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Publisher's Summary

From the hero whistleblower of the infamous Theranos scam, Thicker than Water is a look at never-before-revealed details behind closed doors at the company, revealing a cautionary tale of corporate bullying, gaslighting, ego, and wealth running amok in Silicon Valley.

Tyler Shultz had been in the workforce for less than a year when he emailed Elizabeth Holmes, his employer and the CEO and founder of Theranos, with concerns that the company’s lab practices were faulty, ignored quality control, and were potentially dangerous to patients. The COO fired back with a dismissive and insulting email, to which Tyler replied: “Consider this my two weeks’ notice.”

From there, his life spun out of control at the hand of Elizabeth, her team of high-powered lawyers, and the patriarch of Tyler’s own family George Shultz - one of America’s most prominent statesmen - who sat among the top of the Theranos board of directors. And yet, Tyler forged on. To protect his own conscience, the honor and reputation of his grandfather, and the health of patients worldwide.

Thicker than Water is Tyler’s as-told-to story - a harrowing and heartbreaking roller coaster of biomedical drama, family intrigue, and redemption - that will ultimately make you feel as though you are at a dinner party, seated next to a brilliant friend with one hell of a story. 

Selected audio clips are courtesy of Bloomberg.

©2020 Audible Originals LLC. (P)2020 Audible Originals, LLC.

What listeners say about Thicker than Water

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  • J.Shultz
  • 05-08-20

A Beautiful Soul

Hope his story gives the next bully pause and the next whistleblower strength. Elizabeth has been telling her story for over a decade, although painful I'm glad Tyler has a platform to tell the truth in his own words. Tyler had consistently proved himself to be the best man in the room regardless of personal risk. Disclaimer: I'm his mom.

226 people found this helpful

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  • R. MCRACKAN
  • 05-08-20

Gripping and tragic

I recommend "Bad Blood" to anyone who will listen. It is one of the best corporate true crime books I've ever heard. "Thicker than Water" is the perfect companion piece. There is a unique level to the tragedy of hearing this in the first person. More so to hearing what damage the company is doing to his family and the potential damage it could do to the otherwise stellar legacy of his grandfather who doesn't have many more years ahead of him. I nearly finished this in one sitting. It was hard to put down.

39 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-08-20

I ❤️Tyler Schultz

What a fine person Tyler is. He has true character. I watched everything I could find on YouTube (after listening to the dropout) about him and Erica. I sensed there was much more nuance to his story, and things he’s too classy to say about his own grandfather without the proper context. lo and behold, he tells the story here in-depth, all his feelings that were put through a mental test of endurance. I appreciate that he mentions Ian Gibbons, and admits that suicide crossed his mind, too. And how unfairly rigged the legal system is. He exposes all the players for what they truly are by staying true to himself. His parents must be proud. He has faced true evil and prevailed. The Podcast is really well done, too. Thank you audible, Carrie, Rachel and Abbey. Great job.

30 people found this helpful

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  • S. Schuster
  • 08-08-20

Riveting

I loved it! One of the best audio books I ever heard and definitely the best free audio book I ever heard!
I saw a documentary on the subject before and this just fleshed it all out.
Amazing, 5 out of 5!

24 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-08-20

A compelling story told by someone who was there.

As an Engineer, I enjoyed hearing this story from the perspective of a professional who actually worked there. I am very glad that I never had bosses like his! My managers and co-workers remained grounded in reality at all times. Tyler was not so lucky.

19 people found this helpful

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  • Lisa Martin
  • 07-08-20

Profile in Courage

I appreciated listening to Tyler Shulz's telling of the Bad Blood story from his perspective. I listened to it straight through as I could not stop! Thank you, Tyler Shulz, for what you did and for telling us about it in such an unflinching manner.

18 people found this helpful

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  • igor mintz
  • 08-08-20

Amazing story

It was very interesting to read and see how people react to whistle blowers.
The best short story I've listened to!

