The Gargoyle – Book Review

The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson

Release date: August 5, 2008

Everyone has had the experience. You’re sitting in traffic forever, seemingly for no reason. Suddenly, up ahead, you can see cars start to move again. As you get up to that point, you realize that there has been an horrific car accident on the side of the road and traffic is backed up because everyone slowed or stopped to watch, their curiosity mixed with distaste.

Normally those people drive me crazy but, with Andrew Davidson’s “The Gargoyle,” I was one of those people. Through the first few chapters especially I read in horror and awe, wanting but unable to look away. Within that period of time the narrator actually described both his (literal) ghastly car accident that leaves him horribly burned and disfigured and his (metaphorical) train wreck of a life to that point. In all honesty, during part of those chapters, I felt physically ill.

It is a testament to the author’s skill that I continued to read. Normally books that elicit such a visceral reaction really aren’t my cup of tea. However, Davidson’s writing was as beautiful as the details were disgusting. I was literally unable to tear myself away from the pages, other than to look at the back of the book in disbelief to confirm that, yes, this really IS his first novel.

I truly had no idea where this story was going to go and was surprised to find a very moving love story. Actually a number of very moving love stories. While hospitalized for his burns, the narrator meets a woman named Marianne, a sculptor of gargoyles who is convinced that she and the narrator were married 700 years ago when he was in a different life.

The story is funny, sweet, touching, and unpredictable. I absolutely recommend it, although I do want to warn readers of graphic imagery and language.

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8 Responses to “The Gargoyle – Book Review”

  1. Melody Says:

    Nen, this is a terrific review, fantastically written and incredibly engaging; you have truly made me want to read this book. I was really disappointed when I looked and saw that it’s not coming out until August. Just finished Three Cups of Tea, not sure what to read next. I have Reading Lolita in Tehran, but isn’t that kind of really similar? I just bought like seven books at a thrift store yesterday (SCORE!) for about 5 bucks…want to start something else, but also must work thesis, first deadline in 11 days! AAAACCCKKKK!

  2. Literate Housewife Says:

    This book sounds absolutely wonderful. There are just times in my life where I need something exactly like this. I concur with Melody that this is a really great review!

  3. Devourer of Books Says:

    Thank you, thank you. I write a review like that without the book being so awesome.

    It really is a very, very good book. Honestly, I think it might just be good enough to pre-order. And I’m not someone who pre-orders. Heck, I try not to even pay full price. When possible, I wait for a book to hit Half Price Books. I haven’t even made it to a store to pick up Unaccustomed Earth yet, although I’m dying to read it and loved Interpreter of Maladies.

  4. bookroomreviews Says:

    Hi, I’ve tagged you with a meme if you want to play along:) tracy

  5. rantsandreads Says:

    Your review reminded me of The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold.

    Its surprising how such horrific story lines can still keep your attention, a testament to the author’s writing skills.

  6. Lenore Says:

    Looking forward to this one – it may just move up a few notches in my TBR pile based on your review :)

  7. Breanna Says:

    Oh wow, this book sounds great! I loved your review. I’m definitely putting this on my TBR list.

  8. LisaLynne Says:

    I have definitely added this one to my wish list!

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