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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly believable
Gabriel Noone, gay and out, is a successful writer and networked broadcaster with a nightly radio slot where he reads from his writings. As we meet him he has recently been left by his lover, a man some of some ten years younger than Gabriel's fifty-something, and is struggling to come to terms with being alone again. He has also just received a transcript for his...
Published on 25 July 2010 by Benjamin

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
This is a good read, but there were things about the story that irritated me a bit. I don't want to spoil in my review so I won't go too much into why, but when Gabriel started to have misgivings about Pete why didn't he think to find out about the case? Why did no one else with these questions trouble to do the same thing? It was interesting how Gabriel began to confront...
Published on 19 July 2007 by S. Dawson


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly believable, 25 July 2010
By 
Benjamin (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Night Listener (Hardcover)
Gabriel Noone, gay and out, is a successful writer and networked broadcaster with a nightly radio slot where he reads from his writings. As we meet him he has recently been left by his lover, a man some of some ten years younger than Gabriel's fifty-something, and is struggling to come to terms with being alone again. He has also just received a transcript for his endorsement from a publisher; the work of a thirteen year old boy, Pete, how has endured in his short life a history of abuse. Pete is a regular listen and avid fan of Gabriel's, and impressed with the lad's writing Gabriel gets in touch with the boy, and quickly a regular telephone dialogue is established.

However Jess, Gabriel's ex-lover, begins to sow doubts as the the authenticity of Pete. We follow Gabriel as he takes us back over the year, and learn about his relationship with Jess, with his father, and with Pete and Pete's guardian; along the way Gabriel provides frequent glimpses into his past.

The Night Listener is highly accomplished piece of writing, thoroughly involving and utterly believable, such that I had to keep checking that this was a work of fiction and not fact. The enigmatic conclusion left me with a wry smile.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought Provoking, 10 Nov. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Night Listener (Paperback)
After the disappointing 'Maybe the Moon', I was apprehensive, but the 'Tales of the City' stories were so good, I had to give Maupin the benefit of the doubt. I am so glad I did. This book left me thinking a lot...about the story that had just unfolded, the clever twist I was not expecting and the emotions it had brought out in me and left me to deal with. I love it when books do that! There's something for everyone to relate to here: family relationships, partnerships, even pet-owners. Maupin is not being 'self-obsessed' - he's writing a story, about life, love, suspicion, difficult questions and possible outcomes. It certainly left me with a wry smile on my face.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Morning, Noone and Night, 25 May 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Night Listener (Paperback)
How do you define love? How do you picture someone you have never met? And how are you able to believe so much when you understand so little? With "The Night Listner" questions are raised, personal inner most fears are realised and the people who are closest to you answer a question whilst raising dozens more. Maupin has, in this book, excelled. He helps us to feel on so many levels what the characters are experiencing. Hard hitting issues are well presented without the need to "glamourise". From page one you become hooked with his writing feeling almost musical in its descriptions. I can recount many emotions emerging as I read about Noone's rollercoaster ride, from actual tears and sorrow, through to laugh out loud moments. Maupin intertextual style of writing in this book does not become evident until the very final few pages, which makes it such an interesting read. High praise to Maupin. An extrordinary piece of literary prose.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, 19 July 2007
By 
S. Dawson (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Night Listener (Paperback)
This is a good read, but there were things about the story that irritated me a bit. I don't want to spoil in my review so I won't go too much into why, but when Gabriel started to have misgivings about Pete why didn't he think to find out about the case? Why did no one else with these questions trouble to do the same thing? It was interesting how Gabriel began to confront his daemons in a way from his conversations with Pete, I suppose you could also draw a parallel with 'An Inspector Calls'. In all, worth a read but I wouldn't say it was as good as Maupin's previous books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maupin succeeds again, 20 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Night Listener (Paperback)
Having re-read all the original `Tales of the City' series, followed more recently by `Michael Tolliver Lives' and `Mary Ann in Autumn', I had put off reading `The Night Listener', reluctant to say goodbye to the Barbary Lane gang. However, along the way, there were brief references which would only be noticed by `Tales' readers, so why did I wait so long?? I was gripped from the first page.

Gabriel is a radio storyteller, who receives the draft of a story by, Pete, a young fan of his radio show. Gabriel gets in touch with this young fan, by phone.

Alongside the developing relationship, albeit by phone, between Gabriel and Pete, a young teenager suffering from AIDS as a result of sexual abuse, I was desperately wanting Gabriel and his partner Jess to reconcile, even though it seemed increasingly unlikely, not so much by Jess's growing apartness, but largely because of Gabriel himself, for whom, getting to his core was like peeling away layer after layer of an onion and, perhaps just as tricky.

