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The Night Listener 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 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 minclined 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 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, 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 authorknown 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 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 spinethan 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 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 a 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 I watched the movie a lot when I was a teen, it hadof a creepy vibe to it This isbittersweet and kind of heartbreaking Amistead Maupin is a great storyteller, so I minterested in Tales of the City now. 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 [Reading] ➷ Gender in Psychoanalytic Space By Muriel Dimen – Lavons.co.uk warns Gabriel Noone ❰PDF / Epub❯ ★ Insight and Interpretation Author Roy Schafer – Lavons.co.uk a late night radio storyteller ❮Reading❯ ➷ Good People in an Evil Time Author Svetlana Broz – Lavons.co.uk as he begins to untangle the skeins of his tumultuous life his crumbling ten year love affair [EPUB] ✰ On a Day Like This ✶ Peter Stamm – Lavons.co.uk his disaffection from his Southern father ➾ [Download] ➾ Heart to Start By Derek Handley ➳ – Lavons.co.uk his longtime weakness for ignoring reality Gabriel s most sympathetic listener is Pete Lomax [PDF / Epub] ☉ Light without Fire By Scott Korb – Lavons.co.uk 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 [BOOKS] ⚦ Secrecy By Rupert Thomson – Lavons.co.uk a desperate search for the truth ensues Welcome to the complex ❮PDF / Epub❯ ✈ The Silence and the Roar ⚣ Author Nihad Sirees – Lavons.co.uk vertiginous world of The Night Listener 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 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 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 storyt 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 everythingconcrete 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 Not one of the Tales of the City books but equally brilliant A real mystery and a great ending, about which I will say no.


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About the Author: Armistead Maupin

Armistead Maupin was born in Washington, D.C., in 1944 but grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina A graduate of the University of North Carolina, he served as a naval officer in the Mediterranean and with the River Patrol Force in Vietnam Maupin worked as a reporter for a newspaper in Charleston, South Carolina, before being assigned to the San Francisco bureau of the Associated Press in 1971 In 1976 he launched his groundbreaking Tales of the City serial in the San Francisco Chronicle Maupin is the author of nine novels, including the six volume Tales of the City series, Maybe the Moon, The Night Listener and, most recently, Michael Tolliver Lives Three miniseries starring Olympia Dukakis and Laura Linney were made from the first three Tales novels The Night Listener became a feature film starring Robin Williams and Toni Collette He is currently writing a musical version of Tales of the City with Jason Sellards aka Jake Shears and John Garden aka JJ of the disco and glam rock inspired pop group Scissor Sisters Tales will be directed by Jason Moore Avenue Q and Shrek.Maupin lives in San Francisco with his husband, Christopher Turner.