The Night Listener

( 30 )

Overview

"I'm a fabulist by trade," warns Gabriel Noone, a late-night radio storyteller, as he begins to untangle the skeins of his tumultuous life: his crumbling ten-year love affair, his disaffection from his Southern father, his longtime weakness for ignoring reality. Gabriel's most sympathetic listener is Pete Lomax, a thirteen-year-old fan in Wisconsin whose own horrific past has left him wise and generous beyond his years. But when this virtual father-son relationship is rocked by doubt, a desperate search for the truth ensues. Welcome to the

... See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (90) from $1.99   
  • New (12) from $1.99   
  • Used (78) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 2
Showing 1 – 9 of 12 (2 pages)
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$1.99
Seller since 2010

Feedback rating:

(799)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
*~*~ Brand New, Mint Condition. Never Previously Owned.*~*~ Ships Immediately *~*~ Hassle-Free Refunds If you Aren't Fully Satisfied ~*~*

Ships from: Deer Park, NY

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$2.89
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(2)

Condition: New
Paperback New Same as picture, Ships First Class, not media, Softcover, personal copy, read once, smooth spine, tight pages, slight edgewear, $$ 2/11.

Ships from: Silver Springs, NV

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$3.99
Seller since 2007

Feedback rating:

(3036)

Condition: New
2006 Paperback New --May have sticker on cover.

Ships from: San Jose, CA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$4.48
Seller since 2005

Feedback rating:

(10808)

Condition: New
2006-07-25 New 0061120200 NEW! ! ! Publisher overstock. Tracking is not available for orders shipped outside of the United States. If you would like to track your domestic ... order please be sure to select the Priority/Expedited Shipping option. Read more Show Less

Ships from: McKeesport, PA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$6.05
Seller since 2011

Feedback rating:

(797)

Condition: New
PAPERBACK New 0061120200 SERVING OUR CUSTOMERS WITH BEST PRICES. FROM A COMPANY YOU TRUST, HUGE SELECTION. RELIABLE CUSTOMER SERVICE! ! HASSLE FREE RETURN POLICY, SATISFACTION ... GURANTEED**** Read more Show Less

Ships from: Philadelphia, PA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$6.89
Seller since 2006

Feedback rating:

(126)

Condition: New
2006 Trade paperback New. No dust jacket as issued. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 342 p. P.S. (Paperback). Audience: General/trade. Shipping upgrade! Order processed ... within minutes of your purchase! In business since 1975! Read more Show Less

Ships from: philadelphia, PA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
Not Currently Available
$7.35
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(454)

Condition: New
PAPERBACK New 0061120200! ! KNOWLEDGE IS POWER! ! ENJOY OUR BEST PRICES! ! ! Ships Fast. All standard orders delivered within 5 to 12 business days.

Ships from: Southampton, PA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$7.68
Seller since 2010

Feedback rating:

(987)

Condition: New
PAPERBACK New 0061120200 Friendly Return Policy. A+++ Customer Service!

Ships from: Philadelphia, PA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$7.68
Seller since 2010

Feedback rating:

(739)

Condition: New
PAPERBACK New 0061120200! ! ! ! BEST PRICES WITH A SERVICE YOU CAN RELY! ! !

Ships from: Philadelphia, PA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 2
Showing 1 – 9 of 12 (2 pages)
Close
Sort by
The Night Listener