This was displayed in the odd moment of self revelation and in Gabriel's conversations with young Pete. It became harder to distinguish who was the comforter and who was the comforted. Then there were the moments when Gabriel could relax, talking to Pete's long suffering and protective adoptive mother, Donna. I found the way this was written, rang so true.

Gabriel's on-off relationship with his acerbic father, must be all too familiar to gay men who are loved by their fathers, but who can only deal with their son's gay status, by ignoring it.

Gabriel's increasing doubts about Pete were written, so that I was urging him to make the journey to visit, long before it happened in the story. Was I more disappointed than Gabriel that the visit was unsatisfactory? Was Donna's attitude unreasonable?

At the end of the story, the mystery remained - or did it ! For me, there were many chuckles along the way and also the occasional watering of the eyes. I heartily recommend this book. Armistead Maupin can do little wrong in my eyes and I think that the person who mauled the book, <<7 Deadly Reasons "The Night Listener" Is a Horrid Book>> may have had issues other than those of storytelling and penmanship.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching & eye opening, it's insights will keep you guessing, 11 Feb. 2002
This review is from: The Night Listener (Paperback)
I found this book at home whilst searching the bookshelves for something new to read. I'd never seen it before and assumed my mum must have bought it. I read the back and thought, well, why not - I had time to kill. What I hadn't realised was how much time I'd need. I just couldn't put it down. From the word go the story grips you, and intertwines itself into your very inner core. You find yourself not only associating yourself with the characters, but also with the truths that Maupin deals out through his characters, just as Gabriel Noone does with his radio listeners in the book. A plot so full of twists that it will keep you guessing even after you've finished it. The end of the book will leave you unsatisfied, but reading the afterword should iron out a few of the creases on your mind.
The book has touched me in ways I didn't think possible, and it has been a while since a book has been able to bring a lump to my throat. A very satisfying and eye opening read; not only into homosexuality and AIDS but also into the love within a family and the pain that just a few simple words can cause.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Iron grip of a thriller, heart and tears of a romance, 28 Sept. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Night Listener (Paperback)
The Night Listener is one of the most unputdownable books ever - and that does not mean it is a thriller (although its hall-of-mirrors mystery structure brings that genre to mind) nor a will-they-marry romance (although many types of love - familial, pseudo-paternal, friendship and others - are skilfully and tenderly evoked); rather it is a unique combination of a devastatingly moving love story between two people who, it seems, may never meet, a memoir of a sad, dysfunctional family and a dark journey into one man's soul. And , my God, how can it be, but it is - it's also very funny. Humane to the point of breakdown, subtly structured to the point of screaming tension - it's the best this English graduate has read for years.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Opening of a whole new world of books, 17 Jan. 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Night Listener (Paperback)
I picked up the "Night Listener" in sheer frustration at not being able to find another book that I was interested in. But it was like finding a 20 pound note in your jeans pocket when your skint! I loved this book, the mystery, the emotions, his style of writing. I felt that through parts of the book, a bit of the author was seeping through on to the page. If you like happy endings....be prepared! I read this book four months ago and I still haven't reached any conclusions yet, but my feeling is, it has been left for me to make up my own ending. I don't know if this was his intent but I'm doing it anyway.
I have now read all of Armistead Maupins books, I will be forever grateful he became a writer, because he has given me hours of pleasure.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fab, as long as you're fine with making the end up yourself, 26 Nov. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Night Listener (Paperback)
I must say, this is the first Armistead book I have read. I have watched TOTC/MTOTC and listened to 4 of the series on audio book - love them all. I must say that now I have read this, I will be reading all of the TOTC series. It is a really good book. Very sad in parts, very funny in many other parts. I don't want to give away the ending, but I will say this: if you're like me, and are expecting some final round-up at the end of a book where everything falls into place and voila, THE END, then be prepared - it doesn't happen! And that's the only thing this book is missing. You'll come away wanting another chapter or two to be written. But I'm sure there's method here - expect a sequel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, 3 Dec. 2013
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I read this book on holiday in approx 8 intense hours (I was great company) and was completely riveted. It's one of the best books I've read in ages. In fact I was so caught up in the suspense, that at one point I couldn't stand it any longer and ridiculously clicked my way through to the end (I was using my kindle). Anyway, the plot is so sharp that there are no short cuts; you have to be guided through the book to understand the conclusion. I reread several parts to make sure that I wasn't missing anything and at one point found myself in tears. It's a very powerful and thought provoking read, I would thoroughly recommend it.
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The Night Listener
The Night Listener by Armistead Maupin (Paperback - 1 Oct. 2001)
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