Tales of the City

Tales of the City San Francisco A na ve 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 d

San Francisco, 1976 A na ve 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 handiwork of Armistead Maupin.

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  • Free Read Tales of the City - by Armistead Maupin
    249 Armistead Maupin
Tales of the City

  1. Armistead Maupin was born in Washington, D.C in 1944 but grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina A graduate of the University of North Carolina, he served as a naval officer in the Mediterranean and with the River Patrol Force in Vietnam Maupin worked as a reporter for a newspaper in Charleston, South Carolina, before being assigned to the San Francisco bureau of the Associated Press in 1971 In 1976 he launched his groundbreaking Tales of the City serial in the San Francisco Chronicle Maupin is the author of nine novels, including the six volume Tales of the City series, Maybe the Moon, The Night Listener and, most recently, Michael Tolliver Lives Three miniseries starring Olympia Dukakis and Laura Linney were made from the first three Tales novels The Night Listener became a feature film starring Robin Williams and Toni Collette He is currently writing a musical version of Tales of the City with Jason Sellards aka Jake Shears and John Garden aka JJ of the disco and glam rock inspired pop group Scissor Sisters Tales will be directed by Jason Moore Avenue Q and Shrek.Maupin lives in San Francisco with his husband, Christopher Turner.

228 Reply to “Tales of the City”

  1. Tales of the City is not great literature That s not what Maupin s aiming for In what is the first and best book in a six part series constructed from a serial column in the San Francisco Chronicle, Tales of the City is smart, guilty entertainment at its best It s a soap opera But like, say, Six Feet Under, Tales of the City purports to be little than a creative and intelligent soap opera Taken as such, it is a delight Vivid characters A setting San Francisco that Maupin gives an almost pop up [...]


  2. What did I do between finishing this novel and writing its review I ordered More Tales of the City and Further Tales of the City on ebay I m THAT invested confident that they ll match this one It is uproarious and uber funny It stars the cute Mary Ann Singleton think a modern Holly Golightly but less of a prostitute and a vibrant array of costars It is concise, like Vile Bodies and perhaps in that same realm of Evelyn Waugh type social satire And what else Authentic pluses include the kitschyne [...]



  3. Obviously a re read Having recently read the latest in the series, Mary Ann in Autumn, I wanted to re read the entire series Unfortunately, I am so familiar with the first three books, which were also made into TV adaptations, that I know the stories and most of the dialogue off by heart, so I can t get the same, mind blowing enjoyment that I did on my first reading Although that is one of the pleasures of reading, for instance, Michael Tolliver Lives, where past events are mentioned and you hav [...]


  4. I think I am either too old or too young to fully appreciate this book If I were older, I might appreciate the groundbreaking nature of its matter of fact approach to a variety of characters of different sexuality and gender at a time when social s were drastically changing And if I were younger, I might be totally enchanted by all the entertaining drama, good and bad and self absorbed, that comes with being young, single and in your twenties in a big city But I wasn t able to really connect wit [...]


  5. I guess I was destined to discover Armistead Maupin in 2017 Although, to be fair, he s hardly a secret he s been writing for four decades and has generations of loyal readers.Back in the spring, I gave a favourable review to the documentary The Untold Tales Of Armistead Maupin A few months after that, the galleys to Maupin s memoir, Logical Family, arrived on my desk I d already read his stand alone and excellent novel Maybe The Moon, but it seemed to me that in order to appreciate the memoir an [...]


  6. 3,5 stars rounded up to 4 stars I think aboutme things1 Could I have liked it if I had read it shortly after the release date The answer isSURE OF COURSE NO DOUBTS 2 Could I have liked it if I hadn t read Boystown series Probably yes BEFORE reading Tales of the City I was sure that Jake Biondi has discovered a totally new genre Only Armistead Maupin published his Tales around 35 years earlier than Jake Biondi his Boystown series San Francisco vs Chicago, calm narration vs wild action non stop [...]


  7. i really don t get what all the fuss is about this is some kind of modern classic the writing is so pedestrian, it s like i fell into a deep sleep and somehow continued reading B O R I N G P R O S E still, an extra star because of the surprisingly intricate narrative and that said, i think the miniseries was far distinctive and interesting.