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$9.99
BN.com price

Overview

"I'm a fabulist by trade," warns Gabriel Noone, a late-night radio storyteller, as he begins to untangle the skeins of his tumultuous life: his crumbling ten-year love affair, his disaffection from his Southern father, his longtime weakness for ignoring reality. Gabriel's most sympathetic listener is Pete Lomax, a thirteen-year-old fan in Wisconsin whose own horrific past has left him wise and generous beyond his years. But when this virtual father-son relationship is rocked by doubt, a desperate search for the truth ensues. Welcome to the complex, vertiginous world of The Night Listener.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
In the 19th century, almost every novelist -- from Dickens to Dostoevsky -- published his fiction serially in newspapers. By the end of the 20th century, Armistead Maupin, whose wildly popular Tales of the City first appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, was one of the few remaining practitioners of the form. In his latest novel, The Night Listener, Maupin draws on his experience of being at the center of this serial phenomenon with a compelling story about a celebrity yarn-spinner who finds himself on the listening end of a tale he wants desperately to believe.
Philadelphia Inquirer
For this, the audio format is all but a requirement...the whole book is an exploration of the power of voice.
Times Literary Supplement
A consummate entertainer...It is Maupin's Dickensian gift to be able to render love convincingly...He works his dialogue with a jeweler's precision and a playwright's development of dramatic irony.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
HAfter an eight-year wait, Maupin rewards his fans and accomplishes the unthinkable: surpassing the excellence of his Tales of the City series. Filled with twists and turns that rival The Sixth Sense and The Crying Game, Maupin's new novel is a deceptively simple page-turner perfectly suited for the audio format. Surprises that would be telegraphed in a film are perfectly sprung on listeners. Not only is it a book that listeners will want to discuss with friends, but once finished and all is revealed, it's likely people will want to listen to it again with a fresh ear to hear the clues that have been planted along the way. Maupin's most reflective, full-bodied and autobiographical novel yet begins with alter ego Gabriel Noone, author of the cult radio serial Noone at Night, facing two disruptions in his calm, settled life: his longtime lover, Jess, has moved out and Gabe has developed writer's block. Amid this stress, Gabe's editor asks him to read a manuscript written by an HIV-positive 13-year-old named Pete Lomax that details his escape from years of sexual and physical abuse. Gabe is so moved, he calls the boy and a friendship develops. His relationship with Pete (and Pete's adoptive mother, Donna) helps clarify other troubled relationships in his life while opening up new questions concerning trust, truth and friendship. Maupin presents his tale with such polished, effortless elegance that his talent can be underestimated because the sweat behind it is so invisible. Maupin's melodious, expressive reading reinforces his smooth prose, which is written to be read aloud. Audio is the perfect medium for this born storyteller. Simultaneous release with the HarperCollins hardcover (Forecasts, Aug. 7). (Oct.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Gabriel Noone is a successful writer whose radio serial, Noone at Night, has brought him legions of fans and affectionate fame. But his long-term companion, Jess, has just left him, and he's a mess: he can't write, he can't communicate with his father, and he can't understand why Jess is suddenly changing. Enter a special fan, a sick 13-year-old boy who forms a deep connection with Gabriel over the radio and telephone. Peter Lomax was severely abused as a child but finds he can trust Gabriel, who in turn discovers he can open himself up to this amazing boy. However, Gabriel slowly begins to doubt his young friend, just as he has had to doubt other important figures in his life. While the novel centers on the mysterious Peter, Maupin's (Maybe the Moon) latest is less a suspense story than a likable tale about major and minor betrayals by lovers, friends, and family members. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/00.]--Devon Thomas, Hass Assocs., Ann Arbor, MI Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
Karen Karbo
. . . a solid page turner . . . a mystery studded with elegant twists and turns. In the end, the reader is captivated and won't be able to get on with things until The Night Listener is wolfed down whole.
New York Times Book Review
Penelope Mesic
Late at night, a thirteen-year-old boy named Pete, hideously abused by his parents and by strangers, lies mercifully alone, drifting on waves of static into the safe harbor of a late-night radio show, a cheerful narrative loosely based on the life of its narrator, Gabriel Noone. It is here that one of the most tantalizing relationships in recent fiction begins. Noone bears a teasingly strong resemblance to the author of The Night Listener, Armistead Maupin. For decades Maupin has offered his captivated following Tales of the City--that city being San Francisco--and, as the popularity of his work has soared, More Tales and Further Tales, chronicling the interlinked lives of Nob Hill blue bloods and North Beach bohemians, Castro Street couples shaken by the storms of HIV, surgeons secretly in love with patients, sad office temps unwittingly on the verge of fame as models, generous eccentrics