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Cutting For Stone by Abraham Verghese

Cutting For Stone (original 2009; edition 2009)

by Abraham Verghese

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,391406605 (4.27)641
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. 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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English (396)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (2)  Catalan (1)  Norwegian (1)  Basque (1)  German (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (406)
Showing 1-5 of 396 (next | show all)
Absolutely worth the investment of time!! I typically don't recall memorable lines, but I will always remember and use Ghosh's advice, "Screw your courage to the sticking point". A great tale, a little predictable, but terrific for what it taught me about the history, culture and people of the Horn of Africa. In addition, I loved the surgical and medical references.. particularly the textbook references! ( )
  morieel | Oct 25, 2015 |
Took a while to get into this. I put it down and read other books while reading. I liked it but wasn't a page turner. ( )
  Jodeneg | Oct 23, 2015 |
CUTTING FOR STONE, by Abraham Verghese.

Loved both of Verghese's other books, both memoirs. And I loved this one just as much, his first novel. And it's a real blockbuster, at 658 pages. I read it all (and the Acknowledgements and Bibliography too). He is a wonderful storyteller, and I am not surprised that this fat book was such a runaway bestseller from its initial publication six years ago - and continues to sell. Googling around, I learned that Verghese, like his hero/narrator, Marion Stone, was also born of Indian parents in Haile Selassie's Ethiopia in the mid-fifties, so he obviously uses much of his own life experience here, not to mention all of the medical lore mixed in. (Verghese is also a very respected surgeon.)

The book already has over 3,300 reviews on Amazon alone, so probably 'nuff said.' I already said I loved the book. My only complaint - a minor one - is that I thought the story slipped into a kind of sappy sentimentality here and there in the last one hundred pages or so. Hence, four and a half stars. Or maybe four and three quarters, okay? Because this Doc can flat out WRITE! Great characters, great story! VERY highly recommended. ( )
  TimBazzett | Oct 17, 2015 |
I just finished this one...

This is a book which was recommended by many people I know...acclaimed to be the best book they have read.

As I started reading I kept wondering when this was going to turn into that book...and you know it did without me even noticing. This is one of those that gets under your skin and keeps me thinking...returning to Marion and wondering.

The story is told by Marion Praise Stone, the twin son of a dead nun and an AWOL surgeon in Ethopia in the 60s. The story moves back and forth from Marion and Shiva, his brother, growing up and the story of the way their mother and father met, worked and his mother died. The story unfolds in a mission hospital in Addis called Missing by the natives. Marion and Shiva are mirror image twins who were born attached to one another by a thin strand on their skulls. Although the connection is long gone, they continue to find solace when their skulls rest side by side. The two are raised by loving parents...Ghosh and Hema. Ghosh is a surgeon at the hospital and the resident theologian, He,a is a gynocologist and a feisty Indian woman.

In this description there may be nothing that really calls you. But, this is a story of deep and profound love...Marion for Ganet, the daughter of his nanny. Ghosh for Hema...he followed her across a continent and offered her a yearly wedding contract in case she changed her mind. Ghosh and Hemas love creates a home that allows MarionShiva to grow and blossom, but the love between Marion and Ganet is one-sided and eventually brings a ruin no one expected.

Marion, as the lone storyteller is honest and confused and hurt and curious and I really liked him. I cared when his heart was broken by first his father then his brother and his sweetheart. I cheered him on as he began a new life..and more

I can't say this is the best book I've read...my heart belongs to The Time Traveler's Wife but, it was a very memorable story! ( )
  kebets | Sep 14, 2015 |
A very good story, enjoyed this and learned a lot about the times. ( )
  Carlathelibrarian | Aug 18, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 396 (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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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 11 descriptions

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