Cutting for Stone


I just finished Cutting For Stone by Abraham Verghese, however I think I’m slightly behind the times because everyone and their mom’s book club has already read it.

In three word: epic, heavy, intricate

The narrator, Marion Stone, tells his life’s story over a span of decades, spending time on various eras in his history: his origin story, his childhood, and his surgical training. Over the 658 pages there are several love stories, several revenge stories, tales of war and rebellion, and a multitude of surgeries described in vivid details. And yet, all the moving parts of the story connect back together by the end.

I liked the book, yet while in the middle of it I would not have been able to pinpoint why.  I think, perhaps, the details of the characters and setting, the mystery surrounding much of Marion’s life  combined with the relaxed pace of the narrative allow for the reader to be completely immersed in the novel’s world.

In some ways it reminded me of stories by Jhumpa Lahiri, which seems silly to me because most of her published works are short stories.

If you decide to read it, be forewarned there is a lot of detailed surgeries which can be overwhelming if you’re a bit squeamish.

Have you read it? Do you know of a similar book that I should read?


4 thoughts on “Cutting for Stone

  1. yes!
    here are several for you, in no particular order.
    The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver
    Galore, Michael Crummy
    The Cat’s Table, Michael Ondaatje
    Waiting for Snow in Havanna, Carlos Eire
    The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes

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