I've been reading little bits of The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson; it's one of those complicated, romantic, erudite, tricky books that make you feel smart but are still fun to read--like Possession, or (an obscure favorite) Girl in the Swing or, in some ways, the works of Jack Salamanca (criminally underrated and one of my teachers). I'd put Neil Gaiman in there too but he's just too much fun.
Anyway, it's about a guy who was a right bastard and a porn star who gets burned nearly to death in a car crash and encounters this psych patient who starts telling him she knew him from a Middle Ages monastery and has the languages and the illuminated manuscripts and all the rest of the accoutrements to prove it...she keeps feeding him gourmet food and reading him Dante...it flips around in time and etc., and has a lot about suffering and God (the Christian one) but not enough to mean you can't read it while you're sick in bed.
While I'm only halfway through, and it's pretty amazing even if it weren't a first novel, I've got quibbles, the biggest being that this guy keeps claiming that his old self, the pre-toasted bastard, wouldn't have gone near this woman because she's TOO CRAZY, and you know that just doesn't ring true. Because she's good-looking and solvent; she's actually rich from being an artist (and that doesn't ring true, either, but hey, it's romantic). So she's maybe schizophrenic, maybe bipolar, definitely delusional, so what? He still would have tapped it, "old self" or new. Because honestly, there's nothing tastier to a troubled player than a hot lunachick, tell me I'm wrong.
If he'd really had a massive change in character, he'd have learned to love a middle-aged woman who wears I Heart My Terrier sparkle sweatshirts and would sit with him for hours watching Everybody Loves Raymond reruns. Anyone can love a beautiful crazy rich artist.
He does share this priceless sentiment about our impending holiday season:
"In my childhood, I'd had a succession of Christmases when [my caretakers] spent the money originally intended for my presents on methamphetamine; in my adulthood, Christmas meant fucking a woman who was wearing a red felt hat."
And check out the author photo on the back flap. Wouldn't kick him out of bed for eating lithium, either.
Speaking of which, took kids to High School Musical III finally, long-delayed due to illness. My new crush is Troy's dad, yes indeed. (My handle, if you haven't guessed, is ironic. Anything under 30 years old doesn't do much for me.)
Photo: St. Dominic's book barbecue. So much for spiritual enlightenment in the Middle Ages. He was a big pain in this ass to the Cathars for years. What's depicted is a smackdown--he threw his books and those of the Cathars on the fire, and only theirs burned, thus proving they were heretics (and deserved to go the way of their books). Pretty icky way to prove a point, but better than a shootout, I guess. Wiki Commons.