The Night Listener by Armistead Maupin

The Night Listener

Armistead Maupin

Gabriel Noone, a writer on a night-time radio show befriends a young boy who is dying of AIDS. The way they talk over the phone makes Gabriel examine his other failed relationships with his lover and his father. If you've read and enjoyed Maupin's Tales of the City - don't expect more of the same. This is altogether a more painful and sentimental read. The schmalz was too much for me but anyone who liked the Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (which I hated) will love this.

Extract

I worried about hurting Wayne's feelings when Jess and I became a couple. Wayne, after all, had been my companion for seven years. He had been my steady date for the movies, my confessor when a romance hit the rocks. He had joined me on a cruise ship to Alaska and later on my first British book tour, a laughably down-market affair we conducted out of a gay boardinghouse in Earl's Court. And still later we had rented a cottage in the Cotswolds, where we lived for six weeks without a car, so we could feel like a couple of loopy villagers out of E.F.Benson.

As usual, my fear of hurting someone made me overestimate my own importance.

Parallels
  • Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
  • At Swim, Two Boys by Jamie O'Neill
  • Rough Music by Patrick Gale

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