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Tom Lookabaugh

San Diego, CA

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HELPFUL VOTES
  • 1 reviews
  • 5 ratings
  • 940 titles in library
  • 31 purchased in 2014
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  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Rebecca Skloot
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell, Bahni Turpin
    Overall
    (4063)
    Performance
    (2610)
    Story
    (2637)

    Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells, taken without her knowledge, became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first immortal human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than 60 years.

    Prisca says: "Amazing Story"
    "Boring!"
    Overall

    I have seen this title on so many "best-of" lists that despite the fact that the premise didn't exactly grab me, I thought the book must be worth reading. There have been many times I've enjoyed a well-written book that didn't initially interest me but which I bought based on stellar reviews; I expected this book to be in the same category. Sadly, it's not. This is one of the most boring books I've read in a long time. Though the story of what happened to Henrietta Lacks' cells is fascinating, this author instead focuses on Lacks' uninspiring and rather dull family. The family feels cheated, for good reason, but that's the extent of the drama. There is nothing exceptional about the family, Lacks' history, or anything about this book. Though Lacks' cells were indeed exceptional the author treats that as an aside. The author explains that she wanted a unique perspective on Lacks' place in history. Fine, but that's no excuse for writing a dull book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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