by Andrew Davidson
Review by Gayle Surrette
Doubleday Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780385524940
Date: 05 August 2008 List Price $25.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Article /
Have you every read a book that starts out like a simple story that may entertain you but, as you continue reading, you find that what you thought was happening might not be what's happening? That's what The Gargoyle does. In the first few pages our main character, a porno star/director/producer is driving his car down a mountain road after imbibing just a bit too much coke and bourbon when the inevitable crash occurs and he barely survives, burnt beyond all recognition. What happens next? There's several possible scenarios that Davidson could have taken but he manages to find one that surprises and entrances. From official release/information:
Product Description: An extraordinary debut novel of love that survives the fires of hell and transcends the boundaries of time. The narrator of The Gargoyle is a very contemporary cynic, physically beautiful and sexually adept, who dwells in the moral vacuum that is modern life. As the book opens, he 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 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.
A beautiful and compelling, but clearly unhinged, sculptress of gargoyles by the name of Marianne Engel appears at the foot of his bed and insists that they were once lovers in medieval Germany. In her telling, he was a badly injured mercenary and she was a nun and scribe in the famed monastery of Engelthal who nursed him back to health. As she spins their tale in Scheherazade fashion and relates equally mesmerizing stories of deathless love in Japan, Iceland, Italy, and England, he finds himself drawn back to life—and, finally, in love. He is released into Marianne's care and takes up residence in her huge stone house. But all is not well. For one thing, the pull of his past sins becomes ever more powerful as the morphine he is prescribed becomes ever more addictive. For another, Marianne receives word from God that she has only twenty-seven sculptures left to complete—and her time on earth will be finished.