Tales of the City, Paperback Book
4.5 out of 5 (6 ratings)

Description

San Francisco, 1976. A naive young secretary, fresh out of Cleveland, tumbles headlong into a brave new world of laundromat Lotharios, pot-growing landladies, cut throat debutantes, and Jockey Shorts dance contests.

The saga that ensues is manic, romantic, tawdry, touching, and outrageous - unmistakably the handwork of Armistead Maupin.

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Showing 1 - 5 of 6 reviews.

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Review by
5

Centred on 28 Barbary Lane, San Francisco, the home of Anna Madrigal, Tales of the City chronicles the day to day life of Mrs Madrigal and her assorted tenants, along with their friends and colleagues. The eccentric Mrs Madrigal considers her residents as her family, leaves them notes accompanied by a joint and serves brownies suitably fortified. The residents include twenty five year old Mary Anne, a naïve young secretary newly arrived from Cleveland; Mona, a successful copywriter working for ad agency Halcyon Communications; Brian Hawkins, a randy waiter and one time lawyer in his thirties; and Michael (Mouse) Tolliver, a thoroughly likeable lively gay twink. Among the friends and colleagues, and very much part of the story are Edgar Halcyon, head of Halcyon Communications; and Beauchamp Day, his promiscuous son-in-law and business partner; along with their respective wives. By a remarkable series of coincidences the lives of residents, friends and acquaintances connect and interweave to comic effect.Their escapades range from the devious to the outrageous, ruthless to movingly caring; their sexual interests/orientation from straight to gay, and not always necessarily consistent; the whole providing an hilarious and touching account full of adventure.A thoroughly entertaining, funny and fast moving read, with some endearing and very likeable characters, I highly recommended it; and very much look forward to the subsequent developments in the many sequels.

Review by
4

Charming and hilarious little story about life in San Francisco in the 1970s.

Review by
5

I started this book over the weekend to take a break from all the vampire books I'm reading. I thought at first this book must have been written in the early 1990s because the descriptions of San Francisco are spot on. I was surprised to see that this book dates to 1978! My goodness -- the City hasn't changed! I'm laughing my ass off at this book. I'll have to read the other books by this author. It is so much fun to read a novel about a city that is just minutes away. I would give this book a 20 if I could. The City and Peninsula haven't changed from when this book was published. The book might have well been published last year because so much of what is described is still around and still as wacky. The wonderful variety and types of characters portrayed in this book haven't changed either. The ending was quite a kicker!

Review by
4

Yay for serial novels! The characters are really funny and warmly portrayed; the story feels largely effortless. Maupin could have spent a lot of time waxing poetical about San Francisco, but instead he lets the city shine through the characters. The jokes made cheerfully at the expense of seventies' culture are still funny because, man, the seventies were pretty strange.<br/><br/>Hoping that the rest of the series is this good!

Review by
4

Revisited via audio CD. It was lovely to be back on Barbary Lane with the kids, but odd that they are kids now and not too long ago they were glamourous grownups. Sweet and improbable and dated in the nicest sort of way. There's one prescient moment where Brian says to Michael that it's likely that someday they will be sad old libertines lost in a world of uptight kids, because the pendulum always swings.

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