The Story of the Night

The Story of the Night

3.85 (1,652 ratings by Goodreads)
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Richard Garay lives alone with his mother, hiding his sexuality from her and from those around him. Stifled by a job he despises, he finds himself willing to take considerable risks. Set in Argentina in a time of great change, The Story of the Night is a powerful and moving novel about a man who, as the Falklands War is fought and lost, finds his own way to emerge into the world. The Story of the Night is, in the end, a love story of the most serious and difficult kind. Toibin has told it with profound artistry and truth' Tobias Wolff Nobody before Toibin has made such honesty stand so clearly for political and personal integrity ...In each of his first three novels he has invented a strong central character but Garay is by far his most memorable' Edmund White, Sunday Times A remarkable achievement ...The ease, the fluidity, the economy, the precision of Toibin's masterly prose make this novel sheer pleasure to read' Norman Thomas di Giovanni, The Timesshow more

Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 128 x 196 x 22mm | 222.26g
  • Pan MacMillan
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English, Spanish
  • 0330340182
  • 9780330340182
  • 50,596

Review quote

"An impressive, beautifully modulated, affecting book."-- Jeffrey Eugenides, author of "Middlesex"show more

Review Text

The central character of this novel is Richard Garay, a lonely gay man who grows up in relative isolation with his ageing British mother and then lives alone in her crumpling downtown apartment in Buenos Aires. Richard comes of age under Argentina's military dictatorship and his self-repression mirrors the nation's self-imposed blindness to the darkness of military rule. Richard is a man who sees no evil, hears no evil, speaks no evil. But the death of his mother, the Falklands War and Argentina's tentative return to democracy set in train Richard's slow awakening to life and love. He leaves his dull, dead-end job as an English teacher and becomes involved with two American 'diplomats' - read CIA agents - who have arrived in Argentina to protect the interest of the United States. Richard sees nothing wrong with promoting US economic and political interest, and takes on a new identity to fit in with his new employers and the American moneymen they aid. All this change and upheaval Richard conveys to the reader in a matter of fact, dispassionate way. Toibin's prose is exact and economical, describing everything in a cool, uncompromising manner. It is not until Richard comes involved with Pablo Canetto, the younger son of a wealthy family he has been acquainted with for years, that his heart is caught and he grows tired of all the lies in his life. But tragedy awaits, and there is no fairy-tale ending for Richard and Pablo. This is a subtle, understated and beautifully written novel with a protagonist who is not always likeable but who holds our attention to the end. (Kirkus UK)show more

About Colm Toibin

Colm Toibin was born in Ireland in 1955. He is the author of The South, The Heather Blazing, The Blackwater Lightship and most recently The Master, which was shortlisted for the 2004 Man Booker Prize. His non-fiction includes Bad Blood, Homage to Barcelona and The Sign of the Cross. His work has been translated into seventeen languages. He lives in more

Rating details

1,652 ratings
3.85 out of 5 stars
5 28% (462)
4 40% (663)
3 23% (381)
2 7% (114)
1 2% (32)
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