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
Well worth the listen. A thought provoking book with fascinating characters painted against an interesting historical backdrop. Great narrator makes a good book better.
right up their with the story of Edgar Sawtele and Oscar Wo freedom and other great books so character rich and story strong this book is for the passionate reader who understand what good writing is
This is the best book I've ever listened to. The story drew me in from the opening paragraph. I found myself stalling what I was doing so I could keep listening. I listed to all 20+ hours in three days! The reader is perfect, the story is perfect and I love saying "Addis Ababa". I feel like I've been there!
I loved this book. It is totally worth 2 credits--a true bargin for 1 credit--don't pass it up; it has hours of listening pleasure, is very well-written and narrated, and all-in-all a really good story. You will feel connected to all the characters, and you will feel like part of the family, or wish some of these people were in your family. Most of the characters are good people with very big hearts; the others, victims of their cultural mores and judgements. It's a fabulous love story and features many types of relationships-- loves between and among people, of place, friends, family, twin brothers, servants, co-workers, doctors and patients, and, especially, of science and medicine. The practice of medicine becomes a primary "character" in the book, and the author portrays it with such sensitivity and dedication. A wonderful book -- was sad when it ended. It is definitely well-worth re-reading, too. There is much descriptive detail of other times, places and cultures that are quite fascinating, yet it is also a timeless story of immense love, compassion and forgiveness, very heartfelt and authentic. The author and narrator both have the gift to portray the whole experience of every moment -- you feel like you are there, participating, not just looking at the story unfolding before you.. There is great wisdom in this book, too, and an appreciation for what it is like to practice medicine. An enlightening book -- very special.
Highly recommend this book! I have listened to over 50 audiobooks in the last 5 months, and this is my absolute favorite of all of those!
This book follows the lives of twins, born in an Ethiopian hospital, whose mother (a nun) dies in childbirth, and whose father (a prestigious Western surgeon), flees once he realizes what has happened. The boys share an intense bond, but drift apart as they grow up. The protagonist, Marion, comes to the US to study surgery and confronts his father.
I highly recommend this book. The story is plainspoken and moving, and the descriptions are vivid. Despite a slight lull in the plot midway through, the story builds to a touching and meaningful conclusion.
Of course it's beautiful prose but I am grown tired of wonderful, flashy writing interrupting the narrative flow. Example: A moment of intense drama, its life or death, but.......lets examine the inner life of the protagonists for a few chapters. Meanwhile the patient (and the story) is bleeding to death. I am no fan of this technique, especially when I have to go and see my patients whose emergencies don't wait while I construct exquisite sentences. Just tell me if the patient is going to live or die,THEN I'll listen to the impeccable prose
my picking a book based on others reviews...It may be that Im just not into this at this time and may have to re-listen later...just can't get into this though...
This is the first time I've been compelled to write a review. As great as the previous reviews were, I thought this was a no brainer however, the narrator was utterly irritating in terms of accents and intonation or lack thereof. I could not push past the first few hours because the characters were so difficult to connect with. The overly analytical dialogue and constant medical parallels were mind numbing. Wish I could get my credit back and cannot even fathom wasting two credits on this total bore!
Since when are blood and gore the most compelling characters in a novel? An hour into listening and not one character was engaging enough to coax me into wading through the poetic entrails of this novel.
voracious and eclectic reader
I think I would've enjoyed this novel more if I had read it. I still intend to get the book.
The narration was not bad. Actually I enjoyed the narrator up to a point. The Indian accent was perfect for this character and I enjoyed the story. However, the author tends to go off on many tangents that take away from the pacing of the plot. If I were reading this, I would be able to get through those points much faster. Listening to it just became agonizing. I kept wanting to yell---"get on with it!!!" The slow pacing just made me tired, and since I listen to audiobooks while exercising, this is not a good thing. And I felt that the narrator just made the slow pacing of the book even slower with his pain-staking enunciation.
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