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The Night Listener

The movie The Night Listener was based on the book The Night Listener.

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Movie details for The Night Listener

The movie was released in 2006 and directed by Patrick Stettner. More information on the movie is available on Amazon.com and also IMDb.

Actors on this movie include Toni Collette, Robin Williams, Joe Morton, Bobby Cannavale, Rory Culkin, Sandra Oh, Rodrigo Lopresti, John Cullum, Lisa Emery, Guenia Lemos, Marcia Haufrecht, Nick Gregory, Ed Jewett, Becky Ann Baker, E.J. Carroll (II), James Stankunas, Marceline Hugot, Joel Garland, Hal Robinson and Keith Reddin.

 

Read More About This Movie

Celebrity and psychosis collide to truly creepy effect in The Night Listener. Radio personality Gabriel Noone (Robin Williams) is asked to read an advance copy of a memoir by a boy who was horribly abused by his parents. Struck by the boy's story, Noone s... Read More
Celebrity and psychosis collide to truly creepy effect in The Night Listener. Radio personality Gabriel Noone (Robin Williams) is asked to read an advance copy of a memoir by a boy who was horribly abused by his parents. Struck by the boy's story, Noone starts talking to him over the phone, gradually taking an almost parental interest in him--until someone suggests that the boy may not be exactly who he seems. Troubled, Noone flies to Wisconsin, where he meets the boy's social worker (Toni Collette, The Sixth Sense, In Her Shoes) and uncovers some alarming secrets. Don't let the vague, faux-literary title The Night Listener lead you astray; this is a horror movie and a very good one. There are no supernatural monsters or relentless axe-murderers, only a damaged, manipulative mind, which proves to be creepier than any serial killer. Williams gives an excellent, quirk-free performance, but it's Collette who gets under your skin and crawls around. She's vividly eerie, the sort of performance that can stick with you for days. Stealthy, surprising, and wonderfully acted all around--the movie also features Joe Morton (The Brother from Another Planet), Bobby Cannavale (The Station Agent), and Sandra Oh (Sideways)--The Night Listener is an unexpected gem. --Bret Fetzer

Book details for The Night Listener

The Night Listener was written by Armistead Maupin. The book was published in 2000 by Harper Perennial. More information on the book is available on Amazon.com.

 

Read More About This Book

Many years ago, when the first volume of Tales of the City was going to press, Christopher Isherwood compared its author's narrative gifts to those of Charles Dickens. This has proven to be the blurb of a lifetime, an ever-renewable currency appearing on ... Read More
Many years ago, when the first volume of Tales of the City was going to press, Christopher Isherwood compared its author's narrative gifts to those of Charles Dickens. This has proven to be the blurb of a lifetime, an ever-renewable currency appearing on almost all of Armistead Maupin's subsequent books. Yet it has held up well--Dickens's gentle satire and broad good humor live on in Maupin more than in any other English-speaking writer. The Night Listener is his most ambitious work to date. While not strictly autobiographical, the story does teasingly suggest correspondences to the author's own life in a way that will delight and frustrate his many fans. The main character, Gabriel Noone, is a professional storyteller who broadcasts roughly autobiographical sketches for a long-running PBS series, "Noone at Night," stories about people "caught in the supreme joke of modern life who were forced to survive by making families of their friends." When the novel opens, Gabriel is still reeling from the announcement that his much younger, longtime partner Jess (a.k.a. Jamie in the "Noone at Night" stories, and a.k.a. Terry Anderson, Maupin's real-life, much-younger partner, for those who like to track associations) wants to move into his own apartment and start dating other men. With the success of his HIV cocktail, Jess has exceeded his own life expectancy. Having prepared himself so well to die, he now needs to learn how to live again. To Gabriel's distress, Jess's new life involves leather, multiple piercings, and books on men's drumming circles.

When an editor sends Gabriel yet another book to blurb, he reluctantly opens the package to find a long, rending memoir by Pete Lomax, an HIV-positive 13-year-old survivor of incest, rape, and sexual slavery. The book is called The Blacking Factory, after the miserable London bottling factory where Dickens spent part of his poverty-stricken childhood. As Gabriel reflects:

Pete thinks we all have a blacking factory, some awful moment, early on, when we surrender our childish hearts as surely as we lose our baby teeth. And the outcome can't be called. Some of us end up like Dickens; others like Jeffrey Dahmer. It's not a question of good or evil, Pete believes. Just the random brutality of the universe and our native ability to withstand it.
After Pete escaped from his parents and was adopted by a therapist named Donna Lomax, his slow recovery was helped along by his memoir-writing and by frequent doses of "Noone at Night."

Touched by Pete's devotion to his stories, as well as the boy's obvious need for a father figure, Gabriel finds himself drawn into an intense relationship with his young fan, involving long, late-night phone calls that begin to worry Gabriel's friends. And, other than their mutual need, how much does he really know about Pete, anyway? As Gabriel begins to question his own motives, as well as those of the boy, The Night Listener transforms itself from an absorbing but quotidian story of loss and midlife angst into a dark and suspenseful page-turner with a playful metaphysical aspect and an un-Dickensian sexual candor. --Regina Marler