Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

Cutting for Stone

byAbraham Verghese

Kobo ebook | February 25, 2009

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International Bestseller

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.

From the Hardcover edition.

Abraham Verghese was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 1955. He received an M.D. from Madras University, India, in 1979 and came to the U.S a year later to do a residency in Tennessee. He also earned an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa in 1991. Verghese has been involved mainly in medical research and teaching. His specialties include...
Title:Cutting for StoneFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:February 25, 2009Publisher:Random House of CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0307372081

ISBN - 13:9780307372086


Rated 3 out of 5 by from Okay This had the potential to be amazing but it didn't quite get there. It is an enjoyable story, though.
Date published: 2018-03-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Engrossing Read! I love how actions and reactions are carefully tied together in a richly woven story. The characters are unique, both strong and very human and our narrator doesn't shy away from his own flaws, as he sees them. A thoroughly enjoyable read.
Date published: 2017-07-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from great one of the top ten books I have read.great story.
Date published: 2017-07-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really Good Good story with good plot development.
Date published: 2017-06-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Memorable And Tragic I chose this book to read for my English class. It stayed with me for a long time and is easily one of the best books I've ever read. I was emotionally invested in the story and the characters and could not put down the book.
Date published: 2017-04-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Super read, I quite enjoyed it. Super read, I quite enjoyed it.
Date published: 2017-04-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing and heartbreaking One of my favorite books ever. This book entrapps and enthralled the reader. It takes family drama to a whole new level. Seriously, I couldn't put it done. The characters and their stories will stay with you for a long time. Would highly recommend.
Date published: 2017-02-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Favorite book This is my favorite book ever. While the context of the book is in a hospital and is about surgery, the novel manages to touch upon many heart-breaking human events and centers around the idea of family. The prose is absolutely fluid and poetic.
Date published: 2017-02-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Love Story A typical love story forbidden and then the babies. Medical is good. When nothing good on tv
Date published: 2017-01-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A rich human story One of my all time favorite books that I pick up every few years to read! It is such a deep, rich human story. And I loved the medical backdrop throughout.
Date published: 2016-11-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this! A truly gripping tale of a young mans journey to adulthood and the trials faced, happiness found and lessons learnt.
Date published: 2016-11-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this book! Weel written book and a great read. Highly recommend this book to anyone. Loved it!
Date published: 2016-11-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Moving book for the medical and non-medical reader As a medical student, I loved this book. However, this book is about so much more than medicine. The journey and struggle of Marion is admirable, and I love the progression of the story. The book really comes full circle by the end. Highly recommend this book
Date published: 2016-11-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful! Sad, emotional, a great read. Well-written, this book is a real treasure!!
Date published: 2015-11-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Stone Excllent. Totally absorbing!! loved the character, especially Marion and Hema. Reccomend for any bookclub anywhere
Date published: 2015-09-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I love this book I'm only half way through but what a wonderful book this is. It's so emotional and beautiful, not to mention informative about Ethiopian culture and history. This is definitely one of the best books I have read. It's a very captivating and heart gripping story, and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of it.
Date published: 2015-08-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful I read this book a few years ago as a book club choice and I really enjoyed the story and the story line. A great read.
Date published: 2015-06-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Cutting for Stone A story of love and hate, passion and forgiveness. Of faith and fate. Of family. I could not put this book down.
Date published: 2015-06-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Director The story seeps into your bones so that you feel like you are there with the characters.
Date published: 2014-10-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful A complex journey through a family' a history which is difficult to put down .
Date published: 2014-09-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Cutting for Stone Loved the book!! Sad,loving and heart breaking.Great read.
Date published: 2014-08-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent thought provoking read! Simply put..this book is a journey worth taking. The author has such valuable insight into life and love, that he actually causes you the reader to reflect on your own life, even as you are caught in the story. Well researched and expertly told..I wholeheartedly recommend this book.
