Many popular books these days feel like they were written at typing speed in the order the author thought the words.
The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson took about seven years to write, and it shows. This novel is hard to describe, harder to put down, and has been the nicest reading surprise of 2009 for me.
Not really about the story
Books like Catch-22, Blood Meridian, and A Confederacy of Dunces aren’t really about the stories. They’re about the experience. Reading certain books is more about how it feels to read them than the plots themselves. But something has to go on those dust jackets, so we get plot summaries.
The Gargoyle goes in this category where no summary really does it justice. But it’s sort of the story of a former porn actor and junkie who gets into a car accident and is horribly burned. Then he goes to the burn ward and spends forever recovering. Along the way he meets a woman who sculpts gargoyles and tells him that once she’s sculpted 27, she’ll die.
Oh, and there are a lot of odd stories about Vikings, Chinese maidens, Dante, and a trip into Hell.
Also, the writing is really, really beautiful in places. The Gargoyle surprised me on every single page, and not just because of twists and turns. It was nice to see an author who crafted something meticulous. This story could have been a disaster in the wrong hands.
Andrew Davidson did a great, great thing here. I loved this book. I rate it 900 burning gargoyle heads.
Best of all, it was recommended to me by someone reading this very blog. I am in your debt.
PS: Did you get a free guest post from me yet?
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