"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." Groucho Marx

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson

A beautifully, beautifully written book. Davidson isn't an author- he's a wordsmith. This book engages right from the beginning. There are multiple stories within the story and typically I am not a fan of that type of writing style but in this case it works and the sideline plots are as good, possibly better, than the main line of the story. I flew through
the first 400 pages or so in one or two days but I struggled more with the last bit. Towards the end the whole thing starts to wind out and the end doesn't seem to move at the same pace or pulse with the same rhythm as the  rest of the book. The last 100 pages drag out and the conclusion seems to fade away more than end decisively. There were a few elements of the story that I didn't think were entirely explained and I set it down feeling like I had missed something vital. It was only in the last 90-ish pages that I declinated my final rating from a 5-star to 4. Ultimately, a stunning example of the potential the English language holds for the creation of pure artistic elegance.

***Several Months Later***

I just finished listening to the audio version of The Gargoyle. The first time around I read it and I'm glad I did. I was able to more thoroughly appreciate the gifts of Andrew Davidson's talented word weaving by holding this masterpiece in my hands. That is not to say that the audio version didn't offer up a whole separate set of attributes during my second opportunity with it. The narrator did not give the main character the voice of indifferent sarcasm that I imagined him having but the international characters only became more dynamic with verbalization. Listening to this tale the second time around provided me with an opportunity to move past my enchantment with the writing and more thoroughly appreciate the love story itself. There is something incredibly appealing about the idea of a love so indelibly carved into the fabric of a couples' existence that it crosses the barriers of time and mortality. A fortune teller once admonished Lance and I with a weary shake of her head, as though she were tired of repeating herself to us, "You kids have been doing this for lifetimes," in reference to our long distance beginning and our initially stultified attempts at getting it together in the same state. I can only hope that is true and that we have lifetimes more to get it just right.

You will find an official plot line description at:

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