Date published: 2014-04-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Cutting for Stone Epic read, epic writer! Medicine 101 as an added bonus! Rich with well-developed characters, moral dilemmas, and thought-provoking "life questions." A very rewarding read.
Date published: 2014-04-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Cutting for Stone: Beautiful! This is one of the most beautiful novels I have ever read! A must read. An absolute treasure and I will definitely read this novel again and again. It is a story of family, faith, the power of love and human spirit..authentic, heart wrenching, exquisite!!
Date published: 2014-01-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Definitely recommended Loved it. Was a little leary about its length, but quickly became engrossed. One of those books you're sad once it's done.
Date published: 2013-12-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A great book club pick! My book club read this book last year and everyone really liked it.
Date published: 2013-12-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Engrossing and intricate Excellent book. It took a bit to get into and then held on to the finish. It was a Book Club choice and enjoyed by our whole group!
Date published: 2013-12-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Cutting for Stone What a wonderful story. Half way through the book and have difficulty closing the book for sleep time. Being a twin myself it brings back memories of a very close bond that has matured and become quite special. The "chemistry" of the growing up of the twins  is captured very well in Cutting for Stone. The story is both entertaining and enlightening. It is a pleasure reading a very well written book. I look forward to the next book written by Verghese.
Date published: 2013-11-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Cutting for Stone A love story on many levels, Cutting for Stone begins with a tragic love story between a surgeon and a nurse, progresses to the love parents have for their children, transitions to love between twin brothers, then first love; and all within the context of love of ones profession as physicians. This is a wonderfully written book - I could not put it down! And, be prepared to shed a few tears.
Date published: 2013-08-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Cutting for Stone Beautifully written. The reader is carried along through the remarkable lives of Marion and Shiva. Filled with interesting history, culture and incredible characters. This is a book you will read more than once.
Date published: 2013-08-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Stone Probably one of the finest books of the decade. And I don't say that lightly. To ignore this would be a crime. I still real that this is available to all those who pretend to practice medicine
Date published: 2013-08-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Cutting for Stone Recommended by a friend - it was a moving book
Date published: 2013-07-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Recommended Good book. It was very well written, but felt drawn out at times. Very informative about specific procedures and events.
Date published: 2013-05-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book I really enjoyed this book.
Date published: 2013-04-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Cutting for stone Well written and a rood story.
Date published: 2013-03-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent! Excellent book! Great for the medically inclined and for those who aren't.
Date published: 2013-02-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A fantastic read!! This is an emotional saga which I could not put down. Twins Marion and Shiva are born conjoined at birth. Their mother dies during childbirth and their father abandons them. Marion and Shiva are separated and raised by Indian doctors who are practicing in a mission hospital in Ethiopia. Verghese spins an amazing story of these twins. This story involves the culture of Ethiopia and India, the medical problems of an African hospital, revolution, and the emotional development and interaction of the twins. Verghese has written an elegant tale which has many many layers and leaves the reader still thinking several days later. I read this for my book club. What a wonderful book to discuss!
Date published: 2012-11-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautifully written, medically authentic, memorable characters In my rather long life I have read scores of "medical" novels and stories -- creative fiction by doctors, about doctors. One or two helped to reinforce my schoolboy decision 75 years ago to become a doctor myself. Several deserve to be called Literature. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese is literature. Even before I finished reading it, I elevated it to the highest pinnacle among literary works by and about doctors and matters medical. It's an intricately plotted work set mainly in Addis Ababa then in New York about complex, believable characters, doctors who were well trained in Madras or Edinburgh, and found their way to Addis Ababa, where the next generation -- offspring of two characters who disappear early from the scene, one of them dead, but leaving indelible imprints on the narrator and his twin brother - grow up. There are graphic but not stomach-churning accounts of surgical and obstetric procedures, and vivid descriptions of everyday life in the exotic setting of Addis Ababa. It's colourful, gripping, realistic with a hint of magic realism, wise, and beautifully written. Verghese has written short stories and articles for New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, and other magazines, and two previous books, one of which I've read, about his experience with HIV/AIDS in a small Tennesee city when he was young doctor, and saw how this disease exposed the local people's weaknesses and strengths. He is a professor of medicine and medical humanities at Stanford