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1. Mary Ann in Autumn: A Tales of
2. Significant Others (Tales of the
3. Sure of You (Tales of the City
4. Michael Tolliver Lives: A Novel
5. Babycakes (Tales of the City Series,
6. Night Listener, The tie-in: A
7. Further Tales of the City (Tales
8. Tales of the City: A Novel (P.S.)
9. Michael Tolliver Lives (P.S.)
10. The Complete Tales of the City:
11. More Tales of the City
12. Omnibus: "Tales of the City",
13. 28 Barbary Lane: A "Tales of the
14. Back to Barbary Lane: The Final
15. Maybe the Moon
16. Armistead Maupin
17. 28Barbary Lane: The Tales of the
18. Dogs We Love: With Jane Smiley,
19. Significant Others
20. Michael Tolliver Lives CD

1. Mary Ann in Autumn: A Tales of the City Novel
by Armistead Maupin
Hardcover: 304 Pages (2010-11-01)
list price: US$25.99 -- used & new: US$15.59
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0061470880
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

A hilarious and touching new installment of Armistead Maupin's beloved Tales of the City series

Twenty years have passed since Mary Ann Singleton left her husband and child in San Francisco to pursue her dream of a television career in New York. Now a pair of personal calamities has driven her back to the city of her youth and into the arms of her oldest friend, Michael "Mouse" Tolliver, a gardener happily ensconced with his much-younger husband.

Mary Ann finds temporary refuge in the couple's backyard cottage, where, at the unnerving age of fifty-seven, she licks her wounds and takes stock of her mistakes. Soon, with the help of Facebook and a few old friends, she begins to reengage with life, only to confront fresh terrors when her checkered past comes back to haunt her in a way she could never have imagined.

After the intimate first-person narrative of Maupin's last novel, Michael Tolliver Lives, Mary Ann in Autumn marks the author's return to the multicharacter plotlines and darkly comic themes of his earlier work. Among those caught in Mary Ann's orbit are her estranged daughter, Shawna, a popular sex blogger; Jake Greenleaf, Michael's transgendered gardening assistant; socialite DeDe Halcyon-Wilson; and the indefatigable Anna Madrigal, Mary Ann's former landlady at 28 Barbary Lane.

More than three decades in the making, Armistead Maupin's legendary Tales of the City series rolls into a new age, still sassy, irreverent, and curious, and still exploring the boundaries of the human experience with insight, compassion, and mordant wit.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (13)

4-0 out of 5 stars Old Friends In the City
Since Armistead Maupin first created his beloved characters way back in 1974, we've been thrilled with the comings and goings of Mary Ann, Michael, Brian, Mona and Anna Madrigal. Through a series of six books we followed characters that lived, laughed and loved in a way that was relatable and touching. As the 1980's came to an end so seemed the adventures of our friends. Now Maupin has given his faithful readers more doses of his characters - first with Michael Tolliver Lives and now a new installment -Mary Ann in Autumn.While Maupin may not have called Michael Tolliver Lives an official Tales of the City novel (it did depart in style from the other books, told in the first person), the world of Mary Ann picks up soon after where Michael Tolliver left off. This time the focus of the book is on the titular Mary Ann, who also served as the center point for the first Tales of the City. Nearly twenty years have passed since Mary Ann left her husband, child and emotional family to pursue her career in New York, and now she returns to the city that helped her grow up, looking for old friends and healing from illness.To lesson complications, Maupin has sent her ex-husband out of the road, RVing across America, so the focus of the book can be upon Mary Ann and her relations to old friends Anna and Michael, and with the daughter she left behind. All of the characters have aged, and aged well, still full of wisdom and life, albeit a bit grayer and slower. The subtext of many of the characters is the facing of mortality. HIV Positive Michael has lived with this since the original books and yet twenty years later he's still alive and kicking. Others are facing old age, and cancer. Throughout it all, despite conflict and history, the idea of family being those we love shines through every page.

The book is a wonderful visit with old friends, as well as some new ones introduced in Michael Tolliver. As usual, Maupin writes stories that are not going to be wrapped up in a neat bow. Things to come are hinted at as potential future stories that Maupin may or may not work with. But not all the stories ring true. A subplot involving Michael's assistant, Jake, and a Mormon Missionary does not really gain any traction and go anywhere. It seemed to be the author's attempt to address the Mormon role in the passage of Proposition 8 in 2008, overturning a law allowing same-sex marriages. In an attempt to bring some conflict and shock to the story, a couple of characters not heard from since the original novel make reappearances and provide an interesting, and poignant, punch to the story, but seem to be a bit too convenient and neat.Still the book was extremely enjoyable - the literary equivalent of comfort food. Definitely a good time, and makes those of us fans hope that there are still more visits to our friends to come in the future.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fans and new readers alike will love this Tale Of the City
Whether you're a fan of the books or of the Tales of the City cable TV series, you'll just love Mary Ann in Autumn: A Tales of the City Novel. Because the book is so well-written, a new fan could begin reading without feeling lost.

I missed several of the previous books, but felt as though I hadn't missed a thing with this seamlessly written tale. While details were covered, they weren't repetitious. Readers won't feel babied, as though they HAVE to have bits and pieces explained.

Basically: We have Mary Ann, the innocent from the "Tales..." books, who had grown up and gotten married. She had a crisis, and needed her Mouse, Michael Tolliver, to once again be her confidante. We meet, or re-meet, Anna Madrigal, Mary Ann's colorful landlady from 28 Barbary Lane; Mary Ann's daughter, the blogger Shawna; Mary Ann's former nemesis and now friend DeDe Halcyon-Wilson, and DeDe's lover, D'or; and, of course, Michael and Mary Ann.In the heat of the crisis, an old thread comes blazing back like a candle's wick, only to be snuffed and tied off in a most satisfyingly complete manner.

