Thursday, January 31, 2013

Review: Cutting for Stone

Despite its enormous popularity, including with the ladies in my book club, I thought that Abraham Verghese's hefty novel, Cutting for Stone was only so-so.  It is an interesting story about two brothers and their families – natural and adopted – but it went on too long for me and the medical details weighed it down.

The story really gets going with the traumatic birth of twin brothers, Shiva and Marion, at Missing Hospital in Ethiopia. The sons of an Indian nun and a British surgeon, both boys grow up to become doctors. Their story has roots in India, takes them to New York and Boston, embroils them in the political upheavals in Ethiopia, and tears the brothers apart over a woman before uniting them for good.

The multiple storylines are absorbing. But when they all spectacularly converge, the climax is startlingly hard to believe and throws off the pacing of the rest of the book.

Cutting for Stone is worthwhile, but would have benefited from a stronger hand on the editing reigns.


Man of la Book

If you would like your review of Cutting for Stone listed here, please leave a comment with a link and I will add it. 


  1. This book got mixed reviews from my book club. I totally agree with your assessment - I liked it but didn't love it. My mom's an RN and she loved the medical details.

  2. Thank you for this review - other reviews have been so glowing that I thought I might have been missing something. I liked the book (so-so), but most of the way through it, I was wanting to move onto something else.

  3. Great review!
    "Yeah, right" climaxes are so disappointing even if the rest of the story is good.

  4. I loved his memoirs much more than Cutting. Also, bonus, they're MUCH shorter.

  5. I ws one of those who really liked the book a lot (, I thought it was a great book to read out loud and the whole saga was captivating.


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