Cutting for Stone

Verghese, Abraham

  27 Reviews

Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash Orthopaedic surgeon. Orphaned by their mother's death 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. Moving from Addis Ababa to New York City and back again, Cutting for Stone is an unforgettable story of love and betrayal, medicine and ordinary miracles, and two brothers whose fates are forever intertwined. [Taken from the book cover.] [Big read}

Comments from Groups

All really enjoyed this book. Great characters, twin interactions and life experiences. Otokoroa 001

We really enjoyed this book and think that it is the best book that we have read this year. Nelson 012

Top scorer for our group-this is the way we like to learn about places and peoples we know about but little of. Those who had already read it, still raved and reminisced along with us. Auckland 063

The group really enjoyed reading this book-especially those of us with a medical background. It was not without faults and could have done with some editing, being rather rambling, especially at the beginning. It was as though the author could not leave anything out! Wellington 074

Impressed everyone and enjoyed by all-except for a couple who felt slightly squeamish over the surgical details! Thanks, as always. Hamilton 007

We mostly found this a very good read. Some found it compulsive reading. One member did not enjoy it at all. Great discussion. Whangamata 002

Most of us (8/10) enjoyed the book very much; comments ranged from magnificent through to moving, impossible to put down and full of wisdom. Those less impressed found it melodramatic and too contrived. The questions were numerous and not always easy to answer, but they generated an excellent long discussion around matters medical, and the nature of the various relationships in the story. It was generally agreed that Thomas Stone was an emotional cripple.Recommended for its generosity of story, setting and character. Tairua 001

The best book yet- we all loved it! A real saga with a fantastic level of detail. An interesting and informative book about Ethiopia and health issues. The characters are so alive and very believable. Good views on religion and sex in those times. The story was full of surprises , and the quality of the language was excellent. Thank you. Christchurch 240

The majority of our readers "loved" the book. The characters were well developed and the author made them vivid in his descriptions of their backgrounds and relationships with each other. Many readers enjoyed the medical detail as if they, too, were students. A worthy read! Nelson 058

Members of the group who persevered with the book were rewarded with a great read. Many were daunted however by small print and lots of pages - very wordy! Hastings 007

This book was a real hit. Two of our members have even purchased copies! After the gruelling first part, it develops into a beautifully written gripping story. The action covers both the tumultuous history of Ethiopia, and spreads out to India and the United States. The main characters are well-drawn and believable. The grimness is leavened by humorous passages. Lower Hutt 004

We all loved it. How unusual to read such detail about surgical procedures in a work of fiction! We all enjoyed the various cultural dimensions, and felt that the Ethiopian detail was really interesting. Opotiki 002

We had an enthralling discussion as several of our members are doctors' wives. Their husbands have been thinking more and more that bedside medicine is very important, and that their training was lacking emphasis on empathy and sensitivity. Richmond 001

A thoroughly engrossing long saga. A real "get your teeth into" story. Loved the character development, especially Hema, we felt as though we knew her. We felt the same about Sister Mary Joseph; even though she died at the beginning, she was still a strong presence throughout the book. Lots of surprises, sadness and a great portrayal of difficult political times in Ethiopia. The author touched on these issues just enough to influence the shaping of the story. Highly recommended for those who enjoy delving into the culture of other countries , and who are looking for a more in-depth and longer read. Blenheim 012



CHCH 385
Enjoyed by most but quite a long read. Some parts quite graphic in places.
Our book of the year. I spent a weekend reading it and felt like I'd travelled to Africa. It is a long one with small print so make sure you allow plenty of time to finish it before discussing. Sorry we're late getting these back - everyone wanted to finish it!
Some in the group didn't finish the book. Hard to get into.
Everyone in our group enjoyed the book. It was believable, complex and read almost like an autobiography. Brilliantly written and generated in depth discussion. A big read.
AUCK 280
A vast, rich and engaging read. A wonderful journey of love, betrayal and fate.
TAUR 062
One of our favourite books so far. Complex, long, and very well-written. Very interesting characters and really interesting insight into Ethiopian culture. Generated lots of discussion. Some of our group didn't finish due to not enough time to read. Does take time to get into.
TAUP 012
This was a great read. Everyone enjoyed it, and some even had a cry. Many in the group felt it was the best book they have read so far. We would recommend it.
NAP 011
Amazing novel. Beautifully written. Everyone absolutely loved this book. It is an epic read though, and needs plenty of time to read, absorb and admire the wonderful saga.
TAUR 036
What a great book!! We all really enjoyed it, and had a long discussion over each question.
CHCH 001
Members all agreed that 'Cutting for Stone' was totally engrossing! It is powerful and compulsive with interesting, intriguing characters. Some felt the details of different surgical operations were disturbing but still fascinating. All in all a wonderful saga full of twists and turns.
TAUP 006
One of the best books our group has ever read. Extraordinary detail, believable and likeable characterisation and well plotted. The author evoked the setting with skill, Ethiopia's smells and chaos came alive. We had a great discussion, lots of laughs and telling of our own stories. Thoroughly recommend.
Everyone loved this book. One of our best! Several members plan to buy it for themselves.
CHCH 449
Most of us really enjoyed this book because of the diverse topics covered in the form of a story. The characters were believable and situations very informative.
AUCK 422
Mixed reaction, ranging from people who really loved the book to others who struggled to finish it. Some loved the language, the atmosphere and the setting. Some enjoyed the strong medical focus but others found that this disrupted the flow of the narrative. Everyone agreed that some events stretched credulity too far.
Loved this insightful book that dealt with heavy topics and a lot of medicine in a palatable and enjoyable way. It was interesting the whole way though, but the final quarter of the book really took off. Many life lessons and wonderful turns of phrase in this book. Thank you!
CHCH 186
My new favorite book. The group generally enjoyed it, such great characters, Hema's character a particular highlight.
TAUP 011
We gave this book a five star rating. It was called brilliant, interesting, amazing, complicated, detailed, extremely emotional. Those of us who hadn't finished reading it were assured that all the threads will come together and the ending is a revelation; so worth persevering.
CHCH 299
Mixed response to this one, while most enjoyed the descriptions of Ethiopia, some found the narrator's attitude to women and sex a bit off-putting, others didn't like details about medical procedures, while others found those bits very interesting.
MAST 013
What a great story! We loved it! We now know so much more about life in Ethiopia, and I'm sure we could now do an operation or two - the detail was amazing.
We thought this book is a masterly piece of storytelling, and an authentic insight into live in Ethiopia, a country not well known to many. Opinion was divided on the inclusion of so much medical detail and graphic descriptions of procedures, but all agreed on the 'human-ness' of the story, and the rare quality of the writing. Most of the group would read it again.
We all enjoyed the book: it contained so much interesting information about Ethiopia, medicine, twins and relationships.A very rich and rewarding read.
NEWP 001
We all found the surgical detail a little overwhelming, but this was counteracted by overall enjoyment of the book.
AUCK 389
Only one person in the group did not rave about this novel. It explored all the themes of human endurance, courage, love and thirst for life and knowledge. It will be a classic novel one day.
RUSS 004
A beautifully detailed and well-written book, particularly loved by those with a medical interest.
AUCK 375
Not a 'quick' read, but enjoyed by all.
CHCH 317
The group felt it was a very good story but a little too lengthy and wordy. The nurses in our group enjoyed the descriptive medical passages.
What a brilliant story! Well received by all that read it. A sizeable read too, not for those short on time. Comes highly recommended.