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.
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.
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.
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.
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