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.
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A moving story of love in the time of AIDS
Colm Toibin writes with a sparseness that borders on arid. Not one to waste your time with flowery descriptions or even adjectives, his narrative has a compelling bleakness. It tells the story of a half-English, half-Argentine man growing up in Buenos Aires around the time of Falklands and, as this is a gay novel, AIDS. It is a beautiful story of love.
Toibin's characterisation is accurate and sensitive. His portrayal of gay life is compelling and the story of the almost anti-hero's unplanned and haphazard stumbling into success has an authenticity to it. The story is woven through with historical facts that ground it but befitting the detached way the narrator goes through life, they are at best background, and often not even that. Like the scenery glimpsed through the window of a train, they let you know that you are moving forward, but they are incidental.
Those of a very delicate sensitivity should be warned that there are a few moderately explicit gay sex scenes, but nothing to frighten the horses.