Saturday, August 2, 2008

if you haven't read this yet....

. . . .you still can't!
na, na, na, na, na! *raspberry*

Sorry, I couldn't resist. The actual reason you can't read it yet is it won't hit bookstores until Tuesday. I just happened to have been sent an ARC of Andrew Davidson's The Gargoyle by my vast and awesome librarian powers the publisher.
As I've been talking to people over the past several weeks about this book I get all sorts of questions:
Q: Is he the gargoyle?
A: Ummm, in a way?
Q: Is this historical fiction?
A: Ummm, in places?
Q: Is this a love story?
A: Hell yes!
Q: Is this a book about religion?
A: Ummm, sort of?
Q: Is this book about pornography?
A: No. Only tangentially.
The questions go on and on (and are answered through the offices of my OWN OPINION, I might add, and obviously do not reflect the thoughts or opinions of the author, the publisher, the Pope, Snoopy, or the Three Muskateers)
At first I thought it was going to be tragic literary fiction, then I thought it was going to be occult fiction, then I thought it was going to be adult fiction (if you catch my meaning), then I was crying and laughing and I didn't care to try to classify it any more. Stories told by candlelight, epic literary references, tough social themes, heartbreaking love, staggering works of art...all this is yours in the book that touts itself as "all things in a single book bound by love." I don't know if that quote will be on the final edition that is no doubt already sitting in back rooms waiting for closing Monday night, but it should be.
The prepress buzz is humming so loud my fillings are hurting. Here are just a few:
So, I read the book, put it on my coffee table for a few days and stared at it in wonder, percolated on all that I had read, reread some parts that I had dogeared (hey, it's MY book and it's an ARC! I won't dogear the pages of the copy I buy!), then sent my email into the publisher via the little card they include. Here is my email:
Dear Mr. ____,
I have to start off by saying that I don’t believe I’ve ever read a book quite like this. Weird, dirty in some places, heartbreaking in others…compulsively readable but not for the squeamish. I can hardly wait to start suggesting it to my favorite patrons. Davidson does a better job of demonizing pornography than the dedicated anti-porn crowd, tells one of the most tender love stories I’ve read, gives insight into the life of a burn victim, and peers into the mind of an atheist all while exposing some of the deep-seated secrets of love and human nature.
One of the most powerful moments in the book came for me in the section where he finally gets to shed his pressure garments:
"What an unexpected reversal of fate: only after my skin was burned away did I finally become able to feel. Only after I was born in to physical repulsiveness did I come to glimpse the possibilities of the heart: I accepted this atrocious face and abominable body because they were forcing me to overcome the limitations of who I am, while my previous body allowed me to hide them."
All things in a single book bound by love, indeed.
Thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts on this title!
Holley ______


I sent it off and didn't really give it another thought until Thursday, when THIS arrived in my inbox!:

Hi Holley,
John _____ passed along the email that you wrote about my novel The Gargoyle, and I hope that you don't mind my forwardness in writing you directly. I just wanted to say that I'm so pleased you enjoyed the book, and to thank you fortaking the time to write such complimentary things. It never fails to delight me when I hear that The Gargoyle has made a good impression on another reader. Near the beginning of The Gargoyle, the narrator writes about how nice the librarians were to him when he was a child. That was very much my experience as well; libraries and librarians have always been very good to me.
Sincerely,
Andrew Davidson

I refuse to believe a personal assistant hurriedly threw together this email and sent it off, so don't even try to convince me. Mr. Davidson is obviously a professional and polite person who recognized those qualities in a fellow bookworm and took time and effort away from his busy schedule to thoughtfully compose a note and send it winging its way here. Yes, that will do very well indeed.

I never change, however, so you can be sure that my first thought when I saw and read was simply:

Cool!

5 comments:

Erica said...

that is FREAKING AWESOME!!!!

Holley T said...

I thought so too
*sheepish grin*

Kenny P. said...

Way cool!

Elizaann said...

That is totally completely awesome!!! I love when cool stuff like that happens. Can I borrow the ARC???

Holley T said...

Elizaann - Carrie has it right now but I'll ask her to send it back to me when she's done and I'll wing it your way!