extending the gift of friendship to the hidebound and even the occasional sorry bastard nourishing a homicidal impulse or two. Like the elusive, much victimized young boy at the center of Maupin's deceptively loose but cunningly made novel, readers (and watchers of the television series derived from the Tales) have responded to the rare quality of Maupin's work, which could be called a sort of ambrosial gossip--racy and intimate but utterly devoid of malice. Maupin takes a wonderfully evenhanded approach to characters of every age, race, social background and sexual predilection. His world--and by extension, Noone's--is one of joyous social freedom. And yet this mellow realm of friendship has its root in ostracism, for Noone counts himself among the "people caught in the supreme joke of modern life, who [are] forced to survive by making families of their friends." It is perhaps this quality that draws Pete--essentially orphaned by his parents' mistreatment and by the welcome fact of their being jailed--to Noone. And Noone reciprocates. He learns of Pete's existence when a publisher sends him a book the child has written about the abuse he has suffered, his consequent struggle with HIV infection and his new life with a psychologist named Donna, who has become his foster mother. Deserted by his lover and companion of ten years, Noone is at a strangely vulnerable point in his life. When he phones the child, the impulse arises from loneliness as well as sympathy. Soon, he secretly finds himself thinking of Pete as his son, even though he realizes that others will pityingly regard him as "an unfulfilled man on the shady side of fifty, making a last grasp at fatherhood." He warns us, accurately, that the relationship is far more complicated than that. Over the course of many phone calls, the astringent good sense of the child, his simplicity and humor, compels Noone's affection. He flies to the tiny Wisconsin town to search for the "midwestern address jangling with consonants" where he has sent the child packages. He finds the water tower painted with graffiti the boy has described seeing from his bedroom window. But the child's address turns out to be a postal box service. Is the child simply being protected from those who formerly preyed on him? Or is there a stranger explanation for his remaining unseen and out of reach? That is precisely the question the novel refuses to answer. To say more would give away too much about the startling turns the narrative takes. It is sufficient to add that the novel, which relies on Maupin's exquisitely well-developed sense of how readers respond, raises issues about who it is we love when we say we love someone. It also explores the strange phenomenon of the emotions aroused by fiction--the phantom love that aches like the real thing, that readers feel for characters who have never lived. All this is done in the most natural, conversational and unaffected way in the world--less like reading Sartre than having coffee with a dear friend and trying to puzzle out why a relationship has ended. It's a wise reminder that all the mysteries of philosophy have their root in daily life. While retaining all the most endearing characteristics of his short stories, Maupin here demonstrates a wonderful ability to sustain interest not simply in human eventfulness but in the larger implications of what we say and do and feel.
Kirkus Reviews
A touching but rather facile meditation on the way artists manipulate facts in their quest for truth, by the author of Maybe the Moon (1992) and the popular Tales of the City series. Gabriel Noone's NPR program, Noone at Night, later turned into a bestselling series of books, has made Gabriel a poster boy for the well-adjusted gay lifestyle—except that, as the story opens, his long-time lover, Jess, has moved out, "to focus on himself for once." At this fragile moment, Gabriel receives the galleys of a memoir by Pete, a 13-year-old boy dying of AIDS as a result of protracted sexual abuse at the hands of his parents and their customers. Moved by the book's grit and humor, Gabriel contacts Pete, who now lives with Donna Lomax, the doctor who rescued and adopted him. The two bond over the telephone, and this new friendship helps Gabriel cope with the pain of Jess's departure and the ongoing angst of his unresolved relationship with his crotchety father, an old-line southern gentleman who has never been comfortable with Gabriel's sexual orientation—or with emotions of any kind. But then Jess points out that neither Gabriel nor anyone else has ever seen Pete, and that the boy's voice bears striking resemblance to Donna's. Is Jess just jealous, or is he performing his usual task of reasserting reality for Gabriel, "a fabulist by trade" who for years, in completely good faith, embellished a friend's actual wedding in India with a completely fictitious jeweled elephant. Gabriel's doubts about Pete grow, but he's unwilling to let go of his beloved phone buddy, who is clearly telling the truth about someone's agonized past.Thedeathbed reconciliation between Gabriel and his father is trite, but the final phone call from Pete (by now supposedly dead) will give you the creeps and move you to tears almost simultaneously. The postmodern, what-is-real? theme highlights Maupin's intellectual shortcomings rather than his emotional strengths, but strong storytelling, punchy humor, and a warmhearted narrator carry the day. Author tour
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061120206
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/25/2006
  • Series: P.S. Series
  • Edition description: REISSUE
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Armistead  Maupin

