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The Gargoyle
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Archive (Buddy Reads) > March buddy read: The Gargoyle

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Christine | 955 comments Cheryl and I will be reading The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson starting around March 20. All are welcome to join!


message 2: by Vi (new) - added it

Vi | 2012 comments I'll join the BR :) I've been wanting to read this book for a while now.


Christine | 955 comments Yeah, Vi! I've been meaning to read it myself, but probably never would have picked it up if not for this buddy read.


Lacy (lacy_stewart) | 1863 comments I going to try to join in on this read. =)


Barbara ★ | 3550 comments I hope you guys have better luck with this one than I did. I made it to page 66 before dumping it. here's my review. I have absolutely no idea if anything is a spoiler so reader beware.


Christine | 955 comments Welcome, Lacy! The more the merrier.

Barbara, I'm keeping my fingers crossed. This seems like one of those people either love or hate. Maybe doing it as a buddy read will help. We'll see....


message 7: by Dee (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dee (austhokie) | 7316 comments hope you guys enjoy - but like Barbara's review alludes to, it is very vivid talking about how the hospital treats burn patients (and you could tell the author had done their research, I read a book about a burn unit not long after it the stuff was almost exactly the same)


Christine | 955 comments We'll see. I'm hoping to finish my current book tonight so that I can start this tomorrow.


Lacy (lacy_stewart) | 1863 comments I just finished my book, so I will be starting this book tomorrow morning.


message 10: by Vi (new) - added it

Vi | 2012 comments I started this book earlier today. Too much stuff about his burns and definitely not for the weak-stomached. Lets see what happens..


Christine | 955 comments I got up early this morning to finish my other book before work, so I can start this tonight.


message 12: by Lacy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lacy (lacy_stewart) | 1863 comments I read a little bit this morning. The fire and burn stuff didn't bother me too much. I mean it is disturbing and icky, but not as bothersome as I was expecting. So far I feel bad for this guy and I'm not even talking about just the accident.


Christine | 955 comments I'm about 80 pages in, and I'm not sure how I feel about the book. The description of his burns and treatment didn't bother me like I thought it might from what I've heard from other people. I did gasp a few times, and I'm sure it would be fun to watch my face while I read and see the faces I make during some segments (Ew!), but other than that it doesn't bother me that much. I think because he recounts most of it with a certain clinical detachment. Like he's just telling you things to educate you. He only occasionally refers to his pain to says things that reveal his deeper emotional scaring.
At first, I didn't like how he flips back and forth between the present and his past. But now I think it works well. It gives the reader a break from the burn ward, which as gross as it is might become monotonous if that's all we had to read, chapter after chapter. Of course, his past is almost as disturbing as his present.

I like the style of his writing, but I'm not yet totally invested in the story. We'll see as I get further in the book.


Christine | 955 comments I'm almost 200 pages in now, and this book is making me really sad. I want to keep reading and finish it, but I think I might need to take a break and read something else today. I don't know. It's just so depressing. He had a miserable childhood, he ended up in a profession that most would frown upon, and become addicted to drugs. Clearly, he's a smart guy. He reads a lot and educates himself on anything that catches his fancy. It also seems like he must have been fairly personable. He talks about how during breaks in shooting he would talk to the cameramen and the lighting crew and whenever there was a problem, he always had someone he could call up to fill in and help. It seems like he was getting a good reputation in his chosen field. So here's a guy who had a lot of potential that was never met. What could he have become with different people to raise and encourage him?

Then comes the accident. He's horribly disfigured, will never again have a "normal" life (for what that's worth). Then comes Marianne. He seems to be pinning a lot of hope on her. But she keeps telling him these "romantic" stories about star-crossed lovers dying in each others arms or being separated after a brief period of happiness. Makes me think I know where this is ultimately going, which makes me even sadder.

I imagine that he will be "redeemed" through his relationship with Marianne, but for now it's just depressing.


Christine | 955 comments And it occurs to me, he's never told us his name has he? Or what city the hospital is in?


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Vi | 2012 comments Nope. We don't get to know his name or the city or anything. I'm not in the mood to read this book. Too depressing. Gah! :( :(


message 17: by Lacy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lacy (lacy_stewart) | 1863 comments The book is sad, but I have to finish it! I am reading it in smaller doses and taking breaks with the new book by Kim Harrison. I'm only on page 97, but I feel so much for these characters. What I find to be really strange is that usually I am a sap and I cry when I read. I haven't cried reading this, but I am drawn to this story.

Christine, I agree with you. We are reading about a person who could have been so much more than what he became. Instead he became a product of his environment and all of that potential was washed down the drain. While reading this, I find myself thinking about all of the kids in real life who start life with such dire consequences. I wish they could all be saved.

Take a break and come back. Maybe I will be almost caught up to you!

Violet, how far did you get? It is definately not a cheerful story.


Christine | 955 comments I want to finish it, because I'm just too emotionally invested in these characters to not find out what happens to them. But I got to a point last night where I just couldn't read anymore. I got to a point where he's actually about to leave the hospital, so I think it's a good point to take a break and read something else. I think I'll switch back and forth between it and another book.

Like you say, it makes me think of all the kids out there that never even have a chance. Yes, some people start out in bad situations and manage to rise above it, but those are the exceptions. And then I think about all those other burn victims in the world, and how that affects the rest of their lives.


