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The Gargoyle [Paperback]

4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)

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Most helpful customer reviews
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful! Aug. 16 2008
By Teddy
Format:Hardcover
The Gargoyle is a difficult book to review and summarize. The plot crosses many genre lines and deals with many issues. That said, here is my attempt.

The novel begins with the narrator getting in a car accident after bingeing on liquor and cocaine. He has a bottle of bourbon between his legs at the time and him and his car go up in flames. He is burned over most of his body and is in a hospital burn unit for a very long time.

Marianne Engel, a famous sculptress of gargoyles, shows up on his unit one day and tells him that they were lovers in medieval Germany. She claims that he was a mercenary and that she was a scribe. He doesn't really much faith in this claim, but is mesmerized by Marianne.

When he was ready to be released from the hospital he was still going to need continuous care. Normally he would have been sent to a rehab centre, however Marianne volunteers to take him into her home. She has the resources for him to get the care he needs.

This book is richly layered with many themes and symbolism. It is not a book to be read quickly, but rather slowly and contemplatively. One of the major themes is of redemption and there are many references to Dante's Inferno in it.

This book is not for the faint of heart. The burns that the nameless narrator goes through and many other aspects are vividly outlined. Though I don't normally like a book with much gore, it is needed in this book. It's not there to purposely shock the reader, but to inform.

I really liked this book. It has a lot to keep the reader interested and is well researched and written. The stories that Marianne tells are very engaging and were my favorite part of the book.

I only have one complaint.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impossible to box this big story July 21 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It's all there. Some great bits and pieces of lovely useless information. Very unlikely hero. Interesting heroine. Delicious food detail. Diverse and diffirent story line. Just enough mythical dashes. Enjoyed by me and my daughter both. Nothing over cooked. Author should please write full autobiography - loved his story almost as much as the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Gargoyle May 5 2011
Format:Paperback
I was enticed into reading this book, after all the hype surrounding it and positive reviews promoting this novel, but I was sadly disappointed when I purchased a copy of it. It took me over a week to finish it; and only because I forced myself to get to the end. I did not mind the gory imagery; that was actually the more interesting components of this novel. I neither liked the narrator, nor believed in the heroine, Marianne Engel. I found the stories offered by this heroine to be somewhat entertaining, with always a sort of moral feel to them, but I was not left feeling convinced that these two characters were indeed destined star crossed lovers that have been brought together again, seven centuries later. The descriptive imagery in the novel is well written, but the characters lacked real appeal and believability, and so it was excruciating to read. I would definitely pass purchasing this novel, but if it still interests you, read it from your local library, or borrow it from a friend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Captivating Sept. 10 2009
By Toni Osborne TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
This is one complicated tale that will make you believe in anything. Told skilfully with a first person narration, the author's impressive narrative skills tell an unlikely story of one man's personal quest. Readers are immersed into one wildly romantic, macabre and seductive fantasy.

The novel opens with a horrific car crash, leaving the driver covered in first to fourth degree burns. While recovering in hospital, he is visited by a psychiatric patient, Marianne Engle, who believes they have met before in a previous life. Engle who is officially diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic entertains him with story after story that span lifetimes. Her tales alone will have you turning page after page as Davidson masterfully weaves the stories into our victim's recovery. This amazing tale has great characterization with a descriptive writing technique that paints a rich canvas in ones mind.

This is one intense, gripping, captivating and powerful novel.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Read Feb. 10 2014
By Gerty
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I borrowed this book from a friend who highly recommended it. I loved it so much I bought a copy and have loaned it out numerous times.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "a circle whose centre is everywhere" Oct. 19 2013
Format:Paperback
This novel is a romance, though it’s not your typical boy-meets-girl. More like thirty-something male porn star (burned beyond recognition in a fiery, drug-induced car crash) meets beautiful, wild-haired, schizophrenic sculptress. She comes upon him suicidal and alone in the burn ward of a hospital, and believes him to be her lover from medieval Germany, where she was a nun and he a mercenary soldier. As she unfolds for him the story of their former lives, she draws him in with her words.

Meanwhile, she sculpts gargoyles with an intensity that resembles possession; sleeping naked on a block of stone until it reveals to her what lies within, then labouring manically for days without food or rest until she is able to birth it into the world.

About her creative process she says: “’I’m a vessel that water is poured into and splashes out of. It’s a circle, a flowing circle between God and the gargoyles and me, because that is what God is – a circle whose centre is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.’”

Equal parts romance and science fiction, The Gargoyle is absolutely compelling.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Truly a unique novel
I find myself wanting to tell Marianne's stories over and over. Bought both electronic and print copies so I could share. Graphic and heartwarming. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Alia
5.0 out of 5 stars The Gargoyle
This book was recommended to me. It was a great read. Good characters and great story telling elements made for many surprises. It engendered so many emotions. A good read.
Published on Jan. 13 2012 by mamap@shaw.ca
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful read!
This book captured me from the beginning. The writing is fabulous and the story is very interesting. A page turner for sure!
Published on Nov. 1 2011 by Linvancouver
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to lose yourself in...
Finally! A book that you can thoroughly lose yourself in. Davidson's ability to create another world (well, multiple in this one) is nothing short of fascinating. Read more
Published on Aug. 11 2011 by spudrot
3.0 out of 5 stars Let Down
I picked up this book after hearing over and over again from a friend what a wonderful story this was. Well I won't be reading any books recommended by this friend again! Read more
Published on April 10 2011 by Shepherdess Extraordinaire
3.0 out of 5 stars A Novel of Highs and Lows
I seldom finish a book that isn't higher than 3 stars at the 100 page point. However, I persevered with The Gargoyle and maintained the 3 stars at the end. Read more
Published on March 17 2011 by Burton
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant story (Audio version)
I listened to this book on an audio CD .

I think that may be a great way to experience this incredible work of art if you find it difficult to read yourself. Read more
Published on Oct. 27 2010 by L. Mc Adam
5.0 out of 5 stars This book doesnt have to be full of action to be mind blowing.
I've been reading all the bad reviews for this book and felt the urge to speak the truth here, yes this book can be very slow, but its not a action movie for cristsakes im tired of... Read more
Published on Aug. 25 2010 by M. Hoke
5.0 out of 5 stars Unusual, creative, lovely
I really enjoyed this book which had been recommended to me by a friend. The book started off with a bang and held my interest throughout. I loved the historical romance element. Read more
Published on May 31 2010 by Bookluvr
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