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Book 38 of 80

June 22, 2010

From Kenya to Ethiopia with Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese.

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.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 22, 2010 1:20 pm

    I was daunted by the size of the book! It’s looks really promising… I’ll have to pick it up again…! I totally understand about the pain of lugging a heavy and thick book! Hope you finish it before you fly to Vegas.

    awww. and Eliott is so adorable!!

  2. Jessica permalink
    June 23, 2010 6:27 pm

    I feel it’s my duty to inform you that Kindle just dropped in price to $189 (that’s a $70 drop) and as much as you read, I know that you would be an addict, despite your love for printed pages. Built in dictionary, amazing portability of an entire library in one small device and changeable font size! I find it hard to go back to print now…

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