I read A Perfect Blood the beginning of the month. How are you liking it?


message 19: by Lacy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lacy (lacy_stewart) | 1863 comments It makes me appreciate my life and reinforces my strive to give my kids all the love that I can.

I love Marriannes story telling.

I'm only a couple chapters into A Perfect Blood and it definitely has me interested right away. They have already talked about a kiss that I don't remember...you would think that I would remember that! It makes me want to reread the last book.

How did you like it?


message 20: by Lacy (last edited Mar 23, 2012 09:54PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lacy (lacy_stewart) | 1863 comments I am on page 185 and I am really enjoying this read now. Marrianne is really quirky and I love the stories that she tells him. I like how the narrator seems to be growing emotionally and reading about him as he realizes that for the first time, someone cares for him. Plus, it isn't just her that cares but he now has a first real friendship with the shrink...I can't think of his name. I also thought it was growth on his part when he pushed the shrink and physical therapist together. He is letting himself become vulnerable and putting himself out there. He is caring back. Through all the sadness, there are some beautiful things happening.


Christine | 955 comments You are almost caught up with me. I'm still on page 196. I didn't read any of it the last two days, but I'm going to pick it back up tonight. I agree with everything you said. That's what makes me want to pick it back up and keep reading it, even though the beginning was terribly depressing. And I can't help feeling that the stories Marianne tells him are foreshadowing their own future together, but in the end she will have done so much to transform his life that it will still be a "happy" ending.


message 22: by Lacy (last edited Mar 24, 2012 09:47AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lacy (lacy_stewart) | 1863 comments It was depressing and the story still has that gray cloud hovering over it. I agree with you on the foreshadowing and I keep trying to figure it out. Anytime I read about an arrow necklace, I stop and try to work it all out in my head. You know a whos who and where will this go.

I still want to smack the narrator with his drug addiction.

I'm on page 235 now out of 357. My edition is not listed. I have a birthday party to go to today, so I won't be able to read more until tonight.


Christine | 955 comments I just finished it. Tear-jerker!

I picked it up yesterday with the intention of reading a certain amount and then switching over to my other book. But I got to a point where I just couldn't put it down. I finally had to put it down because I couldn't stay away any longer. But I just finished it and am so glad I stuck with it. It still makes me sad, but there is also so much hope at the end and so many good things that have come of it all. Can't wait to see what you think.


message 24: by Lacy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lacy (lacy_stewart) | 1863 comments I finished it last night right before midnight! I could not put it down either. I usually cry buckets with emotional books, but for some reason I did not cry with this one.

It is sad, but I'm surprised by how much I loved it. When it ended I was proud of the man that the narrator had become. How sad that it took such devastation for him to see the value of life and people, to finally be able to experience love. What a journey.

I loved how he (view spoiler).


Christine | 955 comments I cried when they were sitting on the beach, and I just knew what was going to happen, and he let her walk off into the ocean. He finally learned to open his heart, feel passion and emotion, and because of her and what he had learned from her, he was able to let her go and knew that it was what she needed.

It was a little cliched that when he was physically beautiful he was emotionalyl closed off and not happy, but when he became physically disfigured he finally learned how to live and love. But I still loved the journey he went through and the person he became. And I loved that the ending supported Marianne's tales and showed that love can survive even death.

I remember a scene where she had been carving for days, and when she finally stopped he bathed her the way she had been bathing him, and you could see the reversal in their roles beginning.

I went from being not sure I even liked this book, to having to set it aside, to just loving it at the end. I'm glad this was recommended to me for this months PIFM or I probably never would have gotten to it on my own.


message 26: by Lacy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lacy (lacy_stewart) | 1863 comments I teared up in the moments above and it seemed so intense at those parts.

I'm glad that we both ended up enjoying it. I added it to my favorites folder. The same parts seem to touch us.

Thanks for letting me read this with you. =)


Christine | 955 comments I'm glad you could join me. I would have ended up in here all by myself and might have been tempted to give up at one point. It's definitely not an easy book to read at times, but well worth it.


Barbara ★ | 3550 comments Well I'm going to try this book again since I need to give something a second chance for a challenge and this is the only book I've given up on that I can stomach reading again. I was disgusted by the burn stuff but that alone would not have stopped me from reading. Just like Lacy, I think I'm going to try this in small doses...maybe during lunch like I read another book last month. Ugh, I just remembered what this book was about maybe not during lunch.


message 29: by Lacy (last edited Apr 01, 2012 10:40AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lacy (lacy_stewart) | 1863 comments Barbara,
I hope you have more luck this time. The gross stuff is mostly centralized to the beginning quarter or third of the book. I'd love to hear what you think once you get back into it.

I ended up loving the story.


Christine | 955 comments Barbara, I hope you make it the whole way through this time. I agree with Lacy that the detailed stuff is really only about the first third or so of the book. About half way through he is released from the hospital and it's seriously toned down. And it's great to start seeing his growing relationships with different people in the book. He starts our a very unlikeable a$$, but by the end is a whole new person. I put it down for two days to read another book before finishing it and almost didn't pick it back up. But I'm so glad I did.

If it helps, feel free to keep posting here and Lacy and I will offer our encouragement!


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