Sarah's Reviews > The Gargoyle

The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
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Mar 11, 08


The Gargoyle is a harsh punch to the gut to those who doubt love transcends time.

The first line got me...Accidents ambush the unsuspecting, often violently, just like love. At that moment, I was pulled off the cliff along with the happless narrator...feeling the explosion and the flames chewing away his skin. As the unnammed narrator awakens, he is recovering in the burn ward and no longer recognizable as a man. This is a far cry from his former glory days of an attractive, womanizing, successful porn producer. But hey, not much further down to go from here, right? The narrator is a sardonic, inappropriatly hilarious bastard...who we root for without understanding why.

He is soon visited by the kooky Marianne Engel, who identifies him as her lover from medieval times...when she was a scribe and he was a mercenary. We suspect she has escaped from the mental ward, but as her story is revealed, the lines between fantasy, psychosis, and truth are a mesmerising blur. She's a clever orator, and tells not her own story, but those of her friends triumphs in love. These 4 international fairy-tales... Sei the Japanese glassblower, Siguoor the Sweedish Viking, Francesco the Italian welder, and Vicki the sea-widow. No spoilers, but these characters are utilized later in the book in such a perfect way...you wanna squeal in delight.

I flat out love this book, so much that towards the end I made myself put it down to drag out the end so it wouldn't be over. Clearly that wasn't successful, as I devoured it in 3 days. It manages to be both literary (allusions to Dante's inferno & history of european monestaries) and commercial. Davidson is a master craftsman, especially skilled at seamlessly weaving past and present. Endings never satisfy me, but this book never loosens the vice grip on the readers attention, compassion, and ability to believe in the fantastic.

Kudos, I recommend everyone picks this up in August, when it is on sale. Davidson is a formidable author...and I look forward to what he comes out with next!
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