Perfect balance between medical history and individual human stories. Such a great book I found myself staying in my car after arriving home for long periods of time just so it stops for a second so I can get out! That's how good the story is. Highly emotional and very eye opening as how far we've come as a nation in many aspects.
iI absolutely loved this book. It was amazing to learn about the Hela cells and the Lacks family. i cried through many parts of the book. it makes me want to know as much as possible about the Hela cells and the life of Henrietta. Great Job!!!
I was already familiar with the story of Henrietta Lax, so the book was a mixed bag for me. In some places, the book seemed to drone on with details that seemed superfluous. it also felt like the author was censoring herself because of her closeness to the family. On the other hand, some parts (the last few chapters especially, which dealt with Rebecca and Sonny's visit to the lab) were quite powerful and moving.
I work in health care and this story was incredibly touching for me. The women who had contributed so much to my profession didn't even know and had received nothing for it, she didn't even know they took her cells. The story was very well written.
Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.
This story is much more than a history of a person’s life. Rebecca Skloot skewers choices of the medical profession with the story of “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”. Skloot tells Henrietta Lacks’ history through fascinating interludes with Lacks’ family members that are bruised and battered by the story’s disclosures; none more than Debra Lacks Pullum that dies just before publication.
The medical and legal issues raised in this book are a must know subject for any conscience bound person. Skloot’s history of the Lacks’ family pumps life into an ugly story of human arrogance.
Henrietta is a young black mother of 5 children in the 1950s. She dies of cervical cancer at the age of 31, leaving her children to a life of poverty in a poor area of Baltimore, Maryland.
The cervical cancer that took Henrietta’s life, by luck and circumstance, became the source of an immortal cancer cell that could reproduce itself without apparent end. This cancer cell’s ability to reproduce became the basis for medical research that continues to this day as a medium for medical testing of everything from polio to the common cold. Cultures of these cancer cells have been delivered to medical facilities all over the world.Costs for a vile of the cells exceed $200 to as much as $10,000 per specimen.
By the end of Skloot’s book, a listener knows the Lacks family, the reality of poverty, the consequence of neglect and misunderstanding, and the unfairness of life. The Lacks family received no recognition, let alone compensation, for the use of Henrietta Lacks HeLa cells. The Lacks family story exposes a dark side of medical research and human experimentation.
Long car rides have rekindled my love for 'reading' I like a good history book, thriller and - most importantly - zombie fiction.
Absolutely. My wife got me to read it after she finished it in paperback. I was skeptical at first but the story really drew me in. You feel connected to the Lacks family and all that they've endured. The scientific/medical ethics exploration is very interesting as well.
There are some many memorable moments in this book. One powerful moment was when Deborah Lacks discovers the history of her sister Elsie. So many other good ones too!
This book is more of historical recounting than character fiction. That being said, discovering Deborah Lacks was probably the best part of the story, character-wise.
One comment about the narration. For some reason they only included Bahni a few times in the narration. It's unclear why this is the case and I'm not sure it added anything to the story. I would have preferred either more of Bahni for the Deborah speaking parts or removing her altogether. This strangeness was the only reason I didn't give it 5-stars.
HeLa, the woman who changed the world
Whether you're aware of Henrietta Lacks' cells or not, this book is essential reading to understand your medical rights (or lack thereof). It's thought-provoking and even disturbing, and a must-read.
It was a very interesting story, told in an entertaining way. However, I wouldn't recommend this book if you listen to books while running, or any other exercise. Wasn't so thrilling or "page-turning"
If you haven't already, READ THIS STORY!!! I don't know how everyone have not heard this story by now.
He-La cells should be as known about as much as Cancer itself. As a clinical research student learning about medical/drug trials and such, I am appalled that this topic has not been revealed to me in school.
Well, Thank you Ms. Skloot - You've helped this family's story see some true light. From the controversial manner in which the cells were obtain, the amazing breakthroughs in medical history due to these cells and even the heart wrenching ordeals each family member endured, the Legacy of Henrietta Lacks needed a stage & a spotlight and I hope the light continues to grow brighter for the Lack family.