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Summary

The full inside story of the breathtaking rise and shocking collapse of a multibillion-dollar start-up, by the prize-winning journalist who first broke the story and pursued it to the end.

In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose start-up ‘unicorn’ promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood tests 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 $9 billion, putting Holmes’ worth at an estimated $4.7 billion. There was just one problem: the technology didn’t work.

For years, Holmes had been misleading investors, FDA officials, and her own employees. When Carreyrou, working at the Wall Street Journal, got a tip from a former Theranos employee and started asking questions, both Carreyrou and the Journal were threatened with lawsuits. Undaunted, the newspaper ran the first of dozens of Theranos’ articles in late 2015. By early 2017, the company’s value was zero, and Holmes faced potential legal action from the government and her investors.

In Bad Blood John Carreyrou tells the story of Theranos and encourages us to consider the possible repercussions of our blind faith in a small group of brilliant individuals.

Now to be adapted into a film, with Jennifer Lawrence to star.

©2018 John Carreyrou (P)2018 Macmillan Digital Audio

Critic reviews

"Wall Street Journal investigative journalist Carreyrou presents meticulously researched, clearly written evidence of the fraud perpetrated by business wunderkind Elizabeth Holmes. The former CEO of the once-renowned Silicon Valley startup, Theranos, bilked investors of millions and potentially risked the lives of patients around the world with a groundbreaking diagnostic product that did not work reliably. Will Damron is the perfect choice as narrator. His precisely articulated style makes the entire effort sound as if it is a cloak-and-dagger spy novel." (AudioFile)

What members say

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Brilliant

Very well written/spoken. Really interesting book and well worth the read, could not put it down

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Like a thriller!

It was my first audible experience and I think this book was a great choice to start that. The book is very well written. It was a gripping story, maybe being a true story made it very interesting. It was well narrated as well. Overall it was a good book.
p.s. I'm really proud of that Tyler kid! Also great ethics by the journalist..

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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amazing listen

really enjoyed this, it's an amazing story. the book is so well written it plays out like a Jason Borne film (first three!) . highly recommend

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A gripping, but disturbing account

Excellent content and meticulous research, with perfect narration make this a must read if you're interested in healthcare, technology and/or criminology in business

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  • LR
  • UK
  • 09-10-18

Bad Blood is A-Positive

Gripping and interesting telling of a truly scandalous true story; a must-listen – especially for anyone working in the medical device and medtech New Product Development sectors. Very well delivered journalism and the narrator really conveyed the scientific and engineering tone. Will be interested to hear more by the same author.

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Gripping ending, descriptive first half

the great ending makes up for a slightly descriptive and drawn out first half of the audiobook

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Gripping from start to finish

Excellent storytelling, narrated brilliantly! Would absolutely recommend for anyone interested in the tech industry. I had read about the fall of Theranos in the past, but this book really brought all of that to life, giving an insight into how the founder of a tech company in Silicon Valley could delude themselves with an unshakeable commitment to their invention and pull the wool over investors eyes to secure huge sums of money in funding.

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Entertaining investigative journalism

Many peoples lives were disrupted - and even destroyed - in threatening ways by a bleeding-heart liar. Of $900 million raised, around 60% - quite reasonably - went in lawyers fees; it appears to have been a colossal fraud. If this was fiction rather than a true story, it would certainly be highly sexist - I do not know if truth is justifiable in this case.

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Well read

Story and narration both were amazing. Not an inspiration book but a thrilling story of someone highly ambitious.

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Time well spent listening.

Great insight the cut and thrust of
Emerging tech/pharma start up business. Well worth a listen.

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  • Dillon Jearey
  • 17-10-18

Insane that this is a true story

Well written, factual story that could easily be a movie. I cannot believe the power that some people have over others.

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  • Mureithi
  • 04-10-18

Thoroughly Enjoyed Reading

The story is very well researched, structured and narrated. Horrifying the length human beings are willing to go to hide the truth and deceive others.

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  • Michael S.
  • 30-09-18

couldn't stop listening

I wasn't aware of the Theranos scandal. I might've heard the name of the company and assumed it's just another Silicon Valley start-up that over promised. The truth is they have done way worse! Amazing work done by the author to uncover what was going on and told in great clearity. I couldn't stop listening to this book.

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  • Nouvation
  • 30-08-18

Mind-blowing!

Hard to believe if it were fiction. The central character is a gift that never stops giving. Kudos to Carreyrou and the brave ex-employees that took this dangerous company to task.

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  • Ricki Vinci
  • 28-08-18

Such an awesome read

Just finished listening to this book and loved it so much! I couldn’t put it down!

As a qualified Medical Scientist and Chartered Accountant, I loved that I could understand this book from both camps. I was in total disbelief that the fabrication went on as long as it did before the fraud was discovered. I found myself screaming at times “NOoooooooo” when the poor quality control testing was described.... I was literally on edge! The accountant in me couldn’t believe the mass negligence from a Corporate Governance perspective! Where was the Board????!!! And how could do many investors get so duped!!! Where was the due diligence!

I highly recommend this to anyone that has a keen interest in healthcare and enjoys understanding some of the things some companies and CEOs will go to in order to create smoke screens. Also a great read if you have an interest in understanding what poor corporate governance looks like!!!!

John Carreyrou is a very gifted writer and storyteller!!!!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 18-08-18

breathtaking.. a must hear by all entrepreneurs

all startup founders should listen to this to keep them reminded of the integrity and social responsibility they have

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  • Sara
  • 21-07-18

Gripping story

Totally recommended, It is a compelling read into what is a shockingly massive fraud committed by what I think is a psychopath. The narrator fits the story perfectly.

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  • Peter
  • 29-06-18

Good, but surprisingly light.

A good book, but not as in depth as I expected.

While it does go through the various disfunctions at the company, it spends relatively little time on each thing. It clearly spent almost a year in editing and fact checking, since it's story ends so early. Maybe a second edition can examine the unraveling in more detail, but for now it lacks something, though the Authors post book interviews do give a lot of detail.

I suspect it's mearly my shadenfrouder that I'm gasping for. Either that or a wish for a deeper examination of the psychi of both Elizabeth and those who unwittingly aided her.

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  • Christian R. Unger
  • 15-06-18

Excellent summary of the Theranos story

I am coming to realise that I enjoy train wrecks unfolding. Enron, Blackberry, the global financial crisis and now Theranos. If it's well told and there are intricacies, a good writer can make anything seems sinister and grab ones attention.

This is such a title, and on the surface there clearly was things going wrong, with fraud established in court. However Carryrou goes to the human element and touches on the events in one coherent stream, but from.so many angles.

Could not stop listening. Incredible story, fantastically told.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful