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 loved this story and the reader is excellent. It incorporates some African (Ethiopian) history tidbits that it most U.S. citizens do are not exposed to. It really gave one the sense of being in Ethiopia during that time. Sometimes the story gets a bit far fetched, but it has that fable feeling, main character is a bit dreamy about the girl - that was hard to believe at times. Other than that, it's written so well that some of the lines and thoughts stop me in my tracks.
I am moved to write this, my first "review", because I loved the experience of listening to this book. The writing is beautiful, the story engrossing and the narrator is perfect. I didn't want it to end. Do yourself a favor and read this book.
You don't have to be a surgeon with a history of mentoring relationships in your life to enjoy the depth of this book - but that added extra meaning for me.
A deeply woven tail of how all our actions in life intertwine and ultimately hold meaning and consequences forever. The depth of the characters who you will get to know, hate and love along with the richness of the description of life in Ethiopia makes this nothing short of breathless at times.
"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.
Well told story. Some moments drag and the second half of the book is not as colorful as the first. I felt Marion was treading a little heavily (read: tromping on land mines) into his self-pity and outwards expression of bitterness.
Contrasting painfully with the raw, graphic nature of some of the medical scenes in the book is the reiterated praise and longing for Ethiopian food. One minute I'm trying not to gag, the next I'm thinking "ooo Injera sounds SO good..." I even went so far as to make some.
I feel it's worth a 1 credit purchase, but not 2. I'd wait for it on sale.
I mostly liked this book, I liked that it took place in Ethiopia, a place I knew relatively nothing about. I thought the characters were well developed and the story was worth telling, original elements and a good job at creating the ???place.??? I enjoyed the language and the detailed look the author imbued with flavor, color and texture.
Cutting for Stone is a story of consequences. It comes off a bit on the preachy side, to my mind, an inordinate amount of unhappiness falls on people for singular sexual missteps.
The story takes place in a mission hospital in Addis Ababa, a place that rolls off the tongue of the reader like poetry, lilting and lovely. The hospital is called Missing, because according to the author, Ethiopians have a hard time pronouncing mission. An Ethiopian filled out the paperwork to the government, and Missing it stayed.
Like most mission hospitals, it is understaffed, under funded and overly abused by the local government. They managed to do some good medicine, that being defined by the fact that they would have none otherwise.
Sister Mary Joseph Praise. A Carmelite nursing nun from India, sent by an overzealous mother superior to Ethiopia to give succor to the needy (like there aren???t enough needy people in India) and a companion nun set out. They are sent by cargo boat to save money on the passage. This is taking place just after Ghandi wrested India out of the hands of the English, so an English surgeon was on the boat, going to Ethiopia to ply his trade. They meet there initially and during a bout of some sort of illness he becomes aware of her skill.
They part, and about a year later Sister Mary turns up at Missing. No questions are asked. Matron of Missing can use a well trained nurse, and Sister Mary becomes invaluable as an operating partner to Dr. Stone. Years roll on.
Not to spoil everything. Twin sons are born, their birth is a precarious thing and they are almost crushed to death in the effort to spare the mother???s life. Dr. Stone, the father of the boys disappears.
The boys grow and thrive. Another child is introduced into the mix, a girl. The foster parents are a sub-story that is lovely and well worth reading. A schism occurs and the boys are estranged, as well as the girl. The girl does something so incredibly stupid that it endangers the life of one of the young men, now in medical school. He must flee to the United States.
He acquires his surgical training. I really want to leave it here, because anything else is an absolute spoiler.
Hugely satisfying listen and equally satisfying read. The performance brings out the flavor of the novel and creates an atmosphere that is wholly tangible. As entertaining as it is informative. Cannot recommend it more highly.
Reading is one of life's greatest pleasures...and, now that I've found audiobooks, I can read even while performing mundane tasks!
Despite the exotic locales, the characters in "Cutting for Stone" are so real, and because of the exotic locales, there is a refreshing twist throughout the novel that never grows stale. While there are many grim moments in this book, there are also myriad heart-warming moments. It is an emotional story, but there is a balance of hard and soft. Sunil Malhotra is great at conveying the essence of each character. I had a hard time breaking away from this book whenever reality called. I can't think of another work of contemporary fiction that has captivated and touch me as much as "Cutting or Stone."
This profound story stays with you. It spans continents and decades. It was a fascinating book that I learned a lot from. I recommend it to my book club and they all were really drawn to it as well.
This book felt like 3 books in one with climactic event after event which kept me eager for more. Though it is the story of one family, to me, the title, 'Cutting for Stone' referred to something different with each section as I kept asking myself what it meant.
There are so many interesting facets to this novel - from the intricate surgical descriptions to the political unrest of their country to the deep relationship between brothers Marion and Shiva. It ultimately inspires forgiveness and love with its lessons of family and courage.
I didn't want it to end and will listen to this one again. It definitely comes highly recommended from me. Happy listening.
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