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the Complete Review
the complete review - fiction

Buenas Noches, Buenos Aires

Gilbert Adair

[an overview of the reviews and critical reactions]

general information | review summaries | links | about the author

To purchase Buenas Noches, Buenos Aires

Title: Buenas Noches, Buenos Aires
Author: Gilbert Adair
Genre: Novel
Written: 2004
Length: 160 pages
Availability: Buenas Noches, Buenos Aires - US
Buenas Noches, Buenos Aires - UK
Buenas Noches, Buenos Aires - Canada
Buenas Noches, Buenos Aires - Deutschland

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Why we haven't reviewed it yet:

Haven't gotten our hands on a copy

Chances that we will review it:

Decent -- if we can get a copy

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Review Summaries
Source Rating Date Reviewer
Financial Times . 20/2/2004 Jan Dalley
The Guardian . 19/3/2004 Steven Poole
The Independent D 13/2/2004 Michael Arditti
The Spectator . 14/2/2004 Digby Durrant
The Telegraph . 16/2/2004 David Robson
The Telegraph . 1/3/2004 Lewis Jones
The Telegraph . 13/3/2005 David Isaacson
The Telegraph . 17/4/2006 Sally Cousins
TLS . 6/2/2004 Chris Moss

  From the Reviews:
  • "It is also extremely funny. But one would not expect Adair to satisfy himself with a sort of saccharine comic nostalgia. And indeed, apart from the dark turn that the story takes in the last third, there are already other problematic things going on. (...) Adair may be celebrating many things in this curiously double-edged novella, but he is also skewering something with dispassionate, forensic precision." - Steven Poole, The Guardian

  • "Gideon's death wish sounds the only original note in an otherwise predictable novel. (…) The banality of the plot might be less serious if either the characterisation or prose showed more distinction. Gideon, however, is less a character than a neurosis with erudition. Adair's usual linguistic precision deserts him as he indulges in a succession of clumsy images" - Michael Arditti, The Independent

  • "At first sight Gilbert Adair’s new book seems like shameless pornography of a particularly sad and depraved kind, but more charitably and more accurately we discover as we read on that it is the story of an unlikely martyr-hero who risks his life in the cause of militant homosexuality rather than suffer suicidal loneliness. (…) This is a disturbing, brave and very well written book, not for the faint-hearted but neither is the curse of Aids." - Digby Durrant, The Spectator

  • "(I)t is certainly stimulating and, in places, provocative. (...) It is an ugly storyline and, for this reader at least, Gideon forfeits some of the sympathy due to a gauche loser when he goes on his devil-may-care sexual spree. But Adair is a writer of undoubted class and has the gift of sharp portraiture needed to make a picaresque novel sing. (...) The cavalcade of colourfully drawn characters more than compensates for the questionable moral drift of the story." - David Robson, The Telegraph

  • "A comedy about Aids sounds perverse in the extreme, and so it is, but Adair writes so well (there are gems on every page -- an aside, for instance, is "an articulate cough"), and with such sympathy that the grimness and squalor of his subject are triumphantly transcended." - Lewis Jones, The Telegraph

  • "A witty, lovingly explicit "paean to the penis", this urbane novella often resembles a portrait by Robert Mapplethorpe. It is also a sensitive meditation on the need to belong." - David Isaacson, The Telegraph

  • "The end-of-an-era theme is hardly new, but Gilbert Adair explores it with characteristic virtuosity, peopling his portrait of a vanished age with some memorable eccentrics." - Sally Cousins, The Telegraph

  • "Gilbert Adair's story of a young gay man's sexual education neatly brings together the component parts of a heightened camp aesthetic. The narrator Gideon is horny, hale, young and well read enough to seem worldly, but, for all that he has come out as gay, unpractised in the arts of seduction and sodomy. (…) Every linguistic turn here divulges a moral, and sexual, attitude. Even the choice of a novella is apt; the form gives poise to the subject matter (an out-of-control scourge) and keeps the tone taut and emotionally restrained, even as death destroys the AIDS-stricken gay community. (…) Almost lyrical in its symmetries, Buenas Noches, Buenos Aires is glancing and microscopic; the view is narrow, but minutely detailed, and never boring." - Chris Moss, Times Literary Supplement

Please note that these ratings solely represent the complete review's biased interpretation and subjective opinion of the actual reviews and do not claim to accurately reflect or represent the views of the reviewers. Similarly the illustrative quotes chosen here are merely those the complete review subjectively believes represent the tenor and judgment of the review as a whole. We acknowledge (and remind and warn you) that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure.

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Buenas Noches, Buenos Aires: Reviews: Gilbert Adair Other books by Gilbert Adair under review: Other books of interest under review:
  • See Index of Contemporary British fiction

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About the Author:

       British author Gilbert Adair (1944-2011) wrote several novels, as well as several works of non-fiction. He also translated Georges Perec's A Void, for which he won the Scott Moncrieff Prize.

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