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The Gargoyle Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Random House Inc. 2008-01-01
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847673090
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847673091
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 15.2 x 4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 621 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)

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4.2 out of 5 stars
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Teddy on Aug. 16 2008
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 By Gulietta on 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 By TheAvidReader on 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 By Toni Osborne TOP 100 REVIEWER on Sept. 10 2009
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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By Gerty on Feb. 10 2014
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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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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