The Night Listener PDF/EPUB õ The Night MOBI :Ò

The Night Listener I'm a fabulist by trade warns Gabriel Noone a late night radio storyteller as he begins to untangle the skeins of his tumultuous life his crumbling ten year love affair his disaffection from his Southern father his longtime weakness for ignoring reality Gabriel's most sympathetic listener is Pete Lomax a thirteen year old fan in Wisconsin whose own horrific past has left him wise and generous beyond his years But when this virtual father son relationship is rocked by doubt a desperate search for the truth ensues Welcome to the complex vertiginous world of The Night Listener

10 thoughts on “The Night Listener

  1. Paul Jr. Paul Jr. says:

    Originally reviewed for Uniuely PleasurableFirst a disclaimer This review covers the original publication of the novel and not the movie tie in version The movie varies substantially and is really rather dreadful from the original novel and it is unknown if the tie in version of the novel was rewritten to incorporate new information andor details found in the movieThe novel The Night Listener is Maupin’s fictional take on his interaction with Anthony Godby Johnson a “young boy” who was presented as having been brutally abused as a child Johnson wrote a book that was sent out in galley form to many celebrities and like JT Leroy who would claim the same thing many years later and subseuently be proven a massive hoax the celebrities took to this boy many becoming friends with him over the phone You can read about the cases by search out either Johnson or Leroy onlineI have to admit upfront that I am an unabashed fan of Maupin’s work There is a simplicity to his prose that belies the emotional complexity of the characters he creates and whether it be his series Tales of the City or his departures from that series like Maybe the Moon it is rare for me to find fault in his work There is also an almost Hitchcockian feel to the plots of his novels which while never detracting from the almost whimsical tone of his stories always creates a nice blend of genres The Night Listener however is perhaps his greatest departure from this style a dark and brooding look at loss and betrayal and the need for human contact It can be a brutal read a friend to whom I lent the book called it “one of the most depressing novels” she’d ever read But what it also is is a novel which really explores the range that Maupin has as a storyteller and makes him in my mind one of the best novelists out there gay or straightMaupin is in thin disguise as Gabriel Noone an author of radio stories who is at a turning point in his life when he makes contact with Pete Lomax the stricken boy Noone’s longtime lover–who never expected to survive the AIDS epidemic–has moved out and while the romantic relationship has ended the connection between Noone and his ex will be a lifelong one Jess simply needs to find a life beyond waiting to die But what it does for Noone is leave a huge hole in his life an emotional and intellectual void that needs to be filled So when Noone connects by telephone with Pete and finds him to be a witty well spoken young man a friendship begins to develop Noone needs someone who adores him and Pete desperately needs a father figureMaupin brilliantly captures both Noone and Pete The malaise Noone has found himself in is palpable a man who suddenly finds himself feeling a no one Noone because he has lost the one person who has helped to define him for decades Likewise Maupin’s depiction of Pete is heartbreaking but utterly realistic He is smart and funny his humor as dark as his own past and Maupin gets the pattern of speech of a teen boy exactly right Though essentially a minor character Noone’s ex Jess is also excellently drawn Jess isn’t reduced to a cardboard cut out While was a saddened that he has decided to leave Noone we completely understand his desire to get out there and see what life–a real life–holds for him Pete’s adoptive mother–though a very minor character through the first half of the novel–is also flesh and blood We feel the compassion that led her to adopt Peter We understand her ferocious protectiveness of him We even understand why she won’t let anyone meet him And then Maupin does something brilliant He turns all that has come before on its head Why hasn’t Donna let anyone meet him? Does Pete’s voice really sound all that similar to Donna’s? Surely the editor of Pete’s book has checked out his story Suddenly we begin to suspect Pete We begin to distrust Donna Everything we have learned before we begin to uestion and we feel deep down inside the conflict Noone feelsWhat Maupin does so well in this book is make you care about this Pete as interestingly enough had happened to Maupin and the other celebs Johnson had been in contact with so that when doubt is cast upon his existence you are as devastated as Noone The result is a literary gut punch And Maupin expertly takes us from needing to believe Pete and Donna to suspecting them To wanting them to be real–for their own sakes as well as Noone’s–to needing them to be proven a hoax because the evidence of such a hoax is so remarkably overwhelming It is a brilliant feat of writingto make three characters Noone Pete and Donna that you as the reader desperately want to believe The result is a deeply psychological game of suspense that moves at a brisk pace one that would make Hitchcock proudThe Night Listener is not an easy read at all from an emotional standpoint As a reader a lot is demanded of you and you likely will feel worn out after reading it but the ride is so worth it

