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
Knowledge is knowing the way. Wisdom is looking for an alternative, more interesting road to get there. Audiobooks are that road.
An epic novel which starts out in Addis Ababa and ends in New York, Cutting for Stone is one of those books that stays with you long after you're done. The story begins with an intense, anatomical description of the birth of Marion and Shiva, twin boys born to Sister Mary Joseph Praise and her lover, a brash English surgeon, Dr. Thomas Stone. A love story gone very wrong, the events of that day molded the destiny of those two boys.
With excellent character development, you come to really understand the essence of Marion and Shiva, as well as Hema and Ghosh, the mother and father who stepped in to raise them, their biological father who abandoned them and the woman who came between them. The novel is heavily laden with medical jargon and raw descriptions of procedures that may not be for everyone, but for me they added to the authenticity of the novel.
Marion, the narrator, takes you on his journey. Through his eyes you see the poverty of the medical hospital Mission, which is mispronounced Missing, throughout the book. You learn about the fistulas girls develop because of poor medical facilities and how they become outcasts because of it. You will experience the mutilation of a young girl by a family member and what that does to her and the people whose lives she touches. You will get a unique look at what it’s like to immigrate to America and how it’s not so rosy for everyone living the dream of western society.
You will experience the love that develops between Hema and Ghosh and how these adoptive parents nurture their twin boys. You will struggle along with Marion as he feels the effects of being abandoned by his biological father.
This book is rich in so many ways. A wonderful experience that continues to resonate long after it’s over.
The narrator does an excellent job of all the accents. His intonation in playing the part of Marion is superb.
Addicted to Audible!
This was an amazing book. As a nurse I found the medical parts fascinating and the story was engrossing. The characters were well written and so REAL. The only negative on this book was the length. I did feel that it was a bit too long and could have had better editing, overall, however, it was absolutely one of the best books I have listened to in a long time!
I have been an audible member for several years and have "read" many, many great books. I cannot get into the car and drive, even a short distance, without a book. This book is right up there on my list of favorites. Great story, great narration. Many hours of enjoyable driving!
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.
Favorites: Invention of Wings, Cutting for Stone, All the Light We Cannot See
I am in the middle of this book, and don't want it to end. The characters are fascinating, the writing is superb. At first I didn't like the narrator, but now I think he does a great job.
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 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.
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!
Touching, moving, amazing. I couldn't do anything but listen to this book for the past two days. There are many amazing snippets of philosophy. I loved it.
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