Armistead Maupin is the author of the nine-volume Tales of the City series that includes Tales of the City, More Tales of the City, Further Tales of the City, Babycakes, Significant Others, Sure of You, Michael Tolliver Lives, Mary Ann in Autumn, and now The Days of Anna Madrigal. The first three books were made into three television miniseries starring Olympia Dukakis and Laura Linney. Maupin’s other books include Maybe the Moon and The Night Listener. Maupin was the 2012 recipient of the Lambda Literary Foundation’s Pioneer Award. He lives in Santa Fe with his husband, the photographer Christopher Turner.

Biography

In 1976, a groundbreaking serial called Tales of the City first appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle. This masterfully rendered portrait of the interweaving relationships of the inhabitants of 28 Barbary Lane in San Francisco's Russian Hill was both an instant smash and a source of controversy as it paid particular mind to the city's strong gay community. In spite of naysayers such as anti-gay crusader and orange juice hawker Anita Bryant, Tales of the City attracted a legion of devoted followers. Readers of the Chronicle were known to Xerox copies of the stories and pass them on to friends. Tales of the City themed scavenger hunts were held throughout San Francisco. A local pub even named a drink after one of the serial's protagonists, Anna Madrigal. In 1978, a collection of the stories were gathered together into an extremely popular volume. Most important of all, Tales of the City became a watershed work of gay literature. Who would have thought that its openly gay author emerged from a highly conservative family in North Carolina, did several tours in the U.S. Navy, or once worked for uber-right wing future senator Jesse Helms? Well, Armistead Maupin is nothing if not an individual as complex and refreshing as one of his characters.

While Maupin's upbringing could have primed him to lean as far right as Helms, his interests lay elsewhere. Following his stint in the Navy, in which he served during the Vietnam War, Maupin moved to California. Having settled in San Francisco, he became deeply fascinated by the complexity of its community. His Tales of the City reflects that complexity. The characters are finely detailed and diverse. At 28 Barbary Lane, eccentrics live alongside naïve Midwesterners, romantics alongside skirt-chasers. Maupin infused his stories with ample amounts of humor and humanity, as well as a stiff dose of social commentary. Through six series of Tales of the City, Armistead Maupin lead his characters and his audience from the sexually free ‘70s through the disillusioning ‘80s when conservatism became de rigeur and AIDS reared its hideous head.

Tales of the City went on to spawn a critically acclaimed and successful string of novels, including More Tales of the City, Babycakes, and Significant Others. Maupin finally put his series to rest in 1989 with Sure of You, the only Tales book that had not been serialized. Although the literary life of Tales of the City had come to an end, it picked up a new life -- and many new fans -- when it was adapted into three popular television miniseries, first for PBS and then for the Showtime cable network. Meanwhile, Armistead Maupin was branching out beyond Barbary Lane with his first non-series novel. Maybe the Moon, a biting, moving, and wholly entertaining satire of the movie industry, proved that the writer had the chops to expand his repertoire without losing his edge. The fable-like tale of Cadence Roth -- actress and Guinness Book record holder for the title of the shortest woman alive -- won applause from Publishers Weekly, Entertainment Weekly, The Boston Herald, Mademoiselle, and a score of others.

Following an 8-year hiatus, Maupin finally published his second non-series novel in 2000. The Night Listener, a riveting thriller about the relationship between a radio-show host and an ailing 13-year old writer, found Maupin exploring fascinating new avenues. Once again, the critics stood up for an ovation. Now, movie audiences will be getting the chance to do so, as well, as a big screen adaptation of The Night Listener starring Robin Williams, Toni Collette, and Rory Culkin and scripted by Maupin is currently hitting theaters.

Although Maupin has more than proved that there is life after Tales of the City, his fans still want to know if he will be revisiting the folks at Barbary Lane sometime in the future. Well, all Maupin had to say on that subject on literarybent.com is, "I never say never about anything, so it's not inconceivable that at some point in the future I may get really desperate and write a stocking stuffer called Christmas at Barbary Lane. But don't bank on it."

Good To Know

When it comes to Armistead Maupin's name, don't believe the rumors. Although it has long been speculated that his moniker is an invention of the author (after all, "Armistead Maupin" is an anagram for "is a man I dreamt up"), the writer insists that Armistead Maupin is, indeed, his given name.

In 1995, Maupin lent his voice to The Celluloid Closet, an HBO documentary about the history of the depictions of gays and lesbians in American cinema.

