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Night Listener, The tie-in: A Novel (P.S.) [Paperback]

Armistead Maupin
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)

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Book by Maupin, Armistead

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Most helpful customer reviews
By Gail Cooke TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
While the movie version of The Night Listener certainly didn't set any box office records, for this listener the audio rates high largely because of the affecting narration provided by author Armistead Maupin. This is a poignant story of a man who feels lost and unloved, and Maupin reads it with insight, illuminating the fears and doubts that possess protagonist Gabriel Noone.

Gabriel comes to life at night - he's a Manhattan based late hours radio host, Noone At Night. He's also a gay man who has broken up with his partner, Jess. After finding himself evidently free of the AIDS virus Jess wants more in life than he is finding with Gabriel. While Gabriel only wanted Jess. Especially vulnerable due to an abusive father who publicly ridiculed him and would never recognize his homosexuality, Gabriel is depressed and feels useless.

He seeks to assuage that feeling by connecting with a young fan, Pete Lomax, who lives in Wisconsin. Pete has suffered as much or more than Gabriel at the hands of physically abusive parents, and now in a struggle with AIDS. The two, Gabriel and Pete, quickly develop a warm, supportive father/son relationship all by telephone. Gabriel, of course, again feels needed.

Eventually, Gabriel decides to go to Wisconsin to see Pete. What he finds there is totally unexpected.

Those who enjoyed Tales of the City will once again find themselves enthralled by Maupin's prose. His voice is icing on the cake.

- Gail Cooke
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By binnsie
"The Night Listener" is one of those really good books, which gets progressively better as the story develops. The primary plot is about the relationship between late night radio host, Gabriel Noone, and a 13-year-old boy, Pete Lomax. Pete is suffering from AIDS as the innocent victim of serious and prolonged sexual assault propagated by his father and others. Donna Lomax, a lady doctor who Pete first talks to on a child abuse hot line, has adopted him and tries to give him the love and security to which every child is entitled. Pete has committed his sad tale to writing and sends the "set of bound galleys" (manuscript) to Gabriel Noone in whom he has developed a trust from listening to his nocturnal banter on the radio. They communicate by phone and soon reach a level of intimacy in which Pete refers to Noone as Dad. The trust is almost absolute and it is only when a tiny suspicion is fed to Noone by Jess (see below) that the seeds of doubt form in Noone's mind. Noone and Pete's relationship is based entirely on their phone calls, as the two have never actually met. Noone has frequent phone conversations with Donna too, building up another bond of trust and friendship. The plot develops wonderfully and this fictional part of the book is excellently put together.
In parallel with the main story line is the clearly autobiographical thread of Maupin's own life. There is the difficult relationship with his own father, an ageing homophobic man who won't acknowledge or discuss his feelings. There's his young stepmother and, as can often be the case, this is one tricky relationship. Then there is the recently ended long-term relationship with his partner Jess, a younger man who has turned to a more macho type of gayness.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wow Nov. 3 2003
By A Customer
Gabriel Noone is a self described "fabulist by trade". He is an openly gay San Francisco radio show host. His whole life changes when he recieves a package with a book in it. He has been asked to write a blurb for the back. This is nothing new to him and he expected not to even open the book at first. But with his life falling apart around him, he decides to read it. It is the autobiography of a 13 year old boy by the name of Pete Lomax. From early childhood Pete had been sexually abused by both his parents and and a ring of pedophiles from the Midwestern states. He meets this boy and becomes close friends with him, communicating only over the telephone. After questions arise to the authenticity of Pete, Gabriel begins his journey to prove that Pete is real once and for all.
This story is made up of many multi-dimensional characters that allow you to be completely engrossed in the story. Armistaud Maupin makes this book both disturbing and enlightening, light-hearted and dark, and both good clean fun and deeply sexual. The book is a relatively quick-read despite it's many pages of small type, the pages will fly by as you try to solve the mysteries of Pete's existence and that of Gabriel Noone's struggle to find himself.
I do not recommend this book to those who are not incredibly mature. Both because of the sexual references and because of the disturbing mystery of the book. I myself found my head spinning and had several sleepless nights before finishing the book. To those who are able I highly suggest this book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars "Elementary, my dear Watson." June 13 2003
Here we have a book by Mr. Maupin in which he lightly expands the world we came to know in his "Tales of the City" series. Characters from that series are present in the book, yes, but this doesn't detract from this new string. It's more like a little morsel for his faithful readers that, when they read, their eyes widen and they think, "Yeah!! I know that!!"
I read this book and was sucked into Gabriel's world with ease. The writing was fantastic, and the answer to the question on everyone's mind is played from every angle...if not in actual events, then in Gabriel's mind.
A mystery of a different kind (no one is killed, no crowned jewels are stolen), "The Night Listener" pulled me from one extreme of opinion to the other. By book's end, I was in awe with Maupin's ability to keep the reader guessing...even after the last word is read and the book is put down.
I give this book 4 stars because although I love the kind of ending that lets you write your own epilogue, I really wanted a definite answer to the questions that arose.
Nevertheless, this book was a great read!!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars incredible
This was just an excellent book, so different from what else is out there to read. I recommend this book to anyone (unless you have a real problem with homosexuality). Read more
Published on March 29 2004 by michigan jean
2.0 out of 5 stars Not believable, except in parts
I found this book to be a fun read, but it's not a "masterpiece" or a "triumph." Even by Maupin's "Tale of the City" standards, this is a strangely unsatisfying novel. Read more
Published on Jan. 8 2004 by fml66
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping piece of literature window-dressed as mystery
*The Night Listener* is gripping from beginning to end. Literally I am glued to the page. Writer and radio storyteller Gabriel Noone just broke up with his partner Jess who battled... Read more
Published on March 11 2003 by Matthew M. Yau
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fast, Fun, Revealing Read
This is Maupin's first work in years, and while it's hard not to suspect autobiographical undercurrents - or surface currents, really - this does not distract from the overall... Read more
Published on Dec 21 2002 by "eabower"
4.0 out of 5 stars A sad yet beautiful book
I admit to preferring by far the Armistead Maupin who unravels the antics of Mrs Madrigal and her tenants. Read more
Published on Nov. 12 2002 by Ventura Angelo
5.0 out of 5 stars Kept me glued to the page
The Night Listener by Armistead Maupin
Based on a true-life event that happened to Armistead Maupin, THE NIGHT LISTENER chronicles the unusual relationship of author/radio... Read more
Published on Oct. 29 2002 by Ratmammy
4.0 out of 5 stars A subtle book not intended for shallow reading
If you want a novel with a straightforward exposition -- the written version of a made-for-TV movie -- then this is NOT the novel for you. Read more
Published on Oct. 22 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars I LAUGHED, I CRIED, ...
...and I enjoyed! This book was a fast read(3 hours) giving me a few starts, a couple of tears, several laughs and a desire to hug Armistead. Thanks Mr. M..
Published on Aug. 22 2002 by DANA L DODD
1.0 out of 5 stars Should be "Armistead Maudlin"
Maupin's protaganist (who is a thiny veiled version of Maupin, himself)worries that he will be discovered as a literary fraud. Read more
Published on Aug. 13 2002
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