Amy's Reviews > The Gargoyle

The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
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Oct 06, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: bookcrossing, books-about-books, first-novel-or-book, read-on-recommendation, taught-me-something
Read from October 06 to 15, 2011

This book was recommended to me by a reading friend here in Charleston, as "amazing." Because I lived in a hole for the year this book was published, and then had the hole filled in on top of me the following year, I'd missed all the hype about this book. It has some strong point, it has some eye-rolling-even-with-magic/faith/mystery-I can't-believe-this moments, but overall, the things I liked outweighed the bits that irritated me.

I like books that weave history with modern day, and this book did that for not one, but several stories: the stories Marianne Engel tells the the main character (I don't think he's ever given a name in the book) about their past, and the tales she tells him of others. I think the setting of their backstory in fourteenth-century Germany, the monastery and scriptorium were some of my favorite parts. Having worked some years in my nursing career with burn victims, the aspects of burn care/treatment/recovery were also interesting.

I can see where some readers might find the story poorly plotted, but the problems I had were mostly of my own making. I often read before falling asleep, and sometimes tend to "rest my eyes" with the book open. When I finally do put down the book to turn out the light, my bookmark usually goes to the open page, not where I was when I first began to nod off. Normally this doesn't present a problem, but with so many characters in Marianne's stories to her burned man, when they resurfaced again, I'd have to pause to dig deep to remember who the hell Davidson was talking about. My other problem was, I really disliked my professor who did the seminars on Dante at University, and am woefully ignorant of Inferno.

Quite the ambitious project for a debut novel.
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Comments (showing 1-3)

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message 3: by Jenna (new)

Jenna Hashway Will be interested to hear what you think of this one, as it's been on Mt. TBR for eons...

message 2: by Amy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Amy It was recommended, highly, by a friend I share books with. Got it from the library, and then, this weekend, found a copy at the library sale. It's good, so far. I like books that go between two time periods and different stories. It's definitely got an unlikely hero.

message 1: by BoekenTrol (new) - added it

BoekenTrol You're not allone on missing things: I was supposed to stand in the middle of life, be aware of all things around me, but I still managed to miss out on the hype around this book too.
Just got a recommendation and I think I'll give it a try when I lay hands on a copy. All the 5-star ratings got me curious...

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