Monday, May 10, 2010

The Gargoyle - a book review

"You'll swoop from incredible highs when you're just glad to be alive, to those lows when you wish you were dead. And just when you start thinking that you've accepted who you are, that changes, too. Because who you are is not permanent"
— Andrew Davidson (The Gargoyle)
The Gargoyle is about redemption. It's about realizing that you are special no matter your past. It's about becoming a better person, taking joy in the people around you and valuing them. And in valuing them, valuing yourself.

Andrew Davidson writes a different story. The New York Times describes it as uncategorizable.

“only after my skin was burned away did I finally become able to feel.”
- Andrew Davidson, The Gargoyle

Now as I am writing this review I am trying to remember the main character's name. I cannot. The only name I can remember is Marianne Engle. This is just one of the interesting facets of this book. The narater is looking back on his life, telling you every nasty little detail; including the details of his accident where he was burned in a car fire. It's not pleasant, I'll tell you that much right now.

His story is raw. It is truthful and painful. And yet it is filled with undying love and tenderness.

This is one of those books that you don't forget. It's like 2 books within a book, but Davidson weaves them together expertly and keeps you engaged. Something I especially loved about The Gargoyle are the ministories about lovers in different cultures. I loved Davidson's skill at description. The little things all fit together, like a mystery or a puzzle. It's really a magical story that gets into your soul. It is beautifully molded and weaved by the author.

I feel that I must add that I did not read The Gargoyle from the the pages of a book. I listened to it on cd. It is narrated by Lincoln Hoppe. (He also narrated these books). Lincoln is also an actor and writer. I really enjoyed his narrating of the story. He got all the accents down pat which really made the book come to life. I don't know what the book is like to read from the page so I can't speak for that part, but I did enjoy listening to it on cd. If you find it hard to read I would suggest listening to it. It adds a little extra special touch and makes the book's difficult parts easier to follow. For example, when the author is talking about food, it makes it easier to listen to all the different types of food than to read them, at least I would imagine it so.
I think everyone can take something away from this novel. You will fall in love with Marianne in your own way. There is a spiritual element to the book that is written in such a way that whatever your faith it can fit into the pages of this story.

The Gargoyle is a beautiful love story told from the perspective of a broken person. I think you will enjoy it.


  1. I absolutely love this book! I have read it twice; once for enjoyment and another for my English project. Both times I could not peel my eyes away from the pages. The story is captivating and you are 100% right about the descriptive language! I'll be honest and say that I really never stop thinking about this story (and the mini stories). Do you know any other books by Andrew Davidson?

  2. I'm so glad you liked it! You are one of the few people that have said they've read it.

    This is Davidson's first book. I look forward to the next! ... another author that I liked that just started publishing is Audrey Niffenegger. She wrote "The TimeTraveler's Wife" and "Hear Fearful Symmetry". Both wonderfully captivating books. They both deal with a sort of alternate reality. I love the way she connects her characters to eachother. If you haven't you should check them out.


Please feel free to comment. I do review my comments to deter slander. Thank you for your consideration and again, thanks for reading. Have a lovely day! - Ciara