Bad Blood, by John Carreyrou

The behind the scenes corporate deception within Theranos, a Silicon Valley start up that lost investors money and cost patients their lives.

Publisher:London : Picador, 2018.
Author:John Carreyrou
Characteristics:x, 339 pages ; 24 cm.
Source:Yarra Plenty Library Service

Watching the thoroughly enjoyable TV series The Dropout on Disney Plus piqued my interest in learning more about Theranos. The TV series does an excellent job covering the rise and fall of the most talked about Silicon Valley startup of the early 2000’s. The author’s character features in the show and his book covers how he got involved with it.

As expected the book goes into more detail than covered in the TV series, except Dr. Phyllis Gardner, who is one of the first to see through the fraud, is barely mentioned.

The Dropout depicts Sunny Balwani almost as a victim, like in the scene where Elizabeth unceremoniously dumps his belongings on their home driveway when kicking him out of the house. But the book (garnered from many interviews with ex-employees) shows that he was a ruthless boss with no consideration for workers’ well being.

Bad Blood, by John Carreyrou. Cover.


An excellent read, and a warning to not invest in things you don’t understand. When you read about how bad their employees are treated it makes you appreciate your own work situation as there would not be many that are worse in the research realm.

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