The Gargoyle

by Andrew Davidson | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 9781847671684 Global Overview for this book
Registered by zorbathegeek of Twickenham, Middlesex United Kingdom on 10/12/2008
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This book is in a Controlled Release! This book is in a Controlled Release!
2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by zorbathegeek from Twickenham, Middlesex United Kingdom on Sunday, October 12, 2008
Andrew Davidson is a first-time author. There isn't much more to say about him, as the book itself gives nothing further away. A quick Google tells us more though: he was the recipient of a massive £700,000 advance from his publishers for this story, and it is currently top of the Canadian bookcharts.

Physically, the book is presented nicely - the edges of the pages are stained black, and the cover is functionally gothic in a kitsch kind of way; it'd make a nice gift.

This tale has an underlying them of suffering as redemption - it is the story of a ex-porn star burns victim, who has always looked on life in a cynical and unforgiving way. He admits that he has never been in love and that he dislikes most people, and we watch as this rather unlikeable but sympathetic person struggles with the limitations of his new reality. Gradually he falls in love.

The opening section of the book is very uncomfortable to read, as it deals with the aftermath of the main character's car crash. This includes extensive treatment for burns, and graphic but unemotional descriptions of the procedures - the main character tells of his injuries (which are to say the least traumatic) in a matter-of-fact way which only helps to make it seem all the more horrifically real. Reading these parts of the text, I felt as if the author might actually have experienced being a burn victim in his past, as it certainly read authentically.

He forms relationships with the hospital workers, but remains immersed in a protective bubble of cynical wisecracks. it is only when Marianne Engel, an outpatient from the mental health ward, comes to visit, that things start to move away from the norm and into the realms of something altogether different.

She tells him that they were once lovers. He doesn't remember her, but he's an ex-porn star so that doesn't surprise him. He is somewhat taken aback when she tells him that they were lovers in the 15th century, however.

What follows are two narratives - the main character's, and Marianne Engel's, most commonly alternating, as we hear her tales from the past and his from the present. Her tales often feature characters who are motivated by different forms of love, and the suffering they endure to keep their love alive. When she isn't storytelling, she's carving (or 'drawing out' as she calls it) gargoyles from stone. Is she a common or garden fruitcake, or could she actually be telling the truth?

Note how the language used by the central character changes - at first he is quite sarcastic, flippant and remote, but as time goes on and he is forced to confront various issues, he becomes far more open with his feelings.

It's utterly absorbing, and rather thought-provoking; well-written and easy to visualise. Apart from Steven King, I can't think af another author whose books seem like films when I try to remember them, but I got that feeling from this book. The pages fly past. It's got elements of fantasy to it, but this is ultimately a tale of the redemptive powers of love - one that should be equally as enjoyable to men as it is to women. Recommended.

Journal Entry 2 by zorbathegeek at Orpington, Kent United Kingdom on Saturday, February 07, 2009

Released 11 yrs ago (2/7/2009 UTC) at Orpington, Kent United Kingdom



Sent out to go and stay with BokOrm.

Welcome to BC, Bok!

Journal Entry 3 by BokOrm09 from Sevenoaks, Kent United Kingdom on Thursday, February 12, 2009
Sent to me by Zorbathegeek. Thanks Zorba and for the little BC starter kit :) Looking forward to reading it!!!

Journal Entry 4 by BokOrm09 at Orpington, Kent United Kingdom on Friday, February 27, 2009

Released 10 yrs ago (2/27/2009 UTC) at Orpington, Kent United Kingdom



Thoroughly enjoyed this book. I think Zorba's comments sum it up perfectly.

Passed to a friend. Happy reading and welcome to BookCrossing :)

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