Monday, May 6, 2013

Audiobook Review: Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese

Cutting for Stone is a rich, beautiful, epic story of the life of twins in Ethiopia, although I did find it a bit heavy with detail.

Marion Stone is the narrator of Cutting for Stone. He has a twin, Shiva. These twins were born in Ethiopia in a poor hospital where their mother, Sister Mary Joseph Praise, and their father (a doctor) worked. Sister Mary Joseph Praise was Indian and their father from Britain, so even though the twins spend their entire childhood in Ethiopia, they are not natives.

Their mother dies in childbirth, and the twins are almost lost too. Their father, Thomas Stone, disappears, so Marion and Shiva are raised by two doctors at the hospital in Ethiopia. Their lives are surrounded by love, by the hospital, and by Ethiopian life. At times, politics gets in the way -- Ethiopia becomes very unstable. So much so, that Marion must leave and ends up in America. He becomes a surgeon like his father and his stepfather.

There is so much to this story. You learn every detail about the lives of the main characters (and I haven't even mentioned all of them.) You learn everything about Ethiopia. You learn almost everything about being a surgeon in a poor hospital (both in Ethiopia and in New York.) Honestly, it's almost too much. If I had been reading the print book rather than listening to the audiobook, I may have given up.

But I like my audiobooks "epic" and Cutting for Stone fit that requirement perfectly. Verghese is a master storyteller. Unexpected things happen. A lot happens. After all, this story follows the twins through almost their entire lives. You will feel a lot of emotions: sadness, fear, tension, and love.  After all, you will know these characters VERY well.

I highly recommend the audiobook. Sunil Malhotra, the narrator, speaks with an Indian accent, but it is very easy to understand and really adds a lot to the telling of Cutting for Stone.

If you are in the mood for a detailed, atmospheric book that will immerse you into the culture and lives of its characters, give Cutting for Stone a try.

Published by Knopf, 2009
Copy obtained from the library
560 pages

Rating: 4/5





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2 comments:

  1. This is definitely outside my normal reading comfort zone, but I find audiobooks are the best format for me to branch out. I always love learning about different cultures and allowing stories to take me somewhere unexpected. I'd never heard of this before, so thanks for introducing me to it! Great review :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the review! I really want to read this book...I need to find the time. :)

    ReplyDelete

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