Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin
Series: #1 in the Tales of the City series
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: Originally 1978, this edition 2011
The Short Version:
Originally serialized in the San Francisco Chronicle and later published as a novel, this book is a fun look back at San Francisco in the late 1970’s.
Why I Read It:
The Rachel Knight series is one of my favorites and I’ve become a fan of Marcial Clark’s thrillers.A Twitter conversation a couple of years ago prompted me to find out more about this book and series. I bought this first one a while ago but the time finally seemed right to read it.
From the author’s website:
For more than three decades, Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City has blazed its own 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 sparkling comedy of manners and an indelible portrait of an era that changed forever the way we live.
This was fun. I just bought the second book in the series because I can’t wait to find out what happens next with the residents of 28 Barbary Lane in San Francisco and their extended world of friends and acquaintances.
This was originally serialized in the San Francisco Chronicle but works just fine as a novel. The cast of characters is varied and the interpersonal connections are an intricate web by the end of the book. It’s just a whole lot of fun. The cast is full of quirky and interesting people.
The setting in late 1970’s San Francisco is a fun time and place. For me it was full of pop culture flashbacks that I know well. I’m not sure someone who hadn’t lived through that time period would get the same enjoyment out of this.
It was funny, touching, heartwarming and heartbreaking all at the same time. These are characters I want to spend more time with so I’m glad I already have the next book in the series.