not a novel!
Quite a detailed read, and some members thoroughly enjoyed the story, especially the investigative journalism approach. Others found it hard to get their heads around all the names. It was fascinating how thoroughly she duped the financial and medical communities.