SUMMARY ↠ The Night Listener

SUMMARY The Night Listener

Ise 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 Listene. 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

REVIEW ✓ TOBERMOREDRIVEWAYS.CO.UK Ð Armistead Maupin

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 South. 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

Armistead Maupin Ð 1 SUMMARY

Ern father his longtime weakness for ignoring reality Gabriel's most sympathetic listener is Pete Lomax a thirteen year old fan in Wisconsin The Night PDFEPUB or whose own horrific past has left him w. 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


10 thoughts on “The Night Listener

  1. 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 ne

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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 relations

  5. 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 a

  6. 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. says:

    Knowing nothing of Maupin and even less of Anthony Godby Johnson I read this book without any preconceptions and enjoyed

  8. says:

    A psychological drama billed as a psychological thriller but definitely not a thriller in my opinion that's eual

  9. 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

  10. 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