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Cutting for Stone Paperback – Jan 26 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Canada (Jan. 26 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307357783
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307357786
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.2 x 3.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #632 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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54 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Nicola Manning-Mansfield HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Feb. 23 2009
Format: Hardcover
This epic family saga spans through the 1950s to present time and travels from Ethiopia to America and back again. A brilliant tale that starts off with an Indian nun working as a nurse in Ethiopia surprisingly going into labour with complications. Her twin sons are delivered alive but she dies on the table and the white doctor who is assumed to be the father refuses to look at the boys and leaves the Mission Hospital never to return again. This, then, is the story of the twins, Marion and Shiva, told through the eyes of Marion, the first born. The story of how they were as one person together until the day that betrayal over a woman tore them apart. An intense story that centres around medicine as the doctors and nurses try to help the poor of Ethiopia but also spans the history of this country from an autonomous monarchy through two coups, and a Marxist regime.

An absolutely brilliant book that I could not put down. Once I started I kept on reading like there was no tomorrow. The characters that populate this book are immensely genuine and eclectic from the twins, to their adoptive doctor parents, to the servants, the Matron and finally the collection of Indian doctors working together in America. A loving family and community from a mixture of cultures (white, Indian and Ethiopian) that combine Catholicism with Hinduism, live together through shocking event after shocking event.

A real page turner. An epic story that is a joy to read. An unfamiliar setting and a focus on medicine both captivated me and a truly heart-wrenching story of love and betrayal that continues to surprise you at every turn. Truly wonderful, this is a book that will stay with me. Highly recommended!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Lee on Oct. 22 2009
Format: Hardcover
When I started this book I had no idea that it would end up being my favourite book of the year. It was so unexpectedly moving and brilliant that I am still shocked it is over. Abraham Verghese writes the kind of story that makes you a part of his world. A hospital compound in Ethiopia inhabited by an eclectic but warm cast of characters who form a tight knit family and who experience all sorts of upheaval from failed political coup attempts to extreme medical emergencies. I found the amount of medical detail quite fascinating but I imagine not everyone would. It does create very vivid pictures and sometimes uncomfortable reactions while reading but for me, it made sense, as every main character in the book is a physician. The story took me to the very edge of life and death, love and suffering and then left me in a place of peace. A really wonderful reading experience.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Emmaursula on March 4 2010
Format: Paperback
This is one really good book filled with characters you want to know and a story you want to follow. You get to learn all kinds of things about medicine too (sometimes things that are hard to take). I listened to this book on CD borrowed from the library and did not want to miss one word. Sometimes I stopped the car and sat there listening. I am buying this book. Highly recommended.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Mackay on Feb. 5 2010
Format: Hardcover
Something about this book did not really appeal to me when it was proposed as our book club read for January, but since everyone else wanted to read it, I had to, too, and I'm very glad I did. I became absolutely engrossed within a few pages. The author weaves a rather amazing tale, overflowing with backstory, and his story-telling skills are stellar. The book is almost totally a narrative, with not so much as a boring paragraph. The subjects covered throughout the pages are many, but all information is imparted within the context of the story, with the unexpected benefit that I feel I know more than I did before I read the book, but the learning was enjoyable. His characters are ripe with life, and humanity, and not an improbable one in the entire book. I think perhaps the bit that made me hesitate at first was that I found a nun pregnant with twins a little bizarre and maybe distasteful. The storyline that eventually emerges regarding that circumstance is believable and sad, and touching. This man is a truly gifted storyteller. I read quite a bit, and it has been some time since I've so wholeheartedly enjoyed a story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Susan C. Lorden on May 4 2012
Format: Paperback
Love this book! It's a family history, love story and tragedy all wrapped up in one fictional novel. Brilliant writing that gets better as the book progresses.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jillian B. Ridington on March 24 2009
Format: Hardcover
Clear your calendar before you read this book, and prepare to be transported. You will enter the world of Shiva/Marion -- the once-conjoined twins who grow up inseparable, but find their complementary skills only by separating. Verghese is a surgeon as well as a writer; his skill in both these professions take the reader into makeshift operating rooms in Ethiopia and high-tech operating theatres in the US; you learn as much about medical procedures as you do about the human condition, and all of it is given to you in lyrical prose.
Verghese's empathy and understanding are obvious in the characters he creates; Shiva/Marion; their sister the revolutionary; their biological parents; the doctors who become their mother,father and teachers; the others who inhabit the worlds of "Missing" hospital, Boston and New York City and who will come to live in your memory and imagination long after you have finished this remarkable book.
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