The unnamed narrator of Andrew Davidson’s debut novel “The Gargoyle” may be beautiful to the world but internally, his life is a mess. Raised as an orphan by his two meth-addicted cousins and then in foster care, he’s now a adult cinema story whose life is built upon looks and apperances rather than any real depth. He’s addicted to drugs, drinks too much and all of this leads to him to a horrific car accident in which he is horribly burned over most of his body, even going so far as to burn and render virtually useless his primary source of fame and income.
Miraculously surving the incident, the narrator is put through a brutal hell of surgeries with his only motivation to get well enough to leave the hospital so he can take his own life. His life is ruined by the accident in more ways than one. But then, a mysterious woman comes into his life, claiming the two have shared a love that spans history and trasncends time. At first, the narrator can’t believe something can or would exist or that anyone could love him in his burned state. But as the story progresses, he learns the true meaning of love from Marianne Engel’s standing over him to her sharing their story from history.
Sure, it sounds like kind of a strange idea and very similar to another book I read recently, “Somewhere in Time” but it all works in this debut novel from Andrew Davidson. The narrator is dark and cynical to begin the story, but as we see him mellow under the guidance of Marriane and others in his life, we see him go from a shallow man to a human being with inner beauty that shines beyond his physical body. We see him slowly gain a soul, thus making the ending of the story all the more heartbreaking.