Read More Show Less
    1. Hometown:
      San Francisco, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      May 13, 1944
    2. Place of Birth:
      Washington, D.C.
    1. Education:
      University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One
Jwelling The Elephant

I know how it sounds when I call him my son. There's something a little precious about it, a little too wishful to be taken seriously. I've noticed the looks on people's faces, those dim, indulgent smiles that vanish in a heartbeat. It's easy enough to see how they've pegged me: an unfulfilled man on the shady side of fifty, making a last grasp at fatherhood with somebody else's child.That's not the way it is. Frankly, I've never wanted a kid. Never once believed that nature's whim had robbed me of my manly destiny. Pete and I were an accident, pure and simple, a collision of kindred spirits that had nothing to do with paternal urges, latent or otherwise. That much I can tell you for sure.

Son isn't the right word, of course.

Just the only one big enough to describe what happened.

I'm a fabulist by trade, so be forewarned: I've spent years looting my life for fiction. Like a magpie, I save the shiny stuff and discard the rest; it's of no use to me if it doesn't serve the geometry of the story. This makes me less than reliable when it comes to the facts. Ask Jess Carmody, who lived with me for ten years and observed this affliction firsthand. He even had a name for it'The Jewelled Elephant Syndrome'after a story I once told him about an old friend from college.

My friend, whose name was Boyd, joined the Peace Corps in the late sixties. He was sent to a village in India where he fell in love with a local girl and eventually proposed to her. But Boyd's blue-blooded parents back in South Carolina were so aghast at the prospect of dusky grandchildren that they refused to attend the wedding in NewDelhi.

So Boyd sent them photographs. The bride turned out to be an aristocrat of the highest caste, better bred by far than any member of Boyd's family. The couple had been wed in regal splendor, perched atop a pair of jewelled elephants. Boyd's parents, imprisoned in their middle-class snobbery, had managed to miss the social event of a lifetime.

I had told that story so often that Jess knew it by heart. So when Boyd came to town on business and met Jess for the first time, Jess was sure he had the perfect opener. "Well," he said brightly, "Gabriel tells me you got married on an elephant."Boyd just blinked at him in confusion.

I could already feel myself reddening. "You weren't?"

"No," Boyd said with an uncomfortable laugh. "We were married in a Presbyterian church."

Jess said nothing, but he gave me a heavy-lidded stare whose meaning I had long before learned to decipher: You are never to be trusted with the facts.

In my defense, the essence of the story had been true. Boyd had indeed married an Indian girl he had met in the Peace Corps, and she had proved to be quite rich. And Boyd's parents'who were, in fact, exceptionally stuffy'had always regretted that they'd missed the wedding.

I don't know what to say about those elephants, except that I believed in them utterly. They certainly never felt like a lie. More like a kind of shorthand for a larger, less satisfying truth. Most stories have holes in them that cry out for jewelled elephants. And my instinct, alas, is to supply them.

I don't want that to happen when I talk about Pete. I will try to lay out the facts exactly as I remember them, one after the other, as unbejewelled as possible. I owe that much to my son'to both of us, really'and to the unscripted intrigues of everyday life.But, most of all, I want you to believe this.And that will be hard enough as it is.

I wasn't myself the afternoon that Pete appeared. Or maybe more severely myself than I had ever been. Jess had left me two weeks earlier, and I was raw with the realization of it. I have never known sorrow to be such a physical thing, an actual presence that weighed on my limbs like something wet and woolen. I couldn't write'or wouldn't, at any rate'unable to face the grueling self-scrutiny that fiction demands. I would feed the dog, walk him, check the mail, feed myself, do the dishes, lie on the sofa for hours watching television.

Everything seemed pertinent to my pain. The silliest coffee commercial could plunge me into profound Chekhovian gloom. There was no way around the self-doubt or the panic or the anger. My marriage had exploded in midair, strewing itself across the landscape, and all I could do was search the rubble for some sign of a probable cause, some telltale black box.

The things I knew for sure had become a litany I recited to friends on the telephone: Jess had taken an apartment on Buena Vista Park. He wanted space, he said, a place to be alone. He had spent a decade expecting to die, and now he planned to think about living. (He could actually do that, he realized, without having to call it denial.) He would meditate and read, and focus on himself for once. He couldn't say for sure when he'd be back, or if he'd ever be back, or if I'd even want him when it was over. I was not to take this personally, he said; it had nothing to do with me.

Then, after stuffing his saddlebags full of protease inhibitors, he pecked me solemnly on the lips and mounted the red motorcycle he had taught himself to ride six months earlier. I'd never trusted that machine. Now, as I watched it roar off down the hill, I realized why: It had always seemed made for this moment.

