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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.

Our favorite moments from Thicker Than Water

"I had no idea what I was getting myself into."
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"I was totally captivated..."
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"There were hardly any red flags when I was an intern."
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  • Thicker than Water
  • "I had no idea what I was getting myself into."
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  • "I was totally captivated..."
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  • "There were hardly any red flags when I was an intern."

About the Creator and Performer

Tyler Shultz is the CEO and co-founder of Flux Biosciences, Inc., a bay-area start-up that aims to bring medical grade diagnostics into the homes of consumers. In 2017, he was named to the Forbes "30 Under 30" Health Care list. He holds a degree in Biology from Stanford. After Shultz blew the whistle at Theranos, he became a source for a series of articles in The Wall Street Journal exposing the company’s dubious blood-testing practices. He was subsequently featured in the The New York Times-bestselling book Bad Blood by John Carreyrou, as well as Alex Gibney’s HBO documentary The Inventor.

What listeners say about Thicker than Water

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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: We're his parents.

272 people found this helpful

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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.

55 people found this helpful

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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.

41 people found this helpful

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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!

31 people found this helpful

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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.

23 people found this helpful

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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.

21 people found this helpful

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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.

17 people found this helpful

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  • Mo
  • 08-07-20

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.

17 people found this helpful

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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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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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  • Denis
  • 05-08-21

Excellent personal account

Tyler’s account of what happened at Theranos is fascinating to hear after reading Bad Blood and watching the HBO documentary.

The only issue I had with this was the insane amount of music played.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Edward Jennings
  • 03-30-21

Fascinating Story, well narrated

Listened to it in one sitting. Fascinating atory about the evil machinations of Holmes and Balwani and their use of the US legal system as a blunt instrument.

Engagingly narrated and with a great musical soundtrack 😂😂

I'm trying to work out who will play Tyler in the upcoming movie. I also hope there's a fight scene between Tyler's actor and Jennifer Lawrence.

Was sorry to hear about how TS's relationship with his grandfather suffered because of that Holmes bitch. Made me very sad.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-09-21

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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  • Mr Julian M Bromley
  • 08-24-20

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!!!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-06-21

Author narrated books are great...

Great story delivered in a lovely tone. Avoids the frequent monotonous tones of the audible book reader. He tells his story in an engaged voice.

My kids were forced listen on a long journey. My 9 year old asked us to finish it the next day.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mary Henderson
  • 06-12-22

Great to hear this in Tyler's own way

Wonderful to hear this narrated in Tyler's own voice and in a way that was so natural and honest. Tyler acknowledges his privilege in being able to speak up with the support of family, money and influence behind him, although not from his GrandDad originally..
Not only should his parents should be proud of him. Tyler took the hard path and should be very proud of himself. Great to hear this told from the horses mouth so to speak.

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  • Sarah Pritchard
  • 06-10-22

Loved it.

A really great telling of a hugely compelling story, which will make you angry, happy, righteously indignant, and leave you full of admiration for an extraordinary act of integrity.

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  • Mr N Metcalfe
  • 06-10-22

Impressive stuff

I found this book to be a great insight into somone who has uncovered fraud in the workplace. It's a truly inspiring listen.

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  • Peter
  • 05-05-22

Inspirational Story giving background to Bad Blood

Read or listen to 'Bad Blood' by John Carreyrou first. Then be inspired by this.

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  • Stephen
  • 02-18-22

Not sold on the narration

Having listened to Bad Blood then various tv programmes on this subject, was interested to hear Tyler’s story from his own mouth. Was as interesting as expected even if there wasn’t anything particularly new. Still not entirely sure if I liked his narration though; it felt authentic and felt as though he was having a conversation with you rather than reading an audiobook - that was nice. However things such as his constant giggles at the end of each sentence were off putting.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-29-22

Great insight

Tyler’s version of the story is a great behind the scenes of the Theranos story and his performance was splendidly done

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  • Adaria
  • 04-28-22

Excerpts from interviews with irritating music

This would be better off as an actual book rather than as various excepts from interviews. The guitar strings being plucked throughout are distracting and take away from the story..

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-24-22

Excellent story teller

Loved listening to this. I have been following the Theranos story for years and Tyler is an amazing story teller. What a brave young man!

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  • Olga
  • 02-04-22

Couldn’t stop listening

Spoken in such a fun and light way despite the heaviness of the story. So grateful that this story was shared as it provides a fuller picture of the Theranos and what was covered in Bad Blood and Final Chapter, but more importantly gives an insight into who Tyler Shultz is. Thank you for pursuing truth no matter how hard it was.

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  • Joanne
  • 01-19-22

Enjoyed this book

I think the author showed great moral character in the face of powerful opposition.

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  • Sarah
  • 01-14-22

Enthralling

A personal story and a fascinating insight into the unravelling of Theranos. Well told, an inspiring hero.

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  • N Hays
  • 01-10-22

Must listen

If you are at all interested in the Theranos failure, you should listen to this. A fascinating exploration of a whistleblower’s experience. Such a shame that the only person who would listen was a journalist. Thank you Tyler for being so open and authentic with your story and being so resilient through it all.

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  • Ben
  • 12-14-21

Captivating story

An excellent follow-on from Bad Blood, this is well worth a listen. It's short, punchy and captivating. I finished it almost in one listening

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  • Olivia
  • 12-01-21

well told by an honest and charismatic person

An honest, kind, and charismatic man ends up fighting to tell the truth about a huge fraud that could kill people.

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  • Clare
  • 11-26-21

Brilliant.

Love the conversational pod cast style, rather than someone reading their manuscript.

I’ve been following this story for awhile, and this was excellent.