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Cutting for Stone [Paperback] [Unknown Binding]

Abraham Verghese
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (192 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: Vintage (2010)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0083HD6V2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (192 customer reviews)

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
60 of 60 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent storytelling 7 Feb 2010
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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168 of 171 people found the following review helpful
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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67 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cuts deep in every way. 21 Jan 2010
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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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best book I read in 2011 8 Jan 2012
By cjw
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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53 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly Gorgeous! 17 Jan 2010
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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99 of 107 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Cut Above The Rest 11 July 2009
As a reader, I'm always in search of that book I would rate a "10" but, unfortunately, these books don't come around that often. Sure I've read books in the past year that I've given 5 stars to but their actual rating was less than a "10". They probably fell in the "8" or "9" range. I've read some really good mysteries this year but I rate them according to their genre so I don't really put them in the same category as good literature. I knew the second half of this year had some potential as three of my favorite authors, John Irving, Pat Conroy and Richard Russo, all have books coming out. But then I started hearing some buzz about this book set in Ethiopia, Cutting For Stone, so I thought I'd give it a try. It's not one I would have picked up on my own simply because the title was so weird. Cutting For Stone....what the heck is that? With the long 4th of July weekend looming before me, I knew I wanted to read something great and decided to take a chance with Verghese's novel. I'm so glad I did.

I've always been the type of reader who loves when an author takes me somewhere I've never been before and, while there, teaches me things I've never known. When they're able to do this teaching without preaching, it's an extra added bonus. I've never been to Ethiopia and I know I'll never go there. When I think of Ethiopia, I have visions of a totally undeveloped country. While I'm sure these visions are partially true, Verghese really opened my eyes to another part of the world in a country where medical teams still strive for perfection without the kind of money that easily flows into many of the hospitals of which we're familiar. Verghese's Ethiopia is filled with people who love their country and their food and their smells and their customs.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A great work of modern fiction.
This is a powerful, beautiful, moving book which deserves to rank as one of the great modern novels. Read more
Published 9 hours ago by Steve
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT READ
Not much to say, I enjoyed and would recommend to others
Published 3 days ago by MSB
5.0 out of 5 stars My best read. A stunningly beautiful book.
This is, without a doubt, the most beautiful book I've read. The story is original, captivating and moving. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Cheeky Chops
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
superb, ive reordered many times as presents.
Published 6 days ago by Nic
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant novel which I have now shared with several friends. Thanks
Published 9 days ago by alice Sinclair
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love this book!
Published 21 days ago by LS
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Book was not in as good a condition as indicated. Disappointed in purchase
Published 24 days ago by Jacqui
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
A great story. You are lead on a terrific journey. Highly recommend it. Its one of those books you want to finish and then are sad that its all over and you have to read... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mrs C M Coleman
5.0 out of 5 stars Cutting For Stone By Abraham Verghese

It is not just the story of Shiva and Marion, two identical twins born to a nun in 1954 in Ethiopia that draws the reader. Read more
Published 1 month ago by The Mother Booker
5.0 out of 5 stars just superb
Loved this book, not just because I lived in Ethiopia once and it brought back such memories, but also for the beauty of the writing and the gripping story. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Psych dot
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