Read More Show Less

Reading Group Guide

Introduction
The narrator of The Night Listener is Gabriel Noone, a late-night radio storyteller who has risen to national fame in San Francisco. Having just separated from his lover of ten years, Noone is adrift in pain and confusion when he receives unexpected comfort from a thirteen-year-old fan in Wisconsin. Pete Lomax, a gifted writer himself, has somehow survived--and skillfully recorded--a life of unimaginable abuse. Wise beyond his years, he becomes a sort of surrogate son to the storyteller through a series of long distance phone calls. But, just as the clouds begin to part for Gabriel, a question arises that casts doubt upon the very existence of this miracle child. Desperate for the truth, Gabriel begins an odyssey that will throw his own stormy relationships--familial, romantic, and erotic--into sharp perspective. A personal saga that turns into a mystery that turns back into a personal saga again, The Night Listener keeps us guessing as it keeps us reading. Along the way Maupin brilliantly explores the question of how we tell stories, to whom, and why. Questions for Discussion
  • In the first chapter Gabriel tells us about "the Jewelled Elephant Syndrome," his tendency to embellish stories to make them more complete and satisfying. Do you think this is a conscious act? To what extent does it affect his relationship with Jess? With his father? Does it ultimately make us question Gabriel's reliability as a narrator?
  • Some readers have noted Gabriel's resemblance to Maupin himself, a writer who gained prominence as a serial storyteller. Is he inviting us to speculate about the truth of this novel even as we consider thetruth of Pete's story? Are we meant to wonder if Maupin actually had such a friendship with such a boy? And if he did, why would he not write a nonfiction book about it? Is he, like Gabriel, using fiction "to fix the things that have to be fixed"?
  • Throughout the novel Maupin continually blurs the line between reality and illusion. Gabriel's bookkeeper, Anna, was a character in Maupin's Tales of the City series, so we're confronted here with the incongruity of an author (Maupin) conversing with one of his own fictional creations. Will and Jamie, the gay couple in Gabriel's "Noone at Night," are meant to represent Gabriel and Jess, just as Gabriel and Jess are apparently modeled on Maupin and his ex-lover Terry Anderson. What do you think the author intended by these disorienting layers of fact and invention? Is he just having fun with his own lore? Or is he suggesting that only emotional truths are of real importance?
  • Did Pete's language and insights strike you as overly mature? Were you suspicious of him before Jess raised the issue, or did you share Gabriel's outrage at the suggestion of a hoax? How do you explain Gabriel's inertia when it came to uncovering the truth?
  • How do long-held secrets and tensions between fathers and sons affect the narrative of The Night Listener?
  • Did Donna's motherly protectiveness strike you as overzealous? Is it plausible that she would go to such great lengths to protect Pete from exposure at the expense of his literary success? Did her attitude towards Gabriel in their face-to-face meeting seem appropriately righteous, or false? Why?
  • There are at least six deaths and two resurrections in The Night Listener? How did each of them affect Gabriel's sense of abandonment and loss? Did Pete's resurrection give you hope for his existence or finally confirm him as a figment of Donna's imagination? Pap's resurrection at the end of the novel seems to imply that Gabriel invented his father's deathbed scene in order to reconcile with him through storytelling. Did you wonder if Armistead Maupin was attempting the same thing in The Night Listener?
  • Maupin has said that The Night Listener is, in part, "about the power of the human voice and its capacity to comfort and seduce us." Does that apply to Pete or Gabriel or both of them? To whom does the novel's title refer?
About the Author: Armistead Maupin is an internationally bestselling author whose narrative strengths have been compared to those of Charles Dickens. His Tales of the City series began as a serial in the San Francisco Chronicle in 1976 and went on to become six novels and a trio of award-winning television miniseries. Maupin is also the author of the 1992 novel, Maybe the Moon. His recording of The Night Listener was named one of the two best audio books of the year by Publishers Weekly. He lives in San Francisco.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 30 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(11)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(2)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 30 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 30, 2010

    Borrow Only

    It started off with the promise of a good story and ended with much less.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2008

    Fooled me once--shame on you!

