I would like to start by saying that this book it IT for me, simply A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. I just have to warn you though; once you read it, you'll be ruined forever. I picked it up from a website where you can find books to read after Fifty Shades of Grey (I was going through withdrawal:). Well, let me tell you, there might be similarities between the characters, but that's where the comparison stops.
Gabriel's Inferno (very suggestive title BTW) is the most, grammatically correct, well researched and artfully written book I have ever read. It had me mesmerized from the first page to infinity. Sylvain Reynard's writing is so very realistic (if you have a vivid imagination, you can actually feel, hear, taste, love, hate, fear, visualize, agonize etc) that leaves you breathless. There is only one sex scene (wrong word - it's called love making) at the end of the book. BUT... I wouldn't trade the sensuality, passion, devotion and altruism that unfolds between it's pages, for any sex scene from any other book. I'm telling you, this book is PRICELESS. The story is all about rediscovering, learning, forgiving, loving and worshiping. It's written in the third person and I love the fact that we hear different POV. In this mix, the Snarky Narrator gives a unique flavor. The author's knowledge and research is absolutely astonishing, from literature to art, music and food, fragrances and lingerie;). I can tell, that one can find pieces of the writer in every character and scene. And for one in particular, my heart goes out to SR (SR, if you ever read this please know that I sympathize and admire you for being able to write/talk about it). Redemption is a very powerful element in this book, and makes you believe that everyone is "salvageable" so to speak.
Gabriel O Emerson is a Dante specialist at University of Toronto. The Professor is very troubled and apparently heartless, but of course, classy and sexy specimen. You'll hate him at the beginning, but I beg you, please be patient, he's all worth it, his story is heartbreaking. Jullianne is a student in his class, a very sweet and innocent young lady. They shared a moment a few years before, that she can't forget and let go. But Gabriel is oblivious to it, because of the state that he was in. He thinks that everything was just a dream and Julliane only an ideal, his Beatrice. I'm not going to say much about the story. The seminar exchange between them is my favorite and a big turner in their relationship.
"I started this c*********k by changing my lecture, but you finished it, Julianne, and you finished it with the equivalent of a hydrogen bomb."
The author's choice of music is excellent. I had to look up a few of the songs and now Mathew Barber is one of my favorites:). SR's taste in food and drinks (which are mostly used as foreplay) is exquisite. Beside the emotional love story, this novel is a very intelligent and cultivating read. I feel like I've learned so much and every time I reread it, I discover more.
Thank you, Sylvain Reynard for sharing your work with us. Your books will forever have a special place on my bookshelves and in my heart.
One of my favorite quotes : "Why not think that sometimes--just sometimes--you can overcome evil with silence? And let people hear their hatefulness in their own ears, without distraction. Maybe goodness is enough to expose evil for what it really is, sometimes."