Often funny but never tasteless, Mary Ann in Autumn felt like getting in touch with old friends.

5-0 out of 5 stars Barbary Lane *Revisited*! Must For "Tales..." Fans! *Newcomers* Should Read The First Book! This Has *PLOT* SPOILERS!
I was overjoyed when I saw that Armistead Maupin wrote one more "Tales Of The City" novel. I loved all the books in the series, especially the first three (Tales of the City: A Novel (P.S.), More Tales of the City (Showtime Tie-In Edition), Further Tales of the City (Tales of the City Series, V. 3) -- collected in omnibus 28 Barbary Lane: A "Tales of the City" Omnibus), and this one features the return of Mary Ann Singleton, who brought readers into the first book and became despised by fans toward the end in book 6: Sure of You (Tales of the City Series, V. 6). Reading this one was like catching up with long lost friends.

Here in the present day, Mary Ann returns to San Francisco and to Michael "Mouse" Tolliver, her best friend, former neighbor at Barbary Lane, and extended family member, because she just found out she has cancer. And to boot, she caught her husband cheating on her and her life seems to be turned upside down. Coming back to San Francisco, Mary Ann gets reacquainted with the city that she once called home, and to the people she called her family. But skeletons from her past come back to haunt her and it all ends with a horrific climax.

Maupin does not disappoint in MARY ANN IN AUTUMN. His writing style is still intact with plot twists, mysteries, memorable characters, and that certain something that gives all of his "Tales" books something that feels very San Francisco. Although new characters are introduced -- actually many were introduced years before -- many beloved characters make appearances including Mrs. Madrigal, DeDe, and D'or. Even Gabriel Noone, a character from Maupin's book, Night Listener, The tie-in: A Novel (P.S.), has a Hitchcock-ian cameo.

Fans of the "Tales Of The City" series will love this book as it ties up loose ends and explains why Mary Ann took certain actions in the past. For those new to "Tales", you don't have to know any of the previous books or characters to get pulled into this story. Although if you haven't read the first book, this one might be a plot spoiler because of certain things that happened in book one. If you don't like plot spoilers and prefer to read all the books of a series in sequence, I'd advise start reading with book one. If you don't mind plot spoilers then it's perfectly fine to read this book first and not be lost as to what is going on. But trust me, once you read MARY ANN IN AUTUMN you'll want to go back and read the other books.

The way Maupin can manipulate and change these characters and their inner dynamics, thereby shifting the focus of the stories, while still holding the reader's interest, not only keeps the "Tales Of The City" books fresh, but also shows the mark of a very talented writer.

I hate to speculate and say that this really will be the last "Tales Of The City" novel, but I'm wondering can the books continue? Fans will have to wait and see because as we've experienced in the past, just when we think we can't live without a certain character Maupin comes in and takes him or her away. In doing so, the writer shows us that the books aren't really about a specific character or place but more about the interactions between people; people who are not related, but bond together like a family. Maybe that's why his books are beloved by so many. I highly recommend it!

4-0 out of 5 stars further along Barbary Lane
To those who have followed the Tales of the City saga, as I have, in its numerous installments, this will be a worthy addition to the series. It has come a long way from San Francisco in the 1970s, but the characters here are familiar, if aging, friends -- with a few new characters to enjoy. And, the story includes the usual treats for each of the series, with personal dramas, local flavor and some surprising (and often dark) mysteries.

Highly recommend to fans of the Tales of the City series, and to those who enjoy Mr. Maupin's work. Those who are new to this will find the book stands well on its own -- and will want to check out the rest of the series.

ADDENDUM: a reader has pointed out a possible spoiler, a plot twist in this book that derives from earlier in the series. So, if you start this book as a newcomer to the Tales of the City, and enjoy it, I suggest you put this book down and start from the beginning. You'll come to love this ongoing, multi-volume story as much as its earliest readers have. Indeed, it began in the San Francisco papers as a day-to-day serial, and it was meant as an ongoing, what-will-they-do-next, serial. Enjoy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Return of some long lost friends
Armistead Maupin deserves the highest kudos for what he has created.To think that TALES OF THE CITY started as a newspaper serial and then became one book, then another establishing characters that were so real it was as if the reader knew them all.San Francisco is a character just as much as the people.We have straight characters, gay characters, transgendered characters.Basically life itself is represented here.With each book over the years and decades Mr. Maupin has addressed the issues of the time and the characters have become even more endearing over time.A couple years back MICHAEL TOLLIVER LIVES brought readers back to a world of love and friends.Now he returns with MARY ANN IN AUTUMN.The main plot is about Mary Ann but many characters from the original series are here as well from the faithful Michael, Mrs. Madrigal, DeDe and D'or plus many others introduced over the years like Ben, Jake and Shawna.Barbary Lane itself has changed somewhat with the times and this is what keeps these novels alive.Armistead Maupin gives us what and who we loved from past novels while changing with the times and introduces great plots and new characters to care about with each venture.This novel is no different.Our beloved friends are back and reading this book is like curling up with your favorite blanket.The new characters are great and we even get brought back to a plot line from the past which I will leave a mystery.Just let me say this book delivers in all ways.

