The GargoyleeBook - 2008
A New York Times Bestseller
The Gargoyle : the mesmerizing story of one man's descent into personal hell and his quest for salvation.
On a dark road in the middle of the night, a car plunges into a ravine. The driver survives the crash, but his injuries confine him to a hospital burn unit. There the mysterious Marianne Engel, a sculptress of grotesques, enters his life. She insists they were lovers in medieval Germany, when he was a mercenary and she was a scribe in the monastery of Engelthal. As she spins the story of their past lives together, the man's disbelief falters; soon, even the impossible can no longer be dismissed.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
From the critics
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“Davidson’s debut is storytelling at its finest, featuring a lively assortment of characters and events that combine in a gripping drama that will keep readers’ attention through the very last page. An essential summer book; highly recommended.”
“[A] deliriously ambitious debut novel.”
–Kirkus (starred review)
–"I was blown away by Andrew Davidson's The Gargoyle. . . . A hypnotic, horrifying, astonishing novel that manages, against all odds, to be redemptive."
Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants
“After 44 years of reading anything I could get my hands on, including Moby-Dick, reading Andrew Davidson’s debut novel made me feel as if I were done. The Gargoyle had it all – all I’d ever wanted or needed from a book….[The] characters are rich and knowing, the imagery breathtaking, the voice and rhythm unfailing.”
–The Raabe Review
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An extraordinary debut novel of love that survives the fires of hell and transcends the boundaries of time.
On a burn ward, a man lies between living and dying, so disfigured that no one from his past life would even recognize him. His only comfort comes from imagining various inventive ways to end his misery. Then a woman named Marianne Engel walks into his hospital room, a wild-haired, schizophrenic sculptress on the lam from the psych ward upstairs, who insists that she knows him – that she has known him, in fact, for seven hundred years. She remembers vividly when they met, in another hospital ward at a convent in medieval Germany, when she was a nun and he was a wounded mercenary left to die. If he has forgotten this, he is not to worry: she will prove it to him.
And so Marianne Engel begins to tell him their story, carving away his disbelief and slowly drawing him into the orbit and power of a word he'd never uttered: love.