A sweeping, emotionally riveting first novel - an enthralling family saga of Africa and America, doctors and patients, exile and home.
Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their mother's death in childbirth and their father's disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. Yet it will be love, not politics - their passion for the same woman - that will tear them apart and force Marion, fresh out of medical school, to flee his homeland. He makes his way to America, finding refuge in his work as an intern at an underfunded, overcrowded New York City hospital. When the past catches up to him - nearly destroying him - Marion must entrust his life to the two men he thought he trusted least in the world: the surgeon father who abandoned him and the brother who betrayed him.
An unforgettable journey into one man's remarkable life, and an epic story about the power, intimacy, and curious beauty of the work of healing others.
©2009 Abraham Verghese; (P)2009 Random House Audio
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The story was compelling and kept me wondering where it would next turn. The characters were well developed leaving a hint of mystery for the twin brother which was perfect for the story. I also liked that I learned a great deal about Ethiopia and its history. It made me feel that I was a richer person from my time listening to this book. The narrator was excellent with his soft Indian accent - perfect for this story. I highly recommend this book. I was sad when it came to an end.
This was one of the best audiobooks I have heard in years, right up there with the best of the best - Angela's Ashes, Memoirs of a Geisha, Lord of the Rings - this is epic. The visceral and cerebral saga of a family, told step by step, with full blooded, gorgeous characters, and accurate medical descriptions. Dr Verghese grew up as an ethnic christian Indian in Ethiopia, and the cultural details seem real and are mesmerizing. History, medicine, religion, love, sex, culture, brotherhood, it is ALL there. I can't possibly say enough good things about this book, and am filled with admiration for Dr Verghese. He describes why medicine is an amazing profession, and why the narrative of life, no matter what the story, is important. Sunil Malhotra does a fantastic job as well.
I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.
This is simply a splendid book in every possible way. The characters are so believable -- fully developed and incredibly real. The plot is tied up without leaving loose ends -- yet it never feels forced. The medical details were fascinating. The narration is perfect. Don't hesitate. If you're looking for a good, long listen, this is it.
I thought this book was amazing. The narrator was perfect. It was wonderful learning some of Ethiopia's history. This is a must listen! Hope Abraham Verghese has another book on the way!
This is an outstanding story and it is not hard to understand why it has become a best seller. The entire story is original - its setting, characters, and plot development. You come away feeling like you know a little bit more about life in Ethiopia and what it takes for a physician to work in a Mission hospital. The narration is excellent.
Well written with excellent narration, Cutting for Stone is well worth the 2 credits. This is one of my absolute favorite Audibles. I finished it about 8 weeks ago and still find myself thinking about the characters and the story. I highly recommend it!
I've never listened to a book quite like this. It kept me interested the whole time and I'd recommend it to anybody who likes something out of the mainstream.
All the superlatives have been used in the customer review section. It is a beautiful narrative which for me was also a cultural awakening which spans the decades, the continents and the countries especially Ethiopia and the US. "Cutting for Stone" is a unique love story between sons and an exiled father, love among family and friends and love for a Higher Being. This is also a medical novel, which sometimes dips into professional jargon, but never enough to hinder the story.
May I also commend Sunil Malhotra. His powerful narration does justice to the majesty of this great book.
Is this Abraham Verghese's first novel? I hope it is not his last. And if there are more, may Sunil Malhotra tell the stories.
Laura the Listener
It’s a double pleasure to experience a book that is both a fascinating story and educational, and Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese is both of these. It is a lesson in history, medicine, and sociology, as well a thoroughly engaging and beautifully written tale. There are a few times when the writing becomes a bit mired in details, but overall every word is carefully selected to create vivid images in the listener's mind. I forgot that I was learning new facts about surgery and Ethiopia because I was so wrapped up in the beautiful story.
I am glad I listened to this book instead of reading it. Sunil Malhotra’s perfectly accented narration brings an authenticity to the characters that makes me want to know them in real life. This book really made me appreciate a great narrator, something I hadn't realized the importance of previously.
I've been recommending this book to friends from just after starting it, and I'm glad to say that now that I've reached the end, I can stand by that recommendation.
Another excellent book from Audible, up there with "The Lotus Eaters" for my favorites of the year.
I listened to this book when I was in the hospital recovering from collarbone surgery, so the fact that the main character was a surgeon, as well as the frequent discussions about surgery and medical history, were at times difficult to listen to because of their realism. The author, a surgeon himself, depicts medicine and its practitioners in a glorious, almost idealized way -- if it weren't for the frequent deaths and sicknesses that befall the patients.
Although I was sad when the book left Ethiopia during the narrator's exile, I was pleasantly surprised to find how interesting the section about medical practice in the U.S. was. Like myself, the narrator works in an inner-city hospital that serves the poorest of the poor. In my own training (in clinical psychology) I have seen the preponderance of doctors with foreign degrees in these kinds of hospitals, but this novel gave me new insight into the division of labor in American hospitals (one kind of care for the wealthy, another for the poor). LIke the main character, I work with and for the poor, and I could appreciate his struggles understanding and being understood by the doctors from the "Mecca" hospital.
Well done, Verghese!
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