Please Armistead Maupin, don't stop here.Growing older with these beloved characters is a gift you cannot imagine.Highly recommended. ... Read more

2. Significant Others (Tales of the City, Book 5)
by Armistead Maupin
Paperback: 336 Pages (1989-10-18)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$6.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060964081
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Tranquillity reigns in the ancient redwood forest until a women-only music festival sets up camp downriver from an all-male retreat for the ruling class. Among those entangled in the ensuing mayhem are a lovesick nurseryman, a panic-stricken philanderer, and the world's most beautiful fat woman. Significant Others is Armistead Maupin's cunningly observed meditation on marriage, friendship, and sexual nostalgia.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (18)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fun in the country
This is the fifth in the TALES OF THE CITY series featuring the lives and loves of an eclectic group of friends in San Francisco.The series is a continuing arc so those new to the series should begin at the beginning, TALES OF THE CITY and continue in order.

It is nearly a decade since Mary Ann Singleton decided to flee her native Cleveland and settle in San Francisco.She has managed to achieve the all three of the elusive marks of success at the same time - a good job (host of a morning tv talk show) - a good apartment (a penthouse overlooking her former home on Barbary Lane) and a great lover (hunky husband Brian).To add to the equation the pair even have the ultimate yuppie accessory, a daughter, Shawna (aka Puppy).Life is just too wonderful but change is in the wind.In the course of interviewing a celebrity, the plus size model, Wren events are set into motion that will ripple through the Barbary Lane community sending them into the wilds of the Russian River Valley.

Our old friends (and some new ones) venture out of the City and into an exclusive all male retreat for the wealthy and powerful, a not so exclusive all female festival and a couple cabins by the river.That these unlikely groups will meet is inevitable as is the hilarity that will follow.

This series has been labeled as 'gay fiction', and while it does include many characters that are gay and touch on subjects of concern to the GLBT community it is a well written collection of stories about warm, believable characters who deal with situations everyone can relate to in a delightfully funny manner.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fifth book of the series
This book picks up a few years after "Babycakes" (the last book).SPOILERS!!!Mary Ann and Brian have moved from Barbary Lane to bring up their daughter in a high-priced elaborate high rise.Mary Ann has her own TV show and is happy...but Brian who has no job isn't.Michael is HIV+ and happily running a nursery.He meets hunky Thack and falls for him...but is afraid to make a comitment. D'or and Dede decide to take their two children to a Wimminwood (a lesbian women's music festival) but nonstop trouble happens there.Nearby is the Bohemian Grove where Dede's stepfather Booter is enjoying himself.Added to this is Wren Douglas--a very large woman who is also very popular and gets involved with Brian, Michael and Thack.

First of all author Maupin made one BIG unwise choice here.He made Mary Ann and Brian move out of Barbary Lane and makes Mary Ann into a real witch.She hardly figures in the story.Other than that the story breezes along delightfully and has plenty of the one-liners and absurd humor that marked the first four books.This book was originally published in 1987 and doesn't ignore AIDS and treats it in a correct and mature way.Also this book has Wren--a VERY fat woman and it celebrates her accepting her weight and living happily with it!Also the drug use has been toned down quite a bit in this one.

Aside from Mary Ann this is a great fun book of the series.Recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars The family is still tight
As expected, this volumn carries on the tale of Anna Madrigal's eccentric family, expanding past San Fran and taking on the world.

5-0 out of 5 stars Summer camp
Armistead Maupin is a famously misplaced Southern writer.Mary Ann is a talk show hostess.Brian Hawkins is her husband.The couple and their daughter, Shawna, have moved from Anna Madrigal's 28 Barbary Lane rental to the Summit.

Brian asks Mrs. Madrigal if his nephew Jed may stay in his old apartment.Wren Douglas feels that hotel rooms are the best part of a book tour.The fat woman, Wren Douglas, is to be a guest on Mary Ann's show.(One of the segments of the show is called Latchkey Kitchen.)Brian's nephew Jed is careerist.Brian sees that in twenty years things have changed radically.

DeDe's twins are called Edgar and Anna.She wants to take them to Wimminwood, a women's festival.Her mother's husband is going to Bohemian Grove at the same time.This is very much a case of writing about an ensemble.In addition to Mrs. Madrigal, Michael Tolliver, a character from the earlier books in the series appears.

One of the employees of Michael's nursery business, Polly, attends Wimminwood and runs into DeDe there.In another instance Michael and Wren are described talking about DeDe's stepfather, Booter Manigault.Michael tells Wren that his friend delivered DeDe's children, Booter's step grandchildren.DeDe tells Polly that she had been someone who joined the People's Temple in Guyana. One farcical scene ensues after Booter's canoe drifts over to the other camp, Wimminwood.

The beauty of the books in this series is that with some rough, deft, and astute strokes setting out the characters the author is able to portray the humor incident totheir clash of interests and wills.

4-0 out of 5 stars I Only Wish It Were Longer
I've loved all of Armistead Maupin's "Tales of the City" books, but this one holds a special place in my heart because of the wonderful juxtoposition of the Bohemian Grove and the Wimmin's Music Weekend. ... Read more

3. Sure of You (Tales of the City Series, V. 6)
by Armistead Maupin
Paperback: 272 Pages (1994-01-26)
list price: US$13.99 -- used & new: US$2.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060924845
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
"An extended love letter to a magical San Francisco."
--New York Times Book Review

A fiercely ambitious TV talk show host finds she must choose between national stardom in New York and a husband and child in San Francisco. Caught in the middle is trheir longtime friend, a gay man whose own future nis even more uncertain. Wistful and compassionate, yet subversively funny, Sure of You could only come from Armistead Maupin.

