Thursday, April 29, 2010

Cutting for Stone, Abraham Verghese

My New Year's resolution was to complete every book I started for an entire year. I have always been in a bad habit of only reading half of a title. I read for the way a novel is written and less for plot. From time to time I would complete a book. But, the past 3 years were pretty pathetic in terms of reading. So I set a goal for 2010. This blog exists in part to keep me on track of completing what I start.

I have followed through with 18 titles so far this year. Some of them short, some long, and a couple collections of poetry. Then, I came across Cutting for Stone. A novel for my online book club for April. I am through 200 pages of a 540 page book. Over a third of the way. Does not finishing it count against me less since it was a book club suggested book? Does it count against me less because I have read over 1/3? No, I guess not. I have broken my New Year's Resolution.

The prose is beautiful. Such clarity in some of the lines. But, not in a creative way, per say. The prose is written in a beautiful way which somehow still manages to stay a little flat. The characters never really rise from the pages. Their struggles of no special interest to me. I know where the story heads, so I find so much of the lead up to be a bit unnecessary and a waste of time.

I have not found a single review which complained about this novel. Nothing but positive words. And, I don't disagree with what is being said. But, I don't think we should just praise every novel that manages to rise up, a little, out of the ash of the average crap found on the bestsellers list.

I have spent 4 weeks reading this book on and off. As of now, I have decided it is time to close the book and send it back to where it came from. I will leave it behind me in the month of April. I will hold my head up high with 18 completed books under my belt.


1 comment:

  1. I'm sure it comes as no surprise that I've read this book. It meets my requirement of being fantastically long. And having completed it I can still agree with your comments. Some parts so beautifully written, but somehow the characters remain distant. And more so in the very end than in any other part. Still it is 540 pages I do not regret.