❰Reading❯ ➾ The Night Listener Author Armistead Maupin – Dolove.info
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 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 journey.But, 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 equivalent 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 times, like a real slap across the face. 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 equivalent Armistead Maupin, who has written an equivalent Tales of the City series, in which equivalent characters act out a story equivalent to that of the author and his partner Fine.Then 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 City.At 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 plot.The 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 levels.Why 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 intangibility.Plus, obviously, I was hoping against hope for Brian Hawkins to wander through But that would be too much confusion, even for this book. 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 quite 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 Monette.I 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 hate.I 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 quiet nobility when the character is in the right and the other characters are wrong.Definitely recommended Now I think I need to go watch the movie version 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 quits 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. recensione con premessa avvertenza la seguente premessa non riguarda direttamente il libro chi la vuole saltare non perder niente, se non la mia avvincente prosa.sono una golosa impenitente adoro le lasagne, il tiramis i maccheroncini pasticciati, la polenta, la cioccolata, il gelato, la frutta, i tortellini, tutte le peggio cose Per trovare qualcosa che non mi piace dovreste addentrarvi nei torvi reparti dei cibi salutisti Il risultato ovvio fallimento totale della prova costume, delusione da cui in genere mi consola un piatto di strozzapreti con le canocchie.Tuttavia.Perch c un tuttavia.Se davanti a me c una teglia di lasagne fatte da mia mamma, o un tiramis fatto con la ricetta di famiglia che un amico gentile ha definito il miglior tiramis che abbia mai mangiato , l unico limite che mi pongo dato dalla decenza, cos se il mio super io si distrae un attimo posso mangiare l intera teglia di lasagne o l intera coppa di tiramis senza la minima remora.Ma se ho per le mani uno di quei barattoli di gelato che si comprano al supermercato, quelli da mezzo chilo che sono perfetti quando cominciano a sciogliersi un pochino ai bordi, e, un cucchiaino dopo l altro, sciogliendosi sempre di pi , arrivano alla fine con grande stupore del proprietario del cucchiaino, che mai mai mai avrebbe voluto mangiare tanto, in quei casi l dopo la maialata provo un gran senso di colpa, materializzato in una sensazione fastidiosa in bocca, la sensazione della patina di grasso lasciata dal gelato.Per questo c una facile spiegazione i cibi di alta qualit , fatti in casa come Iddio comanda, per quanto possano essere calorici ed eccessivi non avranno mai quel surplus di grasso industriale che si trova, appunto, nei cibi industriali Che non sono necessariamente malvagi, anzi spesso sono pi che decorosi, ma dopo un certo quantitativo ti ricordano inesorabilmente le loro umili origini.FINE DELLA PREMESSA, ADESSO SI PARLA DEL LIBROHo letto questo libro in pochi giorni, con una rapidit per me inconsueta, dovuta alla perfetta scorrevolezza della scrittura Si va avanti che un piacere, cinquanta pagine durante la pausa pranzo, un centinaio prima di dormire, sempre con il gusto di scoprire che cosa succeder , e si arriva alla fine in un attimo Che bella lettura Per , dopo l abbuffata, arriva la sensazione fastidiosa.S , una bella storia, anzi, le belle storie sono due o tre, intrecciate intorno al protagonista narratore ma, arrivata la fine, spuntano le domandine impertinenti che come la patina di grasso del gelato industriale erano rimaste nascoste fino a quel momento ma pu mai nascere un legame cos profondo fra due persone che non solo non si sono mai viste, non solo sono divise da una quarantina di anni di et , ma si sono solo sentite al telefono una decina di volte E la storia con l amante che se n andato ma non poi del tutto ma forse ci amiamo ancora ma devi lasciarmi i miei spazi ma ti sar sempre legato ma devo vedermi con altri, ce la dovevamo proprio sorbire Non stata gi scritta qualche centinaio di volte, suscitando giustificatissimo fastidio E il rapporto con il vecchio padre Egoista e geniale, malato e vitale, forte e debole, anaffettivo e affettuoso Per l amor del cielo Sono stata cattiva il libro migliore di come l ho descritto, se non altro perch scritto bene Per la colloocazione del narratore ben al di sopra delle righe di una emotivit adulta, la sua perenne prossimit alle lacrime, la sua incapacit di prendere le distanze l amante fuggiasco, molto pi lucido di lui, a suggerirgli che qualche cosa non torna lo rendono stucchevole in pi di una pagina Avrei preferito qualche lacrima in meno e un po di spazio in pi all aspetto misterioso della vicenda Ma si sa, io sono un cuore di pietra. 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. A psychological drama billed as a psychological thriller, but definitely not a thriller in my opinion that s equal 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 quest 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 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 consequently, this was a quick, engrossing read But I never quite 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. 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 book.I 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 quickly and never stalls. 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, quiet and very emotional mystery that builds its enchanting plot lines with subtlety It prevails by keeping the main focus on wonderfully depicted character interaction.There isn t all that much story to the novel in fact, but still it feels like a very quick, 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 questions 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.