Jennuineglass's Reviews > Cutting for Stone

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
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's review
Mar 30, 2012

really liked it

Coming off of The Historian I was a bit nervous to jump right into another long, multi generational, around the world kind of book by a first time author. The trepidation was entirely unfounded because this is an amazing read.

A fictional story based in actual history is fascinating to me, even more so if its a history that I was only peripherally aware of because I was a small child. The timing of this book spans roughly 1940-1990, splashed across the globe in Ethiopia, India, and good ol' New York City.

This book, narrated from the POV of a twin named Marion (boy), is symphonic in tone. Though the book starts before the birth of Marion he is our guide from the very first page. It gives the book an ethreal feeling as, in utero, he ushers us through the story of his parents and how he came to be. Then, bursting into the world, on the story goes still with Marion's voice leading us along till the very last page. (Note this is not a spoiler as Marion spoke to us before life. His narration is not dependent on his existance) The delicate opening notes of a simple story become more complex, layering on characters until Marion is (figurately) conducting a full orchestra without missing a beat. Mr. Verghese has given us what I often describe as a "beautiful read" where the pages zoom by and you are fully immersed in the story, feeling and seeing everything in your cranial cinema.

Books like this are hard to summarize (the summary/review on Goodreads is entirely adequate) without giving things away. When I love a book...I hate to give anything away. I want you to have the full joy of experiencing every twist, every betrayal, every tender moment of quiet stoicism that lies within these pages.

So with that said, if two or more of these apply to you, I would recommend this book whole heartedly:
1) Aren't afraid of hefty books
2) Aren't bored by (well written) story lines dealing with the emotions of family ties and responsibility that come with them
3) Have an affinity for medical themes (one of the books centralizing themes is the constant presence of some doctor/clinic/medical setting)
4) Have an affinity for foreign locations/cultures and their politics

Happy reading my friends!
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Reading Progress

March 30, 2012 – Shelved
June 11, 2012 – Started Reading
June 14, 2012 –
page 68
12.57% "So far, really good..."
June 15, 2012 –
page 138
June 17, 2012 –
page 300
June 19, 2012 –
page 407
75.23% "although this lies...the version I'm reading has 667 pages. :D"
June 22, 2012 – Finished Reading

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