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Review: The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Gargoyle4.5 Stars

The narrator of The Gargoyle (I'm pretty sure we never learn his name) begins his story with a horrific car crash that leaves him burned beyond recognition. He hasn't lived the best life: he's selfish, addicted to drugs, and a porn star. His beautiful, sexy "friends" take one look at him after the accident and never come back. But one day a woman, Marianne Engel, shows up in his room. He's never met her before, but she knows things about him that he's never told anyone, and she claims that theirs is a love going back seven hundred years.

I'm not entirely sure what I just read. This was a group read this month for one of my groups on GoodReads. I'm dying to go over there and see what others have to say, but I try very hard to write my reviews before reading other reviews or discussions. I want my thoughts to be my own, and I'm afraid that sneaking a peek somewhere else will change my own honest feelings. For what it's worth, here they are.

I really, really, really liked this, but there was a lot going on and there's still a lot left for me to think about. Don't you hate it when you know your review is never going to convey everything that you're thinking and feeling? That's what's going on here.

Marianne is a character that I won't forget anytime soon. She's a gifted carver of gargoyles, a gifted linguist, a gifted storyteller, and a woman with infinite love to give away. She teaches the cynical narrator about the true meaning of love through a series of stories about her friends, and a long narrative about the first time they met and loved. He sees what she means when she lives what she teaches as she cares for this burn victim whom she's never met before and even the staff and other patients at the hospital that is caring for him. Her stories and her actions are beautiful.

You know how everyone seems to think that Jane Austen has the best declarations of love ever written? I believe Andrew Davidson topped her. Yes, it was that good.

There's quite a bit about God and the nature of forgiveness and penance in here too. That was secondary, for me at least, to all the ways that people can find to truly love each other.

I know we aren't supposed to judge books by their covers, but let's face it--we all do. And I just love this cover. It's even better in person than in the picture.

I really think that's the best I can do. Mostly, you just need to read this soon if you're interested in it at all. But if you're a reader who needs a beginning, middle and end with no deviation from the storyline, this probably won't be a book for you. The scenes describing the crash and his initial treatment are fairly graphic, so the squeamish might want to stay away also. But if you don't mind some sort-of-tangents, a meandering plot, and plenty of food for thought, I really think you should pick this up. I mean all of that in the best possible way.



This long trailer tells one of Marianne's tales almost in its entirety, so if you consider that a SPOILER, steer clear.


Jennifer G.

9 comments:

  1. WOW what a review, this one was not on my radar before, not in the sense that I wanted to read it anyway - but WOW your review has changed my mind...Off to add it to my "want to buy list" - thank you for that awesome review!

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  2. Wonderful , wonderful review. I have this book. Actually I borrowed it from a friend but never read it so I guess I know what I will be reading today :)

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  3. Thank you both! I really hope you like it!

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  4. I agree -- this is an amazing review. This novel sounds fascinating.

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  5. I loved this book too! When it first came out I went to see the author at a small bookstore event and he talked about how he likes to write stuff about what he's interested in and will do a lot of research on it.SO he says the next thing he would write about would depend on what he's interested in researching at the time. SO we'll have to wait and see. This truly was something else in terms of a reading experience. Glad you liked it and great review!

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  6. I do know that feeling well, but your review was beautiful.

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  7. Don't you hate it when you know your review is never going to convey everything that you're thinking and feeling?

    I so so so hate that. Didn't know other poeple had the same problem! Glad to know it's not just me.

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  8. Wow you made this book sounds amazing and now I really want to read it. I'm going to have to add it to my list. Great review :)

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  9. Wow! Thanks for all the compliments! *blushing* I hope you all enjoy it if and when you read it. It really was an amazing book.

    Polish Outlander--That's so cool that you got to meet him! I'll be on the lookout for anything else he writes. It should certainly be interesting!

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Thanks for taking the time to comment! Have a great day!

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