The Story of the Night
In Argentina, in the time of the Generals, the streets are empty at night, and people have trained themselves not to see. Richard Garay lives with his mother, hiding his sexuality from her and from society. Stifled by his job, Richard is willing to take chances, ...more
This is the third of Colm Tóibín's novels that I have read. I have already purchased another and added it to my “to read” pile. I can’t really articulate why he is so good, except to say that his brilliant use of small detail and the everyday bits and pieces of life just builds and builds until you are caught up in a reality that completely envelopes you. It captures you because the emotions are so real, honest, ...more
One of the things I appreciate most about this book is the characterization. It is not easy to write intelligent and introverted characters such as Richard, ...more
Split into three parts, we follow Richard's journey from Argentina during the Falklands War, through the entire decade, up to the AIDS crisis of New York in the late 80s. It goes from Giovanni's Room to Angels in ...more
What was most interesting about this book, is how well Tóibín writes of queer sexual "code of conduct" in societies that are repressive towards queer individuals (certainly not exclusive to these places). A language in which gestures and silences are more important and informing than ...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
The narrator, Richard Garay, is half English, half Argentinian. Caught between two cultures, he feels a definite sense of displacement - a feeling that's only heightened by his closeted sexuality. After his father's death, he leads a claustrophobic existence with his overbearing mother...until he falls hopelessly in love with a ...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 ...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
You know how books - as many other things - come into your life in certain moments and in certain situations that just make you believe there's something out there that actually watches over you? Well, me runing into this novel by Colm Tóibín was an experience like the one I just mentioned.
One wouldn't need to know, but I started reading this as a way to get off my ...more
put into...the [Argentine] election," thinks Richard, the narrator of the story set in 1996. But they pay him big bucks to take some risk, and he is pretty much aimless and drifting. But Richard has taken another risk: he is gay and has had unprotected sex for years. Will the Argentine government bring him down? Will Aids? Will both? Or will he get away with everything? Good stuff, good enough for ...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 ...more
The novel blends confession, love story and the sort of ambassadorial intrigue that Graham Greene went in for. In fact, I ...more
The US and IMF do their thing to get their way, the characters are not that likeable and the second half of the book went into the life of gay men in the time of AIDS with no cure.
Toibin writes like he ...more
“[O]ne side of me, the English side maybe, was a way of hiding from the other side, which was Argentinian, so that I never had to be a single fully formed person, I could always switch and improvise.”  The narrator, Richard Garay, puts his finger on his problem and the problem with this novel: neither can quite assemble into being fully formed and coherent.
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...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
How has this book passed by me for so long? This book was beautiful and devastating, creating a haunting world for a single character to inhabit fully, letting me become that character for a few days. This was my first Tóibín and not my last by any means.
This is the story of Richard, his name mentioned only once from what I can recall, the son of a British mother and Argentinian father, straddling both worlds, then coming out in ...more