More Tales of the City, Paperback Book
3 out of 5 (1 rating)


The divinely human comedy that began with "Tales of the City" rolls recklessly along as Michael Tolliver pursues his favourite gynaecologist, Mona Ramsey uncovers her roots in a desert whorehouse, and Mary Ann Singleton finds love at sea with the amnesiac of her dreams.


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I can't really believe it's taken me this long to find these gems, but sometimes it's the ones that lie undiscovered under your nose that prove the most surprising. These books detail the lives of a motley band of individuals who live in San Francisco on Barbary Lane under the watchful eye of the matriarchal Anna Madrigal. The pluses and minuses of these stories all stem from the fact that they were initially serialisations in a regular newspaper column. It makes them an addictive doddle to read - each book is divided into bite-sized chunks that have an element of self-containment mixed with a splattering suspense that leaves you wanting more. The characters are skilfully drawn and quickly come to life and become much-loved friends - a testament to Maupin's skill as a writer. They are each a little window onto life in San Francisco at the time - an interesting documentation of society there.I guess, should you choose to, you could level the criticism that the interlinking storylines are all-to-convenient and readily wrapped up .... but I didn't find it problematic. It is an inherent quality of the original media they were published in and you have to allow for that format. I'm just glad to see them put together as a book so that they can be enjoyed by everyone. I think that if you cannot overcome objections to plot and structure, then these books were probably never meant for you. Personally, once I found them, I couldn't put them down and I'll certainly be looking forward to the next batch.

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