Review: Notes from the Night – Taylor Plimpton

Taylor Plimpton’s novel, “Notes from the Night” is a depiction of what life is like in the hours when many of us are sound asleep deep in REM. Taylor is the son of the famous journalist, George Plimpton, who is most notable for his sports writing and his contribution to helping fund the Paris Review.

This memoir about what the night is like in New York City, basically in a nutshell it’s the world of booze, dancing and drugs. Plimpton describes each step of the way of going out for a night. The getting ready portion, the pre-drinking location and so on and so on. I was surprised to hear that a lot of thought goes into getting ready for men as well, getting your hair to look messy has apparently turned into an art.

This short memoir takes you on one journey’s night with Taylor and his good friend Zoo, who is mentioned every second sentence it seemed. Zoo is clearly a man who doesn’t care about what other’s think, he lives in the moment and doesn’t over analyze anything. I have friends like this and like Taylor, I idolize them as well, because both Taylor and I spend way too much time in our heads, especially when in a club. Plimpton goes on to describe the appeal to bars and why we (we singletons) continually to go as often as we do:

It is an obsession for me, this night. And it is not the alcohol that calls. No I am in love with possibility. Tonight, I cannot help but think, tonight could be the night. Because heading out on the town, it could be anything, everything, and whatever it is, it is not this, this whining blue computer screen in front of me

I thought that quote was the best way to describe the appeal to going out, because we all hang onto a little hope that when we buy a new outfit and plaster on coats of make-up, we are going out hoping it’ll turn into a night full of the unknown and the night we’ll talk about for years to come. We’ve all been there, heck, I’m still in that stage of my life. Unlike Plimpton, the appeal of staying up all night and partying is starting to lose its appeal, maybe that’s an age thing, but I’m starting to value my sleep a little more as time goes on.

I’m a huge fan of memoirs, because for a period of time, you get to re-live an experience with the author. I thought I’d really enjoy this memoir for the simple fact that I do go out every once and awhile and could relate to what Taylor Plimpton is explaining. I did enjoy parts of this memoir, the analyzing of dancing, finding out that the night to party in NYC is Tuesday night and the close-knit friendship he has with his friends. However, it wasn’t my favorite memoir ever, at parts sounding a bit tedious and annoying. This doesn’t mean to say that I wouldn’t read Taylor Plimpton again, I just would like to read something with a little more substance.

You win some, you lose some, right?

Happy Reading.


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