A winner. . . . Filled with mystical scenes and deeply felt characters. . . . Verghese is something of a magician as a novelist.
A masterpiece. . . . Not a word is wasted in this larger-than-life saga. . . . Verghese expertly weaves the threads of numerous story lines into one cohesive opus. The writing is graceful, the characters compassionate and the story full of nuggets of wisdom.
"San Francisco Chronicle"
Lush and exotic. . . . The kind [of novel] Richard Russo or Cormac McCarthy might write. . . . Shows how history and landscape and accidents of birth conspire to create the story of a single life. . . . Verghese creates this story so lovingly that it is actually possible to live within it for the brief time one spends with this book. You may never leave the chair.
"Los Angeles Times"
Vivid. . . . Cutting for Stone shines.
"The Washington Post Book World"
Absorbing, exhilarating. . . . If you re hungry for an epic . . . open the covers of Cutting for Stone, [then] don t expect to do much else.
"The Seattle Times"
Wildly imaginative. . . . Verghese has the rare gift of showing his characters in different lights as the story evolves, from tragedy to comedy to melodrama, with an ending that is part Dickens, part "Grey s Anatomy." The novel works as a family saga, but it is also something more, a lovely ode to the medical profession.
Engrossing. . . . Endearing. . . . A passionate, vivid, and informative novel.
"The Boston Globe"
Here is an extraordinary imagination, artfully shaped and forcefully developed, wholly given in service to a human story that is deeply moving, utterly gripping, and, indeed, unforgettable. . . . As noble and dramatic as that ancient practice medicine that lies at the heart of this magnificent novel.
John Burnham Schwartz
Grand enough for the movies. . . . Fascinating.
"Dallas Morning News"
Stupendous. . . . An epic romance, surgery meets history. Beautiful and deeply affecting.
Simon Schama, "Financial Times"
Verghese plays straight to the heart in his first novel, which will keep you in its thrall.
A marvel of a first novel. Verghese s generosity of spirit is beautifully embodied in this gripping family saga that brings mid-century Ethiopia to vivid life.The practice of medicine is like a spiritual calling in this book, and the unforgettable people at its center bring passion and nobility not to mention humor and humility to the ancient art, while living an unforgettable story of love and betrayal and forgiveness. It s wonderful.
Like Chekhov, Verghese is a doctor and is as authoritative about the workings of the human heart as he is of the human body. . . . If comparisons with another writer have to be made, its blend of intensely realized detail, adventure, myth, wit, drama and poetry reminded me of Shakespeare.
Richard Eyre, "The Sunday Telegraph" (UK)
Compelling. . . . Readers will put this novel down at book s end knowing that it will stick with them for a long time to come.
"St. Louis Post-Dispatch"
The novel is full of compassion and wise vision. . . . I feel I changed forever after reading this book, as if an entire universe had been illuminated for me. It s an astonishing accomplishment to make such a foreign world familiar to a reader by the book s end.
Sandra Cisneros, "San Antonio Express-News"
Verghese s first novel is a whopper, illuminating the magic and the tragedy of our lives, brimming with wisdom about the human condition. Such fun to read, too. . . . In "Cutting" "for Stone," we get all we were promised and then some. . . . Like Rushdie, Verghese takes us wholly away to a foreign place, culture and history.
Tremendous. . . . Vivid and thrilling. . . . I feel lucky to have gotten to read it.
The first novel from physician Verghese displays the virtues so evident in his bestselling and much-lauded memoirs. He has a knack for well-structured scenes, a passion for medicine and a gift for communicating that passion.
Fantastic. . . . Written with a lyrical flair, told through a compassionate first-person point of view, and rich with medical insight and information, [Cutting for Stone] makes for a memorable read.
Vastly entertaining and enlightening.
Ambitious. . . . Sprawling. . . . A synthesis of the everyday and the extraordinary [written] in a style that could be called ecstatic realism.
[An] astonishing, breath-taking and heartrending human epic. . . . A perfectly pitched, endlessly rewarding symphony of a debut novel. If you have time to read only one novel this year, make it this one.
Verghese s achievement is to make the reader feel there really is something at stake birth, love, death, war, loyalty. . . . You conserve pages because you don t want [the book] to end.
"The Guardian" (UK)
Richly entertaining. . . . A narrative that ranges as skillfully through the emotional register as it does across time and space. . . . Cutting for Stone honors the extraordinary, complex work of surgeons and physicians, but it also allows us to see them as ordinary men and women.
"The Sunday Times" (London)
Absolutely fantastic! If Vikram Seth and Oliver Sacks were to collaborate on a four-hour episode of "Grey s Anatomy" set in Africa, they could only hope to come up with something this moving and entertaining.
Tremendous, compassionate, technically exuberant. . . . This is a big book and, along with Naipaul and Waugh and Dickens, there is also a strong flavour of William Boyd. . . . We can only stand back awestruck at [Verghese s] energy.
"The Independent" (UK)
Breathtaking. . . . A global story about medicine and family relationships that achieves the literary heights of "A Thousand Splendid Suns" by Khaled Hosseini. . . . A masterful read.
Gripping. . . . What s most memorable about Cutting for Stone" "is Verghese s compassionate authorial generosity toward his characters, particularly in his medical scenes. Verghese s doctors never forget that they are operating on human beings. . . . Refreshing.
Minneapolis "Star Tribune"
Magical. . . . A big, sweeping family saga. . . . I don t think I ve read a novel with this kind of depth and sweep and character and sort of vividness for such a long time.
Tina Brown, "The Daily Beast"
A saga about love, medicine, and exile, this debut reads like a modern Odyssey.
To read the first page of Cutting for Stone is to fall hopelessly under the spell of a masterful storyteller; and to try to close the book thereafter is to tear oneself away from the most vivid of dreams. . . . Verghese has once again set the bar and re-defined great medical literature great literature period for the rest of us.
Pauline W. Chen, author of "Final Exam""show more