"An old-fashioned pleasure...there's been nothing like it since the heyday of the serial novel 100 years ago...No matter what Maupin writes next, he can look back on the rare achievement of having built a little world and made it run."
--Voice Literary Supplement

"I know I'm not the only one who was up until 2 in the morning with Sure of You, promising myself to stop after just one more chapter."
--New York Times Book Review

"A quietly understated small masterpiece."
--USA Today ... Read more

Customer Reviews (19)

4-0 out of 5 stars Happily Ever After Is Only in Fairy Tales
This is the sixth, and was for sometime, final book in the Tales of the City series.Our beloved friends are all older than the bright young things they were at the series beginning.Mary Ann is no longer the naive young girl escaping from her middle class midwest roots, she has clawed her way up the corporate ladder from secretary to afternoon movie lady to reporter to hosting her own talk show.She has found love, Brian has given up his tomcat ways of the first novels to settle down as her 'house husband' and chief caretaker of their daughter, Shawna (aka Puppy) and co-owner of Plant Parenthood with Michael.Michael, has tested positive for HIV but is responding well to the latest regime of drugs so he and his partner Thack have moved to Noe Valley to their own house, complete with dog (a legacy from one of the many friends lost to AIDS).Anna is still Queen of 28 Barbary Lane with a whole new crop of her 'children'.Hew own daughter, Mona, has settled in England, minding the family estate of her husband who has moved to San Francisco courtesy of the green card obtained by his marriage to an American.So now that all our friends have reached their goals for fame, fortune, family etc we will see them all living happily ever after, right?Well maybe not because that only happens in the other sort of fairy tale.

This novel has been criticized because of the disappointment many readers felt over the actions of one of the main characters.While it is a bit of a shock, it is a very realistic development.It is just one of those nasty surprises in life when someone you know so well does something that you were sure they would never do.Happily we do not have to wait twenty years to find out what happens next, as the seventh book in this series (despite Maupin's initial denials) MICHAEL TOLLIVER LIVES is readily available and will be joined by another installment in the fall.

3-0 out of 5 stars Depressing
The sixth and (for a time) final novel of the Tales of the City series.Things have changed DRASTICALLY this time...and not for the better.Mary Ann Singleton has been turned into an obnoxious opportunistic b*tch.I loved her in the first five but here she's just horrible.She seriously is considering moving to NYC and leaving her husband AND kid behind!Brian (her hubby) is understandbly upset.Michael has been living with Thack (intoduced in book 5) happily for a few years.Thack has changed too.He was nice in the last book--this time around he's a loudmouthed jerk. I kept wondering why Michael put up with him.Mrs. Madrigal takes a trip to the Greek isles with her (his) daughter Mona.

This was supposed to be it for the seies and a LOT of people hated it.Mary Ann was completely different and out of character here and her change into a basically cruel woman bothered lots of people.Same with ThackStill if you can ignore both of those (and it IS hard) it's a good book.The story is tight, the dialogue witty and it is fun to read.But it's easily the least of the series.Maupin did write a serventh book years later (Michael Tolliver Lives) which was a little more satisfying.

3-0 out of 5 stars New Beginnings
The Tales of The City series comes to a bittersweet, and for some devoted fans of the series, startling conclusion with Sure Of You.Maupin does have his characters and the readers who have grown to love them face some hard truths.Dramatic changes occur and old bonds are broken, but after all the upheaval, new possibilities emerge and what had seemed to be a sobering conclusion transforms into a promising new beginning.

Some cynics have claimed this is the book that turns the likeable and ambitious character of Mary Ann Singleton into a driven and cold-hearted monster.These cynical readers are wrong and have missed the nuances of Maupin's story.Admittedly, Maupin is particularly kind in his portrayal of Mary Ann; however, he is not entirely unforgiving and we can sympathize to some degree with her choices and the desires that drive them.Mary Ann does make some decisions which deeply wound those she loves and her behavior is sometimes selfish; however, there is never callousness in her actions nor does she lack regret.Furthermore, the choices she makes are driven by a desire to change a life that has fallen into a dark and unhappy rut, which she believes she can only escape by taking a new direction she hopes will finally lead to true happiness for herself, and eventually for Brian.At the end of the novel, while nothing will be the same, new bonds have been forged, some old bonds have been renewed and strengthened, and where some bonds have been severed, there remains the promise of reconciliation between two old friends.

4-0 out of 5 stars Moving on
This is a toughie.This is Maupin's most beautifully written entry in the "Tales" series (owing partly to the fact that it was not originally written as a serial), but it's also the most disappointing.To this day, I'm still a bit confused as to why Maupin made Mary Ann turn out the way she did.Over the years, the more people I've talked to, the more I realized I wasn't alone.Some said Mary Ann was never quite the character we perceived her to be from the start but if that's so, why did so many feel so let down by her?Maybe Maupin's ideas of her and the reader's perception never matched from Book 1.Perhaps things would be different had Maupin not had Mary Ann be the first character introduced.We see San Francisco through her eyes, and we identify with her.What's that say about us when she ends up cold and unfeeling?

Time hasn't helped the case for the book either.Once the miniseries came out and Laura Linney became THE Mary Ann, it's even harder to read this final book.In the end, the fact that this book's still has people talking 18 years after it's release shows how much we grew to love these characters.This book is full of sadness, but also hope.Michael has AIDS and San Francisco is a different place than it was only a decade earlier, but we get glimmers of the new activism that rose out of the AIDS crisis, and would eventually help fuel the "gay 90s."

