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The Night Listener

3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  3,886 ratings  ·  272 reviews
Gabriel Noone is a writer whose late night radio stories have brought him into the homes of millions. Noone is in the midst of a painful separation from his lover of ten years when a publisher sends him proofs of a remarkable book: the memoir of a sickly thirteen-year-old boy who suffered horrific sexual abuse at the hands of his parents.





Now living with his adoptive mother
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Paperback, 363 pages
Published 2001 by Black Swan (first published 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Brooke
After reading the book, I'm not sure why the trailers for the movie tried to pass it off as a thriller - it's not creepy or scary or anything. It's a mind puzzle and a mystery, but I guess Hollywood thinks its audience won't enjoy something cerebral (they did the same thing with Stephen King's Secret Window; its advertising campaign puzzles me to this day).

The neatest thing about the book is that it's based on something that actually happened to the author. The copy of the book I have contains
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Paul Jr.
Originally reviewed for Uniquely Pleasurable.

First, a disclaimer. This review covers the original publication of the novel and not the movie-tie in version. The movie varies substantially (and is really rather dreadful) from the original novel and it is unknown if the tie-in version of the novel was rewritten to incorporate new information and/or details found in the movie.

The novel The Night Listener is Maupin’s fictional take on his interaction with Anthony Godby Johnson, a “young boy” who was
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Jackie
Okay. Within the first five pages, it became apparent that this book was about storytelling and truth and falsehood and embellishment. Not only does the narrator, Gabriel Noone, tell the reader this point blank, but Armistead Maupin tells us that himself, by making the parallels between himself and his main character extremely easy to draw. Okay, we think, here we have an equivalent Armistead Maupin, who has written an equivalent Tales of the City series, in which equivalent characters act out a ...more
Mark
This might have got 5 stars if it hadn't been for the ending. Once I picked it up, I couldn't bear tom put it down, I became so engrossed in the plotline and the mystery as to whether or not this boy really existed. For me, fiction is at its best when the characters speak to something inside you and you can empathise with them and they become real. You don't have to LIKE them, but you have to care about what happens. I don't have to have everything tied up and bundled into a neat little parcel, ...more
Anthony
I thought I knew what to expect from this book, and how it would resolve itself, because I knew that it was based loosely on Maupin's relationship with Anthony Godby Johnson, the teenage boy who wrote the memoir "A Rock and a Hard Place," a book I read and which affected me quite a bit both when I read it and when I found out years later that it might all have been a hoax. Lots of famous people were taken in by the possibly non-existent Johnson, including Maupin and author Paul Monette.

I was not
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Blair
A psychological drama (billed as a psychological thriller, but definitely not a thriller in my opinion) that's equal parts weird and mundane. Gabriel Noone, a writer who has gained fame through a radio serialisation of his stories, is sent a copy of a harrowing memoir written by a young boy who has suffered serious sexual abuse and is dying of AIDS. Moved by the story, he starts to talk to the boy, Pete, on the phone and the two develop a close relationship, seeing themselves as father and son. ...more
Sarah Cypher
I admit it: I've come late to Armistead Maupin. I've never read Tales of the City, nor his short stories. It's always an uncertain endeavor, beginning to read an author by picking up one of his most postmodern, meta-fictional novels. But give me 1,738.4 miles of highway and the wide-open Mojave Desert to cross, and y'know, I'll read just about anything.

Imagine how lucky I felt, then, when The Night Listener engaged me so much that I soldiered through it despite my signature bouts of motion sickn
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Mikael Kuoppala
"The Night Listener" is a good example of how a mystery novel can shine without creepy settings and dark characters in action packed storylines. This is a deeply moving, quiet and very emotional mystery that builds its enchanting plotlines with subtlety. It prevails by keeping the main focus on wonderfully depicted character interaction. There isn't all that much story to the novel in fact, but still it feels like a very quick, compact read. This is mostly due to Maupin's talent as a storyteller ...more
Coenraad
Wanneer 'n mens 'n stromende verkoue het (oë tranerige jellie, neus 'n waterval, ens), is lees mos 'n onmoontlikheid, 'n straf. Jy wag tot jy sterker voel voor jy jou bedrus daarvoor begin gebruik. Maar dit is slegs waar as jy die verkeerde boek in die hande het: ten spyte van die swaarste verkoue in maande het Maupin se THE NIGHT LISTENER my saans uit die slaap gehou, my snags besig gehou wanneer ek ongemaklik wakker word, en my in my energielose toestand voortgedryf tot ek die roman van 344 bl ...more
Barbra
I had heard good reports about this book and I read about 100 pages and it seemed ok but then it started to get weird and it lost me.

