I loved this story! As a non-technical professional, this was the best possible mix of science and human interest.
As for the narrator, I was surprised to see so much praise for her performance. Maybe being an African American woman from the south made me particularly aware of how off her portrayals of black southerners were. I especially found the voices in the dialogues between Henrietta and her family members to extremely hard to listen to and almost offensive. Thankfully that wasn't a significant part of the reading; I couldn't have made it through otherwise. I would have preferred the voice actress who made occasional appearances to have a more prominent role. The narrator did a great job on the other aspects, but I truly cringed, clenched and shuddered almost any time a black "character" had something to say.
This was an awesome story that had plenty of drama and scientific history. What a great story, at times a little difficult to remember what year you're in due to the complexity of the story. The interview at the end really helped to explain why this was.
The fact that Henrietta's cells are so unique & have helped treat so many diseases is unbelievable, shocking, riveting & heaven-sent.
I'm sad to see that so many people can only see it from the negative side - they choose to believe that she was taken advantage of, they can only complain about her family not getting anything out of it. Are humans really this greedy and self-centered?
I was disappointed to see so much of the book dedicated to the political side of this issue & giving credence to these negative thoughts.
I would have loved to hear more of the human story - about how she lived her life. I would have loved to hear a dozen personal stories about how Henrietta's cells helped save others' lives, & how grateful those people were when they realized it was all due to one special, humble lady.
The bottom line to me is that Henrietta received special care that she could not afford. In return for the care, her would-be discarded cells were used for priceless research that has bettered the lives of human-kind all over the world.
It is an astonishing blessing. I would willingly give away my cells with no greedy self-serving thoughts if they could be used for such important research.
Great book. Eye-opening information. Great narration. Definitely worth buying! The hard copy has pictures. Wish they could integrate that feature into audio books as attachments...
very unbiased documentation of a much needed life story to be told. sometimes the science was boring but necessary for the full effect of the story. performance was amazing with keeping you into the story
The nuanced and extensive true narrative of the Lacks family, medical history and ethics. Skloot takes no short cuts in tackling these issues and engaging the reader in the very human tale of Henrietta Lacks.
I learned so much from this book- basic cell and research science, medical history and its impact on the poor and minorities, as well as the current laws governing cell research. One point I think that needs to be emphasized is how difficult it would be for research progress if donors were to place limits on how cells and tissue could and couldn't be used. There is so much collaboration, sharing, and overlapping of research areas, that tracking such permission limitation would severely hinder scientific discovery. Excellent narration with bonus author interview at the end.