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Cutting For Stone Paperback – 26 Dec 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (26 Dec. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099443635
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099443636
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (244 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,685 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

ABRAHAM VERGHESE is senior associate chair and professor for the Theory and Practice of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine. He sees patients, teaches students and writes.

From 1990 to 1991, Abraham Verghese attended the Iowa Writers' Workshop at The University of Iowa, where he obtained a Master of Fine Arts degree.

His first book, MY OWN COUNTRY, about AIDS in rural Tennessee, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for 1994 and was made into a movie directed by Mira Nair and starring Naveen Andrews, Marisa Tomei, Glenne Headley and others.

His second book, THE TENNIS PARTNER, was a New York Times notable book and a national bestseller.

CUTTING FOR STONE is his most recent book and his first novel. It is an epic love story, medical story and family saga. It appeared in hardback in 2009, and is in its 9th printing and is being translated into 16 languages. CUTTING FOR STONE will be released as a Vintage paperback in February 2010.

Verghese has an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Swarthmore College and has published extensively in the medical literature, and his writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Sports Illustrated, The Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, Granta, The New York Times Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere.

His writing, both non-fiction and fiction, has to do with his view of medicine as a passionate and romantic pursuit; he sees the bedside ritual of examining the patient as a critical, cost saving, time-honored and necessary, (but greatly threatened) skill that cements the patient-physician relationship. He coined the term the 'iPatient' to describe the phenomenon of the virtual patient in the computer becoming the object of attention to the detriment of the real patient in the bed.

Product Description

Review

"This huge, rich, ambitious tapestry of a novel makes insomnia a pleasure...tremendous" (The Times)

"There is a gravity and beauty in his writing that sets it apart from much contemporary fiction" (Daily Telegraph)

"Tremendous, compassionate, exuberant" (Independent)

"The reader feels there really is something at stake - birth, love, death, war, loyalty" (Guardian)

"Tremendousm compassionate, exuberant" (Michael Bywater Independent)

Review

"Verghese, a doctor, has an affinity for unstinting detail and unscientific intuition...a poetic perception of the outside world." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

177 of 180 people found the following review helpful By Mr. P. Robbs on 27 July 2009
Format: Paperback
Verghese brilliantly brings to life the Addis Ababa of the 1960s,'70s and '80s,a time of horrific political convulsions that transformed the ancient hidden Christian African empire of Haile Selassie's day into a Stalinist revolutionary hell under Mengistu, and to his regime's final collapse. Yet this is just the background, to a convincing and beautiful saga of passions and of family upheavals and torments, woven well into accounts of how a group of doctors are connected by relationship, rivalry and skills into a collective of dedicated men and women fighting to save life in a poor and war-torn third world country. It held me to the last full stop. Surprisingly, the book has attracted less attention in Britain than in the US. It deserves better from UK readers.
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72 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Pen pal VINE VOICE on 21 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback
I have never been to Ethiopia, but such was the writing I felt that I was there. Verghese makes the characters in his book come completely alive, and you begin to really care about them. It is the tale of twins, born in unusual circumstances, not least because their mother is a nun. Their subsequent childhood, in which they are raised within a very loving family by Hema and Ghosh, not their natural parents, sets the scene for all that is to come. Marion falls in love with a childhood friend, as good as a sister, but is ultimately betrayed by the two people he least expected. The betrayal has deep ramifications that ring out through the rest of time. This is an extremely moving novel, and I was not surprised to learn that the author is himself a surgeon, as he gives some fairly detailed accounts of various operations that take place. Needless to say, all the key characters in this book are surgeons or become surgeons. The skilled writing made me feel very involved in these medical procedures, and it was a genuinely fascinating journey into an area I have never read about in any detail. All I can say, is this book was an incredibly moving one, well-written and stays with you long after you have turned the last page.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By cjw on 8 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback
I have never written a review on Amazon before but I enjoyed "cutting for stone" so much that I find myself logging on to write about it, hopefully to encourage others to enjoy this wonderful novel. The story is riveting, and the characters well drawn. The unfolding plot is intricate but so beautifully interwoven that not a word is redundant. For me, however, the unique feature of this book is the medical detailing. I am a doctor and nothing irritates me more than novels that include inaccurate or unnecessary medical detail. Abraham Verghese, on the contrary, allows his passion for medicine (and, better still, for the caring side of medicine) to shine through the story, underpinning the unfolding drama but never in a way that is extraneous or intrusive. I sat up into the night to finish this book, and I still keep finding my mind turning to the characters. All in all, this is definitely the most enjoyable and satisfying read of 2011 for me.
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66 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Lovely Treez TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback
At 560 pages, this isn't a quick read but you won't regret investing your time in reading this immensely rewarding story. It is a very readable novel, almost family saga-like in its style and one which I was very sorry to finish.

Not for the squeamish, some sections are a bit like a busy night at ER, although obviously in a less Westernised setting. Ethiopia is vibrantly described and you really feel immersed in its culture and history. Somehow the story of the twins and their perhaps far fetched, almost Thorn Birds like conception doesn't impinge on the intense realism of this epic story which covers 50 years and several continents. The characters are all well developed and three dimensional and although the story is never overly sentimental you may need some tissues. The author doesn't overdo the twin theme but there is something so intriguing about twins and their relationships and I'm thinking more along the lines of Kane and Abel, Romulus and Remus rather than John and Edward of X Factor fame/infamy!

An intelligent and gripping story which will remain with you long after the final page has been turned - striking in its orginality and one which I will hope capture the imagination of a lot of readers.
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56 of 59 people found the following review helpful By StarWarsFan on 17 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback
This is an incredible novel that has sucked me in and largely taken over my life for the past three days. I usually don't read much over the weekend when my husband is around, but this has been one that I've carried round like a security blanket and have tried to sneek pages in at any opportunity. It is intellectual, yet the investment is worth it. It is a beautifully written and compelling book that is a bit like ER - good story, plenty of medical detail, and well developed characters and personal relationships. Yet there is clearly something more; it reaches higher than anything I've read in a while. There is a truly special quality about this novel, something I can't quite put my finger on, it stands head and shoulders above most contemporary fiction. BUY IT!!! (but make sure you have a few days to spare...)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Conortje on 1 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a wondrous novel packed with history, inspiration, imagination and a terrific story. For me the novel only really got going after the birth of the twins - the beginning was the weakest part. But what rewards from their birth onwards... I found it fascinating how their two lives were so wildly different yet so close and intertwined. The descriptions of Ethiopia during Haile Selassie's reign are so vivid and engaging that I felt it brought history alive in the most effective way. It also made me desperately want to visit the country some day. I read this book while in Ghana but felt like I was in Ethiopia until I turned the last page. The love the twins have for each other was enchanting - even after unexpected betrayal.

This is a great book to read on the Kindle as the vocabulary used throughout is rich and rare - I loved continuously looking up all these curious new words. I suspect that just like the twins, the author as a child learned new words every day.

This is a rare book with a gripping story, fascinating characters and rich in history and human emotion. A genuine pleasure to read.
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