Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
The debut from Winnipeg writer Davidson is a sweeping tale of undying love between a burn victim and a sculptress of gargoyles who claims the pair have been lovers throughout ancient times. Brought to life in a spirited yet intensely personal reading by Lincoln Hoppe, the story resonates well beyond the first listen. Hoppe reads with tremendous passion and intensity, never going over the top, but always drawing his audience into the tale with a raw performance. Through suffering, pain, hatred and love, Hoppe captures the very essence of this enthralling tale and allows listeners to journey along wherever the tale goes. A Doubleday hardcover (Reviews, June 16). (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Kirkus Book Review
A romance spanning centuries and continents finds a grotesque narrator redeemed by the love of a woman who claims they first met seven centuries earlier, in this deliriously ambitious debut novel. It's a credit to the craftsmanship of the Canadian writer that this spellbinding narrative seems considerably less ludicrous when reading it than when summarizing it. A porn actor-turned-producer begins his reckless drive on Good Friday (spiritual alert!) after a cocaine binge that he is attempting to temper with a bottle of bourbon. He starts to hallucinate about burning arrows (or are they real?), and as he tries to avoid them he crashes his car, which is set ablaze and leaves him disfigured (casualties include the member that served him so well in his prolific film career). An extended stay in a burn ward gives him plenty of time to come to grips with his fate and to share his back story: a Dickensian tale of an orphan shunted from guardian to guardian (the most unsuitable of these is a pair of meth addicts). Then he meets a sculptress named Marianne Engel, who shares with him his back, back story, one that encompasses ninth-century Iceland, a 14th-century German monastery and other tales in other lands with parallels to the relationship she and the narrator begin to forge. Marianne is also hospitalized, in the mental ward, yet somehow gains access through the usually tight security of the burn ward and is discharged to take care of the narrator when he's ready to leave. Dante's Inferno figures prominently in the plot, as do orphans, arrows and Good Fridays. Ultimately, the narrator who initially dismissed Heaven as "an idea constructed by man to help him cope with the fact that life on earth is both brutally short and, paradoxically, far too long" comes to share his companion's conviction that "anyone who believes that she can explain the Eternal Godhead has never truly experienced it." What goes around comes around, to the enchantment of the reader willing to suspend all notions of plausibility. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
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