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Tales of the City (1978)

by Armistead Maupin

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Tales of the City (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,710952,042 (3.86)232
A naive young secretary forsakes Cleveland for San Francisco, tumbling headlong into a brave new world of laundromat lotharios and cutthroat debutantes.
  1. 41
    44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith (alic3_tj, cransell, Jannes)
    Jannes: Tales of the City was the main inspiration for McCall Smith Wehen he decided to write Scotland Street. The two books have a lot in common, including the episodic format, the light-hearted tone and the premise of a house and it's tenants.
  2. 20
    Logical Family: A Memoir by Armistead Maupin (scaredda, scaredda)
    scaredda: Maupin explains in his memoir a lot of the references for his characters in Tales of the City.
    scaredda: Maupin gives a lot of reference about his characters in his Memoires.
  3. 10
    Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood (jonathankws)
    jonathankws: Interlinked short stories set in and around an apartment block in 1930s Berlin. One of the short stories was the inspiration for the musical Cabaret.
  4. 21
    Bite Me by Christopher Moore (kraaivrouw)
    kraaivrouw: Both books capture San Francisco in unique ways.
  5. 00
    The Thing About Alice by Jean-Luke Swanepoel (Anonymous user)
  6. 00
    A Room in Chelsea Square by Michael Nelson (Anonymous user)
  7. 00
    The Emperor Waltz by Philip Hensher (jonathankws)
  8. 00
    The Lost Language of Cranes by David Leavitt (jonathankws)

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» See also 232 mentions

English (87)  French (5)  German (1)  All languages (93)
Showing 1-5 of 87 (next | show all)
This is a real trip. A trip back in time to a certain place. Maupin takes very normal people and reveals why they are wonderful. Their humanness shines. It was almost impossible to put down. I wonder if many of the 1970/San Francisco references would go over the heads of the current generation? The author took subject matter and people who could have had very dreary stories written about them, and instead gave them a heart-warming tale with honesty. A sort of "At Home in Mitford" for alternative lifestyle folks. I enjoyed this to the end and would happily read more by this author. ( )
  MrsLee | Sep 14, 2022 |
these books are amazing san francisco soap operas of the absurd. originally a syndicated column in the chronicle, the chapters are short and tend to end with a cliffhanger, of sorts. i can't imagine they are too much fun for people who don't live here, but they do seem to be eternally popular, so what do i know. guilty pleasure, quickly torn through. i read this first one in a five hour period sitting in an uncomfortable kitchen chair. really really hard to put down.
i also enjoy all of the references to places that still exist in this here constantly-changing city. good to know so much has been around for at least 30 years.
sigh. ( )
  J.Flux | Aug 13, 2022 |
This is one of my all time favorite novels! It won't give you any sort of deep philosophical discourse, and if you're looking for something high-brow you should look elsewhere. The writing is easy and accessible, (some might say paper-thin,) but one must bear in mind that this isn't going to get a stamp of approval from the New Yorker.
However, if you're looking for escapist literature at it's best, you've found your book. I had a fantastic time with this entire series losing myself in another place and time. Following these characters in a picturesque city with their daily woes and dramas was one of the best reading experiences I can recommend. ( )
  bugenhageniii | Aug 6, 2022 |
I listened to the audiobook read by Frances McDormand during one day of marathon manuscript formatting, and enjoyed this lovely little soap opera. I'm glad to have met Mary Anne, Mouse, Mona, Mrs. Madrigal, DeDe, and the rest. I'd move into 28 Barbary Lane in a second, although I'm guessing rent costs a little more now. ( )
  IVLeafClover | Jun 21, 2022 |
Half the fun of this book is reading about a specific time and place in San Francisco in the late seventies, post-hippies, and pre-tech. ( )
  auldhouse | Sep 30, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 87 (next | show all)
Un petit bijou d'humour et d'humanisme.
added by Ariane65 | editBiba

» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Armistead Maupinprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lindholm, JuhaniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McDormand, FrancesNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vrchota, HeinzTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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It's an odd thing, but anyone who disappears is said to be seen in San Francisco.
--Oscar Wilde
For my mother and father and my family at The Duck House
First words
Mary Ann Singleton was twenty-five years old when she saw San Francisco for the first time.
Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
«Personne n’est heureux. Et puis qu’est-ce qu’être heureux ? Puisque le bonheur s’arrête dès qu’on rallume la lumière.»

«Parfois j’ai le sentiment que le bon Dieu a mis les femmes sur cette terre pour rappeler aux hommes l’heure des cocktails.»

«La nuit de Noël est la plus horrible des nuits pour rester seul au lit, car le réveil ne ressemble pas du tout aux pubs Kodak avec des gosses en pantoufles... Ca ressemble à n’importe quelle autre journée de l’année !»

«Il y a de meilleurs moyens que le sexe pour créer des liens profonds. Et durables.»

«Noël est une conspiration pour bien faire sentir aux célibataires qu’ils sont seuls.»

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A naive young secretary forsakes Cleveland for San Francisco, tumbling headlong into a brave new world of laundromat lotharios and cutthroat debutantes.

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Book description
San Francisco, 1976. A naïve 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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Average: (3.86)
0.5 1
1 25
1.5 3
2 48
2.5 18
3 219
3.5 69
4 380
4.5 38
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