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The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
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The Gargoyle (2008)

by Andrew Davidson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,5892662,252 (3.97)286
The narrator of this story is diving along a dark road when he is distracted by what seems to be a flight of arrows. He crashes into a ravine and suffers horrible burns over much of his body. As he recovers in a burn ward, undergoing the tortures of the damned, he awaits the day when he can leave the hospital and commit carefully planned suicide, for he is now a monster in appearance as well as in soul.… (more)
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    Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind (spiphany)
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    Water for Elephants: A Novel by Sara Gruen (heidilove)
    heidilove: If the power of story compels you, you'll like this as well.
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    The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Both novels have a generally dark mood and complex characters who are searching for answers. The Gargoyle is more graphic and violent, but both weave together the past and present in an intricate plot that encourages self-reflection.
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    The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly (jujuvail)
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    Diary by Chuck Palahniuk (twomoredays)
    twomoredays: Though very different, the entire time I was reading The Gargoyle I was reminded of Palahniuk's work. Marianne of The Gargoyle reminds me of some of Palahniuk's female characters, but at the same time everything is cast in such a different light in Davidson's work. It is certainly a book that fans of Diary should investigate.… (more)
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    Ferney by James Long (shelfoflisa)
    shelfoflisa: Similar theme of a life repeated and two souls linked together through time, but less violent!
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    The Reincarnationist by M. J. Rose (leahsimone)
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    Heart of Stone by C. E. Murphy (leahsimone)
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    Sunshine by Robin McKinley (leahsimone)
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» See also 286 mentions

English (253)  Dutch (5)  German (3)  Spanish (2)  Italian (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (265)
Showing 1-5 of 253 (next | show all)
A truly visceral read. Andrew Davidson has a great style that grabs the reader and won't let them go until the story is told. I especially liked juxtaposition between Gregor and Sayuri's romance alongside the main love story. Two different sides of the same coin. A unique and scintillating book. ( )
  carliwi | Sep 23, 2019 |
A fascinating tale that is expertly woven together. One of the best books I've read. ( )
  skraft001 | Mar 3, 2019 |
I originally attempted to read this book back when it was released. At that time It was one of the most anticipated books of that year. Thus I wanted to really like the book but found myself really turned off by it and not at all feeling any empathy towards the characters. After only getting to about page sixty four, I put the book down. As the years passed, this book kept slipping further down my to be read pile.

This year I made it a goal to try to read some of the books that have been on my to be read pile for the longest. This book was one of them. Because it has been years; I started at the beginning with a new slate. Some of the things that really turned my off, I tried to look past. I was not feeling the point of this book other than it seemed to be how much is too much. Well for me it did not take much and after getting to about page one hundred and twenty I was down with this book for good. I did jump ahead some to see if anything would spark my interest but nothing did. ( )
  Cherylk | Dec 9, 2018 |
A couple books I've read in the past two years have really surprised me. [b:The Gargoyle|2595138|The Gargoyle|Andrew Davidson|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41CL5+xAfzL._SL75_.jpg|3149511] is one of them! [b:Middlesex|2187|Middlesex|Jeffrey Eugenides|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1266448283s/2187.jpg|1352495] was the other.

In [b:Middlesex|2187|Middlesex|Jeffrey Eugenides|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1266448283s/2187.jpg|1352495] the scene that plays over and over in my mind is the Detroit July '67 race riot/revolution scene. The violence starts on 12th street and the child protagonist travels through the spreading flames, shooting, and disruption on her bike heading for her dad's restaurant. Just as she arrives at her destination, a Molotov cocktail sets her dad's Zebra Room afire . The thought she reads on her father's face as he decides how hard to fight the fire is the question of : "How would he ever run a restaurant in this neighborhood again?"

You don't have to be a genius to recognize that the people of Detroit have been asking themselves that question ever since? No one won anything that day.


From [b:Lost Detroit: Stories Behind the Motor City's Majestic Ruins|8863055|Lost Detroit Stories Behind the Motor City's Majestic Ruins|Dan Austin|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1285039698s/8863055.jpg|13738366] photos by [a:Sean Doerr|4194106|Sean Doerr|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1291228944p2/4194106.jpg].

