is one of those books that will thoroughly
annoy some readers, while leading others practically panting to convince their
friends to read it. It has received an unusual amount of pre-publication press,
particularly for a first-time novelist, and it is ambitious in its content,
spanning centuries and locales. Then there is the range of subject matter:
correlations to Dante's Inferno
, combined with tales of a medieval
scriptorium, mixed into the daily life of a modern day burn victim who was a
former porn king. Is it any surprise then, that this book already has plenty of
detractors as well as ardent fans?
The novel opens with a strong hook. The first person narrator, who is also the
story's protagonist, describes his horrendous (and utterly stupid) car accident
a crash caused by drugs and alcohol and a vision of burning...
Beyond the Book
Grotesques vs Gargoyles
The theme of the grotesque
is prominent in The Gargoyle
. Marianne, a stone
carver, educates the narrator on the difference between
gargoyles and grotesques: A gargoyle is a decorated water
spout, from the French word gargouille
from which the verb gargle originates; whereas a grotesque can be decorative or weight supporting,
but is never a water spout. The Cornell University
Library provides a good
summation on the topic and a
gallery of gargoyles and grotesques, while this
website provides a leisurely video tour around the
grotesques of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris.
The grotesque in literature brings to mind...