The Gargoyle

Andrew Davidson, Author . Doubleday $25.95 (468p) ISBN 978-0-385-52494-0

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. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 06/16/2008
Release date: 08/01/2008
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 332 pages - 978-0-385-52835-1
Compact Disc - 978-0-7393-2895-8
Hardcover - 468 pages - 978-0-307-35677-2
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