Cutting for Stone Download by Abraham Verghese
Click Here to Download the Book 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.
Reviews Many readers will tell you that Cutting for Stone is the epic story of two conjoined twins fathered by a brilliant British Surgeon and an Indian Nun. And it technically is. Narrated by Marion the first born twin we are told of every influence on his and his brother’s existence. More than the story being told however, the novel is an accurate portrayal of life in all it’s cruelty and wonder. The twin’s mother dies in childbirth and their father abandons them minutes later. They are raised in a missionary medical hospital in Ethiopia. As they grow up they are forced to face their past and futures re-defining the meanings of destiny, love and family. While reading you will notice the fine points are painstakingly researched as the story is and packed full of medical jargon and situations along with vivid descriptions of Ethiopian culture and history. My only reservation in recommending the book is the novels “hard moments” as almost every imaginable tragedy touches these brothers, and medical operations and oddities are very detailed. Squeamish readers may want to skim some of these passages. All in all, this novel is elegantly told, superbly structured and the most original piece of fiction I’ve read in years. It’s deserving of every positive adjective I can throw at it; marvelous, and thrilling. You will want to own and lose yourself in this book again and again. Buy it now, and thank me later.
Narrated by Marion the first born of conjoined twin brothers. Fathered by a brilliant British surgeon and an Indian nun. The twins mother dies in childbirth and their father abandons them almost instantly after birth. Left to be raised in a missionary hospital in Ethiopia by Loving skilled doctors of the hospital Ghosh and Hema. The medical jargon is very detailed and descriptions of Ethiopian cuture and history are richly described. The twins Marion and Shiva's lifes are riden with tragedy, Although full of courage and heart. The details of the medical field and operations are colorfully described and if you are squeamish you may want to skim the hard core details. I was very captivated in them though and got used to it and ended up enjoying the journey in surgery like an episode of ER. This really read like a true story told in a very personal account. Full of wit, wisdom, charm. tradedy, culture, historical events of Ethiopia, family values, and had a spirit of its own. Ultimately challeged me as a reader to become the best books I've read this year so far.
A heart-breaking and thought-provoking novel, set primarily in Ethiopia and featuring health care workers and
those they work with, love and live with. I got to watch the impossible task of running a hospital in a developing nation and see the various paths that doctors with Indian ancestry take as they move from India to Africa or from these countries to the US. We meet Sister Mary Praise, a nurse from India who has dedicated her life to making something beautiful; Dr. Thomas Stone, a surgeon from the UK, who is socially awkward but brilliant in the operating room; Hema and Gosh, who also practice medicine at the same hospital; and the twins Marion and Shiva who come into the world in an unexpected and horrible manner and grow up to work in health care as well. Marion serves as the primary narrator, but the novel employs an ensemble cast. It makes sense that Marion narrates the novel since he presents as a left-brain dominant person: he is verbal, analytic, goal oriented, and self-disciplined. Shiva is his mirror image as a right-brain dominant person: physical, emotional, impulsive, and living in the here-and-now. They complement and vex each other because of these differences. More accurately, Marion is vexed because Shiva exhibits a more carefree attitude. I think this left-brain/right-brain distinction is no accident since Verghese has these two come into the world as conjoined twins--with their heads attached at birth. However, Verghese brings so much more than his medical training and his life in Ethiopia to this novel. He creates characters who are at once extreme in their behaviors yet realistic in their motives and actions. He convinced me to fall in love with a variety of people despite their flaws, excesses and misbehaviors--or maybe because of them. Within the pages of this novel we see people experience loss, regret, violence and betrayal but we also see them love, serve, nurture and forgive one another. Yes, the novel is a hefty 660 pages, but I enjoyed moving through the decades with Marion Stone showing me the various characters' histories and hardships and the outcomes of choices made years ago coming to fruition in a future that no one could predict.
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