The Night Listener by Armistead Maupin
Gabriel Noone is a writer whose late night radio stories have brought him into the homes of millions. Noone is in the midst of a painful separation from his lover of ten years when a publisher sends him proofs of a remarkable book: the memoir of a sickly thirteen-year-old boy who suffered horrific sexual abuse at the hands of his parents. Now living with his adoptive mother, Donna, Pete Lomax is not only a brave and gifted diarist but a devoted listener of Noone's show.
When Noone phones the boy to offer encouragement, it soon becomes clear that Pete sees in this heartsick, middle-aged storyteller the loving father he's always wanted. Thus begins an extraordinary friendship that grows deeper only as the boy's health deteriorates, freeing Noone to unlock his innermost feelings. Then, out of the blue, troubling new questions arise, exploding Noone's comfortable assumptions and causing his ordered existence to spin wildly out of control.
As he walks a vertiginous line between truth and illusion, he is finally forced to confront all his relationships - familial, romantic and erotic. As complex and hypnotically engrossing as the best of mysteries, The Night Listener is an astonishing tour de force that moves and challenges Maupin's readers as never before.
Paperback / 368 pages