Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

Cutting for StoneCutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book quite a bit, but I also felt it really should have been two books. In a way it was. One book is the saga of Marion Stone, the narrator, the illegitimate son of a nun in Ethiopia. He is raised in a hospital there along with his identical twin brother Shiva. Marion becomes a surgeon. The story of his family, his career, the lives and trials and tribulations of his extended hospital family are engaging and beautifully told. The book is worth it for that alone.

The second book is really a collection of medical stories, many no doubt true, perhaps some experienced by the author, a surgeon, or read about, and others probably imagined. These are fascinating and equally enjoyable, at least for me. My one complaint is that they were crammed into one book instead of two. The book is too long, and the plot of the saga is convoluted too often in order to fit in some unusual medical tidbit or suspenseful life-saving surgery. There’s a limit as to how many times I can suspend my disbelief. Even so, I can recommend the book.

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