This book is one of the most intriguing I have listened to, and I have listened to many.
What I appreciated the most in the story is the author's dedication to the person of Henrietta Lacks. The story is told without sentimentalizing, but with respect for Henrietta and her family.
The narrators humanize the story to the point that I feel they are talking with me in my car. I wanted to call and tell them that I know how they feel.
I call this a Mother's Day gift for Henrietta because that's how it made me feel. Deborah Lacks wanted the world to know that her mother was important. She did not want her contribution to science to go unrecognized. Any one who has lost someone feels the same. I found myself crying with Deborah for her loss because I know what it feels like to lose a mother.
The two forms do not really compare. I listened, then read, then listen and read at the same time. The illustrations and pictures from the printed version were needed in order to understand some parts of the book. Especially when talking about the family.
The fact that it was/is factual.
When Deborah & Zakariyya were given the picture of the cell culture from Henrietta's cells.
Everyone should read this book and think hard about what happens in the name of "medical research".
Amazing, Informative, Interesting
Her daughters transformation from ignorant to thirsting for knowledge.
The voices were easy on the ears.
No, I kept it for my walks. The time and distance just flew by.
Yes. I would say this should be a required reading for all high school students.
The story of Deborah Lack's search and discovery of what happened to her mother and sister is heart-wrenching, at times bittersweet, astonishing or grotesque. It is made all the more amazing as Deborah tries to understand the advanced science behind an eternal cell line and tries to reconcile this with her Christian believe in resurrection and heaven. As you read, you experience not only current medical knowledge and high tech labs, but also the struggles of African Americans as second class citizens after slavery ended. The story of how Henrietta's life, morals and family were treated so brusquely (ignorantly?) by scientists while they used her cancer cells to protect millions of people from polio and begin the entire field of cell biology research is the sort of real life story that you only read about as fiction.
I work with special needs families. I travel a lot and love audio books.
That the family was never given health care insurance.
Oh yes, she wrote this book in a manner that draws you in. You want to know everything about Henrietta and what her cells did and still do. Science class made fun!
I really cannot say unless it was a follow up on the family now.
It never seams to amaze me that we treated people in this way. My heart aches for all the families who have to deal with racism still even today. We are better then that.
The family should be given some sort of national award by the President..
I just tell everyone I know that they should read this book it is a story that all should know.
Just another girl with too many books and not enough time for them all.
First let me start by saying...I loved this book! I loved the pace, the story, the history of the family and the history of medicine. Amazing! This book starts off with the story of Rebbecca Skloot (the author) and how she first questioned the life behind the name her professor quickly mentioned during a class. Her questions about the name grew into an obsession in finding out about Henrietta Lacks and the woman behind the cells that helped push modern medicine.
Rebbecca tells the story with compassion, understand and with a bit of naive along with the help of Deborah Lacks, the other Lacks children, friends, and family members.
There are few books out there that can be medically informative and hold my attention. I don't think any book has done that. EVER!
The narrators Cassandra Campbell and Bahni Turpin read this book with the easy and non-acting I love. They were in the book telling the story without acting the story out.
The best part of this audiobook was the interview at the end of the book with Rebbecca Skloot.
This has will be on my list of best reads for 2012.
I am a scientist and work with HeLa cells every day. Some parts of this book were fascinating to me, but I think the author made her point quickly and much of the book was a rehashing of the injustice of obtaining and using Henrietta's cells without acknowledgement or financial benefit to her family.
An important story and an important issue re the use of human samples in science.
I would highly recommend this book. It was an extremely well-written and well-presented story which blended human interest and science superbly. It doesn't just focus on the science of the gene cloning, but interweaves it with Henrietta's life. One of the best books I've ever read.
When the author and Henrietta's daughter Debra go to find some the old medical records.
No, because it is really a mind-boggling story, especially since it is true. Lots to absorb.
This book moved me, awakened me to a part of American medical history I never knew, and made me proud to think I got to meet Henrietta Lacks through this reading. Listening to it also inspired me to find more books narrated by Cassandra Campbell. Hearing her voice added immensely to my first Audible book.
When they say that the truth is stranger then fiction they must have had this book in mind. At times it reads like a Crichton novel, the Andromeda Strain suddenly becoming tame after you realize that The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is non-fiction. The history, life, and events surrounding Henrietta leaves you in awe, makes you frustrated with rage, and tugs at your most empathetic feelings. From the first page, to the epilogue this book had my rapt attention. I found all the lives surrounding the HeLa cells a mix of chaos, miscommunication, good intentions, ignorance, hope, and a longing to understand. There were so many unfortunate events that just continued to over lap that it left the cells in a world similar to where they started. A metaphorical cancer eating away at the lives around it. The history and lives of the Lacks family is tragic and you can not help but feel for them. As outsiders looking in it is easy for us to say, "I understand what is going on, why didn't *insert question". But looking at this from the Lacks point of view is terrifying. The world is out to get them and their suspicions are just reaffirmed by con artists, shifty doctors, and a lack of understanding. At the same time though, you can not lay blame on the original doctors for doing what they did. It was not out of malice that they took the cells, or out of greed. They did it with the best of intentions, but as my mother always said, good intentions pave the road to hell. The doctors/scientists were swept up in a breakthrough and before they knew it it was being produced on a massive scale.
It is a riveting read and you find yourself learning a lot without even knowing it.