  2. Brooke Brooke says:

    After reading the book I'm not sure why the trailers for the movie tried to pass it off as a thriller it's not creepy or scary or anything It's a mind puzzle and a mystery but I guess Hollywood thinks its audience won't enjoy something cerebral they did the same thing with Stephen King's Secret Window; its advertising campaign puzzles me to this day The neatest thing about the book is that it's based on something that actually happened to the author The copy of the book I have contains an article from The New Yorker that sums up the real life story which is pretty similar to the novel I'm not sure how I feel about the plot device thrown in during the afterword; in some ways I feel like the story itself is complete enough without adding this new layer and in other ways I feel like it folds right into the overall themes of the bookI've never read Maupin's Tales of the City books but I'm inclined to now after seeing what a capable author he is Even though the bulk of The Night Listener is made up of phone calls it moves forward uickly and never stalls

  3. Jackie Jackie says:

    Okay Within the first five pages it became apparent that this book was about storytelling and truth and falsehood and embellishment Not only does the narrator Gabriel Noone tell the reader this point blank but Armistead Maupin tells us that himself by making the parallels between himself and his main character extremely easy to draw Okay we think here we have an euivalent Armistead Maupin who has written an euivalent Tales of the City series in which euivalent characters act out a story euivalent to that of the author and his partner FineThen in waltzes A CHARACTER FROM TALES OF THE CITY Anna not Madrigal but Anna of Edgar and Anna DeDe Halcyon's twins Instead of a toddler she is now a 21 year old bookkeeper which makes sense with the publication date and the original time frame of Tales of the CityAt this point the entire story within a story about another story based on a story based on a true story thing goes completely out the window All these wires are crossed and that potential confusion potential because only a handful of readers may even pick up on any of this paves the way for the actual confusion of the plotThe mystery at the center of the book was very well done Even though there is nothing particularly frightening about Gabriel Noone's predicament I got shivers down my spine than once mostly after the halfway mark when his phone conversations with Pete and Donna start occurring on multiple levelsWhy four stars? As much as I like Maupin and he himself alludes to this through his stand in Gabriel Noone his prose doesn't blow me out of the water Also truck stop sex seems pretty unnecessary in a book that's all about intangibilityPlus obviously I was hoping against hope for Brian Hawkins to wander through But that would be too much confusion even for this book

  4. Anthony Anthony says:

    I thought I knew what to expect from this book and how it would resolve itself because I knew that it was based loosely on Maupin's relationship with Anthony Godby Johnson the teenage boy who wrote the memoir A Rock and a Hard Place a book I read and which affected me uite a bit both when I read it and when I found out years later that it might all have been a hoax Lots of famous people were taken in by the possibly non existent Johnson including Maupin and author Paul MonetteI was not expecting just how Maupin's reworking of the story into fiction would affect me It hit me on a few levels The way his character Gabriel Noone describes his incredible connection with the young Peter Lomax which mirrored so well the relationship I have with so many teenagers; the conversation Gabriel has with his own father towards the end of the book which I wish I could have had with my own father; and how the beginning and end of the book come somewhat full circle and yet still leaves you wondering that satisfied but unsatisfied feeling I love and hateI listened to this on cd and had mixed emotions about Maupin reading his own work He has a clear speaking voice that sometimes sounds like the actor Michael Emerson a good thing and sometimes sounds like the commentator Andy Rooney not so good in my opinion Mostly though he gets to the heart of Noone letting him sound appropriately pathetic when the character is acting pathetic and giving him a certain uiet nobility when the character is in the right and the other characters are wrongDefinitely recommended Now I think I need to go watch the movie version

  5. Mark Mark says:

    This might have got 5 stars if it hadn't been for the ending Once I picked it up I couldn't bear tom put it down I became so engrossed in the plotline and the mystery as to whether or not this boy really existed For me fiction is at its best when the characters speak to something inside you and you can empathise with them and they become real You don't have to LIKE them but you have to care about what happens I don't have to have everything tied up and bundled into a neat little parcel labelled The End but I have to be carried along on the journeyBut I AM a grown up and not altogether unintelligent; for example I don't send birthday cards to soap characters and never sent a letter to Steve McDonald berating him for the way he was treating Becky I KNOW they're just characters and actors playing a part So the final chapter of this book with its sledgehammer like insistence that this was just a story made up and written down was like the literary euivalent of Brian Connolly shouting It's a PUPPET only not as funny Given that the film that was made of the book proudly declares itself to be based on real events yet because of the medium has to take a stand one way or the other as to whether or not the boy is real the book is probably closer to the truth and less of a fiction than the film script So the final chapter feels from an author known for his humanity and inclusivity if not sentimentality at timeslike a real slap across the face

