As I’ve run out of new material to read, I ventured out of Stephenie Meyer’s world for the moment, and picked up The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson. This is apparently his first book. Well done, sir, well done indeed. The book is the product of 7 years of research, and it shows. It’s detailed, intelligent, and well-written. I have been dying to recommend this book to somebody, anybody, but I’m at a loss as to whom to make the recommendation. I don’t think it’s for everyone, but then again it shouldn’t be for me either, so maybe I’m wrong on that score. So, I’m recommending it to everyone who might come across my blog, in hopes that it might appeal.

There have been a few books that I have been unable to finish because I could not stand the main character, even if the whole point was to dislike the person (Catcher in the Rye–just couldn’t do it). If the book is first person it’s even worse, because then you’re inside the jerk’s head. This is just such a book, yet I couldn’t look away. I was fascinated by this horrible little man.

It starts with a car accident caused by the narrator who is driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. The accident is terrible, as are the burns he is left with, but he survives. You find out very quickly that though this man was very beautiful on the outside he was an ugly wretch on the inside. Now he’s ugly in every regard, and he’s very crabby about it, making him that much uglier. In the beginning, every page brought some new visceral reaction, which usually resulted in my exclaiming something like, “Oh my god! Now he’s _______?!?” and reading an exerpt to Old Man Bobby. I’d dive back in and cringe as the narrator described his burn treatments in detail, trying to read out of the corner of my eye or through my fingers as if I were trying to watch a horror movie without really seeing it.

When Marianne Engel shows up at his bedside in the burn ward and claims they knew each other in a past life the story reveals itself as a love story that spans centuries. Marianne is also a piece of work. When you first meet her she is a psych ward patient in the same hospital as the narrator’s burn ward. Starved for any sort of affection and fascinated by the crazy lady, the narrator fights to be allowed this strange visitor. From there the story unfolds in most unusual ways. I have not yet finished reading, but already I am looking forward to more books my Mr. Davidson. I hope you will read The Gargoyle so that the author will have the opportunity to publish more of his work.

While trying to find links for this post I came across Burned By Love. I haven’t fully explored it, but I did watch the video below which I found really interesting.