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Gideon is a lonely, horny young Englishman who arrives in Paris to take up a teaching post in the local Berlitz, and becomes increasingly fascinated by the intoxicating atmosphere of erotic banter and bragging in the school’s all-male and virtually all-gay common room. The moment has surely arrived for him, too, to overcome his own chronic timidity and actually do what he has only ever dared fantasize about. Yet Gideon has a secret – one he is prepared to share with nobody but the reader, a secret he is finally obliged to confront, with surprising results.
Adair brilliantly captures the progressive chilling of an entire libertine culture ... Buenas Noches Buenos Aires sings of Paris as the carefree 1970s turn into the careworn 1980s. It stands with hemingway of Fitzgerald's depictions of the Jazz Age or Geoff Dyer's evocation of the e-generation in Paris Trance as a cool yet passionate testament to an age now vanished.
This is a disturbing, brave and very well written book
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
For those outside the gay writing scene, Adair's book may seem less than timely ... [however] the distance in time enables Gilbert Adair to wring a subtle discourse on form out of his story but never at the cost of plot or pathos. The human drama he describes is fast paced, though nothing much happens, and the prose is as elegant in construction as it is eloquent about human relationships. Almost lyrical in its symmetrics, Buenas Noches Buenos Aires is glancing and microscopic; the view is narrow, but minutely detailed and never boring.
Typically svelte and stylish ... it is life, not death that this novel affirms. The defiant Gideon walks quite friendly up to death (as Wilfred owen pur it) and the conclusion is a stylistic tour de force, a mimetic and moving celebration of his "libido's last hurrah
Gilbert Adair is a witty, elegant and prolific writer ... A comedy about Aids sounds perverse, and so it is, but Adair writes so well and with such sympathy that the grimness and squalor of his subject are triumphantly transcended.
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