Goodness, Ellen, I think we must have read different books. The "Cutting for Stone" that I read is compelling, intelligent, beautifully written, unpredictable, and far from silly or laughable, although it is infused with wonderful humor. I rate it as one of the finest, most elegant novels I've read in years. And the 168 reviewers who so far have given it five stars seem to differ with your opinion as much as I do. Why don't you write a full-fledged review and express your feelings where more readers will see them? I'd be interested to hear what more you have to say.
I'm sitting here reading the reviews and I just can't understand all the raves for this book. I love to read and love long involved novels, but I just can't get into this book. Granted, I haven't finished it (I just can't read long enough to get involved), but I hate to waste my time when there are so many good reads out there. I always look at the reviews before I purchase a book so I was excited about receiving this book. I guess I'll have to investigate further from now on.
I read somewhere that someone didn't get into the book until after pg. 200. Well, I haven't made it that far so I will probably give it another try. Besides. I do hate to waste the money. I'll come back after I try again!!
I hate long novels, and not a fan of epic, but I finished this book on my Kindle, and I felt good reading it. I knew it was long, but the story just cant make you put this book down. Good read, I must insist!
I have to agree with lamato...I LOVE LOVE LOVE this book. It is well written with wonderful characters that you learn to care about, and will miss when the book ends. I just can't understand the other posters feeling that this was a silly & predictable novel.
Could someone please explain the meaning of "Cutting for Stone" I found the paragraph "I swear by Apollo and Ascelepius and Hygieia and Panaceia to be true to her, for she is the source os all... I shall not cut for stone" I understand the oath but not the phrase "cutting for stone"
Redintherainbow, here is a quote from "Readinggroupguides.com" about the title: "Although it's also a play on the surname of the characters, the title Cutting for Stone comes from a line in the Hippocratic Oath: 'I will not cut for stone, even for patients in whom the disease is manifest; I will leave this operation to be performed by practitioners, specialists in this art.' Verghese has said that this line comes from ancient times, when bladder stones were epidemic and painful: 'There were itinerant stone cutters --- lithologists --- who could cut into either the bladder or the perineum and get the stone out, but because they cleaned the knife by wiping their blood-stiffened surgical aprons, patients usually died of infection the next day.'" Hope this helps.
I have stuck with this novel because so many people love it. I do like it now, but for some reason it is taking me forever to finish it. Maybe it's because I can't really relate to anyone in the story. I don't know. I usually read books rapidly and this one has taken me weeks. I am glad I stuck with it though.
I needed something for my vacation and simply had no time to hit the library before we took off. After what seemed like forever, shuffling back and forth and muttering to myself about all the trash on the shelves in the airport store, I finally settled on Cutting for Stone. I need nice, long, involved, descriptive, epic books of fiction to keep my attention, but after the first 50-100 pages I selected another novel from the rental home's bookshelf. 50 pages into that I realized I had already read that book years ago. Damn, I had to give Cutting for Stone another go. So, I guess I see why some of you are not in love with this book. I became hooked as soon as Sister Mary Praise died in childbirth. It was one of those books that you become so engrossed in, it's hard to put it down. I actually had to forbid myself from taking it to work because I knew I would sit there and read all day. I was devastated when it was over, so I got on here to see if he wrote anything else worth reading. I'm not sure about the non-fiction he's written, what do you guys think?
I read this book for my book group. Most of us loved the novel but felt it was a bit difficult to get through at the beginning. I actually enjoyed reading it on my Kindle because I was able to use the dictionary to look up words without having to put down the "book". My advice is to hang in there. It is worth it in the end.
I finally finished this book and after all is said and done, I think it is an excellent book. I took a long time to read it for some reason. I love long and involved novels, the ones you can get lost in. For some reason, I didn't get lost in this one and was always able to put it down. In fact, I could only read so long before I had to put it down. Maybe it was the medical stuff that I couldn't really picture in my head, I don't know. It was just very different and took me until the end of the book to realize how much I liked it. I know this all sounds like a contradiction, but it is what it is!!
This book was amazing. I listened to it on audio CD. It was absolutely enthralling. Granted, I love science and medicine, so if that's not your bag, then you might have a hard time getting into the novel because it does get kind of detailed at times. However, the characters themselves and their situations are more than enough to cover that aspect of the novel. The cultural insights are so poignant and utterly sincere that you cannot help but feel compassion and concern for the people of Ethiopia. I honestly wanted to get up and go there after reading the book. If it weren't so dangerous and unstable there, I would in a heartbeat. Anyway, this book covers triumph and tragedy and I could not get enough. I cannot wait for the author to write another book. This book is unique, open, and thought-provoking. You will not waste your time and you will definitely not want to put it down.
It's been over a month since I finished Cutting for Stone and three books later I am still thinking about it. I really think it's the best book I have ever read. There are so many layers, so many characters, so many heartaches and triumphs, that it is hard to forget. The only problem I am having is finding an equal substitute. Compared to this book, everything else has not measured up. Hopefully he will write another book....I will be first in line! :)
I am also in the LOVE THIS BOOK camp. Some of our book group members did not finish the book for the same reasons many of you already mentioned, but most of our members did love the story, the characters (especially Ghosh), the setting and the medical information that it contained. For me, I loved the way the author "crocheted" the individual sub-story loops into a one-piece garment. Bit by bit everything was tied in and looped through and finished off. I didn't see the whole garment until the end. Good job Mr. Verghese.
Count me in as one who LOVED the book. It was helpful to read on the Kindle so I could look up words in the dictionary but doing so did not detract from the richly woven story that will stay with me for a long time. What a sweeping tale of love and loss and life! I cannot wait for his next novel...
I'm not quite finished yet, but unless Verghese adds a sparkly vampire to the story, I'm confident that I'll be in the Love It camp. It's right up there with A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry in providing an in-depth look at another culture, a different way of life.
Anyone else feel like they could do surgery, after reading some of the descriptions? This would be a good book for nursing students.
Remarkably, I am a surgeon and an identical twin to another surgeon; sort of like the protagonists. This book was enticing, intelligent,and a superb read. I understand how some may have limited interest in his area of fiction, but to me, I was enthralled. Great work. Michael Zide
My favorite book in the last ten years. I read a lot and this one was just incredible - beautiful characters, interesting story, and I couldn't put it down. Please give it time and get into it - you'll love it!!! I can't stop thinking about it, a week after I finished.
I love to read and enjoy good literature, but reading more than 3/4 of this very long book, I really don't like it at all. One reason is that the author uses very technical terms that defy explanation by non -medical readers. Another reason is that I just can't identify with any of the characters. I should have stopped 200 pages into the book instead of wasting my time! Speaking of those first pages, did anyone else wonder why Sister Mary Joseph Praise's name was never shortened?
I'm one of those readers who thinks "Cutting for Stone" is a masterpiece and I think it ranks right up there with "The Help". Verghese's illustrations of love and the results of love in all it's various forms is masterful. The ending of the book was suspenseful and intriguing. I was sorry that Shiva died, but I was glad Marion lived. Verghese appears to be a very wise man with great knowledge of emotional intelligence. I can hardly wait for his next book.
I am three-quarters thru this wonderful book and I am already depressed because I know that the story will be ending soon. I found this to be one of my favorite books of all time. I was taken in from the beginning pages.