July 31, 2006


Tamara Kaye Sellman

But you never know. If a screenwriter could mire through it (even if inaccurately or tangentially), THE NIGHT LISTENER might end up serving well as the opposite of the famous "the book is better than the movie" scenario. The trailers look interesting. Now I'm curious.

At any rate, there are a few books on my own shelf I couldn't get through that I wish I could have (Durrell's JUSTINE, as one example). Now this is not to say Durrell's not a fab writer, because he is, to many people (to differentiate between Durrell and Maupin). I just didn't "get" the first 30 pages of JUSTINE and so left it behind. Maybe a movie would make a proper "translation" for the likes of me?

(That being said, I'll check into the likelihood; it seems natural there'd be at least a foreign film made of Durrell's QUARTET.)

So who knows? Maybe a movie will make a proper "translation" of THE NIGHT LISTENER as well. Just food for thought.

Jerry Sticker

Definitely looking forward to this movie!!

tod goldberg

That Robin Williams is the star of the film is enough reason for me not to go. Do you think he'll be really, really sensitive? Do you think he might call someone "chief" during the course of the movie? Do you think he'll have a beard? Do you think he'll over act to the point that you actually ask for Jonathan Winters to show up as a huge alien baby to save the movie? (And Maupin adapated the novel for the screen, too.)

On the other hand, I did enjoy the Tales of the City books Maupin did and the initial TV version with Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis.

Dave Worsley

I'll second that, Tod. I liked all of Maupin's other books, some quite a lot. But the Night Listener never made it for me either, though I would have left the restaurant with it. But Robin Williams takes away what little interest I had in seeing this on screen.
I wish movies wouldn't continually wreck good books. Surely Hollywood can butcher original scripts just as easily?

Keith Demko

That book is indeed a flaming bag of shite .. the only they could make the movie worse than the book is to put Robin Williams .. mission accomplished!


It's a shame you feel the need to trash the book on your blog when you've read only 20 or 30 pages of it. If I recall correctly, that was about when the book took a major turn and became unputdownable for me . . . and for every other person I know who's read it.

Putting down a book after 30 pages is your right, of course, but that means you've disqualified yourself from offering intelligent commentary on said book.

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