Michael Tolliver Lives, Paperback Book
4.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Michael Tolliver, the sweet-spirited Southerner in Armistead Maupin's classic "Tales of the City" series, is arguably the most beloved gay character in fiction.

Now, almost twenty years after ending his groundbreaking saga of San Francisco life, Maupin revisits his all-too-human hero, letting the 55-year-old gardener tell his story in his own voice.

Having survived the plague that took so many of his friends and lovers, Michael has learned to embrace the random pleasures of life, the tender alliances that sustain him in the hardest of times, "Michael Tolliver Lives" follows its protagonist as he finds love with a younger man, attends to his dying fundamentalist mother in Florida, and finally reaffirms his allegiance to a wise octogenarian who was once his landlady.While Maupin insists that this book is not, strictly speaking, a continuation of "Tales of the City", a reassuring number of familiar faces appear along the way.

As usual, the author's mordant wit and ear for pitch-perfect dialogue serve every aspect of the story - from the bawdy to the bittersweet. "Michael Tolliver Lives" is a novel about the act of growing older joyfully and the everyday miracles that somehow make that possible.


Other Formats



Free Home Delivery

on all orders

Pick up orders

from local bookshops


Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

A return, after, what? 20 years? to the world of Barbary Lane, and a chance to catch up with some beloved friends. Anna Madrigal is still with us, and wonderful as ever; Mouse is still surviving, still adorable, and now partnered with a man 20 years his junior; Brian … is still Brian, while Shawna is all grown up and writing a sex blog. Most importantly, this novel rehabilitates Mary-Anne, who I thought Maupin treated thoroughly shabbily in the last couple of books. Warm and cosy as a beloved soft toy; an undemanding comfort read.

Review by

I've just finished this after devouring it in two sittings. My first thoughts are that this could be my favourite of the Tales of the City series. Written in the first person it is a more intimate and tender account of Mouse / Michael Tolliver's life now. In fact I had tears rolling down my cheeks for the last two chapters, not just because of the story, but also because it was like coming to the end of a reunion with long lost but much loved friends. Armistead Maupin should be really proud of this book, it has a genuine warmth that is very hard to find in books, and somehow it never slips into corniness. I think maybe it helps that the story isn't as eventful and action packed as some of the earlier ones, it reflects the changes to Mouse's life as he approaches old age, as he looks back to old loves and friends as much as he looks ahead with an acceptance that life will never be as it was, but that doesn't mean there won't be happiness and pleasures of a different kind. Altogether a hopeful, affectionate book, this has left me with a mix of sadness and happiness, not an unpleasant combination actually. Mr Maupin I salute you..

Also by Armistead Maupin   |  View all