  6. Jessica Jessica says:

    I watched the movie a lot when I was a teen it had of a creepy vibe to it This is bittersweet and kind of heartbreaking Amistead Maupin is a great storyteller so I'm interested in Tales of the City now

  7. Pascale Pascale says:

    Knowing nothing of Maupin and even less of Anthony Godby Johnson I read this book without any preconceptions and enjoyed it thoroughly up until Pete's last phone call to the narrator which seemed to me one twist too many At some level this story reminded me of Walter Kirn's Blood Will Out in that both books explore how a minor celebrity with lots of emotional baggage finds himself compelled to believe an unbelievable story In this case Maupin's alter ego Gabriel Noone falls hook line and sinker for the story of Pete Lomax a precocious 13 year old who is supposed to have survived tremendous abuse at the hands of his parents and been rescued by a psychologist called Donna When Gabriel's former lover Jess and his accountant Anna start doubting the existence of Pete whom nobody has ever met Gabriel's world is thrown in turmoil At this point in his life with unresolved issues with his own father weighing him down and his break up causing severe writer's block Gabriel has let Pete become his new focus Against mounting evidence that Pete is just a very weird hoax Gabriel forges ahead and tries to locate the boy in snow bound Wysong rather than calling it uits or at least doing the rounds of hospitals in Milwaukee where Pete is supposed to be receiving treatment for HIV Maupin really knows how to draw his reader into this maze and exploring issues of emotional neediness and manipulation The one character I found disappointing is Donna whose motivation in making up Pete is never addressed

  8. Blair Blair says:

    A psychological drama billed as a psychological thriller but definitely not a thriller in my opinion that's eual parts weird and mundane Gabriel Noone a writer who has gained fame through a radio serialisation of his stories is sent a copy of a harrowing memoir written by a young boy who has suffered serious sexual abuse and is dying of AIDS Moved by the story he starts to talk to the boy Pete on the phone and the two develop a close relationship seeing themselves as father and son However all is not as it seems with Pete and his adoptive mother Donna and Gabriel's uest for the truth leads him to trek through the snow to Pete's remote home The story about Pete is also used as a backdrop for Gabriel's musings on the state of his relationship his husband Jess has just left him temporarily? and his family particularly his father The smallest amount of research into this book reveals it is a roman à clef based on a real 'misery memoir' believed to be a hoax that of Anthony Godby Johnson which the author himself was taken in by This story is itself pretty fascinating and Maupin's account of it in this novel had me turning the pages to find out what the outcome would be; conseuently this was a uick engrossing read But I never uite felt that the Pete story and the narrator's diversions into other topics fitted together properly There are whole chapters just about Gabriel's parents or his anguish over Jess leaving and these can be frustrating when you're eager to find out what will happen next with Pete I feel the book would probably have worked better as a novella purely about Pete and the potential hoax; the story is mainly memorable because of its link to a real life case

  9. Mikael Kuoppala Mikael Kuoppala says:

    “The Night Listener” is a very good example of how a mystery novel can shine without creepy settings and dark characters in action packed storylines This is a deeply moving uiet and very emotional mystery that builds its enchanting plot lines with subtlety It prevails by keeping the main focus on wonderfully depicted character interactionThere isn’t all that much story to the novel in fact but still it feels like a very uick compact read This is mostly due to Maupin’s talent as a storyteller and his keen insight for character building The protagonist radio playwright Gabriel Noone has a distinct alter ego feel to him but he’s complex and imperfect enough Noone is in a total state of transition facing old age and loss on so many fronts that he needs to start redefining big parts of his identity His rapport with a disembodied voice of a fan is like an anchor during a time when everything concrete is either changing shape or dissipating altogether And that’s what this book is really about after all the uestions and mysteries And this is also a novel about hope but not only about its most obvious forms It’s mainly about the kind of hope that’s present in the darkest of thoughts and ideas just barely keeping us from slipping

  10. Ali Ali says:

    Not one of the Tales of the City books but eually brilliant A real mystery and a great ending about which I will say no

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