Title: The Night Listener
Author: Armistead Maupin
Genre: Literary Fiction, Psychological Suspense
Other Information/warnings: Explicit sex, frank discussion of ritualistic sexual abuse
Summary: Gabriel Noone is a professional storyteller who broadcasts stories for a long-running PBS series, “Noone at Night.” When his editor sends Gabriel yet another book to blurb, he reluctantly opens the package to find a memoir by Pete Lomax, an HIV-positive 13-year-old survivor of ritualistic sexual abuse, called The Blacking Factory, after the factory where Charles Dickens spent part of his dreary childhood. After Pete escaped from his parents, he was adopted by a therapist named Donna Lomax and his recovery from the abuse was helped along by listening to the broadcasts of “Noone at Night.” Touched by Pete’s devotion to his stories, Gabriel finds himself drawn into an intense relationship with his young fan, involving long, late-night phone calls. But then questions start to arise about Pete and his story, and Noone begins to question how much he really knows. Noone begins to question his own motives, as well as those of the boy and the boy’ mother. In fact he begins to question Pete’s very existence as no one has ever met the boy.
My review: First, a disclaimer. This review covers the original publication of the novel. The link above is to the movie-tie in version. The movie varies substantially (and is really rather dreadful) from the original novel and it is unknown if the tie-in version of the novel was rewritten to incorporate new information and/or details found in the movie.
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