I found the concept of using the fictional novel format to describe a historical time and person intriguing. I was a bit disappointed by Stella Duffy constant and vulgar use of the word "f@%k" and found it redundant and distracting. Clearly Duffy did a tremendous amount of research on Theodora, Constantinople, the Romans, the Roman empire and the society of that time period and it was this that kept me listening despite Duffy's lack of better vocabulary and fixation on sexual mores of that period.
I am not the type of person who "rubber necks" at car wrecks so the constant graphic mention of minors being used for actors, acrobats and whores grated on me. I got the point right away that culturally, at that time in Constantinople, pedophilia was culturally permissible and that there was a belief that earthly deeds were not necessarily a reflection of spiritual piety.
Duffy also did a admirable job of discussing the nature of Christ and how the schism between dual and singular natured philosophies tore at the fabric of an empire. She did a somewhat decent job of describing how this issue was so important at that time that "spiritual and Pius" individuals would immerse themselves head deep in "sin" to further their agendas.
Over all a decent listen if you can overlook some of the books shortcomings and are interested in Duffy's operatic interpretation of the life and times of Empress Theodora.
"Cutting for Stone" is one of the best books I have read/listened to in a very long time. Abraham Verghese escorts his readers on a lush and vibrant story thru the use of the narrator, Marion Stone. In this book one experinces Ethiopia as an amazing ethinic melting pot, America thru the eyes as a young medical student and humanity via the lens of honesty.
The narrator, Sunil Malhorta's voice and patient pace were perfect for "Cutting for Stone", I would have felt cheated of the importance of this beautiful story if it were read any faster. Sunil's accent gave the story authenticity, his ability to change his tone for the dialog of different characters and the ambiance he brought to "Cutting for Stone" all enhanced the experience for me.
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