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4.3 out of 5 stars49
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on November 25, 2015
This is an amazing novel and I couldn't put this book down. So different from any other story I have read, a modern day classic for sure.
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on December 24, 2014
How much did I enjoy this book?

Enough to own multiple copies, including one signed by the author. I didn't expect to fall in love with this book when I picked it up, but I most certainly did. There's not really a way to properly summarize this novel - it has stories within stories, but I highly recommend it. The characters are some of the well written people I have read as they become unraveled as the story goes on. The unnamed narrator is rough and abrupt when you first meet him but his story and words are utterly captivating and you'll have a hard time closing this book. There's many layers involved in this book and all of them are equally as great as the others. If you read this book, be prepared to have a hard time putting it down.
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on November 14, 2014
This book is a mesmerizing tale of a man who finds himself only after completely losing himself. It is a medieval adventure, it is a contemporary love story, it is fantasy, it is redemption.

I really enjoyed this book for so many reasons. First, from burn wards to a convent in Germany, it was amazingly well-researched in every regard. Passages included numerous allusions from Dante's Inferno, which inspired me to read more of that genre. The characters were believable, even the unbelievable Marianne Engel. The love stories that Marianne Engel tells are, alone, well worth the full retail price of the book. The scene in which Marianne Engel and her true love depart for the first time was, in my opinion, the most gripping of the entire novel. The evil of the mercenary leader was terrifyingly tangible. I enjoyed the book so much, I had to set my timer to remind myself to put it down and get some sleep each night!

As a high school English teacher, regrettably I will not be placing this book on the shelves of my classroom library. In spite of the book being written with such craft and precision, by a Canadian author, it contains a rather graphic scene describing the main character's former profession: an actor and director of pornography.

Even though I cannot recommend this book to my students, I would gladly recommend it for adults. It truly is a unique work of excellence. I enjoyed the story included in the back about how the novel came to be almost as much as I enjoyed the novel itself. Thanks for acknowledging your high school English teacher, Andrew! You have inspired me to continue to demand excellence from my students!
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on October 6, 2014
Great story telling. Excellent book club pick.
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on October 2, 2014
Im not a porn star or to my knowledge clinically insane. Given my background this book was quite insightful in a thoroughly entertaining way.
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on September 12, 2014
Great novel, delivery time was outstanding, i couldn't be happier!
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on August 26, 2014
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on August 21, 2014
This book was so hard to put down. It is so interesting - I really haven't read another book similar to this since.
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on February 10, 2014
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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on October 19, 2013
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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