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Cutting for Stone: A Novel | [Abraham Verghese]

Cutting for Stone: A Novel

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (4855 )
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  •  
    Mary Walnut Creek, CA, USA 04-21-10
    Mary Walnut Creek, CA, USA 04-21-10 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    "Cutting by Verghese"

    Way too long. The medical information should have been shorter.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elaine Scarborough, ME, United States 09-18-10
    Elaine Scarborough, ME, United States 09-18-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    6
    5
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    Overall
    "Tedious"

    Tiresome book. Filled with useless minutiae. Might be a pretty good story but with some serious editing..... like, eliminate 35% of it.

    4 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joan Philadelphia, PA, United States 12-03-10
    Joan Philadelphia, PA, United States 12-03-10 Member Since 2006

    I am an English lit major, a writer (non-fiction), like to learn about history from fiction, love the classics, but also a good yarn that distracts me from present troubles. Like stories I can't put down.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    2
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    "It's still not literature!"

    This is a very long time to spend (and two precious credits!) to realize that a soap opera story imposed on "Gray's Anatomy" does not amount to real literature. Medical expertise and jargon does not amount to knowledge of the human soul! Do not waste your time.

    3 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa S. 10-24-11
    Lisa S. 10-24-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
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    6
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    7
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    Performance
    Story
    "It's a great book but I didn't love it"

    This story is very well-written, and the narraration is excellent. It is full of beautiful little passages that are poetic and poignant - profound thoughts that describe the human experience masterfuly. These are the things that kept my interest.

    However, for me, the long story was difficult to love. The characters were not especially charismatic; they didn't really win my heart. And there are a lot of graphic descriptions of surgeries and illnesses, some of which were difficult to listen to.

    I did appreciate the inside look from points of view and different worlds that I never would have otherwise seen - Ethiopia, the struggling hospital in the Bronx, the perspective of an immigrant medical intern... All of these things were fascinating, but in the end, the book left me feeling kind of sad. I guess I am an escapist who is better suited to fantasy and more entralling types of tales.

    I see that the price has gone up to 2 credits since I bought it - I don't know that it would have been worth that for me.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    OutfieldDan Houston, TX USA 05-02-11
    OutfieldDan Houston, TX USA 05-02-11 Member Since 2003

    OutfieldDan

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "High Ratings are completely false"

    I struggled through the entire book, anticipating that it would get good and justify the high ratings from other reviewers. Sadly it never did get good, and I'm sorry I even started listening to this tedious story. The story just bogs down and keeps bogging down. The plot is pedestrian, being the diary of a life beginning in a third world country. The medical information is not particularly interesting, but it is the only interesting component of the book. The characters are simply boring and slog through life with little excitement and mystery. I don't know what planet these reviewers are on who give it five stars. It needs to be edited, abridged down to half its length, and then it would still be boring, but at least not so much a waste of time to listen to it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Concrete, WA, United States 03-25-11
    William Concrete, WA, United States 03-25-11 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
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    "disappointed"

    It is a shame that such a great story had to be destroyed as a family listen by such explicit sex.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William K. Landon 03-07-11 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Boring, boring, boring"

    For me, a total waste of a credit. Far too much medical jargon, far too little story. Very boring. Gave up after first hour.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Becky OH, United States 03-02-11
    Becky OH, United States 03-02-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    33
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    "Just too much useless back story"

    It's a very unique, well-narrated story that could have been told in about 5 hours. I gave up on this one a dozen times. Then I'd relent and try again only to find my mind wandering during the hours and hours of useless back story. It was just too darn frustrating to stay connected to the story.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marie Arlington, TN, United States 03-02-11
    Marie Arlington, TN, United States 03-02-11 Member Since 2010

    Glad to be part of the audible community and I hope that my reviews help to choose the right book and share my love of reading.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    37
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    76
    67
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    4
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    "Cutting for Stone 3/5 credits"

    Beautifully written. The story line is different, seducing... yet... I felt that I could NEVER identify with the characters. On one hand the author went deep into their psyche, on the other hand, the reader feels left out. The book is good, but NOT as good as the book "THE HELP", and NOT as insightful for sure. Would I recommend the book. YES , if you don't know what else to read, NO, if you are frugal with your credits. Overall, the book was good, the narration was well done, sometimes I had a hard times understanding the dialect, overall, couldn't identify with all of the characters.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Helen Rangel Edmond, OK United States 07-25-10
    Helen Rangel Edmond, OK United States 07-25-10 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    50
    ratings
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    249
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    "Cutting for Stone"

    Although the story and narration is exceptional, the author dwells on all the details much too long. Its hard not to say to the author, "Get on with it". I would recommend the abridged version of this book.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
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