Burn It or Buy It Books Message Board › The Gargoyle Discussion Questions
Saint Paul, MN
Here are tonight's discussion questions. It was an interesting read and I'm anxious to discuss it with everyone. If you weren't able to finish but would be interested in the discussion, feel free to join us... the more the merrier!
1. Did the narrator seem real and believable to you? Can you relate in any way to his predicaments? To what extent do they remind you of yourself or anyone you know? What did you like the most about his personality/character? What did you like the least? How did the narrator view himself vs. how you personally viewed him? Did you end up admiring or detesting him?
2. What specific passage from The Gargoyle stood out to you? How/why does this passage resonate with you personally?
3. Certain aspects and topics in this book may have made you feel uncomfortable. Which, if any, of these instances lead you to a new awareness or understanding of some aspect of your life? Did you learn something about yourself that you may not have thought about before?
4. In The Inferno, condemned souls receive punishments that correspond to their sins. The Gargoyle’s narrator loses his ability to consummate sex, but he retains his ability to feel intense desire. What other forms of hell does he suffer? What do Dante’s images signify to Marianne? What sort of tailor-made suffering might Dante have invented for you?
5. If Marianne's punishment for her sin of (in short) 'love', is to have her chest filled of hearts she must give away until she meets her love again, what kind of hell do you believe the narrator will suffer for his sins? Or do you think his burns on Earth whilst alive purge him of his sins?
6. Was it easier for you to relate to Marianne’s mysticism or to the narrator’s atheism?
7. How did you interpret the narrator’s own Dante-esque tour, described in Chapter Twenty-nine? Was he hallucinating, in the throes of withdrawal while he kicked the bitchsnake of morphine, or did he journey to an underworld? Or both? Was Marianne a mere mortal? Marianne's state of mind is central to the book and may be a test of fate at the end. Is she purely delusional or do you believe she is who she claims to be? Is it important to know if she is or she isn't? How does this story affect
your thoughts about mental illness?
8. The four short stories create a lot more for readers to think about. What is the relationship of these characters to Marianne and the narrator? Do these stories make you think about the possibility of reincaration? How do they help you inform your ideas of true love? Which of Marianne’s tales was the most memorable for you? The novel closes with Marianne’s departure and the marriage of Gregor and Sayuri. The narrator grapples with guilt, trying to understand whether he could or should have saved Marianne. What enabled Gregor and Sayuri to recognize and nurture their love for one another? What determines whether a relationship will become exhausted or perpetually revitalized? Is fate or willpower the greater factor?
9. What, if any, life lesson did you take from The Gargoyle?
10. After reading The Gargoyle, would you be willing to read other books from Andrew Davidson?
11. If a friend asked about the The Gargoyle would you tell them to “Burn It” or “Buy It”?