‘The Gargoyle’; Summer’s Next Hit?

The Gargoyle is getting more pre-pub attention. Today’s USA Today looks at the book’s chances to be “one of the year’s hottest books.” The Wall Street Journal examined the same question on June 30th. 

Before we go into what USA Today thinks, what do you think? Many of you picked up galleys at BEA and ALA. If you’ve read it, let us know your opinion.

At least one librarian is willing to publicly endorse the book. Jeanette Navia wrote about it on Williamsburg Regional Library’s site yesterday, saying it now rivals Aegypt by John Crowley as her all-time favorite book.

With just twelve days to go before pub date, booksellers tell USA Today that it’s a winner. A bookseller from Book Passage in Corte Madera, CA, says it’s “The Da Vinci Code, but 10 times better.” B&N’s head buyer, Bob Wietrak expects it to achieve bestsellerdom after the first week on sale.

Publisher Doubleday touts its online campaign which takes advantage of social networking (people are invited to post videos and stories of their own intense relationships). You can’t help but wonder, though, how clearly these stories relate to the book (www.burnedbylove.com).

USA Today echoes the earlier Wall Street Journal question, “will the book’s graphic details about the fiery accident and life on the burn unit turn off some readers?” A Borders bookseller says it would be a shame for readers to be turned off by that, because once you get past the first 100 pages, and ” hit the love story, it’s absolutely beautiful and breathtaking.” (For an interesting take on this question, check this Early Word comment.)

Libraries show light ordering, with an average of one to one holds to copy ratios.

If you compare current Amazon sales ranking of The Gargolye to titles coming from well-known authors in August, it’s clearly doing well for a debut novel:

#68  Acheron, Sherrilyn Kenyon, St. Martin’s Press 8/05

#591 Devil Bones, Kathy Reichs, Scribner, 8/26 

#1,795 The Mercedes Coffin, Faye Kellerman, William Morrow, 8/12

#3,291 Gargoyle, Andrew Davidson, Doubleday, 8/05 

#4,190 Smoke Screen, Sandra Brown, Simon & Schuster, 8/12

#5,679 Foreign Body, Robin Cook, Putnam, 8/05 


The Gargoyle

Andrew Davidson

  • Hardcover: $25.95
  • Publisher: Doubleday (August 5, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0385524943
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385524940
  • Unabridged Audio: $120.00
  • Publisher: Books on Tape (August 5, 2008)
  • Narrator: Lincoln Hoppe
  • CD: 9781415956885
  • Tape: 9781415959299

3 Responses to “‘The Gargoyle’; Summer’s Next Hit?”

  1. Tracy(bookroomreviews) Says:

    I LOVED it! Here is the link to my review
    I agree that it will be a huge success

  2. Talia Ross Says:

    Although we’ve got plenty of good reads at Macmillan, a colleague of mine forwarded an ARC of THE GARGOYLE to me. I typically inhale gory mysteries (I know that THE GARGOYLE is not being billed as one, but the descriptions—everything from the car crash to the narrator’s burns—are so well done!) and upon reading the first few pages of THE GARGOYLE I was hooked. I’ve never read anything quite like it. Yes, the relationship between the narrator and Marianne Engel is reminiscent of THE ENGLISH PATIENT but THE GARGOYLE is so much more romantic and creepy.

  3. Christine Mills Says:

    I received a copy of The Gargoyle way back in April. I looked at it, flipped through it, and put it in my “maybe” pile. I am not normally a science fiction fan and that is how the book initially struck me. When BEA came up and all the clamor was about this book, I thought that I needed to find my copy and give it a try. I took into account the warnings that I had read regarding people who couldn’t make it past the graphic first 75 pages and dove in.
    Wow! This book was intense! It was so compelling that I flew through the book. Mr. Davidson’s ability to describe is excellent, with his words easily turning to images in the mind. As for complaints about the graphic nature of the story, I thought that it contrasted the previous lives (real or imagined) nicely with his current life and further emphasized the path to redemption and love, which was the true nature of the book. I will admit, however, that I got a lot more out of the later pages than the beginning. Marianne’s tales were beautifully and poignantly told, well written with what I thought was a more feminine voice than the rest of the book. I liked the contrast, even if it was only imagined.
    I will be recommending this book to some of my more adventurous patrons. I am currently trying to decide where to place our library copy when it arrives. Is it Fantasy, Literary Fiction, what? That type of problem only further illustrates what a genre-bending, mind-bending novel The Gargoyle turns out to be.