The Gargoyle - Andrew Davidson I keep trying to figure out why this book is not calling to me.... It seems like my type of story -- recommended to me various times as something unique & different, weaving historical fiction through the stories w/in stories. But still, I just can't completely get into this one (even though I've read 250+ pages of it).

Some of my thoughts as I decide to put this book aside in favor of other books....

Uniqueness of the story:
Despite it being recommended as a unique/unusual book, it seems like a fairly standard book (to me). I think I read too many 'weird' books for me to consider this one unusual. ;-) No, it doesn't seem odd to me that the main character insists she & the burn victim were lovers in previous lives, then proceeds to tell their various stories. That's a fairly straightforward, normal storyline. Personally, I find it irritating that the burn victim assumes the woman has a mental illness of some sort rather than just 'going along' w/ her assertions of them having a very long history together, lol. I think I was hoping for something else (a more unusual plot) rather than what it has turned out to be.

Historical aspects of the story:
I enjoy the historical sections, but, otoh, I've read a lot of good historical fiction so it's not like this is something that shines in that area -- it's good, somewhat interesting historical fiction, but not more than that.

Romance & stories w/in the story:
I think it is a 'romance' book in that it's a 'love through the ages' kind of book. The various love stories/tales/fables that are told are also fine, but nothing spectacular -- doomed, star-crossed, true-love type tales for the most part. Ok, but not anything new, imo. Again, I've read (much) better books that incorporate storytelling/myths/fables w/in the main storyline. For example, A.S. Byatt's [b:The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye|86895|The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye|A.S. Byatt|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1320439695s/86895.jpg|578387], Helen Oyeyemi's [b:Mr. Fox|11093751|Mr. Fox|Helen Oyeyemi|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1362148611s/11093751.jpg|15237931], & Italo Calvino's [b:If on a Winter's Night a Traveler|374233|If on a Winter's Night a Traveler|Italo Calvino|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1355316130s/374233.jpg|1116802] are favorites that immediately come to mind as excellent examples of weaving stories w/in stories.

So... , it's neither here nor there for me; it just is. I'm not for it or against it. I mostly feel ambivalent about it, I think, & that's what's hard (esp. when I was hoping for more). Mostly, I've spent the past few weeks picking it up, reading a few pages, putting it down, feeling vaguely unsatisfied with it. Even w/ an investment of reading over 250 pages of it, I think I'm ready to return it to the library & work on some other books.

P.S. If reading somewhat detailed specifics of burn treatments will bother you, try not to read the first third of the book while eating.