If you recall I have been traveling the world in books! I just completed the read-a-thon for this (where I won two books, thank, Tanya!) and really enjoyed all the activities that went along. I decided for the read-a-thon I would read Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson.
I honestly didn't read much of this during the read-a-thon...why? The begging is horrible! Not horrible as in I it doesn't draw me in, that is the worst part! Davidson is such an amazing writer and so detailed I wanted to read it, but it is so gruesome!
It started off with the main character, who is down on life and suffers a horrible car crash, I believe somewhere in Minnesota...I placed it there due to another character going to school there, in this crash he is severely burned. This is told in awful detail, I almost couldn't make it through, but I did. It then goes on to discuss his time in the hospital where he then begins to talk in horrible detail about the suicide he is planning once his time is done in the hospital. Again this is such horrible detail that I was on page 99 and was about to return the book and stop reading because I just couldn't take it anymore when Marianne Engle walks into his life. Now I was hooked. Life was about to change for our sad, sad protagonist...and I wanted to see his heart come to life...at least I hoped that is what would happen.
Marianne is always referred to as Marianne Engle throughout the entire novel. I am not quite sure why, but the protagonist always uses her full name, never referring to her by only her first name, I think this keeps you from becoming fully attached to her.
He meets her as she is a mental patient in the hospital. She comes to him in a very matter of fact way and is very familiar with him and he is very confused. But, once she is released from the hospital
she comes to him often telling stories from friends she had in ancient times to her life before him and with him in ancient Germany.
I picked this book because it said it took place in Iceland. Well, some of it does. It has several settings the story of the physical therapist first takes us to China and Australia, Marianne Engel's first story about Francisco and the love for his wife take place in Italy, then there are Vikings in Iceland, and of course their story in Germany, and finally parts of all the stories come together in Hell.
The way the story is woven is interesting. The author writes as though this is a first hand account, but it is fictional. I found that intriguing, I had never read anything written in this format.
Excerpt from Gargoyle, page 352
Read how the author describes the protagonist, you can really get a feel for how he may look, but it is written as though he is describing himself, interesting right?!
I highly recommend this book. Getting through the first 99 pages in integral to understanding the narrator and seeing why he can have faith in Marianne Engel when she comes to him. They are two people in need and they feed off of one another's faith in the other.
Normally when I would finish a book such as this I would be horribly sad, but I felt okay when all was said and done. I was actually happy for the characters because I felt as though they would be alright in the end.
Have you read this book? If not, do you think you want to add it to your to-read list?