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Cutting For Stone by Abraham Verghese

Cutting For Stone (original 2009; edition 2009)

by Abraham Verghese (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,977447517 (4.27)673
Title:Cutting For Stone
Authors:Abraham Verghese (Author)
Info:New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2009.
Collections:Read but unowned, Fiction
Tags:f:ebook, BC, Ethiopia, India, medicine, twins, w:sex

Work details

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (2009)

  1. 184
    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. 111
    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.
  4. 134
    I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb (JGoto)
    JGoto: Also about the ties & love/hate relationship between identical twins.
  5. 80
    Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  6. 93
    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.
  7. 40
    Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Iudita)
  8. 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.
  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. 00
    The House of Hope and Fear: Life in a Big City Hospital by Audrey Young (ainsleytewce)
  12. 00
    The Citadel by A. J. Cronin (ainsleytewce)
  13. 22
    The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon (Miranda_Paige)
  14. 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.
  15. 22
    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)
  16. 00
    Notes from the Hyena's Belly: An Ethiopian Boyhood by Nega Mezlekia (meggyweg)

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» See also 673 mentions

English (437)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (2)  Catalan (1)  Norwegian (1)  Danish (1)  German (1)  All (446)
Showing 1-5 of 437 (next | show all)
A friend passed this to me years ago, saying how wonderful it was. I sat on it, unsure if it was something I could take, because I tend to avoid things that are too deeply serious or scream sad. It traveled to NC when my SIL grabbed from the shelf and took it home one Christmas. This summer it traveled back as it came up in book club. I thought, "Gee, this is good, a really interesting story, not what I was expecting." Until the last two hours...I cried almost to sickness. Yeah, I'm still glad I read it. ( )
  MaureenCean | Mar 12, 2017 |
A beautiful and slowly unwinding of a tale of a family born from unique circumstances and situated mainly in Ethiopia. I listened to the utterly fabulous audio book version of this title, read by Sunil Malhotra. He did an outstanding job with the reading, embodying both male and female characters, young and old, and giving voice to people from India, Ethiopia, Eritrea, England and the US. Heartbreaking and joyful at the same time.

I actually wrote down several quotes from this novel as the writing was so lovely and poignant. My favorite was "Everything you see and do and touch, every seed you sow or don’t sow, becomes part of your destiny." ( )
  deslivres5 | Feb 28, 2017 |
This book goes on my favorites list. A review just can't do the book justice. How can one person be so talented as both a doctor and a fantastic author? Waiting in a doctor's office last week, this book in hand, I noticed the author's name on a certificate of internal medicine on the wall as a member of the board that signed the certificate.

Verghese researched his story, talked to people, and crafted details that make it hard to believe the author didn't live every scene of this book. He's an eloquent storyteller.

The setting is mostly Ethiopia with some briefer time in New York. It's the story of twins born in unfortunate circumstances and of the parents who reared them, neither of whom are their biological parents. Amid political and civil unrest and poverty of the local people, this family group and the circle of people they love and trust grows and experiences life, and the reader is swept along through it all. I highly recommend the book. ( )
  Rascalstar | Jan 21, 2017 |
Again, don't remember much but remember loving it. I recommended it to a ton of patrons when I worked at a public library, and many came back saying they really enjoyed the book. ( )
  kemilyh1988 | Jan 16, 2017 |

Well, I finally got to the end of this massive tome, and you know what? It was actually worth it.

Some caveats, though. It could have been hacked down by at least a quarter of its length and missed nothing. Cases in point: the motorcycle? completely unnecessary; Ghosh's prolonged internment? shorten that; Hema and Ghosh's strange courtship? yawn-inducing. You'll see that most of my complaints are about the first half of the book. I get that Verghese lived this trajectory himself, but truthfully, it only got interesting when his main character comes to America (if that's a spoiler, you're not paying close enough attention). On the face of it, that looks nationalistic, but this is where the book turns both funny and intriguing. He learns things! That aren't about growing up or insurgency or hospitals put together with spare parts (okay, at least some of those are also about his internship in the U.S.).

Then again, you would not have been able to bill this romantic-medical-wayfarer drama as sweeping (so much like Gone with the Wind, only not at all). My own history with it feels that way as well. Picking up the e-book at least 5 times to set it back down again, and finally, with a feeling of failure in myself, grabbing the audio-book, managing to not drive off the road in boredom for the first half, and then finally seeking every opportunity to listen while the tale spun itself to its end.

So, I recommend it and I worry about recommending it. You can actually pick it up and put it back down again. Just don't borrow it, because you most certainly won't get it back to the library in time. ( )
  khage | Dec 12, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (30 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Abraham Vergheseprimary authorall editionscalculated
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.
Last words
(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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