Marten Weber’s Gabriel is a complex tale of innocence lost and love won. Against the backdrop of a rising China, we witness culture shock and racism, cruelty and greed, while also gaining a fascinating insight into the world of diplomacy and big business. Overwhelmed by the world around them, two men lose everything they believe in, in order to find each other.This fantastMarten Weber’s Gabriel is a complex tale of innocence lost and love won. Against the backdrop of a rising China, we witness culture shock and racism, cruelty and greed, while also gaining a fascinating insight into the world of diplomacy and big business. Overwhelmed by the world around them, two men lose everything they believe in, in order to find each other.This fantastic tale of a modern angel is a parable of human avarice and selfishness, a political thriller, a story of self-discovery, but ultimately a simple love story....
|Number of Pages||:||414 Pages|
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Gabriel is truly an epic story, 455 PDF pages (probably would be close to 700 in print format), that tells the remarkable story of a young Austrian man—an angel—named Gabriel Lercher. Growing up in the Austrian countryside, Gabriel was always aware of his beauty, and it set him apart from all the other people he knew. He loved his life in the country but longed to spread his wings. When he was twenty, he headed off to university in Munich where he was soon discovered by a modeling agency that quickly snatched him up, contracted with him, and made him a universal star. Gabriel’s image soon became the face of an ad campaign by a major cosmetics firm, and he was instantly recognizable throughout the world.As Gabriel’s fame skyrockets, he is shocked and dismayed by the negativity and jealousy that his striking good looks evokes. Soon he is receiving death threats, hate mail, and attacks upon his life. Gabriel flees the city and goes into hiding, but soon makes a new friend named Peter. Peter is older and more experienced and promises to take Gabriel with him to see the world.When the couple arrives in China, Gabriel finds himself embroiled in a complicated legal and political mess. He is arrested on suspicion of murder and imprisoned. During his confinement, he’s befriended by a diplomat from his own country. The diplomat makes a connection with Gabriel that transcends any physical or emotional bond he’s ever experienced. Gabriel must trust him because, frankly, he’s the only person with whom the young angel has any contact. But the diplomat, though obsessed with proving Gabriel’s innocence and attaining his freedom, seems powerless against the draconian system. He may not be able to save Gabriel, and all may be forever lost.This story was, to say the least, powerful. The author demonstrated astounding knowledge of world cultures, politics, geography, and even literature. His writer’s voice was rich and flowing and it was sprinkled with humor, colloquialisms, sarcasm, and a multitude of facts. The prose itself was intensely emotional, layered with deep characterization and several underlying themes about beauty, forgiveness, identity, labeling, fate, love, and the establishment.For some, I am afraid the verbosity of the text may be a bit much. Readers who are sensitive to “preachiness” or “lecturing” may take offense to many of the passages, presented mostly as dialogue—or often monologue—within the plot. Personally I did not mind these diatribes because the author’s writing was so very entertaining. He has a true talent for painting a beautiful portrait with his words, and I could easily feel the messages he was trying to convey through his characters.Stylistically the text was quite unique. I was a bit taken aback by the fact that the author uses no quotation marks. At times it became confusing to me—particularly while reading on an e-reader—because it was hard to tell when conversation had ceased and narration resumed. I think in print form this may not have been an issue because the quoted texts were probably blocked, or offset with spacing of some kind. He also chose to use an omniscient point of view where he frequently described thoughts and feelings of more than one character within a scene, and this POV shift is often criticized as “head hopping”. I have to say, though, that it was not at all confusing.At times I wanted to scream at the long-winded, pontificating characters who droned on and on. There were two in particular who utterly annoyed the hell out of me. But I think that was kind of the point. I’m sure their loquaciousness was intentional. Overall, it was a beautiful book and a touching love story. It’s one of those types of stories that you know instinctively is going to stick with you for a long time. I came to love Gabriel—for his inner beauty—and I’m thankful for the time I spent with this wonderful character. Thank you, Mr. Weber, for bringing him to life.
Another outstanding story from WeberWarning: This review might contain what some people consider SPOILERS. Rating: 9/10PROS: - The characters here are multi-dimensional and flawed, so they seem like real people rather than fictional beings.- There are some twists to the story that a) I loved, and b) I did not see coming. They’re the sort where I looked back once I’d read them and thought, “Why did I not anticipate that that would happen? Of course it has to be that way.”- This book is full of pithy statements that are thrown into the exposition and the characters’ conversations so casually that sometimes I found myself reading on by them and not noticing the full extent of Weber’s social criticism until I forced myself to slow down.- Weber’s writing contains a lot of small but vivid details that combine to create unique and insightful descriptions, particularly when he’s describing characters’ physical appearances. This is one of my favorite examples: “His ears were extremely large and looked, on that narrow face all but unnatural attachments--as if they had been glued on, with deliberate intent to ridicule his appearance.”CON:- Weber has a tendency to let certain scenes, especially those portraying conversations, go on just a bit too long for my taste. In most cases, I recognize the intent to make particular characters look ridiculous, but while I almost always start out laughing at their dialogue, sometimes I get truly annoyed by how long-winded the author allows them to be. Simply put, there are chapters in this book that I was tempted to skip once I got about halfway through them.Overall comments: I think this author is brilliant. His writing has multiple layers, and his most scathing social commentary is often implied rather than stated outright. As a result, I don’t think his books are particularly easy to get through, but if you’re willing to put a bit of effort into analyzing what you read, his stories are wonderful. The subject matter here is dark, but Weber’s treatment of it is critical; so the overall emotional impact of the story was far less depressing than I expected it to be.
I was worried. Great read! Lots of excellent bits to be cherished. This book should be required reading... Enjoy!
Bare with me, I am neither a fast reader or much of a book reviewer, but I did enjoy this book. The exploration of some of the basic existential questions of beauty, goodness, desire, lust, love, what it is to be a man, and why are we here told in this story were understandable without getting too philosophical. I particularly liked the two path stories of the protagonists funnelling down through time and distance to become to a core climax at the end. Individual perceptions of events and the nature of things develops great characters. I resisted investing myself in a book this large, with tiny print, and was immediately irritated by the sometime bad publishing errors; but just as you enjoy a foreign film and get to the end and forget that you have had to be reading the subtitles this became irrelevant to the book for me.
Marten Weber is a naughty, naughty man. It comes out in his books...thank you very much. There is however, beyond that, little in common from one Weber creation to the next, oh, ugh, aside from creativity, humor, and depth. Reading Martin Weber is like waking up at a Roman orgy: course upon delicious and unique course tickles the taste buds and stimulates ones sensuality. Gabriel is a departure from the recent ribauld Benedetto Casanova. Although Gabriel is just as delicious as Benedetto in his own sweet way, Gabriel's riveting quest is not always a joyride. He suffers. But we feel for him, we want him to overcome, to find happiness; we would do anything for him, the angel. I devoured Gabriel and you will too.