I am glad that Maupin will have a new book out soon that, while not officially a Tales book with its multi-character stories, will feature some of the old gang; it's been much too long."Sure of You" may have been the end of the series but it's a classy, sad, depressing, troubling, frustrating and great finale.

4-0 out of 5 stars IS THIS THE END???
After reading all of the comments on SURE OF YOU (TOTC, #6), I was a little reluctant to read it. I hadn't even finished reading BABYCAKES(TOTC, #4) yet, and I couldn't wait to get to the sixth and final book of the series, so I peaked at the reviews.

I know, bad move--I should have waited. Well, I finished books 4 and 5 and so, with a deep breath, plunged into book 6.

Needless to say, all of Maupin's engaging writing style is still there along with all the characters we TALES OF THE CITY fans have grown to love.

But, I have to disagree with other fans that say it wasn't a fairy tale ending. It was a fairy tale ending for each of the characters, according to their own stories, being that they got what they wanted...but it wasn't the fairy tale ending I wanted.

As far as Mary Anne becoming a hated character, I don't hate her. Was I ready for what was to come? No...but I understand it.

Perhaps this is what makes Maupin's TALES...series so endearing, because the stories are about people, life and change. And unfortunately people grow apart, life around us changes, and nothing stays the same.

I know this is the final TOTC book and even though MICHAEL TOLLIVER LIVES is coming out in June '07, Maupin says it won't be TOTC #7. Hopefully, he'll reconsider that or at least write a TOTC #7.

So, if you've read TOTC up to book 5, then you might as well read the last one. No, it won't be the ending you would want or even expect, but at least you'll get closure.

... Read more

4. Michael Tolliver Lives: A Novel
by Armistead Maupin
Hardcover: 288 Pages (2007-06-12)
list price: US$25.95 -- used & new: US$3.63
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060761350
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Michael Tolliver, the sweet-spirited Southerner in Armistead Maupin's classic Tales of the City series, is arguably one of the most widely loved characters in contem-porary fiction. Now, almost twenty years after ending his ground-breaking saga of San Francisco life, Maupin revisits his all-too-human hero, letting the fifty-five-year-old gardener tell his story in his own voice.

Having survived the plague that took so many of his friends and lovers, Michael has learned to embrace the random pleasures of life, the tender alliances that sustain him in the hardest of times. Michael Tolliver Lives follows its protagonist as he finds love with a younger man, attends to his dying fundamentalist mother in Florida, and finally reaffirms his allegiance to a wise octogenarian who was once his landlady.

Though this is a stand-alone novel—accessible to fans of Tales of the City and new readers alike—a reassuring number of familiar faces appear along the way. As usual, the author's mordant wit and ear for pitch-perfect dialogue serve every aspect of the story—from the bawdy to the bittersweet. Michael Tolliver Lives is a novel about the act of growing older joyfully and the everyday miracles that somehow make that possible.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (147)

1-0 out of 5 stars Boring
I couldn't get through this book. I tried many times and pages to give it a chance but just couldn't do it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great to meet up with Michael "Mouse" Tolliver after so many years!
I read this book in two days during my vacation last week in Provincetown MA, all I can say is that I LOVED EVERY CHAPTER!!!!
"Michael Toliver Lives", as my boyfriend put it "is like catching up with an old friend after a lot of years". That's exactly how I feel. I have to say that "Sure of You" made me sad on many levels (many many years ago). Michael was HIV+ (and destined for death), Jon was dead, Mary Ann moved away, Mona was gone, Anna was getting older. It just seemed that so much was left hanging, I was really uncomfortable when I finished the book.
But in two days that all went away. Michael is alive, healthy, a bit older (aren't we all), has a great husband & a relationship that seems to make them both happy and thriving at what he loves doing for work! I'm not sure you can ask more from life.
I especially love how the book is written as if Mouse is speaking directly to you. And I appreciate the diversions that pull us back to past books to remind us how things unfolded years before to arrive at the present.
Mouse had to make some tough choices between "Logical" & "Biological" family. He made the right choices! Although I'm happy that Michael, his mom and brother had some reconciliation it just seemed too late but I was happy for them anyway. I was also glad that Mary Ann popped back in for a bit...I'm still really mad at her for leaving.
The Daily News was correct....I was "smiling and reaching for a tissue at the same time".
"Michael Tolliver Lives" gives hope for all us that aren't in "regular" (1 man 1 woman) relationships. That as we get older, we build all sorts or family, love doesn't know age and you're never too old to fall in love, marry and start all over again......for the second or third time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Remember those interesting people over on Barbary Lane?
It has been years since we last visited the residents of Barbary Lane of the TALES OF THE CITY series of novels who kept us all eagerly turning pages to follow their latest adventures.

Time has passed there as well, Mary Anne did abandon her family and friends for the fame and fortune in New York, leaving Brian to raise their daughter Shawna alone.Brian had bought out Michael's share of the nursery when Michael decided to become a free lance gardener after his HIV status had changed.Even so Michael was one of the lucky ones, the new treatments kept the disease at bay for him even as he attended far too many funerals for friends and lovers who had not been so fortunate.His happily ever after life of the final pages of SURE OF YOU had ended, the lover had left, the dog had died leaving Michael alone for a time in his Noe Valley house until a new man had come into his life, one who had declared his intentions of remaining by marrying Michael during the brief time it had been legal in California.

Time had passed as well for Anna Madrigal as well.No longer able to manage the steps to her beloved 28 Barbary Lane she had sold the house to a newer branch of her 'logical' family and moved to a garden apartment.Her daughter Mona had never returned from England but Anna was still surrounded by her other 'children' who came to her for advice (and to sample the latest crop).

