The Gargoyle

by Andrew Davidson | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 9781847671691 Global Overview for this book
Registered by cluricaune of Armagh, Co. Armagh United Kingdom on 4/17/2009
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This book is in a Controlled Release! This book is in a Controlled Release!
2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by cluricaune from Armagh, Co. Armagh United Kingdom on Friday, April 17, 2009
Our storyteller isn’t quite the typical hero : while he hasn’t had the easiest life, he’s anything but the rugged, suave, honourable and noble sort you’d find in some other books. He’s very open and frank about what he’s done with his life, keeping only his name to himself. His mother died in labour, while he was born with a strange scar on his chest - something he'd always assumed to be related to the difficult delivery. Since his father – gallant chap - had done a runner long before he'd been born, he was initially raised by his grandmother. A disastrous foster family followed – his support cheques from the government funded their drug habits - before he finished up in a 'Group Home'. Here, he picked up the bulk of his 'formal' education and learnt the pleasures of recreational sex and drug use. Having come to realise just how “skilled” he is, he settled on a career making 'adult movies' on moving out. (He actually does pretty well for himself, and works his way up from “rampant young on-screen stallion” to the top position of a very successful production company). However, while he was very successful materially, there was nothing remotely admirable about him.

"The Gargoyle" opens with his world collapsing. Thanks to a car accident on Good Friday – caused by a few lines of coke and a tasty bottle of bourbon - our hero winds up with terrible burns all over his body. (A number of fingers and toes were lost to the flames, along with one other very special body part). He spends the first seven weeks of his treatment unconscious, although he remembers dreaming of gargoyles waiting to be born. He also becomes convinced he has a “bitchsnake” coiled tightly around his spine, a sneaky, cynical creature whose sole purpose is to sneer, feed his doubts and offer every discouragement possible. Admittedly, he's an easy target in the early days : he views himself with contempt and shame, and vows to kill himself as soon as he escapes the hospital. “I was an unloved monster” he comments at one point. “No-one would mourn my loss.” He won’t even have his opulent lifestyle waiting for him should he recover…thanks to the costs of his treatment and the broken contracts following his hospitalisation, he’s lost everything he ever owned

The hospital’s staff do their very best with him. However, Marianne Engel’s role in his recovery is the one that he attaches the most significance to. She has a swirl of dark curls, and the most striking eyes...though he can never quite decide if they're green or blue. She swears they know each other, that they’ve been lovers for over 700 years and that she has more than one heart in her chest. (Apparently, she’s been perfecting her “final heart” for him). Marianne, apparently, was born in 14th century Germany and was raised in a convent called in Engelthal…and it was here she eventually came to meet our hero. She also tells him that, in addition to his car accident, he’s been burned twice in this previous life. So, since he remembers nothing of their previous lives together and she remembers everything, she shares her memories with him. (She does tell him some other stories, set at different times and in different countries…but all featuring people she considers “friends”. She also reads him Dante’s Inferno, a rather odd choice for a burns victim, but he finds himself rather enjoying it).

Naturally, he doesn’t believe a word of it...well, at least, not to begin with. (It hadn’t helped that Marianne was a patient in the psychiatric ward when they first met). Still, she drops in a couple of nuggets that she shouldn’t know a thing about – like the scar he’d been born with, for example. While he reckons there’s a logical explanation for everything, he just can’t find one for his schizophrenic visitor. Nevertheless, he comes to look forward to her visits – she is the only visitor he has, after all. Even after her treatment is concluded, she keeps coming back as a visitor... and, in time, he finds himself he changing from a cynical old b@$t@rd to a love-struck schoolboy with a poet’s tongue.

An absolutely fantastic read, something that has a touch of everything really…I did occasionally wonder if Davidson is a fan of Iain Banks. (The opening, in particular, reminded me of "The Bridge" – furthermore, both books also share a trip through the afterlife and both lead characters remain nameless). Highly recommended for everyone but the very innocent.

Journal Entry 2 by cluricaune from Armagh, Co. Armagh United Kingdom on Friday, April 17, 2009
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Journal Entry 3 by cluricaune at Belfast, Co. Antrim United Kingdom on Friday, April 17, 2009

Released 14 yrs ago (4/17/2009 UTC) at Belfast, Co. Antrim United Kingdom



On its way to Pawtucket. Sorry for the delay in getting it off to you :)

Journal Entry 4 by fsr44 from Pawtucket, Rhode Island USA on Friday, April 24, 2009
Received as a lovely rabck from a friend across the pond. I hadn't heard anything about this one, but with such a ringing endorsement, I look forward to the read. I have two and a half more weeks of class and finals and then my first year of law school is over and I can curl up with this! Thank you!

Journal Entry 5 by fsr44 at Providence, Rhode Island USA on Monday, May 13, 2013

Released 10 yrs ago (5/10/2013 UTC) at Providence, Rhode Island USA


Released to the free book shelf for court employees, State Law Library.

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