Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City has blazed a singular trail through popular culture, from a groundbreaking newspaper serial to a classic novel, to a television event that entranced millions around the world. The first of six novels about the denizens of the mythic apartment house at 28 Barbary Lane, Tales is both a wry comedy of manners and a deeply involving portrait of a vanished era.
Among the cast of this groundbreaking saga are the lovelorn residents of 28 Barbary Lane: the bewildered but aspiring Mary Ann Singleton; the libidinous Brian Hawkins; Mona Ramsey, still in a sixties trance; Michael "Mouse" Tolliver, forever in bright-eyed pursuit of Mr. Right; and their marijuana-growing landlady, the indefatigable Mrs. Madrigal.
Don't miss more from Armistead Maupin.
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"Maupin, with all his elegance and charm, has found a place among the classics." (The Observer)
While it's highly welcome to have TOTC on Audible, this omnibus is a collection of the abridged versions of all the books. Minor but important plot points that add depth and understanding to the characters are missing.
Love the portrayal of the times, the great characters, and the serendipity. Maupin has an eye for contemporary society and its quirks.
Good listen but there are no indications to where one book ends and another starts. I understand that they are continuous but it would still be good to know if this is Tales of the City or More Tales of the City...
I lived in San Francisco at the end of the time when this novel was serialized in The Chronicle newspaper. I remember reading it with some puzzlement at first, and later with a sense of enjoyment. I had an apartment that looked into Trader Vic's parking lot, and I would spend Friday evenings sitting on the fire escape watching the comings and goings: Tales of the City reminds me of those moments. However, absent that social scene, that society, that oddly innocent moment, I'm not sure the stories really stand up well today. At times it seems almost elegiac, which was not the original intent. Something unfortunate seems to have happened to the dreams, the beliefs, the energy we had back then, which is not the novel's fault, yet it somehow affects how one thinks of it today. The narration is all right, not affected by overdone "voices", but it isn't wonderful either.
As I see it, the beauty of the books is in the city and its characters. In order to get the books short enough, so much of that was cut, leaving the books gray and boring in comparison. In my opinion, it's better to avoid the series altogether that listen to it like this.
I think this book is a wonderful trashy distracting read for anyone who think they could enjoy a fabulously dated but yet still timeless soap opera of wayward queers and their friends in SF. This book got me through a couple thousand miles of really boring driving. Get it... their good washing the dishes or driving real far or taking a nice long bath alone stories.
What I love most about this story is all the real reference to the City I love the most. I grew up in the Bay Area and was the first in 6 generations to move out of the state. The characters are interesting and the references bring me back home.
What I didn't like was the quick movement from one plot to the next. Not sure if this is because it was originally done as a newspaper story or if it is the way it was edited for Audible. I find that I am often going back just to make sure I that I did not miss something by not paying attention.
I am still enjoying the story.
If you want to get lost in something that requires no thought, just some fluffy entertainment, then this might be for you. The narration is kind of clumsy, which is surprising since it is the author reading his own work!
well written and well narrated but the stories didn't do much for me and i gave up on the book after listening to part 1. slice of life topics that i don't have any connection to. if i had lived in san francisco i may have liked it more.
My friend and I have been listening to this one off and on for some time as we travel. It is a blast and holds your interest. Sometimes there are long intervals between opportunites to listen, but it is easy to pick up where you left it. Maupin's characters are great.
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