Although at first Maupin denied that this was the 7th novel of his TALES OF THE CITY series he later came to acknowledge that it was in fact a continuation of the story begun decades before with innocent little Mary Anne's arrival to the city.Many readers have grown up and older with this cast of characters,through our youthful adventures searching for love, then as we attempted to maintain our relationships despite the challenges life through at us and now, in this volume discovering that despite our best intentions and efforts change will ultimately lead to endings.

Happily for fans of this series we will not have to wait so long this time for another installment, the eighth book is due out in the fall.

4-0 out of 5 stars Timeless--or perhaps timely--Tales of my City
I won't go as far as to claim that Armisted Maupin's Tales of the City books are the reason I upended my life and moved to San Francisco eight years ago--but they were surely a factor.Maupin captures the spirit of San Francisco like no one else, and his books are truly dear to me.Several years ago, in a tremendous act of willpower, I tucked away Michael Tolliver Lives for a "rainy day."That day, of course, has come, and it's such a comfort to visit with these old friends.

Like myself, they are older.Michael "Mouse" Tolliver is in his mid-fifties and Anna Madrigal is eighty-five!In the pages of the book we get updates on all of our beloved former Barbary Lane denizens, but as the title suggests, this is really Michael's show.

Like his creator, he is now married (legally) to a much younger man, and is living with HIV--an eventuality he'd never considered years ago when AIDS was a death sentence.As for further details of the plot, they're essentially irrelevant.This book is all about character.And Maupin's insight into these people is just as deep--and as deeply affectionate as it ever was.

Now, clearly I'm a hard-core fan, and reading this book gave me great joy at a time when I badly needed it.That said, this latest volume is not a favorite.Perhaps because Michael's life so closely mirror's Maupin's, I felt like parts of this book smacked of self-justification.Also, and this isn't exactly a complaint, but this book seemed a lot more gay than I remember the rest of the series being.Or rather, more graphically and explicitly gay.I don't really care, but readers who aren't fairly open-minded might not want to go there.I'm pretty open-minded, and I could have done with just a bit less detail.

Small complaints aside, I was thrilled to reconnect with these dear friends and discover I loved them as much as I ever had.Maupin is a magical writer with boundless heart.I will read absolutely anything he writes.Happily, I won't have to wait quite so long for my next visit.Mary Ann in Autumn, a Tales of the City novel, will be published in November!

5-0 out of 5 stars Like a reunion with friends you love
Armistead Maupin's 7th "Tales" book.The 1989 6th book ("Sure Of You") was supposed to be the last but (luckily) Maupin bought the characters back.It's 18 years later after the last book.Michael Tolliver is still alive and living with AIDS.He also has a new lover--a cute 30ish guy named Ben.We're introduced to all the characters we've known and see where they are now.Even Mary Ann pops up!Mostly however this is about Michael--living with his new lover, dealing with getting old and dealing with his mom who is about to die. The book may sound maudlin and depressing and (occasionally) it is but, more often than not, it's uplifting and very funny.It doesn't sugar coat growing old or living with HIV but presents it in a matter of fact way and how to deal with it.For me it was like a reunion with long lost friends and I loved every page of it:)Even if you haven't read the other books don't be afraid to pick this up.It reintroduces all the characters so you're up to speed in no time.Funny and moving.Well worth reading! ... Read more

5. Babycakes (Tales of the City Series, V. 4)
by Armistead Maupin
Paperback: 336 Pages (1994-01-26)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$5.28
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000C4SREK
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
"An extended love letter to a magical San Francisco."
--New York Times Book Review

When an ordinary househusband and his ambitious wife decide to start a family, they discover there's more to making a baby then meets the eye. Help arrives in the form of a grieving gay neighbor, a visiting monarch, and the dashing young lieutenant who defects from her yacht. Bittersweet and profoundly affecting, Babycakes was the first work of fiction to acknowledge the arrival of AIDS.

"Armistead is a true original. His tales are bang up-to-date. They will surprise and maybe even shock you, but, I promise, they will make you laugh."
--Ian McKellen

"Maupin has a genius for observation. His characters have the timing of vaudeville comics, flawed by human frailty and fueled by blind hop."
--Denver Post

"Armistead Maupin's San Francisco saga careens beautifully on."
-- New York Times Book Review ... Read more

Customer Reviews (20)

5-0 out of 5 stars The best yet
I think this is the best yet of Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City. In addition to favourite characters Michael alias Mouse, Mary-Ann and Brian, Mona and Mrs Madrigal, we have a handsome young English sailor who jumps ship (the Britannia no less), a gay English lord, and a delightful young aborigine Londoner. If you haven't guessed some of the action takes place in England.

I read this some time after reading the preceding Tales of the City books, but very quickly picked up with the familiar characters. Full of unlikely coincidences, Babycakes is not just as funny, possibly even the funniest so far, but is also especially heart-warming with so many endearing individuals, Michael really wins our hearts as does his mischievous young aborigine friend.

5-0 out of 5 stars Childhood does not last forever - even on Barbary Lane
San Francisco and the world has been hit hard by AIDS.Barbary Lane has lost one of their own, Mouse's lover suffered a slow and painful death from the disease, tearing a hole in the little community.Mona was still missing, a loss felt particularly by Mouse and Anna Madrigal.Still life did go on, especially for Mary Ann who had managed to finally gain her long sought after reporter position.While on assignment covering Queen Elizabeth's visit Mary Ann meets a crew member who has decided to jump ship and remain in San Francisco, a chance meeting that of course leads to a new, albeit temporary, resident at Barbary Lane.