  8. I know I am going to be in the minority here, but this is the most overrated novel I have read in a very long time In fact, I did not even keep it after reading, but rather donated it to charity.I had heard many good things about this text for years, and finally picked it up Based on reviews, and what I had heard I was expecting a book in the vein of Dickens, with characters that leapt off the pages and spoke to the human condition Only one character, in my view, lived up to that expectation The [...]


  9. Fluffy hetero homo romantic nonsense set in San Fran in a time period which I am not really clear on but it might be the end of the 1970s I think Nixon gets a mention Or maybe it was Carter Anyway it s not the summer of love and that s what is important as most of the characters in the book seem to spend a lot of time bemoaning the passing of 67 and wondering what will become of them now that all the free love has gone away or at least become illusive People are still producing their own home g [...]


  10. I didn t actually read this book, but it was rather read to me, and the person who did the reading truly brought it to life I don t think I would have loved this book so much if I had read it on my own.I ve always loved books with complicated, multi layered, engaging characters and this one definitely offers that Their philosophy on life radically different from the next person they laugh and love and hurt, and their stories intertwine unexpectedly and excitedly beneath the San Francisco sky.Of [...]


  11. Gut 30 Jahre lang habe ich das Merkheft von 2001 verschlungen, gef hlte 10 Jahre die Werbung f r Maupins Stadtgeschichten, allerdings waren die B cher immer irgendwie zu teuer.Insofern griff ich bedenkenlos zu, als mir gegen Ende der D Mark ra Schluss mit Lustig in aus einer Ramschkiste entgegen l chelte Der letzte Teil, mit dem ich seinerzeit nicht viel anfangen konnte und in die Kiste mit den guten Vors tzen verschob.Beim Umr umen fiel er mir unl ngst wieder in die H nde und angesichts der Alt [...]


  12. One of the most overrated authors of all time Not surprisingly the fact that this series of amateurish daytime soap opera novellas were adapted for TV meant it was one of those rare instances in which the TV adaptation was actually better than the books Okay, to be fair, I only read the first book I slogged through the whole thing, and i absolutely hated it But, this much i know The reader could not possibly relate to the San Francisco backdrop unless he had actually spent quite a bit of time th [...]


  13. So glad I picked this book up Such an easy but enjoyable read and the characters are brilliant Can t wait to start the second in the series.


  14. I d never heard of this book until it started showing up on a lot of author lists of their top 10 favorite books of all time It s been described as a gay classic and authentic to San Francisco in the 1970 s Since this story was first published in the newspaper as a serial in the 1970 s, it has gone on to be a miniseries that garnered several award nominations Even reading the book today, it remains a whimsical delight that clearly set the stage for many such spin offs in the future The beginning [...]


  15. Tales of the City is the first in a series by Armstead Maupin It s set in the mid seventies in San Francisco and follows an intertwined group of characters, some of whom rent apartments in a building on Barbary Lane, and others who are affiliated with an advertising agency I enjoyed this book a lot and I think what makes it so special are the characters The author uses his words really sparingly but you get a true sense of who all these people are Although Mary Anne is supposed to be the main ch [...]


  16. I had originally marked this as a re read I know I owned this book at one time the cover with Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis was immediately recognizable and I remember purchasing it after the brouhaha about the adaptation airing on PBS in the early 90 s Jesus don t want gays on his teevee set But nothing in here jogged even a faint memory bell so I m thinking now I never actually read this, I just bought the book in protest I m such a poser.Anyway, NOW I ve read it.The first entry in Maupin s [...]


  17. A friend at work told me about this book He said it was a trip to read It was a trip to read but I really liked it Looking forward to reading the sequel.


  18. Wow, I haven t hated characters this much since the last thing I saw by Nicole Holofcener During my trip to San Francisco, I kept thinking, If I see any of the characters, I will kick them in the nuts I m missing a lot because I didn t read this in 1978, when having half the characters be gay was revolutionary Maupin was a pioneer of his day, but it s no fun to read about pioneers of the internal worlds of sexuality, drug use, purpose, and social awareness External pioneers like Lewis and Clark [...]


