Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Night Listener

The Night Listener by Armistead Maupin is told in 1st person by Christopher Noone, a famous writer just like Maupin. Noone also tells tales on the radio on a show called Noone at Night. He's really better know as a radio storyteller.

The novel tells the story of Noone's relationship with a young boy who has written a memoir of his horrible life of abuse by his parents who also hired him out as a prostitute to pedophiles. And if this isn't strange enough, the relationship is conducted between Noone and the boy over the phone.(see

The novel is also about the whole concept of telling tales, of fictionalizing, of "jewelling the elephant" as Noone calls it.

The reader soon doesn't know what to believe in the story, what is questionable, what is created out of whole cloth, what has some truth to it. It's a good read as I've said. But I thought the ending would be more surprising, more amazing. But it wasn't.

I was sure that the author meant to do something with the protagonist's name: Christopher NOONE (NO ONE). But maybe he only meant to suggest that the fictional character isn't anyone, isn't him. I don't know. The reviewers insist on calling the book Maupin's most autobiographical. The book has been made into a movie starring Robin Williams and Toni Collette.

The best use of a character named NOONE (with a play on the name) was Michael Connolly's Blood Work. If you haven't read it, please do.

Here's a link to a brief biography and picture of Armistead Maupin.

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