The Story of the Night: A Novel Paperback – May 3, 2005
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-- Jeffrey Eugenides, author of Middlesex
"A mesmerizing, dark, powerful novel."
-- The Times (U.K.)
"A fine novel, remarkable for the purity of its ambitions."
--The Washington Post Book World
"Tóibín's genius is that he makes it impossible for us to walk away."
-- The New Yorker
"This is my favourite of Tóibín’s works. Set in the early eighties, Argentina is controlled by oil-rich Americans and power-hungry Generals. A young English professor has been living in the shadow of his mother and hiding his sexual desires. When he is liberated by her death, both he and the country around him are set into a period of enlightenment and upheaval. The loss and grief in the third act left me reeling for days."
--Douglas Stuart, author of Shuggie Bain
From the Back Cover
- Publisher : Scribner; Reprint edition (May 3, 2005)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0743272714
- ISBN-13 : 978-0743272711
- Item Weight : 9.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.25 x 1 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #193,818 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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While I had nothing in common with the subject, by the time I finished this book, it opened a new path
of varied interests to me. I went to Amazon to get another of Toibin's books. I may be hooked. A
wonderful read so well presented. Thank you Sir Toibin! rfw
It's a polarizing book, but I have to say that I thought it was beautiful at times in its cool-eyed assessment of how people might react under various forms of stress. I also liked the novel for the quasi-redemption that comes at its conclusion.
Top reviews from other countries
(Richard) sleeps in her bed. In Molloy's room garbage is piling up. In Richard's apartment dust accumulates. "
Richard" and not "Ricardo". For, his mother immigrated, poor, form England to Argentina, married a native, she thought rich. But even at her best, she did not exceed the level of a low middle class. But kept, chiefly at the end of her life, against the Spanish character of Argentina, the feeling of an anglo-saxon superiority. Richard speaks Englich as fluently as Spanish. He is argentinian but her mother called him Richard. All the second part of the novel is prepared here. When Americans will arrive; between business and Policy : oil. They will need an interpreter. Long work for Richard : to become, to be one of them, a true American businessman.
But let us come back to the first part. What I find most interesting in the book is to show how during a military dictatorship where people disappear every day murdered by the police, people lead their lives, blind to all this. And, knowing nothing, wanting to see nothing of that. Richard lives his homosexuality, hidden, he encounters with passing tourist, lives with his mother, teaches English in a private school. He loves a student, just younger than him but does not know how to tell him. Around of him thousands of people murdered. This is his life his tiny universe. And that is the best of the book. Because, so universal.
The second part shows Richard taking his place, a good place between rich Argentine politicians corrupt, and the US administration which prepares the arrival of the oil business. Richard finds his interest, sexual, financial. It achieves the goal of narcissicism of his mother and his : he dresses like a true Americain businessman, eat, smoke, and drink alcohol in abundance as a true businessman. But he is blind too, and has no idea how he is handled. Unfortunately, Colm Toibim is not a gay Lawrence Durell.
The end is a bad soap opera.
"Story of the night". Night where one is blind to the effects of dictatorship, blind to the methods of American imperialism and blind as a consequence of AIDS.
The idea is a very good one. The book, how he is written, could have be very best that what it is.
The story sweeps along through the Falklands war and the economic fallout which effected Argentina, through the changing 80's and ultimately leads to loss, as HIV & AIDS comes to the fore of the gay community.
The book was strange in the fact that nothing really happened and, only the final third of the story, picked up any pace. The rest of the book was told slowly, as if uncoiling. Nothing really happened and, yet, I couldn't stop reading.
The character of Richard is both gentle and yet powerful, his relationship with his mother develops further meaning the deeper you read and his partnership with Pablo touching and real, moving from initial lust through to genuine kinship.
I cannot rate this book highly enough - its definately 'a keeper' (ie. one to keep on the shelf and look forward to enjoying again in the future). This will not disappoint!