    The cover suggests that this novel is about an abused boy, dying from AIDS, who befriends a radio personality that he's never met, and that the plot twists will keep you enthralled. Unfortunately, that story only accounts for about 25% of the book. The rest is about the narrator's life as a gay man, including several graphic descriptions of sexual acts. If that interests you, buy the book. If, however, the ostensible plot attracts you (and it's actually a very interesing story), borrow the book and read the real-life account at the back. It's only about thirty pages, and it's much better than the novelized version.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2007

    The Seduction by a Bejeweled Elephant

    Refreshingly, now and then a book reminds us what the art of telling stories is all about. Maupin's success in the field of novel birthing does just that ...and so very much more. THE NIGHT LISTENER is a FINE mystery/love story/reminiscence and as such it is difficult to stop turning the pages, so involved is the unwinding of the tale. But to my eyes and mind this book is so much more than just a well-told tale complete with allegory and metaphor. This book studies the achingly long, ever-present clash of father/son relationships. Whether concocted as an adoptive father in search of a needy youth as in this book, or just examining the way all men are challenged by this complicated love/hate, approach/avoid, mimic/revolt interaction we live through as sons and subsequently as fathers, Maupin serves us a study of one of the core dilemmas we face. And as for the structure of this immensely rewarding novel, Maupin has given us the choices to determine our own resolutions about his beautifully drawn characters. In the early pages of the book he admits that his way of relating stories is always altered by flights of fancy, or 'bejeweling an elephant' that his tale takes us on such a kaleidoscopic ride is enhanced by his starting out with this sort of honesty. And in truth, isn't this the way we all electively distort history as we relate it.... to fulfill our hope and fantasies of how we actually exist? Grady Harp

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2007

    Shell Game

    This book brings to mind a shell game or the puzzle of opening a box only to find a smaller box, followed by successive smaller and smaller boxes. The story follows the thoughts, insecurites and sexual exploits of a moody gay man. Staying with the book page after page in order to garner the outcome of a teenage radio listener with aids finds the reader opening the last small box at the end only to find it empty. The story finally (mercifully) ends abruptly and you realize that you were duped by the author. The carrot (teenage boy plotline) was merely dangled to keep the reader from closing the book sooner. An implied promise that the storyline contains something besides the gay character and the author on a soapbox.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2006

    Good book to have.

    It was very good book. It was worth of buying it, the only thing that dissapointed me it was the ending. I wanted to know more about what happened latter, was that boy really a fiction?? I think the ending was a litle weak, but overall i enjoyed this book. Great buy!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2006

    Hodgepodge Mess

    Premise was enticing so I bought it. Started not liking it about halfway through but kept going expecting it would all come together (based on reviews of the book). Felt like I'd wasted my time when I finished. Never read anything by him before and, after this, never will again. Creepy too, and not in a good way.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    MAUPIN S PROSE IS ENTHRALLING - HIS VOICE ARRESTING

    While the movie version of The Night Listener certainly didn't set any box office records, for this listener the audio rates high largely because of the affecting narration provided by author Armistead Maupin. This is a poignant story of a man who feels lost and unloved, and Maupin reads it with insight, illuminating the fears and doubts that possess protagonist Gabriel Noone. Gabriel comes to life at night - he's a Manhattan based late hours radio host, Noone At Night. He's also a gay man who has broken up with his partner, Jess. After finding himself evidently free of the AIDS virus Jess wants more in life than he is finding with Gabriel. While Gabriel only wanted Jess. Especially vulnerable due to an abusive father who publicly ridiculed him and would never recognize his homosexuality, Gabriel is depressed and feels useless. He seeks to assuage that feeling by connecting with a young fan, Pete Lomax, who lives in Wisconsin. Pete has suffered as much or more than Gabriel at the hands of physically abusive parents, and now in a struggle with AIDS. The two, Gabriel and Pete, quickly develop a warm, supportive father/son relationship all by telephone. Gabriel, of course, again feels needed. Eventually, Gabriel decides to go to Wisconsin to see Pete. What he finds there is totally unexpected. Those who enjoyed Tales of the City will once again find themselves enthralled by Maupin's prose. His voice is icing on the cake. - Gail Cooke

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2004

    new timer to maupin

    Having never read a Maupin novel before, I approached this one without expectations. I enjoyed it completely, completing it in three sittings. A page turner! Caution: there is adult language and content. Awesome read!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2003

    Wonderfully crafted story!!

