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.
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.
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
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!
I loved the stories with in the story
Never heard anything quite like it.
The glass blowers daughter.
It's the perfect title
I always recommend this book to everyone.
When the book started I felt that it was going to be a book that I regretted purchasing. As the characters developed and the author began to weave interplaying story lines into the book I was hooked. I just loved it. A good read by an excellent author and Lincoln Hoppe never disappoints with his well-thought narrative.
I too have never been so inpsired to write a review. This book is amazing. The prose is stunning. I would give it ten stars if that option existed.
I was initially very grossed out when the author describes the car accident, but the story is fascinating and you don't really know where it is going to end up. Just get past the first chapter. well written and spoken book.
While well written, this is an absolutely pointless novel. Little more than an exercise in endurance. I'm sorry I wasted time on it.
I liked this story okay since it had a very interesting permise.
However, I had two pretty major complaints. The main character (the man who gets burned at the very beginning of the story), is basically full of self loathing, incredibly pessimistic, and kind of brings you down. Everyone else in the story helped balance his intense (albeit understandably considering the drastic change to his life) negativity. I almost stopped the story from that alone, however, I hoped that the story ended on a happy note so I kept listening.
My second major complaint is the narrator. He read so incredibly slow that I'm sure the story could've been a little as 12 hours long. I use the Audible app to listen to my audiobooks so I was able to speed up his narration speed. Most of the time, I listened to his story at 1.5 speed, but all other times, I listened to it at twice the narration speed. It was disappointing.
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