Book 38 of 80
I started reading this last night and I’m already mesmerized by Verghese’s beautiful prose. This is a rich book — each word seems like a calculated decision. I love writing like this: Tight, ambitious, observational. Look, good prose is never an accident. You’ve got to strike that balance between wowing your readers while not showing them the man behind the curtain. (I think I’ve said that before. But it’s a good point. I hate writers that try too hard — you can just tell the difference as a reader, even if I can’t find a good way to define it here. Maybe you all know what I’m talking about anyway.)
This might change, but 40 pages in and this has the feel of a John Irving book. Epic. Following the life of a narrator from birth through life. I happen to really like Irving — although, I’ll admit, I haven’t read much of his current stuff. Irving’s gift, of course, is beautiful writing, coupled with these fantastical stories. You can laugh one second, cry another. I’m not getting the feeling that Cutting for Stone will have all of those Irving-esque qualities since it has a darker feel at the moment.
I’ve been looking forward to this book for a long time. NPR sang its praises and I ear-marked it early; I borrowed this in hardback and at 540 pages, it’s huge and heavy. I’m desperately wanting to finish this before my trip so I don’t have to lug this book on the plane. I’m going to try! I always end up taking more books with me on trips than I need. I’ll admit, despite my absolute LOVE of books (paper, spines, glossy covers), I could totally use a Kindle for something like this.