University school of medicine where he teaches students (I envy those students!) and is able to pursue his career as a writer. This is a book to read, to own and reread. It isn't often that a book and its characters continue to haunt my consciousness after I've finished the final chapter. Of course it's the reason some books become classics, the people who inhabit the book really seem to exist. They are multifaceted. Think of Leopold Bloom, Anna and Vronsky, Elizabeth Bennet, Billy Prior, Shakespeare's vividly realized Rosiland, Lear, and a host of others; Charles Dickens's crowded city of all kinds of folk with oddly apt names like Scrooge and Pickwick, recall Huckleberry Finn, and many others who come to life on the page. It's one reason these works are classics. This is another to add to the list. Long after I finished reading it, Sister Mary Joseph Praise, Marion Stone, his twin brother Shiva, Ghosh the dedicated internal medicine specialist turned surgeon, Hema, Genet, and others who inhabit Cutting for Stone, live on in my head. The book ends in high drama close to melodrama and a surgical feat that strains credibility but is nonetheless possible, maybe has even been performed by now; by the time you get to the end you can believe it really happened, feel for the twin who lived and the enigmatic one who did not. That's why I think this book will become a classic; and I hope Abraham Verghese will write more like this one. John M Last, MD, Ottawa, Canada
Date published: 2012-09-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best read of the year! Tell your friends. This book gives you everything. Excellent literary writing and a page turner if a story. As it is written by a well educated author, I found his knowledge of facts about the medical system in Africa and his knowledge of people in general made this the best read I have had in at least the past year. A real page turner - don't give up after 30 pages - keep going.
Date published: 2012-07-19
Rated 2 out of 5 by from okay Although I liked some of the basic story lline, I did not overly care for the author's style and somewhat vulgar descriptions. It also seemed to lag in the middle. Did have some interesting history and relevant issues though.
Date published: 2012-04-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read A book about power,intimacy,relationships and overall doing the right thing. Ghosh and Hema raise new born twins (Marion, Shiva) as their own. Lots of twists and turns. The story focuses mainly on Marion and his life once he is exiled to America.
Date published: 2012-04-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow - What a Story I devoured this book - so well written. Loved the characters and learned lots about Ethiopia and even India in the reading!
Date published: 2012-02-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful! I loved everything about this book. The characters are beautifully developed and the story is compelling. One of those books that you don't want to end because you feel so oddly attached to the lovely, flawed characters.
Date published: 2012-02-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gorgeous Read This is a must read for anyone who likes great read like the "Power of One" by Bryce Courtenay. This book has everything: fantastic, strong, multidimensional characters, interesting information about medical field, the political turmoil of Ethiopia and tight story line.
Date published: 2012-01-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from incredible, a masterpiece...a real author!!!! One of the best books that I have read in much attention to detail, characters so well defined...could not put it down as I felt that I was actually part of the vivid was the story... This would make an absolutely beautiful movie. Cannot wait to read the author's other books!!!
Date published: 2011-12-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Cutting For Stone Awesome book! Couldn't put it down. To sum up, it is a book about people, specifically two twin brothers. It follows them through their life, telling a complex and intriguing tale. There aren't any supernatural elements in it and I can see this novel being one that anyone would enjoy.
Date published: 2011-11-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A real page-turner Thoroughly enjoyed this novel. Sweeping family saga, interesting medical insight, as well as an historical account of Ethopian history in the 20th century.
Date published: 2011-09-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Best book I have read in a long time, maybe even my new favourite. Recommend it to anyone in the medical profession especially.
Date published: 2011-07-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fabulous! Best book I have read in years. Loved every minute of it. Going to check out Verghese's other 2 books. Being an O.R. nurse I loved all the surgical parts of the book. I did not want it to end.
Date published: 2011-07-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Cutting for Stone I found this book to be in the same format as other tragic love stories. The forbidden love between the amazing doctor and the nun-nurse has been done in so many other formats that it does get tedious. And of course the sin that cannot be hidden once the babies appear. Thomas Stone is an outstanding surgeon with deep emotional scars from childhood that inhibit him from developing any normal relationship with another human being. Along comes Mary the Nun and she is also scarred but she helps Thomas Stone and dedicates her life to standing by his side while he performs surgery. It is not until her life is ebbed out of her that Thomas comes to realization that he loves Mary beyond all else. Her life is given in the birth of her twin sons, whom Thomas Stone rejects and leaves behind as he tries to run from his grief...due to the death of Mary. The twin boys Marion and Shiva are raised by Hema and Ghosh who worked with Thomas Stone. They consider the boys to be theirs and raise them as a family. Life ensues and living in Ethiopia life is full of conflict and struggles. Marion and Shiva are not left clean in their pursuit of adulthood and education. They both end up as doctors, but so different from each other. The ending is not surprising, tragic as expected, with martyrdom abound. I found the story tedious and I really did not like any of the characters, they all were so unlikable. The medical information was interesting, but not intriguing enough to make this an outstanding read that I was hoping for.
