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 27 sculptures left to complete - and her time on earth will be finished.
Already an international literary sensation, The Gargoyle is an Inferno for our time. It will have you believing in the impossible.
©2008 Andrew Davidson; (P)2008 Random House, Inc.
Jazz Cat's Mom
Gargoyle is the love story of a man (whose name we never learn), terribly disfigured in an auto accident and resultant fire, and the woman, Maryanne, who befriends him and who may (or may not) be schizophrenic. Maryanne believes they were lovers in a long-ago past life and possibly throughout the ages until the present. The very best parts of the story concerned their long history together. She believes they are simply continuing where they left off, and you, like me, may end up believing that, too. I'm not at all attracted to the typical romance novel where boy meets girl, romance sizzles, they fight, solve mysteries, bite people's necks, (whatever) but finally live happily ever-after. Gargoyle was nothing like this. It was very well-written and read, intense, thought-provoking, funny at times, sad at times. I loved it!
Such a great book! The author has just and incredible ability to describe the details. The car crash to start was unforgettable ! I Highly Recommend this book !
I love historical fiction. I love contemporary fiction. I love a good read. All the ingredients are here but ugh. Maybe that's the problem. Everything is here: drug addiction, horrible accident, burns, burns, burns, love, forbidden love, etc. etc. I think there are about 14 stories here that need to be extricated from each other. I can see that a lot of people like this (it's why I chose it) but, it's charms don't work on me.
I am really drawn to unique stories. This one qualifies. The beginning is a little graphic as it deals with burns. But once that is done, the story moves on quickly. It is about enduring and pure love, but not by 2 beautiful sane people. It is unorthodox as it occurs over 700 yrs.
The narrator does a good job telling the story and it is quite pleasant to listen to. His accents (Japanese, Icelandic, German, Italian, British) leave a little to be desired, but I could hardly do better.
Absolutely beautifully written and narrated! My heart will never be the same. Best love story I've read in years. So deep that it not only devoured my heart but my soul, as well. Bravo!
This is a book for someone who likes to participate. Have to pay close attention. Not a light beach read.
Crime and Punishment.... it's not a light read.
Wow, very long story. I could have definitely done without so many background love stories that were told by his friend, Marianne Engel. Some other reviewers, however, absolutely loved those stories and how they were interweaved with the main story. There were just too many of them for me.
Some of the burn ward details were disgusting to me but definitely necessary to understand what the main character was going through. It was very enjoyable to see him survive, begin to recuperate, and become a different person than he was in the beginning of the story.
I liked the story a lot, but felt it was a bit long. I will definitely considering reading another book by the author, Andrew Davidson. The narrator read a bit too slowly but still did a good job.
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