Back Cover Blurb:
Gabriel Noone is a writer whose late-night radio stories have brought him into the homes of millions. Noone is in the midst of a painful separation from his lover of ten years, when a publisher sends him the memoir of a thirteen-year-old boy who suffered horrific abuse at the hands of his parents.
Pete Lomax is not only a brave and gifted diarist bu
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Vicki Jarrett
I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed Maupin’s Tales of the City series. I loved them – but that WAS quite a few years ago, maybe I’m just older and more cynical but this felt more manipulative than his earlier work. I always loved his easy style and intimate confessional tone, and that was all still there and still very enjoyable. But it all seemed a little weary and the confessions trotted out as if to order rather than offered with an open heart. The ending was also kind of unresolved ...more
Holly
May 10, 2007 Holly rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Maupin Fans
I wasn't particularly thrilled with the book. It wasn't creepy to me, or exciting much. There were some moments that got intense, and I did find out more about sexual subcultures which is great, outside of these facts I didn't enjoy the book. I found myself sighing and rolling my eyes alot. This could be due to the sad break-up situation the character is facing and my inability at this point in my life, to empathize. Cry cry cry okay I get it you're sad and you're reaching out to anyone who will ...more
Kristina
I actually liked the movie much better than the book. It was creepier and weirder, whereas the book was rather annoying. This is a fictionalized account of something real that happened to the author, but Maupin emphasized more his relationship with his ex-boyfriend and his father. I found him to be very whiny and annoying. The book also had what I consider a "trick" ending in which I felt duped and deceived, and irritated. The writing is okay, but I wouldn't recommend the book. See the movie ins ...more
Zweegas
This is the only book by this author that I've read and the reason I read it is because I bought it so I could get it autographed by the author for my friend Jerry in Tulsa. Shout out to Tulsa!!! The author was nice when I told him I hadn't read any of his books but would kindly appreciate if he signed "to Jerry"

Anywhoozle, the book is good. It's well-paced and not-too-deep entertainment. It's kind of dark, but not too much. I also like that there's never really any firm conclusion stated about
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Jackie
This is a beautiful and moving book about loneliness that touched me very, very deeply. The psychological depth is profound. I still ache when I think of it.

Hollywood should be ashamed of how badly the butchered this amazing book--Robin William was perfect casting, but the screenplay was atrocious.
Debmilan
I was about to give this a 2 or 3 star because although its very well written and I couldn't put it down (read it in 2 days) I was disappointed at the ending . More of a non ending because the reader is still left unsatisfied and full of doubts if Pete Lomax did exist or not , but gave it a 4 after reading that this is based on the true story of the author and so obviously he never found out what the true ending was , but just hopes and wishes to believe that Pete Lomax did exist .
My personal t
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Uglyoldwitch
I love every word that has ever come out of Armistead Maupin's mouth, so consider this review, well, biased. He's good at everything - vivid, multi-dimensional characters, place and setting, and most of all - telling a great story.

Until the very end of the book (and even somewhat after), he kept me guessing as to what was real, what was memoir, and what was just well-done fiction. I thought I smugly had everything sorted out by the end of the book, but he surprised me.

A surprise that still bri
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Siv30

"המאזין הלילי" הוא אחד מהספרים היפים והעוצמתיים שקראתי השנה. הוא מעלה שאלות על היחס בין אמת ובדיה, על היכולת להאמין בטוב האנושי וביכולת שלנו, כבני אדם, לקבל אהבה כפשוטה.

גבריאל נון, סופר מצליח הקורא מסיפוריו בתוכנית רדיו לילית, נמצא בנקודת שבר בחיו כאשר פיט לומקס, נער בן 13, נכנס במפתיע לשביל חיו. אט אט מתוך הסיפור המרכזי של גבריאל ומערכת יחסיו עם בן זוגו ג'ס נטווית רשת קורים של סיפורים קטנים, אנושיים, שאוחזת בחוזקה בלב הקורא.

כשסיימתי את הספר, רק נותר לי להצטער שלא תורגמו עוד ספרים מאת מופין.

