This has long-been a favourite of mine. I just realised I’ve never posted a review here.
At first, I thought I was going to hate it. Not sure why, something in the character of Marianne, mainly. I never truly warmed to her – she is the weakest part of this book, imo – but twenty pages in, I was falling in love with the narrator and his tortured, ruined life and utterly absorbed by his voyage – the discovery that he’s only really come alive at the point where he thinks his life is over. He loses so much but ultimately gains a *real* life, far richer than the shallow existence he had when he was whole and handsome.
It’s certainly not the plot that makes this book so memorable – imo, the story’s just a device to hang the writing on. It’s Andrew Davison’s lyrical prose that draws you in to the narrator’s world so closely that you live the tale rather than read it.
The Gargoyle’s a book that’s lived in my imagination long after I finished reading it. Not quite a masterpiece, but close.