Again the theme is that of family - how we get them and what we do to keep them.The various members of the extended Barbary Lane family all have parts in this delightful romp, and as always all the loose ends are tied up neatly in the end.

This series has been labeled 'gay fiction' which is a bit of a misnomer.It is a series of novels that has some gay characters, and deals with some issues of especial relevance to the gay community.It also deals with love (of all sorts) and loss and families and friends and how we cope with it all.

Those new to this series should begin with TALES OF THE CITY and then proceed in order.

5-0 out of 5 stars Actually this was the FIRST "Tales of the City" book I read
I saw this in a public library back in 1984.It looked very colorful (the 1984 book cover was a LOT different than the 1994 reprint) so I took it out. I had no idea there were three earlier books but had no trouble understanding the characters and situations.Author Maupin gives you enough background to get into it.Needless to say I LOVED this.As with the others there are multiple plots going all at once--Mary Ann and Brian want a baby but she's unsure about it; Mouse is grieving his dead lover Jon and ends up taking a trip to the UK; hunky UK visitor Simon and Mary Ann become VERY attracted to each other;Mona pops up again in England and a charming kid (Wilfred) falls for Michael in the UK.The chapters here are longer than the previous books and plots are more involved but I was never bored or confused.This was definetely better than "Further..." which went TOO far with the Jim Jones plot.If u like the first three you should like this. Recommended.

4-0 out of 5 stars Babycakes
I did enjoy this story in the Tales of the City series.My favorite is still the first one, but i love all these characters and can't get enough of them.Good read.

4-0 out of 5 stars A darker time begins
A lot of readers consider this the beginning of the darker "Tales" books, but that's only half-true. "Babycakes" does go into darker territory, reflecting the changes happening in San Francisco, but the following book in the "Tales" series, "Significant Others" is lighter and has some classic moments. Maupin has said he could not ignore what was happening in the gay community at the time, and who can blame him?To have written another "Tales" story set in 1983 and not mention the AIDS crisis would have been silly. Yes, we liked our SF stories light, but the books never shied away from cultural commentary.

That said, I will be honest and say "Babycakes" is my least favorite of the "Tales" series.It's not because of the mention of AIDS (plus, Maupin's writing in this book is even stronger then before), it's partly because of the grayness.This book seems to be set in perpetual rainfall, drizzle, overcast skies.This also reflects on the characters (Mary Ann and Brian even have gray industrial carpet) and their actions.

But my biggest problem of all with the novel is the character of Simon.Maupin has always written cleverly and often, we have no idea where a story will end up (as seen in this same book when Michael discovers Mona in the UK), but with Simon, the reader knows exactly where the story's going.There's no fun mystery, and indeed, only a last minute (but highly, HIGHLY implausible) revelation by Simon gives this a tiny moment of the unexpected.Simon also never comes alive as a character as do other new characters introduced in the book (like Wilfred and Teddy) and may as well walk around with "plot device" on his shirt.

On the plus side, it's great to see Mona again.If you're not happy with this book, just remember it's not the end of the Barbary Lane gang so just see it as a book of character growth and development and wish them well for their next adventure. ... Read more

6. Night Listener, The tie-in: A Novel (P.S.)
by Armistead Maupin
Paperback: 342 Pages (2006-08-01)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$0.48
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0061120200
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

"I'm a fabulist by trade," warns Gabriel Noone, a late-night radio storyteller, as he begins to untangle the skeins of his tumultuous life: his crumbling ten-year love affair, his disaffection from his Southern father, his longtime weakness for ignoring reality. Gabriel's most sympathetic listener is Pete Lomax, a thirteen-year-old fan in Wisconsin whose own horrific past has left him wise and generous beyond his years. But when this virtual father-son relationship is rocked by doubt, a desperate search for the truth ensues. Welcome to the complex, vertiginous world of The Night Listener.

Amazon.com Review
Many years ago, when the first volume of Tales of the City wasgoing to press, Christopher Isherwood compared its author's narrative giftsto those of Charles Dickens. This has proven to be the blurb of a lifetime,an ever-renewable currency appearing on almost all of Armistead Maupin'ssubsequent books. Yet it has held up well--Dickens's gentle satire andbroad good humor live on in Maupin more than in any other English-speakingwriter. The Night Listener is his most ambitious work to date.While not strictly autobiographical, the story does teasingly suggestcorrespondences to the author's own life in a way that will delight andfrustrate his many fans. The main character, Gabriel Noone, is aprofessional storyteller who broadcasts roughly autobiographical sketchesfor a long-running PBS series, "Noone at Night," stories aboutpeople "caught in the supreme joke of modern life who were forced tosurvive by making families of their friends."When the novel opens, Gabrielis still reeling from the announcement that his much younger, longtimepartner Jess (a.k.a. Jamie in the "Noone at Night" stories, and a.k.a.Terry Anderson, Maupin's real-life, much-younger partner, for those who like totrack associations) wants to move into his own apartment and start datingother men.With the success of his HIV cocktail, Jess has exceeded his ownlife expectancy. Having prepared himself so well to die, he now needs tolearn how to live again. To Gabriel's distress, Jess's new life involvesleather, multiple piercings, and books on men's drumming circles.