וציט
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Jaime
Much better, IMO, than the Tales from the City, though I liked them too. There was just some really good twists and I loved the POV character.
Hillary
I'm a long-time fan of Armistead Maupin's work, so I dipped into this book with excitement. I was not disappointed. This is a both a story about a storyteller and a story about a story. Although based loosely on actual events that happened in Maupin's life, there is plenty bejeweling of the elephant going on here. I'm so glad I happened to notice that this book existed - somehow I had been unaware until it popped up when I searched for something else. The Night Listener is emotionally engaging w ...more
Anya
This was a pretty slow read for me. It was good as a character study: the author is unflinching in his description of himself as a well, frankly, whiny and selfish character, and I liked how he described the relationship he has with the close people in his life. Though frankly, it wasn't always interesting. Additionally, the mystery and suspense part, the part that gripped me, felt cheap and I felt it focused less on that, especially the ending. (view spoiler) ...more
Lynda
A vivid and haunting novel. I liked it much better than the movie.
Corielle
I picked up Armistead Maupin's The Night Listener at a book sale because the title seemed vaguely familiar. After reading the back, I remembered seeing trailers for a movie with the same name starring Robin Williams in the title role. When I started reading it, I thought maybe I was mistaken--the trailers I remembered seemed to be advertising a dark, creepy thriller. The book starts out nothing like that, but it gets there!

NPR star Gabriel Noone has recently gone through a rough breakup with his
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frazzledsoul
I started reading this in 2006 and just recently picked it up and read the last 150 pages. I tend to think the essay at the back of the book detailing the sad story of "Anthony Godby Johnson" and the sad, disturbed woman who invented him is more interesting than the book itself.

This novel is very firmly etched within its own time and place, about a person who is fairly famous within his own narrow community and fathoms very little outside of it. Gabriel Noone is coddled within his own community
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Susan
I found this book to be slow burning, and not in a bad way at all. It was a book where nothing specific happens, but a story is told, a growth, like a coming-of-age story despite the main protagonist being 55 years old.

Yes this book was about a gay guy, but although technically it could be called gay fiction and there is a lot of I guess sexist issues in the book it is one where the gay guy isn't overtly gay. he seems normal and as such this book is able to be read without that pre assumed thin
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Oleg Kagan
The Night Listener is a worthwhile piece of work not just because the story if full of suspense and sharp turns but because of the way it refers. What I mean is that The Night Listener is an audiobook about a gay writer of a thinly-disguised biographical radio series who was involved in a hoax and wrote about it, read by Maupin, a gay writer of a well-known and realistic series (Tales of the City) who was involved in a hoax (refer to Anthony Godby Johnson), wrote this story and read it as a seri ...more
Rowan MacBean
This is the first of Maupin's work that I've read, but I don't think it will be the last. I enjoyed his style and found it easy to read, allowing me to focus on the characters and relationships instead of on big words and clever phrasing. I think that sort of writing has its place and I do love it but I think when you're trying to pack an emotional punch, simpler language is so much more effective. And the thing that I love about this story is that it's an absolute emotional roller coaster.

Writi
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Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)
I don't think the Maupin is really the best with first person naration. Also this felt like it was going over the same ground as his other books, only more drawn out. Full review to come...

Gabriel Noone is a successful storyteller on the radio with his serialized show, Noone At Night. But Gabriel hasn't felt much like writing anything really since his lover left him to embrace the leather clad lifestyle and the new found freedom and hope that getting his AIDS cocktail right has given him. So Gab
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Kim
Wow - what a book. I loved this.
It wasn't the story I thought it woudl be initaially - it was a better one.
And at the very end when i realised again that I hasd been worng - it was even better

The book tracks the relationship between Gabriel Noone, radio celeb and sort of writer, and Pete an abused and HIV positive 13 year old.
Or does it?

Other threads woven in are the relationship between Gabriel and Jess, his marriage partner but now living apart from him ex lover. Their relationship is complex
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Victoria
Armistead Maupin is easily one of my favorite authors. However, this book left me with many questions. I found myself entranced with the story line and the mystery that unfolds. Yet, the ending left me wondering if I had missed a vital piece of the plot or if the story simply had no true ending. A wonderful read if you are looking for a not-so-thriller of a mystery, but different than most of the Maupin I read before.
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Armistead Maupin ...: The Night Listener 1 1 Oct 27, 2014 06:14PM  
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10022
Armistead Maupin was born in Washington, D.C., in 1944 but grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. A graduate of the University of North Carolina, he served as a naval officer in the Mediterranean and with the River Patrol Force in Vietnam.

Maupin worked as a reporter for a newspaper in Charleston, South Carolina, before being assigned to the San Francisco bureau of the Associated Press in 1971. In 19
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More about Armistead Maupin...
Tales of the City (Tales of the City, #1) More Tales of the City (Tales of the City, #2) Further Tales of the City (Tales of the City, #3) Babycakes (Tales of the City, #4) Significant Others

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“Pete thinks we all have a blacking factory: some awful moment, early on, when we surrender our childish hearts as surely as we lose our baby teeth.” 5 likes
“I don't see myself very clearly.
Then look at the people who love you...Look into their eyes and see what they're seeing; that's all you need to know yourself.”
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