The Thumbnail Book Reviews

by John Q McDonald --- 29 November 2002

More Tales of the City

by Armistead Maupin

This book is the second in a series based upon stories published in the San Francisco Chronicle in the late 70s and early 80s. It picks up right where Tales of the City left off, as we partake in the lives of the residents of 28 Barbary Lane. Now, Mary Ann Singleton is more settled in to the city that has become her home. But, after the events in the first book, it is time for a vacation. Off she goes to Mexico with her gay neighbor Michael Tolliver. DeDe Halcyon is extremely pregnant. And, Mona Ramsey solves the puzzles of her own past. But all this is only the beginning in a book that is somewhat more soap-operatic than its predecessor. It is adventurous and episodic. Its short chapters are a fast-paced and engaging read, and there are titillating hints at adventures to come. Maupin is very fond of his characters and their city, and his loving tone is very welcoming. At this late date, these stories are also like a subtle cultural history. This volume, perhaps, evokes less nostalgia for San Francisco's landscape, but there is something characteristic of the city in the writing. Maupin is something of a popular hero in San Francisco. Like many beloved writers, he has captured much of what residents of that city love, and sometimes miss, about it. It might be frustrating to read this book without knowing what happens in the earlier installment as Maupin doesn't do too much to help the reader catch up, so start from the beginning.

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Also by Maupin: [Tales of the City] [Further Tales of the City] [Babycakes] [Significant Others]
[Sure of You] [Michael Tolliver Lives] [Mary Ann in Autumn]

See also: [Armistead Maupin by Patrick Gale]

[Other books set in or about California]