12.11.2008

A Love Story, A Recommendation, A Give-Away

Accidents ambush the unsuspecting, often violently, just like love.

And sometimes, stories ambush the reader.

As was the case with Andrew Davidson’s The Gargoyle, perhaps the most engaging freshman venture of any writer I’ve read since Vincent Lam’s Bloodletting.

I was hooked by the end of the very first line of Davidson’s tome, and it’s a good thing that my grip was tight, as the frist 100 pages or so of The Gargoyle whip the reader through a thrilling narrative, one describing with eerie precision and spine-tingling detail a scenario I never want to get closer to than through Davidson’s words.

But this is a long book, and I had to wonder where, exactly, one goes from there; how Davidson would be able to keep the momentum up throughout his story, how he would take us out of a hospital burn unit and into a world fascinating enough to hold my interest for another 400 pages.

The short answer is, he just does.

When a catastrophic burn victim is visited by an eccentric artist, his resistance to rebuilding is matched only by her devotion to his recovery – one aided by her stories of a timeless, supernatural love in which they each play an integral part.

Part Gothic love-story, part urban drama, The Gargoyle brilliantly (and often gruesomely) delivers a fascinating blend of storytelling and character study that results in a sometimes sentimental, sometimes seedy epic that truly epitomizes the term, ‘page turner.’

If there are criticisms of Davidson’s debut, I would categorize them as fairly superficial. For one, if I were to judge a book by it’s cover, I would never have picked up The Gargoyle. Like, never ever. Flames and wings and a die-cut heart do not do this story justice, and I believe, alienate the readers that would most enjoy this story, while perhaps misleading those looking for Gothic horror.

I have also heard Davidson accused of over-writing, but I think that, while the language and detail in some instances comes close, when reigned in just a bit (as it is in most cases), act as this book’s greatest assets.

This is a book to be passed on; to be shared with other readers; to be read again. And as soon as I get it back from my mum, who lent it to her friend, who lent it to her sister, I’ll be ready for seconds.

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I have THREE copies of The Gargoyle to give away, just in time for the holidays! I'm sure there is someone on your list that will really enjoy this book, but seriously? You're going to want to keep it for yourself. Email me - kgirlto at gmail dot com if you'd lilke a copy.

I'm sorry, but I can only send the books to Canadian addresses.

*Our contest is now closed. Congratulations to the winners!*


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6 comments:

  1. What a wonderful review. It's so nice to read a review that does this magnificent book justice!

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  2. That sounds fascinating. I'm finally reading "The Inheritance of Loss" and "Twilight" (blush) at the moment, but I'm always looking for a good read. I'll be sending my email shortly!

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  3. Would it be totally déclassé of me to request the book when I haven't been to your blog in...oh...800 years? Would it be better if I told you I only just resurfaced?

    Oh, maybe not. Okay. Good to read a review from someone classy enough to drink from a glass of beer three times the size of her head.

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  4. I really enjoyed it too - found it hard to put down regardless of any (very minor) quibbles I had with it. I agree with you that the cover does not do the story justice. I would have avoided it too. My husband refuses to read it, although I think he would enjoy it. I will, however, definitely check out his second novel when it comes out.

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  5. Great review. I was wondering exactly the same in teh first section and then, he just does.

    ok now I have to go get bloodletting. Can you believe I haven't read that?

    I did like the cover though.

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  6. Ooo! Thanks for the reco! I'm looking for a new book to read now. I'll have to check this one out.

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