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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: 21 x 13.9 x 2.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,860,224 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

In the past decade Colm Tóibín has garnered international fame for his fiction, reporting, and travel writing. Now, in his new novel, The Story of Night, he breaks new emotional ground with the story of a gay man coming of age in Argentina during the Falklands War. Tóibín weds his two themes--the ongoing Argentinean struggle toward democracy and the personal journey of a man coming out--with intellectual deftness and literary agility. Written with grace and understatement The Story of Night is Tóibín's best work yet. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Toibin (The Heather Blazing, LJ 2/1/93) lives in Ireland, but his newest novel successfully re-creates the turmoil and confusion of the postmilitary regime in Argentina in the early 1980s as if he had been witness. Richard Garay is an Argentinean, bored by his job as an English tutor and frustrated by his hidden homosexuality. His fluency with language attracts the attention of Claudio Canetto, who hires him as a liaison to foreign investors in his campaign for president of Argentina. Though the campaing is unsuccessful, it draws Garay into an uneasy alliance with a pair of powerful Americans who hope to influence the next election. Toibin flirts with the exploration of a tainted political process, but the heart of the book details the secret relationship between Garay and Canetto's son Pablo; as the country recovers from the Falklands War and the oppression of military leadership, their pairing grows from lust to love as the new threat of AIDS looms. Toibin's simple but eloquent telling of this personal story is sometimes explicit, often moving, and always vivid in its portrayal of Argentina and its people. Highly recommended.?Marc A. Kloszewski, Indiana Free Lib., Indiana, Pa.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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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
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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Format: Paperback
If you like a classic romantic novel which is based on character development caused by repressive surroundings, then you should read this story. Richard, the protagonist with a West-European background but living in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is a highly skilled young gay man. Therefore he is clearly aware of the differences between what he wants in life and what is possible in his country. Especially the impossibility for gays to build up their own gay lifestyle, as he knows if from his education and his North-American friends, worries him constantly.
Richard takes care of his ageing mother just like Lark does in Andrew Holleran's 'The Beauty of Men'. It did not take me by surprise. I've seen it in real life too. What can I say about gay sons caring for their helpless mothers? Anyway, the strong tie seems to keep mother alive by isolating her son from his sexual needs. No wonder de death of Richard's mother is the beginning of his sexual exploration.
When Richard falls in love with the son of an important conservative politician he discovers the impact of leading a double life. The lovers have to spend weekends abroad to get recognition for their loveaffair. Richard's boyfriend is sure he had to spend his college years in the USA because he was caught in the act with a male classmate at home just before his graduation. His parents's unconscious decision in this matter found on the suspicion their son being gay prevented them from even thinking about homosexuality.
Besides the love element Richard also gets involved with politics. He supports the possibilities to establish a democratic government. Working life offers him the opportunity to become a grown up man. For me this aspect functioned quite well as a rolemodeling-thing.
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