Reader reviews and comments on Cutting For Stone, plus links to write your own review.

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Cutting For Stone

by Abraham Verghese

Cutting For Stone
  • Critics' Opinion:

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  • First Published:
    Feb 2009, 560 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2010, 560 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Lucia Silva

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There are currently 32 reader reviews for Cutting For Stone
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Leann (01/09/09)

Cutting For Stone by Abraham Verghese
I really enjoyed this book, although there were parts that I thought might have benefited from tighter editing to even out the pacing. But, the language is rich and lovely and the characters alive and wonderfully complex. I’m sure that this book will be among the rare few that stay with me long after I’ve moved on to the next . . . and the next . . . and the next . . .
Mary Lou (01/09/09)

Cutting for Stone
"Cutting for Stone" is a gripping story that begins in Ethiopia and unfolds over decades and continents. It is a story of coming of age, of passion and of tragedy, but mostly, it is a story of hope and commitment.

Dr. Verghese's descriptions of places and incidents were so vivid, I felt like I was with the characters. looking over their shoulders and eavesdropping. This is one of the best and most well written books I've read in a long time.
Laura (01/09/09)

Read this one!
Cutting for Stone is a family saga that has it all - birth and death, sin and forgiveness, love and hate, politics and medicine - wrapped in a balanced and gripping plot involving compelling characters and exotic locations. Verghese tells a great story with none of the overwriting so common to "big" novels. His fiction debut is even better than his outstanding nonfiction (My Own Country). This was the best "curl up with a good book" read I've had in ages.
Julie (01/09/09)

Cutting for Stone
In his prologue, Mr. Verghese establishes an epic storyline, designates a narrator, introduces the main characters and invites the reader to try to solve the mystery of family relationships. With such an inclusive introduction, what is left to fill the remaining 543 pages? Plenty!

I enjoyed Verghese's medical expertise as surgery description in both horrific and heroic forms enhanced the flow of the plot. I also liked the realistic setting within Ethiopia's historic struggle for a stable government.

Above all, this novel is a love story of Titanic magnitude whose relationships require more than sacrifice to endure. Forgiveness may be required, but not always available and loyalty occurs in bonds that are not necessarily connected by bloodlines. This book embodies the struggle for love redeemed - all kinds. A coming-of -age story and a must read for saga lovers!
Judith (01/09/09)

Too heavy to put down
Each chapter is short so I found myself reading 'just one more'....and then not wanting the book to end.

I felt as though I were in the doctors' shoes and the medical/scientific terminology was no obstacle to this being an exciting, interesting read.

ShivaMarion caught my heart and made me care each step of the way ... as did all the other characters. I really did get to know them personally.

I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys well-written fiction with an engaging plot line (or two!)
Pat (01/09/09)

Cutting for Stone
The novel takes the reader in and out of the operating theatre. Diseases are described and medical terms are used. The reader learns just as Marion, the narrator, learns the difference between the Art and the Science of Medicine and the blending of the two. Even Matron, a minor character, plays an important role explaining how donated money to the hospital is disbursed. She is courageous and she displays good common sense. Fundamental truths are stated in a direct manner. The story line is compelling and the characters are well rounded. Strange cultural practices are described without passing judgment. As the narrator matures, he learns that life - "you live forward, but understand it backward."

This book will be on our reading list for next year. It is a must read!
Sandra (01/09/09)

Cutting for Stone
There are many interesting themes and characters in the book but I felt the book was overdone. Verghese gets so caught up in particular events such as the delivery of the twins that he loses the flow of the story. Although his knowledge of medicine is obvious and well documented if often felt like a lecture. I read My Own Country several years ago and thought it was very good...but that was non fiction so the "story" told itself. I think it would have been a very good novel with better editing and condensation.
I particularly liked his theme of real patient care. I appreciated learning more about Ethiopian history and culture.

Thank you for the opportunity to review the book.
Katherine (01/09/09)

A Rewarding But Uneven Effort
The first two parts of “Cutting for Stone” are fabulous. The characters come off the page and are entirely real. The reader is right there with them in the hospital in Ethiopia and their stories are fascinating. Unfortunately the second two parts do not live up to the promise of the first two. In the second two parts, the pace of the story speeds up and something is lost. The characters of the young people, Marion, Shiva and Genet are never as meticulously realized as those of their elders. The plot relies on too many highly unlikely coincidences and the story that was so very real for the first half of the book becomes difficult to believe. I look forward to his next book in hopes that it lives up to the promise of the first parts of this one. Recommended for readers who enjoyed “Half of A Yellow Sun,” “Sea of Poppies,” or “Sacred Games.”
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