Book Club:: The Gargoyle

gargoyleThis months book is The Gargoyle, by Andrew Davidson and it’s a bit different than other books we have read. It may be most comparable to the Thirteenth Tale but I’d say this one is a little darker, more medieval, and has a lot more religious undertones (see some of Amanda’s quotes that she posted on her book review for a good snapshot of the most interesting religious undertones). I would rate this book as a borderline PG-13/R book – not one that you really want your teenagers reading as the main character is a porn star and the graphic nature of the descriptions of his burns.

Which leads me to what this book is actually about . . . The book starts out with a fiery crash, in which the narrator (who is actually unnamed), high and drunk, describes in gory detail the events that leave him burned beyond recognition. He awakens in a hospital and quickly begins to plan his suicide because he feels he can not live in the monster state that the burns have left him in. Enter Marianne Engel. A slightly deranged and beautiful woman who claims that the were lovers in another life. She tells him beautiful love stories set in Japan, Iceland, Italy, and England, all the while weaving their medieval love story in between. The book does a great job weaving themes and ideas throughout the book, one of which is Dante’s Inferno, which the narrator experiences his own dream version of while coming clean from his morphine addiction. Through her love that requires nothing in return, the narrator begins to desire to live again and fall in love. Amidst all of this, Marianne is carving gargoyles and grotesques, claiming that she has many ‘hearts’ that live within her that she must give to these stone creations, as determined by her three masters who are in communication with God.

And really, that’s all I can say without giving away too much. . . I really enjoyed the book, especially the little side stories, as they were little gems that had beautiful character development and pungent story lines. They wove through the book in countless ways, which always makes me happy to see such thoughtful writing. The thing I was most disappointed with was the ending of the story. For all the drama that the rest of the book holds, the ending was very anticlimactic. I felt like I wanted something more, something bigger, but it just . . . ended. Aside from the ending, I think this book is worth a read would recommend it. 8/10


  1. Posted May 18, 2009 at 10:50 am | Permalink | Reply

    I liked how I someone else put it that this is a story about loving someone enough to let them go. That makes the end a little easier to accept for me. I can’t wait until book club this month!!

    • Elizabeth
      Posted May 18, 2009 at 11:00 am | Permalink | Reply

      I guess that’s a good way to put it and it does make it a little easier to accept if that’s your mentality when you read the ending. šŸ™‚

  2. Posted May 18, 2009 at 11:25 am | Permalink | Reply

    I’m about half way through and am enjoying it…I think!

  3. TX_Wench
    Posted June 8, 2009 at 12:41 am | Permalink | Reply

    In a google search for gargoyle images, I came across the front cover of this book. After reading more about it at Amazon, I have ordered a copy.
    Sounds wonderful !
    I wanted the hardcover, but noticed the paperback version is due out this month at Amazon for those interested.

  4. Jennifer
    Posted June 14, 2009 at 5:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I just finished it and it didn’t take me long. It’s just an amazing book and you can’t stop reading it. I read it in spanish because that’s my native language, but I guess it kept the same sarcastic and graphic tone. All the stories aside are just as curious and beautiful as the main one. An as you stated in your review, the ending was a little bit disappointing, but I think it gave back to the reader a sense of reality. If you buy it, I guarantee you won’t lose your money. It’s worth it.
    (My apologies for any language mistake)

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