Cutting for Stone

Cutting for Stone

by Abraham Verghese

Chris Moo (10/17/13): I was appalled when reading this book and even more appalled when

Gwendolyn Waring: I would never have read this book, but for the reviews and I am so glad that I did! Verghese is a master story teller. Who knew that the intricate details of surgery could be so fascinating? This from a person who took Chemistry to avoid biology in high school. Although some may squeam from the details, the medical details are so integral to the story that one does not mind. (However, my husband disagreed and found it "gory"). In any case, what a lovely story about faith, religion, Karma, love and Ethiopian culture. The plus for me was the coming of age story in Ethiopia of a person who was my contemporary. I must admit that I love books about different cultures especially ones with contemporary themes.
Rating: ****

Teresa Joel: I concur with all the rave reviews of Cutting for Stone. It is a masterful epic that opens up a whole new world and culture, and portrays a lifetime of great accomplishments and crushing tragedies. The book deals with how one family copes and moves on to not only live their lives, but how they contribute to mankind's improvement. This is by far my top book pick for the year - and I would certainly like to read more by this wonderful author!
Rating: *****

Gail Reid: I want to be included with all the others who found Cutting for Stone to be a truly enjoyable novel.

What I liked best: the large, sweeping epic story that completely draws you in; and, the way the author intertwines the history and culture of Ethiopia into the story.

What I liked least: one or two of the characters were very stereotypically portrayed; and there were a few coincidences that moved the plot along but stretched the imagination.

This book will open your eyes to a culture you may not be familiar with but will certainly learn from. A great read!
Rating: ****

Debbie Weiss: I must agree with all the other individuals who have already reviewed this book for this website. This book is an absolute gem and I loved it! The author's eloquent writing and the care he put into creating each character successfully pulls the reader into the story. I loved Marion and I loved Ghosh and I loved Hema. This is one book you should not miss and don't let the 600+ pages deter you. You will not want the book to end!
Rating: *****

Jackie Wertymer: I won't go into the details of the book because the other two reviews sum it up so well. However, I did want to say that "Cutting for Stone" is certainly the best book I have read this year...it easily deserves 5 stars. Dr. Verghese's writing reminds me of "The Kite Runner" which was another all time favorite. I loved the way he seamlessly goes back and forth between characters, making you feel that you are indeed transplanted into Ethiopia. One can almost smell the spicy food and feel the joys and sorrows of life at "Missing Hospital." I enjoyed Dr. Verghese's writing style so much that I have just begun "The Tennis Partner" which was written prior to "Cutting for Stone." I'll keep you posted.
Rating: *****

Marilyn Baron: Okay, I think I’ve found my new favorite book. Cutting for Stone was an absolutely riveting read and a sensational saga. It was beautifully written; the kind of book I wish I had written, but could never have written in a million years. The author is a physician and his main characters are physicians, so it was very realistic and educational. I learned a lot about the history and customs of Ethiopia and interesting facts I never knew about the practice of medicine and the way physicians approach their work and their patients.

The story itself – about Siamese twin brothers Marion and Shiva Stone, born in a mission hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, “of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon”— was fascinating. When their mother dies in childbirth and their father disappears, they are raised by two doctors at the same hospital and both become surgeons – Marion in New York City and Shiva in Ethiopia. Their lives and their fates are intertwined and hinge on a betrayal of one brother by another over a woman who is the love of Marion’s life. This sets in motion a series of tragic and magical events that bring the boys full circle.

The author’s description of his homeland is breathtaking. His ability to give voice to your feelings and emotions and put you in the story is uncanny. In fact, one scene was so realistic and reminiscent of a recent event in my life, I was moved to tears. His themes of separation, regret, love and sacrifice are woven into the fabric of the story. His characters, though imagined, are etched in stone on my mind. I did not want to finish Cutting for Stone and now that I have, I’m going to look for Verghese’s other works.
Rating: *****

Dale Israel: As an avid reader, I hunger for books that completely sweep me away to another place, where the characters become my best friends, and where time stands still and I'm a part of a world unlike any other...and Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese did just that! I absolutely adored this thick, juicy novel and would rank it right up there with Memoirs of a Geisha, Pillars of the Earth and Pope Joan.

Cutting for Stone tells the story of identical twin brothers born as a result of a secret union between an Indian nun and a brash British surgeon at a mission hospital in Ethiopia. Orphaned at birth when their mother dies during childbirth and their father abandons them, the story is narrated by one of the twins. It's a coming of age story that takes the reader on an unforgettable journey into one man's remarkable life. The beauty of this page turner is that the reader really gets to know the characters and feels their joy, pain, disappointment, etc. While a few people on Amazon (where I happened upon this "jewel") were disappointed with the last 75 pages believing that the ending was rushed, I happened to find the entire story totally engrossing. Now I must say, there is a lot of medical descriptions here that may not be appealing to those faint of heart, but as a nurse I was fascinated. If you read only one book this summer, this is the one to choose. Rarely do I give books more than 4 stars but I would give this one 6 if I could! Read it and let me know what you think. I loved it!
Rating: *****

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