Book Review – More Tales of the City – Armistead Maupin



  •    Book: More Tales of the City
  •    Author: Armistead Maupin
  •    Genre: Fiction
  •    Year of Release: 1980
  •    Read 340-page paperback edition in February 2016.

Book Description:

The second book in the series, Maupin further explores the lives of his eclectic cast of characters from San Francisco.  Michael continues to pursue love, and possibly a former flame; Mona looks for her family roots in a most unlikely place; Mary Ann finds love on a cruise ship and ends up in a complex adventure; and lovable Mrs. Madrigal reveals a hidden truth about herself.

Book Review:

This was a fantastic collection by Maupin. Similar to the first novel, this book has a large number of short 2-3 page chapters, as they were originally published in the newspaper in this format, before being collected up into novel collections.  The style and format of the writing allows the reader to get swept up, and it’s easy to read this novel in just a couple of sittings.

The readability of this is also a testament to Maupin’s skill at capturing the San Francisco of this time period.

He has created a collection of complex, interwoven characters, who have their own dark sides and issues, but who come together and support each other, much like real life around us.  This focus on true to life characters makes the novel believable and all the more compelling.  For those who are looking for diversity, and what it was like to be an LGBT person (or ally) in the San Francisco of the 1970s, this is an especially appropriate book.

The plot and story lines are interesting, dramatic, and adventurous.  It may be true that sometimes the drama is a little over the top, but at the same time, it generates laughter and suspense as well.  This was a particularly fun read while lying on a beach in February, which is when I timed my reading of this book.

Although there are a number of light hearted moments and fun characters in the novel, Maupin does a great job of covering the more serious issues as well with regard to life, including health issues, the meaning of life, a person’s place in the university, transgender topics, and LGBT inclusion.  Maupin is not one to shy away from bringing up important topics, and weaving these into a fun story with a great cast of characters is a cause for celebration of success.

Overall: 4 stars out of 5 stars.