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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson

Andrew Davidson’s debut novel, The Gargoyle is a fascinating look into the relationship between a man and a woman that may transcend time.

The novel opens with a spectacular sequence describing a hellacious car accident. The first few pages are so well written, that you find yourself laughing at the absurd reality of the accident, empathizing greatly if you’ve ever been in even the smallest accident and at the same time horrified that you find the humor in an accident that is this terrible. As the book proceeds our narrator is put through the pain of recovery, and again the descriptions of a burn ward are so on point that you feel his dread, pain and fear.

Enter the mysterious sculptress, Marianne Engel, who claims to be 700 years old, telling the narrator the tale of their love from medieval times. Interspersed with the telling of their tale, Marianne guides and encourages his recovery, whilst telling tales of other lost lovers. The story weaves its way through time and distant lands, medieval Germany, Italy during the Black Plague, ancient Japan, and ninth century Iceland. All these stories are woven into the fabric of our narrators life, showing some truth that he feels in his soul, and has never before recognized. The questions we are left, is Marianne simply crazy, or is she telling the truth? Is she telling a truth that only she feels, or is it merely a way to guide our narrator out of his suicidal sadness?

This is a great novel; it takes an unapologetic porn peddler, drug-abusing louse, and gives us insight into his heart and soul. It shows the redemptive quality of love, and especially spotlights what true love is.

(Posted on LibraryThing May 27, 2008)