“Couldn't put it down”Lynda K. Curry wrote this review 3 weeks ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“An absolute must read. Yes, as has been noted, the writing is as good as any novel. The story is incredible, and the real-world ethical issues on top of medical science history is breathtaking and necessary. One could spend months discussing the ramifications of everything discussed so very eloquently in this book. Thank you, Rebecca Skloot. Thank you to the entire Lacks Family. Thank you, Ms. Henrietta Lacks. ”PapaK wrote this review Monday, November 11, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I really enjoyed this book because it gave me a new perspective on cancer research and how people learned about how to cure different types of diseases. I found it fascinating the differences between different races.”Ms. Teresa wrote this review Thursday, November 7, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Amazing book about a poor black tobacco farmer who cells were taken with her knowledge in 1951. They became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, and more. Her family was never compensated even though her cells have been bought and sold by the billions while her family can't afford health insurance.
I learned so much about cell research and medical science. The whole book was very fascinating and very hard to put down. This book is one that will be hard to forget!”
“Fascinating story, but a little dense with the science of it all. ”Deb in LA wrote this review Wednesday, October 30, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“True account of the origin of HeLa cells and the fate of Henrietta Lacks & her family in the hands of John Hopkins Medical Facility and the researchers at the time”Jacqui J wrote this review Thursday, October 24, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
Henrietta Lacks was only 31 when she died of cervical cancer in 1951. Before she died, though, the doctors at Johns Hopkins, the only hospital she could go to because it was the only one close by that would treat poor black people, took some of the cancer cells from her, without her knowledge. Those cells produced results in all kinds of scientific testing for decades after Henrietta died, and they continue to be tested on. Her family, meanwhile, continues to live in poverty and cannot afford their own health care.
This book lived up to expectations for me. I know most people have probably already read this who are interested in reading this, but I found this so fascinating. I like biographies, so the biographical part of the book was interesting for me, both Henrietta's bio and her family's. The author had to work so hard to even get Henrietta's family to talk to her at all, then to trust her. I found a good portion of the scientific/medical info interesting, as well, but occasionally, there were bits and pieces that were a little over my head, although most of it was explained so it was fairly easy to understand. I just wanted to keep reading this book, and to get back to reading it when I wasn't. So, this book is a little bit biography, a little bit science, a little bit ethics (or a lot ethics?), and it will make my favourites list for the year. ”
“Skloot does a beautiful job of bringing Henrietta Lacks to life and of exploring the ways in which her family have been affected by science's use of her cells.”Joanne M wrote this review Wednesday, October 9, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
HeLa cell - a cell type in an immortal cell line used in scientific research. It is the oldest and most commonly used human cell line.
Of course, many people I know have read this book so most are probably aware of what it’s about. Henrietta Lacks was an African- American woman who in the early 1950s got cervical cancer and during her treatment her doctors didn’t think twice about taking her cells and doing with them as they pleased. Quickly, the person became an unknown figure while her cells grew and contributed so very much to the science and health community. It would take over 50 years for the story of this extraordinary woman to come out, and it wouldn’t be an easy journey to get there at times.
I have wanted to read this book for some time but I never got around to it and the wait at the library was crazy. I finally got an audio copy from my library and I started listening to this right away. I had high expectations since so many people I knew had raved about this book. Luckily it hit those high expectations. What a wonderful story about a wonderful woman who was forgotten in history. This is much more than just about Henrietta Lacks but what her cells have done for medical research and what it’s done to her living family. If you’re one of the few who have yet to read this non-fiction book, I say, now is the time! It reads so smoothly that it is often hard to see it as a non-fiction and more as a novel, so this is a good one for many and a story that deserves to be told.
As a note on the audio version: The narrator is soothing. Not particularly bad, unless you’re tired. Then, her soothing voice may just put you straight to sleep.