Friday, 27 January 2017

Cutting for Stone

   I read this book in 2009 and really enjoyed it.   Basically it is a novel about a nun who has twin boys.  I enjoyed the story of the boys growing up in Ethiopia, both becoming doctors.
  On second reading, I was frustrated.  It took over 100 pages to get through the story of the birth.  I knew that there was a more interesting story to come, but it was taking too long to get there.

   This author, Abraham Verghese, fascinates me.  He is a 
doctor who has been awarded the National Humanities Medal in the U.S.  His specialty is empathy and healing.
   He has done some TED talks and is most fascinating.  He has coined the term "ipatient", in other words, the virtual patient that is in the computer.  It seems that most doctors spend more time with the information on the computer than with the patient.   Verghese strongly believes that physical examinations are more important than the computer record.  Also, the patient feels more cared for with this personal touch.  Verghese talks about 'healing' rather than 'curing'.

  It took Verghese eight years to write this book- his first fiction.   
  The novel was on the New York Times bestseller's list for 2 years and is now on Amazon's list of 100 books to read in a lifetime.
  It may be a great novel but it will not be on my list of 'best books'.  The plot is buried in so much description- much of it medical. 

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