14 people found this helpful

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  • Mo
  • 07-08-20

Clear and easy to understand

The editors wisely chose to let Tyler Shultz tell his own story. It's just his voice recounting events in mostly chronological order (at times with a soft music background). In fact, the brief free sample that audible plays before we buy the book includes the only part of the recording where the piece excerpts other interviews.

The story is compelling and it doesn't feel as though the narrator is engaging in self promotion. He doesn't seem to be trying to portray himself as a hero and he doesn't shy away from criticism of his own family (when discussing the role of his grandfather).

It's an important story so I'm glad to have listened but I do think that the piece could have been a little shorter without sacrificing significant content.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Brian
  • 10-08-20

Excellent - Life of a Whistleblower

Been there, doing that for going on eight years now.

Tyler has the name to speak out for all whistleblowers. Unfortunately doing the right thing, that saves lives may cost your own life in the long run.

Whistleblowers are given the very typical moniker of being only a disgruntled employee
which in many cases is the furthest thing from the truth.

Like Tyler, most whistleblowers wanted to help the company get on track, not hurt it.

Well done narrative in his own words. It is all very familiar treatment of whistleblowers that save lives.

One finds out who their true friends are. It gets lonely being a whistleblower.

From an FAA certified Airline Transport Pilot (ATP), and FAA AIR21 certified, successful federal whistleblower.

Great job Tyler, you are a true HERO.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Skeptical mind
  • 07-08-20

Rare courage and integrity

What a great story told from the heart. Whistleblowers like Tyler Shultz are sadly too rare a breed. And boards like the Theranos one far too common.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Mr Julian M Bromley
  • 24-08-20

Clearly Blood isn’t Thicker Than Water

Totally sold on Tyler Shultz life sacrifices in this amazing saga of our time. How he had the mental strength to pursue it is an amazing story (but I guess the nervous laugh is an understandable side effect)So sorry his famous grandfather didn’t step up to the mark in time, but his Step Grandmother and parents certainly Did I only hope the trial whenever it happens can see past Elizabeth Holmes ‘Ed Bundy-esk’ cleaver tidal wave of life threatening fraud!!!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-01-21

Quite disappointing

I really enjoyed johns thicker than blood story so maybe had higher estimations than I should for this... I managed to power through the 6 hours over a couple of weeks but was painful enough particularly all the random over dramatic music sprinkled throughout. It’s very like an angsty diary - there were some interesting bits showing how poorly treated he was by theranos but very much came across as an ego booster for the author who seems to live in a different world to most people...

I only paid about $3 for it in a half price sale but Defo still overpaid... if it was free I wouldn’t have finished it...

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  • AJBSydney
  • 30-12-20

Moving First Person Account of Hero Whistleblower

This audiobook is the first person account of Tyler Schultz, one of the Theranos Whistleblowers. The founders and CEOs of Theranos took huge advantage of investors and the public, lying and stealing to build their company. In the process, they bulldozed past patient safety, government regulations and the moral men and women who raised concerns. Tyler Schultz is one of these who paid an incredibly heavy personal and financial price for standing up to Elizabeth Holmes who, according to all accounts, was an absolute bully and seemingly absent all morals. Tyler’s story, told by him, adds important details to the WSJ’s reporting. I couldn’t help but cry as Tyler recounted the stress and anxiety of the legal torment Theranos put him through as well as the estrangement from his grandfather. This book is more evidence that the world turns over time towards good people like Tyler and towards justice. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the important lessons of this disgraceful saga from Silicon Valley. Thank you for your bravery and your story Tyler!

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  • Ms Rachel Bailey
  • 24-09-20

Humble, courageous, inspiring

This does not feel like a book being read, rather it feels like a story being told to you by a friend. Even if you’ve devoured all of the Theranos content available, this adds depth to the story and reveals more of the devastating human cost of the company’s moral bankruptcy.