Date published: 2011-06-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from wonderful I am only half way through and can't put it down! Beautifully written! I must get others by the same author as this is a real winner. Now I must go back to my book.
Date published: 2011-06-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from FANTASTIC One of the best books I have read in the last 5 years. Wonderful story, excellent character development and beautifully written. If you enjoy fiction and well written literature, a must read.
Date published: 2011-06-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down... This book really pulled me in...the characters and the plot development was incredible. The story was so believable and well researched...loved it.
Date published: 2011-04-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredibly poignant - loved every page! Sometimes, not often, you find a book that you love so much, you hate to come to the last page. "Cutting For Stone" is just such a book. The story is incredibly touching and well crafted. I am in awe of Mr. Verghese's ability to create characters that will remain with you for a very long time. Heartbreaking and yet heartwarming at the same time, this is for me, one of my favourite books. A definite must read.
Date published: 2011-03-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Not finished it yet ---- but loving it. Anyone interested in medicine, surgery, Africa, India, twins, parents, religion, or life in general, will love this book!
Date published: 2011-03-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Read I highly recommend this book. You get a sense of the characters inner working and uniqueness. The story is imaginative, entertaining, full of development and rich descriptions inspiring visual images for the reader. Even though I wish the author gave more insight into some of the female characters, particularly Genet or Rosina, the theme of men’s relationship to family, especially between fathers and sons is highly emotional, heartbreaking and redemptive. Of course this is one of many themes that make this book worth reading including colonialism, transformation, forgiveness and home. Beautiful book, with a little patience in the beginning I was gratefully hooked.
Date published: 2011-03-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Simply beautiful Verghese introduces us to Marion and Shiva, twins born in tragic circumstances that follow them the rest of their lives. "Cutting for Stone" is an incredible story of personal discovery, with mystical Ethiopia at heart of the story. The book was a bit on the long side, but strangely, I can't say what part I would have cut out.
Date published: 2011-03-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gripping and Unforgettable This book was one my book club chose. I had not heard of it before but am delighted I was introduced to it! I enjoyed Abraham Verghese's description of medical issues/procedures and the compassion he gave his characters. I would recommend this to anyone who likes to be taken away to new experiences and settings.
Date published: 2010-09-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Perhaps the Best Book I've read this year. I read this book several months ago, and yet it still stays with. There is so much to the plot - from Ethopia to the USA . It's an amazing story of two twins born and yet so unlike. The character development was fabulous. I could not put this wonderful book down. I can't recommend it enough. It is very readable - I highly recommend this wonderful story.
Date published: 2010-08-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Delicious This is one of the best books I had ever had the pleasure to read. It is very discriptive and only after a couple of pages I'd stop to savor the words I'd just read just like a delicious feast. I found the character developement amazing, the history and story line interesting, a very, very good read.
Date published: 2010-07-19
Rated 1 out of 5 by from what am I missing I only bought this book after reading many, many reviews. I was very disappointed. I thought it would get better but I still couldn't get into it after I was half way through. Did I miss something? The writing was too descriptive and it was hard to follow the many characters that were in the novel. I don't reccommend this book. I wish I had bought it from Chapters so I could return it (it's a Heather's Pick) I wish I could get my money back.
Date published: 2010-03-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A wonderful read!!! This is Abraham Verghese's first novel. I found it to be very interesting as it was about a set of twins born and orphaned in Africa. One twin has to flee his homeland making his way to America. This is a family story about doctors and two very different countries Africa and America. A excellent read!!!
Date published: 2009-09-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One for sharing I have to say that I read a lot of books and this is one of the best. Character development is really what distinguishes this book from others. I am not an emotional person but this book moved me to tears in a couple of chapters. The way that it draws you in to the lives of the characters is its most compelling attribute. The story line is above average; the language is only average; the setting is magnificent. Overall, I recommend it very highly.
Date published: 2009-08-21