My rating: 5 of 5 stars
If I haven't mentioned it already, I love my book club. Three cheers to Naaz for this month's book club pick! And another cheer for picking the perfect setting for our meeting:
No we didn't gather around this lamp post.
We had a great dinner at The Butler's Pantry across the street.
Hands down, this is my favorite book of 2010. I am comfortable saying that even though we aren't even halfway to 2011.
When we first meet the narrator of The Gargoyle, he's a self obsessed abuser of many substances who survives a horrific car crash. He is never given a name throughout the story which lends itself to the themes of self-discovery and self awareness that are prevalent throughout. We continue on a journey with him while he gets used to life in his new body. He goes from being a pornography star whose body was admired by many, to being someone living inside a shell of a body so horribly disfigured from the burns suffered in his car accident. The burns should have killed him but he has survived. The narrator is socially and emotionally intelligent even though his self-awareness far outweighs his self-love most of the time. Our narrator meets a woman who claims theirs is a romance that has spanned centuries. She weaves into and out of his life telling him stories of their great romance and eventually influencing his entire outlook on life and love.
The Gargoyle is a story of discovering self-love, examining self-hatred, mental health and illness, letting go of vanity, believing in an unbelievable romance and trusting in the good of humanity.
High five to the author, a fellow Canadian, Andrew Davidson.
Here are some passages from the book that spoke to me,
"Everyone's past, I try to rationalize, is nothing more than the collection of memories they choose to remember. But in my heart, I know this is just a defense mechanism that I manufacture simply so I can go on living with myself."
"...because that is what God is - a circle whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere."
"It's only after you get out of here that you'll finally realize that a burn lasts forever. It's a continual event, one that constantly reinvents itself. You'll swoop from incredible highs when you're just glad to be alive, to those lows when you wish you were dead. And just when you start thinking that you've accepted who you are, that changes, too. Because who you are is not permanent."
"Love is an action you must repeat ceaselessly."
I love a book that can speak to my heart. Thanks Marta, Naaz and Sheba for a great evening!
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The night didn't end there. I bid adieu to the girls, and since the air had cooled down and people were still about, I decided on a 60 minute walk home accompanied by the moonlight.
I made it four blocks only to be distracted by my favorite bookstore, BMV.
Outside the store are huge bins filled with used books. A couple by the bins was playing a game where they would ask a question to the books, close their eyes and touch a book at random. The title of the book you touched was supposed to be your answer. I of course eavesdropped.
The first question the woman asked was, "Books, what can you tell me about my life?" She closed her eyes, ran her fingers across the books and picked, "How to Survive Breast Cancer." Ouch.
I might have stopped right there but she wasn't gun shy. Next she asked the books, "Tell me about my family." Again, she closed her eyes and this time she selected, "The Killing Game." She decided to stop playing the game.
I was curious so I went into the store and asked, "Books, what do you say about bookclub?" I kid you not friends, this is the book I selected at random with my eyes closed:
I love a night like that!