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Cutting for Stone: A Novel by Abraham…
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Cutting for Stone: A Novel (original 2009; edition 2009)

by Abraham Verghese, Sunil Malhotra (Reader)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,791None728 (4.29)617
Member:indygo88
Title:Cutting for Stone: A Novel
Authors:Abraham Verghese
Other authors:Sunil Malhotra (Reader)
Info:Random House Audio (2009), Edition: Unabridged, Audio CD
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:read in 2013, audiobook, book club

Work details

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (2009)

2010 (29) 2011 (52) 2012 (33) Africa (199) book club (83) brothers (79) conjoined twins (28) doctors (118) ebook (47) Ethiopia (459) family (99) family saga (32) fiction (629) historical fiction (74) hospital (36) India (84) Kindle (68) literary fiction (31) medical (44) medicine (256) New York (33) novel (79) nuns (25) read (42) read in 2010 (25) read in 2011 (33) surgeons (51) surgery (44) to-read (145) twins (242)
  1. 143
    The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (momofthreewi)
    momofthreewi: Both are rich in character development and centered around unique families.
  2. 111
    The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards (paulkid)
    paulkid: Physician-fathers, twins, poor decisions.
  3. 133
    I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb (JGoto)
    JGoto: Also about the ties & love/hate relationship between identical twins.
  4. 101
    The Cider House Rules by John Irving (GoST)
    GoST: Both books relate the eventful, coming-of-age stories of physicians and their struggle to learn their craft, complete with detailed descriptions of medical procedures.
  5. 80
    Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  6. 40
    The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay (ddelmoni)
    ddelmoni: Exceptional characters and storyline, set in South Africa during WWII. Exceptional writing. If you liked Cutting for Stone you'll like The Power of One.
  7. 63
    Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (someproseandcons)
    someproseandcons: Both books are family and community sagas centered around secrets, and both books are carried by a strong and compelling voice.
  8. 20
    Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Iudita)
  9. 20
    Chang and Eng: A Novel by Darin Strauss (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Cutting for Stone portrays the life of a pair of conjoined twins separated at birth; Eng and Chang is the fictional biography of the famous original Siamese twins, who remained joined at the sternum throughout their lives. Readers interested in conjoined twins may enjoy both novels.… (more)
  10. 21
    Sweetness in the Belly by Camilla Gibb (Ciruelo)
    Ciruelo: Both novels have a medical focus and are set in Ethiopia. The main characters in each novel were orphaned at an early age and each spent their childhoods in a religious setting.
  11. 10
    The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman (laytonwoman3rd)
  12. 00
    Beneath the Lion's Gaze by Maaza Mengiste (novelcommentary)
    novelcommentary: This was recently featured on NPR- go to thier website for an author interview.
  13. 00
    Notes from the Hyena's Belly: An Ethiopian Boyhood by Nega Mezlekia (meggyweg)
  14. 12
    The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon (Miranda_Paige)
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» See also 617 mentions

English (359)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (2)  Catalan (1)  Norwegian (1)  Basque (1)  German (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (369)
Showing 1-5 of 359 (next | show all)
A bit hard to get started but quite interesting once it gets going. Well written, though a bit wordy in places, with good characters and descriptions. This was the kind of book that I found myself having to look up various issues- including the exact wording of the Hippocratic oath - compare the original to the present day; quite interesting. ( )
  julie.billing | Apr 15, 2014 |
Admittedly, there was some beautiful writing, and a very complex and well-researched story here, but it was overwhelmingly dense in medical and surgical information. Personally, I didn't really want to know exactly how to perform a vasectomy. Most in my book club said they eventually just skimmed, but I am not a skimmer. I want to read and enjoy it all. In this case, I did not savor. I think someone with a medical degree or passionate interest in medicine might like it more than I did. ( )
  FAR2MANYBOOKS | Apr 5, 2014 |
Admittedly, there was some beautiful writing, and a very complex and well-researched story here, but it was overwhelmingly dense in medical and surgical information. Personally, I didn't really want to know exactly how to perform a vasectomy. Most in my book club said they eventually just skimmed, but I am not a skimmer. I want to read and enjoy it all. In this case, I did not savor. I think someone with a medical degree or passionate interest in medicine might like it more than I did. ( )
  FAR2MANYBOOKS | Apr 5, 2014 |
So much of this is absolutely superb and would have indisputably garnered five stars from me, but there was a fairly lengthy section in the middle where it failed to hold my attention effectively. Still, a bloody amazing novel, especially coming from someone who it seems has previously written only medical memoirs (I bet they're a good read too!)

Verghese is a much more than competent writer, weaving a tale that combines, astoundingly successfully, closely observed and evocatively drawn personalities, whose emotional lives are perceptively and movingly presented, with history and technically complicated medical procedure. He has a lot of love for his subject and it shows.

I hope he turns his hand to fiction again some time, but otherwise I will quite probably seek out his memoirs although they're not my usual reading fare. ( )
  Vivl | Mar 12, 2014 |
My favorite book in the past year ( )
  m2snick | Feb 19, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 359 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (30 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Abraham Vergheseprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bull, R.Map artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gall, JohnCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hellier, GavinCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Malhotra, SunilNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tan, VirginiaDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
And because I love this life
I know I shall love death as well
The child cries out when
From the right breast the mother
Takes it away, in the very next moment
To find in the left one
Its consolation.
-- Rabindranath Tagore,
from Gitanjuli
Dedication
For George and Mariam Verghese Scribere jussit amor
First words
Prologue: After eight months spent in the obscurity of our mother's womb, my brother Shiva, and I came into the world in the late afternoon of the twentieth of September in the year of grace 1954.
Chapter 1: Sister Mary Joseph Praise had come to Missing Hospital from India, seven years before our birth.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Twin brothers Marion and Shiva Stone come of age in Ethiopia, sharing a deep bond that has helped them survive the loss of their parents and the country's political upheaval, but when they both fall for the same woman, their bond is broken and the two go their separate ways, until a medical crisis reunites them.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375714367, Paperback)

Amazon Exclusive: John Irving Reviews Cutting for Stone

John Irving has been nominated for a National Book Award three times--winning once, in 1980, for the novel The World According to Garp. In 1992, Irving was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma. In 2000, he won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Cider House Rules--a film with seven Academy Award nominations. Read his exclusive Amazon guest review of Cutting for Stone:

That Abraham Verghese is a doctor and a writer is already established; the miracle of this novel is how organically the two are entwined. I’ve not read a novel wherein medicine, the practice of it, is made as germane to the storytelling process, to the overall narrative, as the author manages to make it happen here. The medical detail is stunning, but it never overwhelms the humane and narrative aspects of this moving and ambitious novel. This is a first-person narration where the first-person voice appears to disappear, but never entirely; only in the beginning are we aware that the voice addressing us is speaking from the womb! And what terrific characters--even the most minor players are given a full history. There is also a sense of great foreboding; by the midpoint of the story, one dreads what will further befall these characters. The foreshadowing is present in the chapter titles, too--‘The School of Suffering’ not least among them! Cutting for Stone is a remarkable achievement.--John Irving

(Photo © Maki Galimberti)

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:25:16 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Twin brothers born from a secret love affair between an Indian nun and a British surgeon in Addis Ababa, Marion and Shiva Stone come of age in Ethiopia, where their love for the same woman drives them apart.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 9 descriptions

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