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The Gargoyle | [Andrew Davidson]

The Gargoyle

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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 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.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (219 )
5 star
 (95)
4 star
 (64)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.2 (122 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.3 (118 )
5 star
 (65)
4 star
 (35)
3 star
 (13)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (4)
Performance
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  •  
    Denise Valencia, CA, USA 01-16-09
    Denise Valencia, CA, USA 01-16-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    35
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    125
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    Overall
    "Very interesting and unique love story"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Braine Dublin, Ireland 05-07-14
    John Braine Dublin, Ireland 05-07-14 Member Since 2010

    J.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Brilliant and original, and criminally unknown"
    Any additional comments?

    Although a few slip through the net, it’s hard not to hear about a good movie. But I’m often amazed at the volume of amazing books that you never hear about and are so easy to miss. The premise of The Gargoyle is based around an old trope; is a character insane or has she actually {insert-impossible-fantastical-truth}. But that doesn’t take away from how great this book is. I was hooked from the start: a porn-star crashes his car while off his head and hallucinating then get’s horribly burned alive in the car, which is described in great detail, and that’s just the first page, awesome stuff!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Desiri Neethling atlanta usa 03-11-14
    Desiri Neethling atlanta usa 03-11-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "A book for the bucket list"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely. This book is not for the feint hearted. It is an unbelievable journey through so much. You will want to put the book down at the start, but persevere. It is so worth it. You will feel so much more enriched as a person.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Gargoyle?

    The individual stories Maryanne Engel tells, based on history are amazing.


    Which character – as performed by Lincoln Hoppe – was your favorite?

    I loved Suri.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Not possible. You have to break it up. You need to give it some thought to appreciate it to it's full capacity. I actually listened to another book while I was listening to this one so that I could have some perspective.


    Any additional comments?

    A beautiful journey indeed!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pam Huntington Beach, CA, United States 03-01-14
    Pam Huntington Beach, CA, United States 03-01-14 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    41
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not my cup of tea"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    a different book


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    something better


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Gargoyle?

    The scenes of "debriding" and the graphic description of burning. The rest of the book wasn't bad but it was hard to get through the first few chapters and the descriptions were repeated.


    Any additional comments?

    This was a selection from my book club. I will never read this author again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jayme fl, FL, United States 01-31-13
    Jayme fl, FL, United States 01-31-13 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "so glad I took a chance"
    Would you listen to The Gargoyle again? Why?

    Yes yes yes, I actually plan on listening to this book again with my husband soon. It's an all around amazing experience that sucks you in and keeps you interested from beginning to end. It keeps you guessing. This story is so dynamic, anyone would love it! I really want to listen again bc of how intricate the story is.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    It's just too hard to pick a favorite. I love that there aren't too many main characters, making them all important.


    What does Lincoln Hoppe bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He draws you in straight from the beginning, making this story come to life. I'm actually looking for more books narrated by him now.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Absolutely! @ 19& a half hours, that's impossible but I finished this book in less then three days! I listened to it from the time I woke up, when I was cleaning, in the car, when I shopped, literally every chance I had.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is def not a book I would have paid for before I read it. I was tired of the typical books I had been reading and listening to. I listened to the sample and honestly that and the fact that it was so expensive is what made me decide to just take a chance on it. I'm so glad I did bc it's such an amazing story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dee South MS 07-21-12
    Dee South MS 07-21-12 Member Since 2004

    bookie

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    175
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    "The Most Intriguing Book I've Ever Read"

    This book caught my attention within 5 minutes and I was not able to stop listening until it was finished. Then I started it over and listened to it again. There are some novels that I listen to every year and this is one of them. It left me wanting more and what better sign of a great read than to not want it to end.

    The characters are quirky and unusual but somehow endearing and full of mystery. Throughout this entire book I was wondering where this girl gets her money and why she chose this man to help and support. This writer gave me enough information to keep me hungry for more through the whole book.

    I was in a petstore in Mobile, AL and there was a girl in front of me at the register that had angel wings tatooed on her back. The wings were enormous and went from her shoulders and disappeared into the waistband of her hip huggers. I told her I liked her wings and I said, "The Gargoyle?" She gave me the biggest smile. It was her favorite book and very few people understood her tatoo.

    I have a gargoyle that sits near my desk to remind me of this book. Who knows, maybe it's a replica of one carved while living on instant coffee granules.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeffrey Madison Lake, MN, United States 02-20-12
    Jeffrey Madison Lake, MN, United States 02-20-12 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Love is Tragic"

    I listened to the Gargoyle as it was recommended to me by a colleague. This was one of the most interesting books I have listened to in a very long time. It is a story of survival, love, friendship, and healing. I heard that the author took 7 years to do the research on this book and you can tell by the details in the story.

    The "burned man" is befriended by Marianne Engle in the hospital. He was contemplating suicide while she is there being treated in the psychiatry unit. She is convinced that she and the burned man have known each other in a past life. They develop a wonderful friendship and eventually fall in love. The book goes on to describe two parallel stories--one of Marianne and the burned man in what their lives were like in the early 13th century and their current story.

    There are so many stories within the stories which are mainly tragic love stories. Each of them serves to teach a lesson, and all become intertwined at some point.

    The book ends with the two parallel stories coming together in the end.

    The narrator was exceptional, and I loved his ability to speak the different languages. It adds so much when you can hear the words rather than just reading them on a piece of paper.

    I hope this isn't the last book that Andrew Davidson writes. I look forward to the next one.

    I would recommend this book to all of my friends.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. A. Gove København Ø Denmark 02-11-12
    K. A. Gove København Ø Denmark 02-11-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    Story
    "What am I missing?"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Valerie tempe, AZ, United States 02-08-12
    Valerie tempe, AZ, United States 02-08-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    13
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    "Wonderful story line, very well written."

    Once had a Lit teacher tell me every story line had been written....
    well he was wrong...this was really a new one and very well done indeed

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terri Meyer Maryland 01-06-12
    Terri Meyer Maryland 01-06-12 Member Since 2003

    Terri

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    101
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    "Amazing, creative and what a love story!"

    I chose this book based on a friend's recommendation but after reading only the 1st chapter I wasn't sure if I could go on. It was very gruesome. However, I continued on and was very happy that I did. This is not just a great love story between a number of characters but also wonderfully packed with "stories" within the story. I loved the historical aspects of the novel and the detail described allowed me to form a very complete mental picture of each scene. I enjoyed the narrator's ability to speak in various languages which is always an advantage when listening to a book vs. reading a book. I don't give 5 stars out that easily but this definitely deserves it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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