Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Book Review: Cutting for Stone

I gave Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese three out of five stars, and I have kind of a mixed review.

In the end I would say yes, I liked the book. But it took me so long to finally get into the story that I really can't give it a rave review. Cutting for Stone reads like someone on a meandering walk with no destination in mind. It was a very slow, wandering read that was overly detailed. A lot of time was spent spinning a very complicated web that could have been just as easily understood and more appreciated if a good 200-300 pages had been edited out, in my opinion. The writing throughout the first two thirds of the book seemed over indulgent and really lost me, so that by the time the story got interesting in the last third of the book I really didn't care what happened to anyone.

The story itself is about Marion and Shiva Stone, twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon. Orphaned by their mother’s death and their father’s disappearance, and 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.

I know a lot of people loved Cutting for Stone, but for me I saw this book as a chore and found myself dreading picking it up until I was at least 300 pages in and things finally started to get interesting and tie together. But if you are looking for a book that has a very slowly developed story that meanders across continents and generations, and if you have an interest in detailed medical procedures, this is probably the book for you. If, however, you want a story that grabs you from the beginning and holds you tight with every page, a story that moves at a pace that makes it hard to put down, then I'd say skip this one.

1 comment :

  1. I've heard a lot of good things about this book. I'm like you, I don't like a story when I feel like like it's dragged out. I wasn't a fan of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series for this reason. I probably won't be checking out this book. ;)

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