That burning restaurant scene provides a good segue into [a:Andrew Davidson|149883|Andrew Davidson|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1206647233p2/149883.jpg]'s [b:The Gargoyle|7038791|The Gargoyle|Andrew Davidson|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1267017905s/7038791.jpg|3149511] where the thought is expressed that: "All history is just one man trying to take something away from another man, and usually it doesn't really belong to either of them.".

What surprised me about [b:The Gargoyle|7038791|The Gargoyle|Andrew Davidson|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1267017905s/7038791.jpg|3149511] was the sheer elegance of its structure. It is like a musical composition that symmetrically builds itself up note by note, pretends to crescendo, and then leads the listener to another place altogether than the one where they originally expected to go. The way the structure of the story then folds back on itself, but heads off in a different direction than it builds up, makes it a joy to read and to remember reading.

GR author, [a:Linda Robinson|31290|Linda Robinson|http://www.goodreads.com/images/nophoto/nophoto-U-50x66.jpg] said of[b:Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre: The Ruins of Detroit|8030644|Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre The Ruins of Detroit|Yves Marchand|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1277163964s/8030644.jpg|12632699]: . Detroit is a mess, yes, like so many American industrial cities. Detroit ain't dead, mon ami: and it is not these photographers' neighborhood. It's my neighborhood. .

Linda's spirited optimism for her city, a human being's potential to grow in goodness in spite of (or because of) a broken body, a cold heart, or a checkered past is like the momentum that builds in [b:The Gargoyle|2595138|The Gargoyle|Andrew Davidson|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41CL5+xAfzL._SL75_.jpg|3149511]. What follows destruction can be as important as what causes it in the first place. If taking your mind 'round and about that notion appeals to you, then [b:The Gargoyle|2595138|The Gargoyle|Andrew Davidson|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41CL5+xAfzL._SL75_.jpg|3149511] belongs on your to-read shelf! ( )
  nkmunn | Nov 17, 2018 |
This was a very interesting novel. It's about a man who gets severly burned in a car accident. The story details his recovery and his relationship with an unusual woman named Marianne Engel. He meets her while in the hospital and discovers that she is a psychiatric patient. She proceeds to tell him fascinating stories of when they first meet in the 14th century. According to her, her purpose is to create gargoyles (she carves them) and give them the extra hearts that she has.

It took me a while to get into this story, but I am so glad that I stuck with it. The description of his recovery was horrific. I would never have expected it to occur the way it did nor the length of time it would take. Marianne, however, was the shining star in this novel. She told her stories with such conviction, that it leaves the reader wondering if her tales could actually have happened. I would definitely recommend reading this. 4.5 stars ( )
1 vote mitabird | Jun 10, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 253 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (26 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Andrew Davidsonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Biersma, OttoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gall, JohnCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hoppe, LincolnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"Love is as strong as death, as hard as Hell." Death separates the soul from the body, but love separates all things from the soul. - Meister Eckhart, German mystic. Sermon: "Eternal Birth".
Dedication
First words
Accidents ambush the unsuspecting, often violently, just like love.
Quotations
Someday you'll have to learn that your big mouth is the front gate of all your misfortunes.
Love is an action you must repeat ceaselessly.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
The nameless and beautiful narrator of "The Gargoyle" is driving along a dark road when he is distracted by what seems to be a flight of arrows. He crashes into a ravine and wakes up in a burns ward, undergoing the tortures of the damned. His life is over - he is now a monster. But in fact it is only just beginning. One day, Marianne Engel, a wild and compelling sculptress of gargoyles, enters his life and tells him that they were once lovers in medieval Germany. In her telling, he was a badly burned mercenary and she was a nun and a scribe who nursed him back to health in the famed monastery of Engelthal. As she spins her tale, Scheherazade fashion, and relates equally mesmerising stories of deathless love in Japan, Greenland, Italy and England, he finds himself drawn back to life - and, finally, to love.
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Average: (3.97)
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Canongate Books

2 editions of this book were published by Canongate Books.

Editions: 1847671683, 1847671691

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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