    Recommended by an old high school friend (we are about to turn 50...), Night Listener proved to be a gem. Not just a page turner, either, though it certainly is that. Maupin has observant insights that reminded me why I so enjoyed his Tales of the City series years ago.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2002

    twists and turns

    I really enjoyed this book, he takes thru every emotion that you can think that possible one person could handle. Highly recommend this book,can't wait for his next one.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2002

    WOW! I loved this book!

    The only bad thing about this book is that it ended. I love a book that makes me think. I can't stop thinking about all the clues that led the the various surprises at the end. I recommend this to anyone who likes a story with a twist.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2002

    Simply WONDERFUL!

    I loved this book! Maupin did a wonderful job of telling this tale. The twists and turns kept coming the entire way throughout the book and I found myself unable to put it down. I read the Tales of the City series several years ago because they were recommended by a friend of mine back east. He knew I was relocating to San Francisco and thought I would enjoy the stories...and boy did I ever! I have to admit I wasn't able to really get into Maupin's 'Maybe the Moon' and didn't know whether or not I would enjoy 'The Night Listener.' I'm SO glad that I gave it a chance or I would have missed out on what has turned out to be one of my favorite books ever! Thanks Maupin...and keep the stories coming..I'm hungry for more more more! In fact, I think I'm going to go and try to read 'Maybe the Moon' again!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2002

    DISAPPOINTED

    LOVE HIS WORK, BUT THIS WAS A DISAPPOINTMENT, HOPE THINGS WILL IMPROVE

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2002

    Doesn't compare

    I bought Night Listener, because I will read anything written by A.Maupin. If you are an avid fan, this will disappoint. Though I believe it not to be his best, I hope he continues to create. I will definitely give him 1, 2, 3, 4, or even 5 chances to redeem himself. If Maupin has been recommended to you, start with the 'City' books.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2002

    Armistead Maupin Continues to Perpetrate Fraud With His Latest 'Novel'.

    .In 1993 either Paul Monette or Armistead Maupin (perhaps in concert) concocted a book claiming to be the true autobiography of an abused, aids-inflicted young teen-ager named, allegedly, Tony Johnson. The book was named ' A Rock and a Hard Place.' The book jacket came garlanded with ribbons of praise from confederates such as Fred Rogers, Marva Collins,and (of course) Armistead Maupin. Unfortunately, not a single word in the book was true. The putative author, despite extensive investigation on my part, was uncovered by no-one who had ever seen the bogus rascal, not even his agent, or his 'very best friend,' Paul Monette. The book was obviously a cruel hoax written for unknown reasons, perhaps pecuniary or social. The Pirandellian denouement is that Maupin has now produced a novel which recapitulates my role in trying to unmask the fraud, and confesses at the end that the Tony Johnson book was a hoax. So, what we have here, in The Silent Listener, is a novel claimed to be fictional based on an autobiography claimed to be true, which was, in fact, entirely fictional. Those of you out there tempted to buy the book may not wish to entrust yourself to the manipulation of such a deceitful writer.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2001

    Funny, touching, introspective, honest

    I tried reading 'Tales' and never really could get into it. But this one is different. When I laughed out loud, in the store on page 2, I knew I had to own this book. It was like reading about people I know.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2001

    the night listener changed my life

    IT ROX!!!!!! this book kix BUTT(ok i can't say WHAT I WANT 2) i used to never EVER read 4 pleasure now i do it all the time THIS BOOK IS AWESOME 4 REAL

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2000

    Simply Incredible

    Armistead Maupin has hit another home run with this fine and intriguing novel. His latest story is by turns thoughtful, humorous, suspenseful, and provocative. Maupin takes a facinating premise and creates a moving story which involves fact and fiction while exploring the gray, and often blurry, line between the two. This novel is different in its tone and structure from the Tales of the City series. It's more serious and a little darker...but no less interesting. A MUST read!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2000

    It WAS worth the wait

    Mr. Maupin has an almost magical gift of making characters believable through naturally flowing dialogue and plot progression. The book was NOT like 'Tales of the City' by any means. It was darker, almost spooky at times. However, there was the immediate affinity to the main characters which was typical Maupin.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2000

    Great

    I was amazed when I found out that Armistad wrote another novel. I did love Tales of the City and I really liked this novel! The story was great and I was happy to see that he brought back Anna and Edgar. It brought back a little piece of home from Tales! Read this book, It will definitely hold your interest.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 30 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)