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Story Of The Night, The: A Novel Paperback – May 22 1998


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Paperback, May 22 1998
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Holt Paperbacks (May 22 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805058257
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805058253
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 13.7 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,695,641 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joseph J. Hanssen on March 27 2001
Format: Paperback
After reading & enjoying Colm Toibin's latest book, "The Blackwater Lightship", I decided I must read his other books. Again, I wasn't disappointed. I enjoyed this beautifully written novel as much as "The Blackwater Lightship." Colm's sentences are very long and full of details, and once you get use to his masterful style of writing you just can't stop reading. I think that's what I like most about his writing, that everything is brought to the surface, and no details are left out.
There are actually two main themes here, and they are combined beautifully. It's the story of Argentina during the Falkland Wars and its struggle for democracy & freedom, and the story of a gay man's coming of age who is also struggling to find himself, his place in life & real love. I think Richard Garay & Pablo's love for each other is beautifully developed in a very sensitive true-to life way. Although your heart may break by the end of this story you'll remember these characters long after you finish this book.
If you like a book that can take you away, make you happy, bring tears to your eyes, and teach you a lot about other people & their cultures, this book is definitely worth a read. This book is written with intelligence and was a sheer pleasure to read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 9 2000
Format: Paperback
Although the book starts out with an interesting premise -- the political repression of Argentina paralleled by the emotional and sexual repression of a young Argentine -- it quickly devloves into a rather prosaic gay coming of age story. Midway through the novel all international intrigue is abruptly dropped, and the remainder is a hodge-podge of overwrought love seens. Could have been good, but instead it was only mildly interesting.
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Format: Paperback
Richard Garay, half-English and half-Argentinian, lives with his mother in Bueons Aires in the 1980s. He's stuck in a teaching job he doesn't like and roams the streets at night, afraid of letting anyone close to him know about his homosexuality. But Argentina is changing, and Richard soon must change with it.
He befriends one of his students, Jorge Caneto, and travels with him to Barcelona. His mother passes away. The Falklands War begins and ends. Once the war is over, Jorge's father, a powerful man in Argentina, gets Richard a job as an interpretor for the foreigners coming over to assist with the privatization of Argentina's oil industry. And, he also hopes that Richard will help sway the visitors in the political arena. At one of the fundraiser parties, Richard spies Pablo, a beautiful young man and also Jorge's brother.
Richard slowly begins a romance with Pablo. But, Pablo's past comes back to haunt the relationship. Soon, Richard is having to deal not only with that past but also his future and the threat of HIV and AIDS.
I felt that the author couldn't make up his mind what story to tell: the political intrigue of the privatization of Argentina or the romance of Pablo and Richard. Either one would have been sufficient, but the stories didn't combine well and made it seem as though I were reading two novels at once.
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Format: Paperback
Argentina in the 1970s and 1980s was a time of change and growth. Richard Garay lives with his ailing mother in Buenos Aires, where he cruises for sex with other men and works at a loathsome job. After the Falkland War, he comes into contact with two American diplomats who become the catalysts for Richard's own changes and growth. He finds better work, becomes more connected with the world at large, and later finds a man to love. But even in Argentina, the far-reaching tendrils of AIDS touch everyone. The last third of the novel becomes an eloquent testament to the power of love and hope, against all odds. In Tóibín's capable hands, what could have been a tedious story about politics becomes a wondrous journey of a man into the world at large through to the other side.
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Format: Paperback
I picked up this book quite by accident assuming it to be a historical novel set in an Argentine backdrop. It had some of that but was much more. Using the years after the dictatorship of 1976-1983, the author begins the story focusing on a quiet unassuming young man who lives with his mother and just happens to be gay. For those who are anxious to learn more about the awakening of democracy, there is some of that. The dominant theme covers the US role in Argentina's changing political climate. However, as the book develops the reader finds the focus of the novel shifting gradually to the main character's sexual coming of age. The story moves quickly from political cocktail parties with the Argentine elite to furtive homosexual encounters in a Buenos Aires steam bath. As the reader follows the progression of events, the main character becomes a success both emotionally and economically. I found myself encouraging him on. It is easy to like this guy and hope that he can overcome the constraints of living with his aging mother in a culture that does not celebrate his sexuality. The sex scenes, both homosexual and heterosexual, hold the reader focused on the struggle that the main character is feeling. Ultimately the book shifts to the topic of AIDS. This was a disappointment as it introduced a theme written about so many times before and not necessary to the story's conclusion. Notwithstanding that, this book is very well written and held my interest from beginning to end. I would recommend it highly.
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