C.H. Armstrong's Reviews > Cutting for Stone

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
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's review
Aug 27, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: really-great-reads

Wow! There are so many things I want to say about this book but, to understand why I loved it so much, I think it's important to say a bit about myself and why it's such a surprise to me that I loved this book so much.

This is not the type of book I would normally enjoy. I usually prefer a book with a lot of suspense and a moment of climax that makes my heart race. I love a book that catches me by the throat in the first few paragraphs, and keeps me on the edge of my seat until the last page. That was absolutely not this book. In fact, this book was a pretty good example of what I usually don't like. It was what my brother would call a "slow burn." It's a book that just tells a really great story and, when the action actually does start happening, it takes you by such complete surprise because you weren't expecting it.

This book took me "forever" to read. I normally get through a book in 2 or 3 days. A particularly long book might take me a week. This book took me every bit of 3 weeks. But I couldn't just put it down and let it go. I just "had to" keep reading it.

"Cutting for Stone" is a beautiful story about a set of mirror-image twins, conjoined at birth and surgically separated in the first few moments of life. Orphaned by their mother and abandoned by their father, it's the story of the love they found with their adoptive parents and extended "family" in Ethiopia. And beyond that, it's the story about the love of medicine.

A major aspect of this book deals with medical procedures and surgeries. Normally I might skim through these sections as they usually not only don't interest me, and the terminology is usually over my head. Not so with this book. Abraham Verghese writes in a manner that even the least educated layman could understand and envision in his head. Surprisingly I found the descriptions of medical procedures to be absolutely fascinating.

This is probably the best book I've read this year, and it's one that I would strongly recommend to anyone who enjoys a good read. Yes, it might take longer to read than the latest action thriller, but it's one of those books that will stay with the reader for years to come.

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