  19. This is a fascinating story which rambles through the lives of a group of people living in San Francisco There is nothing special about these people They are all completely different male, female, gay, straight, old, young, etc no racial diversity though Each person in the story is connected in some way to another person either through work, friendship, neighbours or fleeting acquaintances The story has a way of speaking about these different lives through short snippets or glimpses into their d [...]


  20. This was a really fun and enjoyable read, and a real breath of fresh air from the mostly very serious literature I have been reading recently.It took me a little while to get used to the multiple characters at first, but after a while I was beginning to recognise their speech and the situations they would be getting themselves into By the end of the book, it felt like a lot of them were old friends, and I loved that aspect of the book.At times, just due to the clubs and bars that were frequented [...]


  21. It s pretty silly, shameless, and sometimes downright gaudy, but I love it The Tales of the City series might be one of the closest texts my community has to a biblical historical record those characters can still be found in San Francisco, so reading about them makes me nostalgic all the time The fact that somebody was writing all of this from the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s HIV AIDS epidemic in the city is mind blowing as you read the books, you get the sense that you re witnessing it [...]


  22. Back in 1994 I first heard of 28 Barbary Lane due to the PBS mini series Still in the closet and living with the folks it wasn t something I would feel comfortable watching But still it peaked my interest.A few years later while dog sitting for my brother in Boston I went into a quaint little book store that is no longer and found the hardcover 28 Barbary Lane containing the first three Tales books and bought it Later on, back in Boston for another dog sitting weekend that quaint book store was [...]


  23. Down in little ol San Francisco, in the eclectic suburb of Russian Hill, lives a well weathered, three story structure made of brown shingles It houses the landlady Mrs Madrigal, the sassy Mona, bravado talking Brian, romantic Michael and it s newest member all the way from Cleveland Mary Ann And thus begins the stories of those at 28 Barbary Lane.This novel was so intriguing that I couldn t wait to pick it up inbetween my breaks I feel like I ve just been given the lowdown on the biggest gossip [...]


  24. Il tipico fan dei Racconti di San Francisco semplicemente una persona felice di essere se stessa comunque essa sia e di lasciare che gli altri si esprimano altrettanto liberamente Armistead MaupinPer chi ha amato la prosa folle, eccentrica e libera di John Kennedy Toole, per chi vuole camminare nella San Francisco degli anni 70, per chi vuole rilassarsi, per chi ama i dialoghi brillanti e i sentimenti non confezionati Leggetelo e spassatevela


  25. Memorable characters and crazy good dialogue Loved Mona Really enjoyed Michael But my favorite character had to be Brian I ll be reading of these tales in the months to come.In his remarkable feminist, humanist, ground breaking tale, Maupin really truly captured both a city, its corky, horny, funny, and caring people, as well as an era long gone now.Made me wish I was there with them Don t we all wish we could go to sleep under Mrs Madrigal s roof


  26. These novels eight in all as of 12 17 2011 are among my favorites The characters and I have aged together we share a common experience as we have lived at the same time, no doubt So, to me, these aren t simply characters in a book, but old friends both dear and cherished Each new book is a welcomed reunion The stories are always chock full of emotion they are funny, charming, melancholy, melodramtic and often feature a mystery of sorts I find these tales life affirming.


  27. My oldest sister Laurie, who was involved in the theater scene, used to rave about this series When my book club selected Tales of the City, I finally had the opportunity to see what the fuss was about.The story focuses on the interweaving lives of the residents of a San Francisco apartment complex in the 1970 s Groovy, man Though the cultural references are obviously dated, I found this novel to be hilarious I m going to highlight some of the passages that had me giggling I m not sure if you ll [...]


  28. this was a pretty easy read it was a fine tale of intertwining lives of motley characters living in san francisco in the 70s s dated but it s meant to be it feels like a game of spot the landmark , and makes me miss living in san francisco, though it s just been a few weeks since i left the stories were not overlty compelling or even incredibly interesting since the edginess of the text has probably softened immeasurably over the years also, the end feels a bit rushed and almost absurdly blas ab [...]


  29. I listened to this book It was narrated by the wonderful Frances McDormand I enjoyed it enough, although I didn t find it riveting or particularly funny There is so much dialogue I thought it was a bit dated, which obviously, it was as it s set in the 70s San Francisco.I think I may have had too high expectations.Or it could just be that it works better if it s read


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