The Gargoyle is a magnificent love story, sweeping across centuries and continents. When it ends you'll want to read it again.
After a horrific car accident a man lies in hospital with severe burns to almost all of his body. He endures the pain, the hideous disfigurement and the excruciating treatments to remove the dead and rotting skin only in the hope of becoming well enough to end his life.
Then Marianne Engel, sculptor of gargoyles, appears. She unravels a wild, impossible tale of a life they had together, a tale that begins with her nursing him when he was burned once before, seven hundred years ago in Germany.
Weaving stories within her story-fables of love in Japan, Iceland, Italy and England-Marianne slowly brings beauty and love into his life.
'I was blown away by The Gargoyle…A hypnotic, horrifying, astonishing novel that manages, against all odds, to be redemptive.' Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants
At the start of Davidson's powerful debut, the unnamed narrator, "a coke-addled pornographer," drives his car off a mountain road in a part of the country that's never specified. During his painful recovery from horrific burns suffered in the crash, the narrator plots to end his life after his release from the hospital. When a schizophrenic fellow patient, Marianne Engel, begins to visit him and describe her memories of their love affair in medieval Germany, the narrator is at first skeptical, but grows less so. Eventually, he abandons his elaborate suicide plan and envisions a life with Engel, a sculptress specializing in gargoyles. Davidson, in addition to making his flawed protagonist fully sympathetic, blends convincing historical detail with deeply felt emotion in both Engel's recollections of her past life with the narrator and her moving accounts of tragic love. Once launched into this intense tale of unconventional romance, few readers will want to put it down.
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My favourite book of all time
I have read and re-read this book over the past 4 years and each time that I do, I find more reasons to love it