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Publisher's Summary

Inspiration for the Netflix Limited Series, Tales of the City

The seventh novel in the beloved Tales of the City series, Armistead Maupin's best-selling San Francisco saga.

Nearly two decades after ending his groundbreaking Tales of the City saga of San Francisco life, Armistead Maupin revisits his all-too-human hero Michael Tolliver - the 55-year-old sweet-spirited gardener and survivor of the plague that took so many of his friends and lovers - for a single day at once mundane and extraordinary...and filled with the everyday miracles of living.

©2007 Armistead Maupin (P)2002 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"Maupin denies that this is a seventh volume of his beloved Tales of the City, but - happily - that's exactly what it is, with style and invention galore." ( Publishers Weekly)
"Sweet without being sappy." ( Booklist)

What listeners say about Michael Tolliver Lives

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Worthy epilogue to Tales

If you're a fan of the Tales of the City books (as I am), you will thoroughly enjoy revisiting the main characters that you have missed all these years since the last novel was completed. Now, they are roughly 20 years older, and Maupin presents them as characters living with new interests, concerns and conflicts. I would have to agree that Michael Tolliver Lives is not quite up to the same extraordinary level of the first 6 books, but it is nevertheless a thoroughly enjoyable, engrossing, and moving read. Superbly read by the author.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Sweetly Unsentimental

Michael "Mouse" Tolliver has always been the voice of reason in AM's The Tales of the City, but he comes to full maturity in this latest effort: Michael Tolliver Lives. Michael, once unabashedly youthful, has slipped into upper middle age with all the vigor and wit we'd expect. He lives comfortably with his much younger lover in the shadow of 28 Barberry Lane in what could be described as a "new" life, but the past is unalterably present.

This novel shakes him and things up when he's forced to choose between his logical and biological family. In doing so, Michael and the reader come to realize the heart has room to hold dearly more than we had ever thought.

There is sadness in Michael Tolliver Lives, as well as sweetness and sentiment and beautiful prose. With the wisdom that comes from experience, AM provides a resolution that makes for powerful insight into the human condition.

I loved this book and all it represents. Read it and and weep (or maybe smile!).

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

I SO wanted to love this.

Having read all of the Tales of the City books 3 or 4 times each, I couldn't wait to tear into the further adventures of Mouse. I fully expected to love the book. Maybe my expectations were too high.

While Michael Tolliver Lives was funny and entertaining, it just didn't have the sweetness and charm of the original 6 books. I know Maupin says that it's not a sequel (though clearly it is), and shouldn't be compared to the other books, but obviously that's what everyone is going to do. And this one left me a bit unsatisfied.

This book seemed more a justification of Maupin's life than a novel. Frankly, I don't care how old Maupin's boyfriend is. I'm thrilled that he's happy, but I don't care to be preached to about the joys and trials of a May/December romance.

You'd be better off going back and reading the original Tales books. Now THERE lies magic.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A good listen........

I really enjoyed this. Having been a fan of the earlier Tales City books, this was like having old friends coming home. Its not great art or literature,but it was extremely enjoyable. I particularly liked the theme in the book about how one has a biological family, and a logical family of ones choosing .......press express checkout and find out what is happening to those characters you know and love.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Like spending time with an old friend!

I loved the Tales of the City series, and it was great fun catching up with Michael, Mrs. Madrigal, et al.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

more about the family!

If you could sum up Michael Tolliver Lives in three words, what would they be?

warm human friend

What was one of the most memorable moments of Michael Tolliver Lives?

which mother will he be with in her extremity?

What does Armistead Maupin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

the interview with Mr Maupin was interesting. I always loved reading the books, too.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

don't know what a tag line is

Any additional comments?

I spent a lot of comfortable evenings with this audiobook

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Pleasantly surprised

I frankly had no idea what this book was about when I downloaded it. I was pleasantly surprised. It turned out to be and extremely entertaining listen. Maupin has created a very interesting set of characters whose humanity and humanness will lift your spirits.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Friends indeed

I originally read the Tales series in the 80's. Some of this reading occured on city buses during my comute. I can remember bursting into laughter and turning redfaced on the bus. This book was certainly a return to old friends, a joyful experience. And a reminder that no matter how far we travel, we can always go home.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

terrific listen

I was so happy to read more about the characters I came to love in the "Tales of the City" series of books years ago. As the characters and I are in the same age range I also appreciated Maupin's keen observations of the vicissitudes of aging. A lovely experience to hear him reading the book, as well.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Maudlin not Maupin

The charm of the original books Tales of the City, invoked delightful characters in amusing situations; all relevant to their invented lives in 70's San Francisco. Revisiting these characters in the midst of middle age is as painful as the 20-year reunion of Dynasty. You just don't want to know that Michael Tolliver is still focused on sex, but now needs Viagra; that many of the original characters are mellowed, moved or dead. The story has absolutely no humor, quirky characters or story line that keeps one interested.... They all should have been left alone in our memories. Armistead should have found something like Viagra to excite his writing again. A major disappointment...couldn't wait to get it over with, and put the book where it rightly belongs... in the recycleables.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Paul
  • 10-08-17

A highly welcome return

For lovers of the "Tales of the City" series, Armistead Maupin revisits our friends nearly 20 later, chronicled through the eyes the lovable Michael 'Mouse' Tolliver

Having endured, and survived, the horror of the AIDS epidemic, Michael is living his contented mid-life with his new Husband, Ben; both being situations he never thought he'd see

Maupin denied that this book was part of the 'Tales' series, and I suppose it could stand alone as a survivor's story, however it's real beauty comes in allowing 'Tales' fans the opportunity to find out how their old friends are doing and what they're up to now

A truly heartwarming book, performed by Maupin with sensitivity, love and his never-ending realness

2 people found this helpful

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  • Lol
  • 06-11-20

Great next step in the story.

Loved this next book in the series, felt very connected to Michael Tolliver, can't wait for next one!