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Publisher's Summary

"Chilling... Reads like a West Coast version of All the President's Men." (The New York Times Book Review)

The full inside story of the breathtaking rise and shocking collapse of Theranos, the multibillion-dollar biotech startup, by the prize-winning journalist who first broke the story and pursued it to the end, despite pressure from its charismatic CEO and threats by her lawyers.

In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup "unicorn" promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood testing significantly faster and easier. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in a fundraising round that valued the company at more than $9 billion, putting Holmes' worth at an estimated $4.7 billion. There was just one problem: The technology didn't work.

A riveting story of the biggest corporate fraud since Enron, a tale of ambition and hubris set amid the bold promises of Silicon Valley.

©2018 John Carreyrou (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"You will not want to put this riveting, masterfully reported book down. No matter how bad you think the Theranos story was, you'll learn that the reality was actually far worse." (Bethany McLean, best-selling coauthor of The Smartest Guys in the Room and All the Devils Are Here)

"Carreyrou blends lucid descriptions of Theranos’s technology and its failures with a vivid portrait of its toxic culture and its supporters’ delusional boosterism. The result is a bracing cautionary tale about visionary entrepreneurship gone very wrong." (Publishers Weekly)

"Eye-opening... The author brilliantly captures the interpersonal melodrama, hidden agendas, gross misrepresentations, nepotism, and a host of delusions and lies that further fractured the company’s reputation and halted its rise... Already slated for feature film treatment, Carreyrou’s exposé is a vivid, cinematic portrayal of serpentine Silicon Valley corruption." (Kirkus)

What members say

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Extreme retaliation against former employees

Theranos lab employees were under continuous observation - the works. Fake baritone voiced Elizabeth Holmes and her cruel boyfriend Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani held them tightly in mortal fear, pursuing the few who thought they could resign and rebuild their lives. No lab employee could be allowed to expose the fraud.

The multi-billion dollar secret at the time: Theranos was phony baloney; it had no device that could run all types of blood tests with just a drop of blood and then provide instant accurate test results. It didn't have anything to change the world. All those Theranos devices being used by the U.S. military in Afghanistan - pure fabrication. But nobody could prove it wasn't being done and besides, the board of directors included: George Shultz; James Mattis; Henry Kissinger; and many other famous heavy hitters.

The suspense built and built. Author and narrator were the perfect match, building strength as the book progressed. They made me feel the fear a Theranos lab technician who had to pretend miracles happened. One former lab director was driven to suicide. Former lab employees discovered the hard way they could run but not hide.

George Shultz's grandson was caught more than once trying flip his grandfather, and his family was made to spend an obscene amount (I think it was $400K) trying to defend against Theranos lawsuits. Legal bills were only part of the harassment. Holmes and her crew ruined people's reputations and careers.

John Carreyrou makes it clear, especially at the conclusion, that Elizabeth Holmes developed the idea that people wanted to believe, and he credits her with being a terrific sales person. She relieved big money out of sophisticated investors - $150 million from the Walton family, $121 million from Rupurt Murdoch, $100 million from Betsy DeVos, $120 million from the Cox family that controls Cox Media Group, and so on.

Bad Blood shows Elizabeth Holmes conning all the people for a time. She talked pure nonsense without interviewers being aware of it. Instead they probably saw a female Steve Jobs, because that's what we all wanted to see. Although it tries, the book doesn't fully explain what it was about Holmes that made sophisticated investors go in big. This part is a mystery to me. I keep thinking about it.

And I keep thinking about the kinds of non-disclosures Theranos used on employees and how they weaponized them. This story put fear into me, and I hope it doesn't do that to others.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

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Spellbinding!

Very well written, hard to put down. I felt the writer tried to give an even hand where possible but evidence too damning to be sympathetic on the very long term deception. The performance was excellent as well. Anyone interested in ANY form of investing needs to read/ listen to this account. Stunning how easily deceived we are when there is "borrowed" credibility.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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What an amazing journalist

This is just an incredible book. I’m so grateful he 1)exposed a sociopath and 2) wrote it all down for us to read. Just fantastic.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Outstanding and the definitive words on Theranos.

This is an outstanding story and sits on the shelf entitled, "If It Wasn't True, No One Would Believe It." It is nearly a mandatory reading before investing in any company and it's too good to be true representations. I hope there are appendixes because I strongly suspect that this story is no where near completed.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Female Psychopath

This is the story of the intricate manipulations of a female psychopath. Older, successful men were a key target. She’d play the granddaughter role or any other role to fulfill their psychological needs. A true but almost unbelievable story of a successful psychopathic plan.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Gripping and horrifying

I couldn’t stop remarking to everyone how great this book is. Important insights into the cross-pollination of power madness, utopian delusions and the birth of evil. Also, a poignantly apropos subplot concerning the zeitgeist of the surveillance and fake news culture. Disturbingly good book. A must read.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Remarkable

Everyone in business should read this book. CEO’s, read this book not to judge but to look in the mirror and question yourself and others whether you have ever exhibited some of the toxic behaviors in this book. Learn from it, be better, and don’t sell fiction as fact.

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Fascinating - Modern Enron-esque Story

Feels a bit one sided but if even 75% of it is true, damn...what a wild story.

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An excellent Book!!

In this era of News that is slanted and angry this book is so refreshing in its facts and just the facts. I was amazed how wise and intelligent people can still be taken in by scam artists. How brave of everyone to hold firm to the truth to end this potentially flawed blood testing system.

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Thank goodness this was revealed.

This is a stunning wake-up call to remind one to always check with experts in the field. Relying on subterfuge and paranoia that it could not be done to protect Trade Secrets led to many years delay in revealing the criminal fraud