Saturday, November 19, 2016

A Whole New World: "The Gargoyle Hunters" by John Freeman Gill

Author John Freeman Gill's thrilling debut novel, The Gargoyle Hunters, takes you on an astonishing and breathtaking journey into a subculture of 1970s New York City that most of us never realized existed... the subculture of salvaging artifacts from buildings that were designed by architects and sculptors to withstand the ages. Buildings adorned with all manner of  stone and terracotta gargoyles, sea nymphs, Gods, Goddesses, animals, plant life and odds and ends that Mr. Gill brings brilliantly to life.
The narrator of this story is 13 year old Griffin Watts, a  native NYer, who loves the city and all it has to offer. He is the son of mostly estranged parents. His father, the artifact salvager -in-chief, is a man who loves lost New York and its relics maybe more than he does his son. His mother is a bohemian artist who takes in tenants, all male, and allows them to mostly freeload off her often at the expense of her children. Griffin and his older sister, Quigley, a theatre geek girl always off to the next audition, are mostly left to their own devices.
Although Griffin has friends, and a crush on a slightly older girl, he longs for his father's attention, and when his father finally focuses that attention on his only son... you begin to fear for Griffin's well being as he is swept into the life of the artifact salvagers and their obsessions that sometimes leads them to the tops of buildings and to secret worlds unseen by the unobservant passers-by.
Griffin, and his family and the amazing city of New York, its past, both recent and distant, are brought so vividly to life that this book really stays with you long after you've finished it. It is memorable and has the feel of a book you'll want to revisit every so often. This book won't be released until March but I wanted to help get the word out. A BIG thank you to Edelweiss for the DRC!

And, a mixtape review! From Disney's "Aladdin" via youtube

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