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Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

Cutting for Stone (original 2009; edition 2010)

by Abraham Verghese

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6,264400641 (4.28)638
Title:Cutting for Stone
Authors:Abraham Verghese
Info:Vintage (2010), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 667 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:medicine, Africa, fiction, kindle, read2013, bookclub

Work details

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (2009)

  1. 163
    The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (momofthreewi)
    momofthreewi: Both are rich in character development and centered around unique families.
  2. 122
    The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards (paulkid)
    paulkid: Physician-fathers, twins, poor decisions.
  3. 144
    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
    Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Iudita)
  7. 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.
  8. 73
    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.
  9. 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.
  10. 10
    The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman (laytonwoman3rd)
  11. 21
    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)
  12. 00
    The House of Hope and Fear: Life in a Big City Hospital by Audrey Young (ainsleytewce)
  13. 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.
  14. 00
    Notes from the Hyena's Belly: An Ethiopian Boyhood by Nega Mezlekia (meggyweg)
  15. 00
    The Citadel by A. J. Cronin (ainsleytewce)
  16. 12
    The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon (Miranda_Paige)

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» See also 638 mentions

English (390)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (2)  Catalan (1)  Norwegian (1)  Basque (1)  German (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (400)
Showing 1-5 of 390 (next | show all)
Excellent book!!!

Among things I did not know, and learned from this great story, is that the Rastafarian faith takes its name from Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia. His pre-imperial name was Ras Tafari Makonnen. He is believed by the Rastafarians to be Christ incarnate, who would lead the people of Africa to freedom.

But the book is not about Haile Selassie or Rastafarians. It is, at heart, a book about family, passions, life's mysteries and challenges, set upon the stage of mid-20th century Ethiopia. ( )
  Phyllis.Mann | Jul 13, 2015 |
I really liked this book.
I was told it was slow starting, but I disagree.
The story flows nicely and I found myself looking forward to getting in bed to read. ( )
  jenngv | Jun 25, 2015 |
I enjoyed this novel most for the education it gave me in medicine and Ethiopian history. Verghese, an infectious-disease specialist, is skilled at describing illness and surgery, usually in ways that advance the plot. I struggled with the early sections, particularly because he portrays female characters in stereotypical ways. For a while, my overriding thought was: Predictable writing leads to predictable conclusions.

Later, I got wrapped up in the political drama, which forces the main character, Marion, to flee to New York. The end of the book is consumed by coincidences that I found unbelievable; Marion becomes something like "Forrest Gump," accidentally connecting with other characters at pivotal moments. Despite the book's weaknesses, I did find that I came to care about the characters, particularly Hema and Ghosh, Marion and Shiva's adoptive parents, and I don't regret the time I spent reading it. ( )
  amymerrick | Jun 3, 2015 |
This book was given to me as a SantaThing selection and I've been waiting to find the time to read it in amongst all my to read books. I truly wish I hadn't waited at all, but that I had read it as soon as I got it. This is a truly wonderful book that is so beautifully written, it's almost like reading poetry. It paints such a wonderful picture of mid-20 century Ethiopia. It's all there - Hailie Selassie, the Eritrea rebellion, the Ethiopian culture and the wonderful people of this African country. The book is also a truly remarkable family saga about a family that is ripped apart when two worlds collide-an Indian nun and a very talented physician and surgeon and the twin sons that their union brought into the world. It is also a truly wonderful book about medicine and the physician's calling to that field. Verghese is a physician himself and he brings his knowledge and insight in the medical field to the pages of his book. The most remarkable thing is that this is Verghese's first novel, and in it he manages to carry his readers effortlessly away to another time and another continent. This is a beautiful and amazing book, and one that will stay with me for a long time. ( )
1 vote Romonko | May 21, 2015 |
It's almost as if there is nothing more insightful to be said about Cutting for Stone. What new spin can I put on an already fabulous and amazing book? Everything everyone else said is absolutely true. It's lyrical in its language. It's descriptively alluring. Vivid landscapes. Intriguing characters. The mix of true historical events (like the attempted coup on Emperor Selassie) is seamless and works well within the fiction.

What I missed (and wished there was more of) was Marion interacting with his brother. There is barely any dialogue between the two brothers while they are growing up. Shiva is always on the periphery of Marion's telling. By the time of the betrayal I didn't get the full scope of how devastating it was to Marion because the closeness of the twins was not fully emphasized throughout the story.

a note on the audio: Sunil Malhotra does a great job with the different accents. He made listening to all 19 discs very enjoyable. ( )
  SeriousGrace | May 11, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 390 (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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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
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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:49 -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 10 descriptions

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