I love to read, but I am time-limited. Audible allows me to keep up with all my favorite authors while on the hiking trail. Thanks, Audible!
As a biologist, I am quite familiar with the story of Henrietta Lacks. As an undergraduate, it was a story we were told in cell biology class. It wasn't until my first bioethics class in graduate school that I became aware of the long-term effects of situations such as Ms. Lacks, her family, and her descendants. This is such an important story for science. BUT it is also an important story for non-scientists, because this is a story about a person's right to know and the importance of transparency and honesty. This is a tale about how easily unintended consequences can truly harm people. The author has created a rich story that is honest, complete, and respectful. The narrators do an amazing job bringing it to life.
I'm an avid listener always searching for another good book and willing to share my thoughts with a pithy review.
No mystery or intrigue to report. Just a poor family upset by their inability to profit from the distribution of a family member's unique cancer cells...after her death. It's one chapter after the other of disappointment and complaints. It turns out the cells are very helpful to cancer researchers, but the writer doesn't provide much detail in this area. She just concentrates on the disappointments within the family. It results in a sad read.
I have not read the print version, but the audio edition is wonderful to listen too.
My favorite character is Debra, HeLa's daughter. It's evident that it took her a long time to understand HeLa, but she never stopped trying to find out the truth about her mom and her medical condition.
I loved the way Cassandra Campbell and Bahni Turpin took on the southern speech in the audio. They made the story come alive.
The way the speakers captured the raw emotion of Henrietta throughout the book was moving. But I was particularly moved by the hospital scene, just prior to her passing.
I loved the audio version of this book. It made me feel like I actually got to meet the family members.
When I heard about this book - and saw the size of it - I was imagining a long, dreary treatise on the cells of Henrietta Lacks! It turned out to be so much more, especially a human interest story. Sad and fascinating.
Rebecca Skloot was my favorite character because I could identify with her.
What happened to Henrietta?
This book doesn't grip you like a mystery or thriller, but it was a good read that holds your attention. I had to read it for school and thought I'd struggle through it, but I found that I didn't want to turn it off and really enjoyed the story as it unfolded. It also gives one a great deal to think about.
A captivating, and at times, jarring story that melds the human dimension with evolving ethical issues of tissue collection and use over the past 60 years. Wonderfully narrated.
The human side of the Lacks family's struggles - societal, financial, medical and especially their conflict with evolving ethical standards of the medical establishment.
You know how you hate economics but found Freakonomics or the The Bottom Billion a life-changing book? You know how you hate Science but found yourself reading through Guns, Germs, and Steel? Well, get ready for another non-fiction tale that will never let you think the same way again, this time about medical research.
Cassandra's voice and delivery are similar to the author's (heard at the end of the recording in an interview with the publisher). More importantly, Cassandra inhabits the narrative in the way you would expect from an author who has had ten years to distill facts and stories into one compelling testimony. Cassandra sounds like someone a friend brought to dinner to tell you this incredible story you'll never believe, but it's true. Bahni's characterizations of the Lacks family makes you think she must have listened to the conversations Skloot recorded with them since her voicing is always has the ring of truth.
How much would you sacrifice to cure millions?
This story is timely not only for reminding us not only of the human costs of prejudice and poverty in the U.S., but for the urgency of a national discussion on medical research even as we move with unpardonable slowness toward better, more accessible medical care for all.
I want to read books that take me to a "place and/or time" I've never been. On the other hand, I love reading about places where I HAVE been.
research. Fascinating science. A good look at the medical-ethical aspects of medical issues. The author really pounded the pavement in getting this important story told and I commend her. Wow, amazing what a single cancer cell has done for this world, Thank you Henrietta Lacks. You've gone down in history.
Well done! What a fascinating story. I don't have much of a science background and was concerned there might be too much technical medical information, but not so. This told the story so well.
It could have been condensed; some of the details were not necessary.
Pretty much what I expected.
Good reading, no preference.