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Preview — The Story of the Night by Colm Tóibín
The Story of the Night
The streets are empty at night, and people see nothing because they have trained themselves not to. It is Argentina in a time of the generals. Richard Garay lives alone with his mother, hiding his sexuality from her and from the world. Stifled by a job he despises, he is willing to take chances, both sexual and professional. The Falklands War e ...more
1) Richard Garay lives with and cares for his domineering mother until her death, and then attempts to make his own way as a gay man in macho, politically volatile Argentina in the mid-80s.
2) Richard gets involved with a family, the patriarch of which seeks to become President of Argentina, and takes a job as a translator thanks largely to the influence of two American CIA agents who are working behind the scenes to "democratize" Argentina in the post-Falklands ...more
Engrossing, compelling story (with some interesting set-pieces) that, more than once, seems to be going one way and then takes you another. I don't think, as a whole, it's as good as Toibin's later works, but it's just as readable.
I enjoy reading all the works of favorite writers and seeing their development. I found this one better than his earlier The South, and it's also interesting to see how this one probably led to his next one, The Blackwater Lightship, which I loved.
Set in Buenos Aires during the Falklands war and its aftermath, the novel tracks the development of Richard Garay, a gay schoolteacher, the son of an Argentine father and English mother. At the novel's opening, the generals a ...more
My initial reaction: "Brilliant, emotional, and will leave you, well, utterly speechless. Just... WOW!"
As Argentina is going through political upheaval, so is Richard. Strangled by his job and lack of love life, he takes risks and grows just like this new Argentina does. He finds himself in a new career and in a new love.
The melancholy, trance-like prose beautifully illustrates how Richard drifts through life being a part of it yet apart at the same time. He is lonely and detached ...more
2005 and Argentina has just revoked amnesty for those responsible for the brutality and occult treachery of the Dirty War that ended with the overthrow of the military junta with the British defeat of Argentina's forces over the Falkland Islands. And it is during this closure of a long suppressed circle that Colm Toibin's superb 1995 book THE STORY OF THE NIGHT comes back into circulation. By all means read this book now not only to celebrate Toibin' ...more
The Story of the Night struck me immediately as a difficult book—not because it is difficult to grasp but because it's tedious to go through. It is not the tedium of self-conscious style. It is the tedium of the self-conscious lack of s...more
The novel blends confession, love story and the sort of ambassadorial intrigue that Graham Greene went in for. In fact, I ...more
A searing look at Argentina after the dictators,the years of the "missing" and the Falklands, from the viewpoint of a gay man who discovers his truer self and genuine love, but at a tremendous cost.The writing is deceptively matter of fact and low key but brick by brick reveals the house of Argentina at that time to be founded on mistrust,loneliness, and deception, with "rooms" full of hypocrites,manipulators,schemers,exploiters,the disenchanted, repressed sensualists,and the seem ...more
The reader follows Rich ...more
Well, I am very disappointed. Two of the three parts of Story of the Night deal with the political and business climate in Argentina in the 70s and 80s. Supremely boring and written like a journalist. This reminded me a bit of Hollinghurst's Line of Beauty, but ...more
The big horrible beautiful pivotal things tend to be sort of overly dramatic and maudlin, looking back...good history but not good fiction necessarily. Toibin has this talent to write about said things while maintaining an edge that makes it real, makes it so ...more
"Colm Toibin was born in Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford in 1955. He studied at University College Dublin and lived in Barcelona between 1975 and 1978. Out of his experience in Barcelona be produced two books, the novel ‘The South’ (shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel Award and winner of the Irish Times/ Aer Lingus First Fiction ...more