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The Story of the Night by Colm Tóibín
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The Story of the Night (1996)

by Colm Tóibín

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Excellent. A gay love story set mainly in Argentina. Perhaps a little too graphic sex and vagueness on the narrator's source of income, but not enough to spoil it.
  jgoodwll | Dec 12, 2018 |
This is a bit problematic, the novel starts of in a bad shape in the first part, becomes more interesting in the second and moving in the last part. Still, the novel lacks a clear drive, a reason why it should be read. Overall a disappointing experience. ( )
  stef7sa | Jan 5, 2017 |
This novel started out slowly for me as I tried to work my way around the theme of governmental instability in Argentina, but it slowly became compulsive reading. Though the author is native Irish, the setting of this book is Buenos Aires, Argentina. I was thrown off somewhat since the book I previously read by this same author was Brooklyn, the story of an Irish immigrant to the United States. The protagonist of this book was Argentinian, the only son of a British mother and an Argentinian father.

The protagonist, a closeted gay man named Richard, finds a new job as translator for an American couple whose task it is to promote democratic ideals, foster a good Argentina-United States relationship, and promote the idea of privatization of the oil industry in Argentina. This sub-plot had me bogged down for a while, but I'd advise skimming over that somewhat because the true beauty of this book is its tight narrative and the psychological make-up of a gay man. Richard's story seems very personal and true-to-life. In fact, I then had to go back to see if the author is gay. He is openly so.

I like the way this novel explores Richard's need to hide his homosexuality, how he chooses to whom to disclose this fact and whom to approach, and how he deals with a culture in which AIDS threatens those members of his own community.

This novel is brilliant. It makes me want to read even more writing by this talented author. ( )
  SqueakyChu | Sep 8, 2015 |
This extraordinarily moving novel set in Argentina in the years immediately following the Falklands War is told in first person. Somehow, though it is hard to explain the power of Tóibín's seemingly simple yet elegiac prose, characters and settings a vividly brought to life, and the story is effortlessly propelled forward. Nothing in the jacket copy of this edition hints that it is what in the 1980s would have been sold to a niche market as a "gay novel". Richard, the narrator, is an Argentinian of mixed descent; his mother was British. Because he is fluently bi-lingual he gains a job as a translator and general facilitator in various international business and diplomatic enterprises, eventually becoming a trusted figure of some importance. Along the way there is casual (and explicitly described) gay sex, but he eventually meets and falls in love with an Argentine man who becomes his lover/partner. Then, quite suddenly, AIDS strikes both of them. The quiet ending is heart-breaking, but astonishingly, not despairing. A brilliant book. ( )
  sjnorquist | Sep 5, 2015 |
The Story of the Night is actually two stories, running parallel and intertwined. It is the poignant coming-out tale of Anglo-Argentinian Richard Garay, a reclusive and frustrated young man exploring new professional and sexual opportunities. And, it is the story of an oppressive political regime losing its stranglehold on power. Toibin explores the messiness wrought by change and upheaval in typically elegant style.

I found this book almost impossible to put down, due to its sympathetic protagonist and its beautiful prose. Prudish readers will note that The Story of the Night is sexually frank; more overtly a gay story than is typical of Toibin. But to dismiss it on that basis is to miss out on a great reading experience. ( )
  whirled | Jan 28, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0743272714, Paperback)

In the past decade Colm Tóibín has garnered international fame for his fiction, reporting, and travel writing. Now, in his new novel, The Story of Night, he breaks new emotional ground with the story of a gay man coming of age in Argentina during the Falklands War. Tóibín weds his two themes--the ongoing Argentinean struggle toward democracy and the personal journey of a man coming out--with intellectual deftness and literary agility. Written with grace and understatement The Story of Night is Tóibín's best work yet.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:00 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Set in Argentina in the 1980s, The Story of the Night follows the progress of a lonely young man trying to live openly with his homosexuality. His coming out mirrors the country's change of leadership during that period.

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