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Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

Cutting for Stone (original 2009; edition 2010)

by Abraham Verghese

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,074450509 (4.27)676
Title:Cutting for Stone
Authors:Abraham Verghese
Info:Vintage (2010), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 667 pages
Collections:kindle, book group
Tags:Ethyopia, Surgeons, confoined twins, liver transplant, fistula surgery, mission hospital, Book group Jan 2013

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)
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  4. 134
    I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb (JGoto)
    JGoto: Also about the ties & love/hate relationship between identical twins.
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    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
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  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
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    The House of Hope and Fear: Life in a Big City Hospital by Audrey Young (ainsleytewce)
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    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 676 mentions

English (441)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (2)  Catalan (1)  Norwegian (1)  Danish (1)  German (1)  All (450)
Showing 1-5 of 441 (next | show all)
Wonderfully written novel ( )
  dickmanikowski | Jun 16, 2017 |
One of the things I liked about this book is it changed my narrow minded view of Africa and Ethiopia in particular. The parts of the book that interested me the most concerned the boys being born as twins joined at the head. I couldn't help wondering while I was reading, "Are they the same person or are they truly different human beings?" So much was involved with separating them at birth. This theme seemed to continue for me. The mother had a strict moral compass as did one of the sons. She remained devout (we think) though it was unclear whether she had been violated when she arrived at the hospital. The father was crazy in love with their mother, but is a narcissistic surgeon with a photographic memory and prone to drunken sprees where he blacks out, and eventually flees the county in one of his multiple acts of cowardice. His moral compass is similar to the other son's, so it would seem. I loved the interplay with the rebellious and beautiful girl in the cottage: One twin displays gentlemanly courtship, the other complete indifference toward the girl and his brother's affections. But it seems to me that in the end we find out the twins are truly identical. The transformation of father and sons at the end was very satisfying although not in the traditionally sappy way. I'm not sure what to make of the girl's complete undoing. She joins a liberation army and makes it to America, but is completely lost as a human being and appears to have lost her soul. This one I'll have to buy in hardcopy and read again. ( )
  ErinDenver | Jun 12, 2017 |
This was a very readable read, but I am left with a weird feeling at the end. Not sure if I really like it so much - somehow the "willing suspension of disbelief" never happened here. It was easy to look back on the characters AFTER I read it, but while reading, I felt strangely disconnected. I guess I am in the minority for this one. ( )
  Soulmuser | May 30, 2017 |
I have one chapter to read before finishing this novel. What can I say about why I loved it so much? The writing is so good that you are not aware of it as the story unfolds. The characters, and their relationships, and the events that shape their lives unfold slowly, yet at the end -- with the vantage point of the years that have passed -- there is a pattern that is very beautiful. I think we all wish for there to be a pattern in our lives and often we can't discern one. That the ending brings things together is a pleasure, but the book would be no less pleasing with a different ending.Verghese is a master storyteller. More than once I went back to re-read passages, realizing only later the importance of the bits and pieces shared in the stories as they unfolded. I think this is a book for anyone who is fascinated by people and the way their lives unfold. Bravo. And when can we expect another book? ( )
  Eye_Gee | May 8, 2017 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 441 (next | show all)
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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.
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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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