Review: The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson

The Gargoyle

by Andrew Davidson (Website, Facebook)
Narrator: Lincoln Hoppe
Published by Doubleday on August 5th 2008
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Mystery, Paranormal
Pages: 465
Length: 19 hrs 15 min
Format: Audiobook
Source: Borrowed From Library
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5 Stars
An extraordinary debut novel of love that survives the fires of hell and transcends the boundaries of time.

The narrator of The Gargoyle is a very contemporary cynic, physically beautiful and sexually adept, who dwells in the moral vacuum that is modern life. As the book opens, he is driving along a dark road when he is distracted by what seems to be a flight of arrows. He crashes into a ravine and suffers horrible burns over much of his body. As he recovers in a burn ward, undergoing the tortures of the damned, he awaits the day when he can leave the hospital and commit carefully planned suicide — for he is now a monster in appearance as well as in soul.

A beautiful and compelling, but clearly unhinged, sculptress of gargoyles by the name of Marianne Engel appears at the foot of his bed and insists that they were once lovers in medieval Germany. In her telling, he was a badly injured mercenary and she was a nun and scribe in the famed monastery of Engelthal who nursed him back to health. As she spins their tale in Scheherazade fashion and relates equally mesmerizing stories of deathless love in Japan, Iceland, Italy, and England, he finds himself drawn back to life — and, finally, in love. He is released into Marianne's care and takes up residence in her huge stone house. But all is not well. For one thing, the pull of his past sins becomes ever more powerful as the morphine he is prescribed becomes ever more addictive. For another, Marianne receives word from God that she has only twenty-seven sculptures left to complete — and her time on earth will be finished.

The Midnight Of The Soul

The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson is one of those books that hooks the reader with its dark, cynical humor and slowly reveals itself to have far more depth that one would have thought.

In the narrator, we have presented a figure from the most debauched corners of the devil’s playground. Gorgeous, sly and as amoral as they come, he’s lived his life steeped in vice. Until he gets a fire lit in his pants….literally. We find him again, broken, scarred and barely alive, in a hospital burn unit, desperately wishing for his own death. And honestly, we almost want it for him. He has nearly no redeeming qualities. And then we meet Marianne Engel and our perception of him begins to change.

1001 Tales Of Love And Woe

In Marianne we meet what could be any number of things: a gifted artist, a madwoman, a medium for all the past lives of our narrator. But before we can even begin to wonder if her stories are real or not, we’re entranced in the many threads of her tales, waiting to find out how they all come together and what they mean for her and all those involved.

Bottom Line

Both literarily lush and decadently delicious, if you’re looking for something dark and different and so very satisfying, check out this book!

Rating 5

    

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Lover of words and authors; absolute fan girl of books! Give me a good story, with characters I can love (and hate) and I'll follow you anywhere. Sing me a song of worlds I can dream of, and I'll listen forever.
Diamond 12/30/2013

I’ve really been wanting to read this! I bought it used a while ago…glad to hear it was good. Great review ^_^
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Mary @ BookSwarm 12/30/2013

I started this one relatively soon after it came out and just didn’t like it. It was a DNF for me — but I’m happy you liked it! Strange how books like this appeal or don’t, isn’t it? But that’s why I love books!!
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Oh wow, I haven’t heard of this book in a long time! I got an ARC of this at BEA one year when it was held in Los Angeles (the only time I’ve been:() I loved it!
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Megan 12/30/2013

This one sounds very strange. I’m glad you enjoyed it!
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Doughnut&Co 12/30/2013

Oh Lord that cover, it is absolutely beautiful! I have literally fell in love with it. The description also does not let this book down as it isn’t a cliche “hey there my name is so and so and this is my lifestory” *cringe* This book sounds really good and I shall add it to my wishlist

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Krys 12/31/2013

I read this book years ago and fell in love and was hooked on every word from beginning to end. While working at an airport bookstore I missed my opportunity of meeting Mr. Davidson, I was devastated :(
- Kryd
Krys recently posted..This Year: 2013My Profile

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Black 'n Write 1/18/2014

[…] an opportunity to meet the author of this awesome book! 5-Stars for The Gargoyle by […]

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