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Tales of the City: A Novel (P.S.) by…

Tales of the City: A Novel (P.S.) (original 1978; edition 2007)

by Armistead Maupin (Author)

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4,124781,875 (3.88)219
A naive young secretary forsakes Cleveland for San Francisco, tumbling headlong into a brave new world of laundromat lotharios and cutthroat debutantes.
Title:Tales of the City: A Novel (P.S.)
Authors:Armistead Maupin (Author)
Info:Harper Perennial (2007), 400 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:to-read, to-buy, world-book-night-2014

Work details

Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin (1978)

  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. 10
    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 Lost Language of Cranes by David Leavitt (jonathankws)
  6. 00
    A Room in Chelsea Square by Michael Nelson (Anonymous user)
  7. 00
    The Emperor Waltz by Philip Hensher (jonathankws)

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» See also 219 mentions

English (72)  French (5)  German (1)  All languages (78)
Showing 1-5 of 72 (next | show all)
Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin is the first volume in a group of novels that consist of stories written originally in a serialized form that appeared as installments in the San Francisco Chronicle. In this volume, the stories were inspired by his observations of life in the city during the mid 1970’s and feature a group of people who are loosely interconnected, but the star of the book is the city of San Francisco.

There is a marvellous mix of characters from gay to straight, old to young, male to female. They are sympathetic, vibrant and realistic. Their stories run the range of emotions from playful to sentimental, humorous to touching. The author effortlessly carried me back to the 1970’s with a simple whiff of Charlie perfume, a mention of a movie called “Young Frankenstein” and a stray pamphlet encouraging one to vote for Jimmy Carter.

Like a small time capsule, Tales From the City captures that short period in San Francisco when the hippies had moved on and AIDS and HIV had yet to appear. Maupin captures the rhythms of the city that he writes about and with it’s authentic setting and whimsical stories, I enjoyed this book immensely. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Mar 16, 2019 |
A pleasure read and very densely woven together for something adapted from a newspaper serial. I can make another check on my ground-breaking-lgbt-literature-to-read list.

Months after reading, not much still sticks out - the naiveté of Mary Ann, her high school girlfriend's trendy apartment, The detective twist, and how much I despised Brian. This is one that I'll only read the sequels if I trip over them, tumble head over heels and wind up having the first page land on my forehead.

Tales of the City

Next: 'More Tales of the City' ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
This is one of the PBS Great American Reads 100 best books.
It tells the story of the various occupants of a building at Barbary Lane in SAN Francisco in the late 1970s. The writing style consists of short 3-4 page chapters and mostly dialogue between the characters. Characters include Anna Madrigal, the bohemian landlady, Mary Ann Stapleton, a secretary from Cleveland; Michael Tolliver, very gay and promiscuous waiter; Mona, an advertising executive, Brian, a womanizer; Norman, mystery man; Edgar Halcyon, owner of the Halcyon advertising agency; Frannie, his alcoholic wife;Dede his daughter, married to closeted Beauchamp...
All of the characters’ lives interact in the city for a period of 6 months. This is period before AIDS is in the news so promiscuity is a way of life.
IMHO, not a great book but I can understand how became an important book for the bohemian, gay west coast culture. ( )
  MaggieFlo | Oct 28, 2018 |
I'm thirty years late to this book, which was published in 1978. I loved it, but it's odd - one of the things I enjoyed most was the feeling of nostalgia that Maupin evokes for San Francisco of the late seventies. Lots of affectionate references to mood rings, reefers, Hamburger Helper, the passing of the hippies. It's as if he was already remembering the present as the past. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series, and to discovering Anna Madrigal's secret. ( )
  JanetNoRules | Sep 17, 2018 |
I'm certain other folks experience more of a rush than I did reading this first book in the series that inspired PBS to bring it to television.

I found myself scratching my head at times, as certain plot threads and scenes were rather oblique and difficult to puzzle out.

I do intend however to read the rest. ( )
  Eternal.Optimist | Aug 22, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 72 (next | show all)
Un petit bijou d'humour et d'humanisme.
added by Ariane65 | editBiba

» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Armistead Maupinprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lindholm, JuhaniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McDormand, FrancesNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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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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