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Cutting for Stone
Cutting for Stone
Author: Abraham Verghese
A sweeping, emotionally riveting first novel - an enthralling family saga of Africa and America, doctors and patients, exile and home. — Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their mother;s death in childbirth and...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780375714368
ISBN-10: 0375714367
Publication Date: 1/26/2010
Pages: 560
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.

4.1 stars, based on 499 ratings
Publisher: Vintage
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Cutting for Stone on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 12
This book was outstanding. It is one of the best books I have read in the last several years. It might be a little overwhelming due to its length, but once you get through the first 200 pages, it's a real page turner.

It's definitely a must read!
reviewed Cutting for Stone on + 1078 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
After reading so much about this book, I was really looking forward to reading it. Unfortunately I was disappointed. Even half way into the book, I found myself not really caring about any of the characters or what happens to them. Some of the medical descriptions were long and unnecessary. There were many sexual references that I felt were out of place in the story. The book seemed to read as a meandering through the memories of one character and did not flow well for me. I wanted to like it based on the reviews, but I did not.
reviewed Cutting for Stone on + 27 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
I found it difficult to get through the first 100 pages. It seemed like there were too many 'main' characters in the book and I could not follow the storyline. I thought if I got through the first 200 pages, I'd be rewarded with a wonderful reading experience. Instead, I found myself disinterested in both brothers and only really liked the character Hema. This book was disappointing. Usually I like, or at least can appreciate, well-reviewed books. Not this one.
reviewed Cutting for Stone on + 58 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
What a beautiful story, by an eloquent writer. I was lost in the story from mid-way through the first chapter. I love books that teach me something about the history of other countries, as well as give me insight into the country's citizens everyday lives.

I loved the characters: Especially Hema and Ghosh. One of the things that struck me in reading this, was that each of the characters--prominent and bit-parts were unlike any I can ever remember reading before. That's pretty hard to pull off. I could picture them in my mind as I read about them and I had compassion for almost all of them. This is another story that will remind American's how spoiled we truly are. We take so much for granted.

Each of the character's that formed the inner circle of Missing Hospital became like close friends. One's I would be proud to know. When something happened to any of them, it was devastating to me.

I read someone else's remarks about there being too much medical jargon--personally I didn't have a problem with it. I felt I learned a little bit about surgery and some of its complications. What I didn't understand, I could still make sense out of.

I'm still thinking about the story and am sad to be at the end. This is one of those rare books that I'm sure I will reread again in the future. I can't recommend it enough.

I certainly hope they make it into a movie and one that does it justice.
reviewed Cutting for Stone on + 289 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Cutting for Stone is an incredibly poignant story which will stay with me for a long time. Like all origin myths, it features larger than life characters and mythical settings. More specifically, it is narrated by Marion Praise Stone, who came into being from an unspoken love between a beautiful Indian nun and the brilliant English surgeon Thomas Stone she worked beside, in Operating Theatre 3 at the Missing Hospital in 1954 Addis Ababa. From the same theatre, his mother dies from complications of labor and his father dashes, devastated and unaware of his paternity. Marion and his identical brother Shiva were raised at Missing by Hema and Ghosh, a pair of Indian physicians, their lives intertwined with medicine and each other. As their coming-of-age develops against the backdrop of political turmoil in Ethiopia's capital, Marion is forced to flee to New York City. The medicine is real. None of the characters are superfluous. The title, taken from the Hippocratic Oath, takes on multiple meanings considering the profession and names of the parties involved. Comic moments pepper this story of love and betrayal, forgiveness and redemption, during which I cried freely and jotted down passages that affirm medicine (and life itself) can and should be a "romantic and passionate pursuit."
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