When an editor sends Gabriel yet another book to blurb, hereluctantly opens the package to find a long, rending memoir by Pete Lomax,an HIV-positive 13-year-old survivor of incest, rape, and sexualslavery. The book is called The Blacking Factory, after themiserable London bottling factory where Dickens spent part of hispoverty-stricken childhood. As Gabriel reflects:

Pete thinks we all have a blacking factory, some awful moment,early on, when we surrender our childish hearts as surely as we lose ourbaby teeth. And the outcome can't be called. Some of us end up like Dickens; others like Jeffrey Dahmer. It's not a question of good or evil, Pete believes. Just the random brutality of the universe and our native ability to withstandit.
After Pete escaped from his parents and was adopted by a therapist namedDonna Lomax, his slow recovery was helped along by his memoir-writing andby frequent doses of "Noone at Night."

Touched by Pete's devotion to his stories, as well as the boy's obviousneed for a father figure, Gabriel finds himself drawn into an intenserelationship with his young fan, involving long, late-night phone callsthat begin to worry Gabriel's friends.And, other than their mutual need, howmuch does he really know about Pete, anyway? As Gabriel begins toquestion his own motives, as well as those of the boy, The NightListener transforms itself from an absorbing but quotidian story ofloss and midlife angst into a dark and suspenseful page-turner with a playfulmetaphysical aspect and an un-Dickensian sexual candor. --Regina Marler ... Read more

Customer Reviews (140)

1-0 out of 5 stars REALLY?
I am a hetero, married ,middle-aged female, who has never read one of Mr. Maupin's books. Being an adoptive mom, the description on the back caught my attention.I have to say that his constant reference to homosexual acts and behaviors turned me off the book and I didn't get past the first 1/4 of the book before I put it down and didn't pick it up again. so much for judging a book by its cover.

5-0 out of 5 stars Utterly believable
Gabriel Noone, gay and out, is a successful writer and networked broadcaster with a nightly radio slot where he reads from his writings. As we meet him he has recently been left by his lover, a man some of some ten years younger than Gabriel's fifty-something, and is struggling to come to terms with being alone again. He has also just received a transcript for his endorsement from a publisher; the work of a thirteen year old boy, Pete, how has endured in his short life a history of abuse. Pete is a regular listen and avid fan of Gabriel's, and impressed with the lad's writing Gabriel gets in touch with the boy, and quickly a regular telephone dialogue is established.

However Jess, Gabriel's ex-lover, begins to sow doubts as the the authenticity of Pete. We follow Gabriel as he takes us back over the year, and learn about his relationship with Jess, with his father, and with Pete and Pete's guardian; along the way Gabriel provides frequent glimpses into his past.

The Night Listener is highly accomplished piece of writing, thoroughly involving and utterly believable, such that I had to keep checking that this was a work of fiction and not fact. The enigmatic conclusion left me with a wry smile.

3-0 out of 5 stars Talk is Cheap
I read the first two-thirds with rapt attention.I relished the vivid humanity of the relationships between the narrator and his ex and his dad, and the narrator's feelings about not being good enough, not fitting in, growing old, loneliness.But then the last third of the book turned into a goose chase. The thrill of experiencing something important on the page became the thrill of watching a foxhunt.I wanted something that spoke to me as a human, not just as a rubbernecker.But no harm done - still a great read, and I couldn't put it down.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great novel
In this novel, it's almost as though the author is in the room with you telling a story, and he does this effortlessly.This book has the distinction of being an easy read but at the same time is very poignant.He weaves a few major unconnected plot lines, which makes the primary plot even more interesting.This is one of my favorite novels.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Novel
As always the unabridged story is better than the movie. Read or listen to the novel first. The end has you wondering. ... Read more

7. Further Tales of the City (Tales of the City Series, V. 3)
by Armistead Maupin
Paperback: 384 Pages (1994-01-26)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$4.91
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B001F0RA2A
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

The calamity-prone residents of 28 Barbary Lane are at it again in this deliciously dark novel of romance and betrayal. While Anna Madrigal imprisons an anchorwoman in her basement, Michael Tolliver looks for love at the National Gay Rodeo, DeDe Halcyon Day and Mary Ann Singleton track a charismatic psychopath across Alaska, and society columnist Prue Giroux loses her heart to a derelict living in San Francisco park.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (22)

5-0 out of 5 stars Return to Barbary Lane
This is the third in the Tales of the City series that focuses on the lives and loves of the residents of a Russian Hill apartment house,Those who are new to the series should begin at the beginning, not here.

Four years have past since last we visited our friends.Shy little Mary Ann has finally risen up from the secretarial ranks and become a star of sorts.She appears in the intermission of the afternoon movie, not quite her dream job, but still a long way from Cleveland.She has at last found love, and in the most unlikely place, right upstairs in the arms of playboy Brian.The in-house romance gives comfort to Anna Madrigal who is missing her daughter Mona who had moved to Seattle the previous year.Mouse has settled into a comfortable routine at his new career as a nurseryman as the first onslaught of the AIDS epidemic tears into the gay community.

Across town another mother mourns the loss of her daughter and grandchildren.Society matron Frannie Halcyon;s daughter DeDe, widow of the late and unlamented Beauchamp, was a member of Jonestown.She, her twin babies and her lover D'or had not been hear from since the massacre. But then the phone rang and once again one thing would lead to another until all our old friends, and some new ones are once again off on some wildly improbable but hilarious adventures.

This series has been classified as 'gay fiction' and while it does contain many characters who happen to be gay and discusses issues relevant to the gay community it is first and foremost a series about warm, believable characters who manage to get themselves embroiled in the most delightfully unlikely adventures.Maupin has managed to hit a delicate balance of poignancy and humor with surprising plot twists that will keep the reader turning pages.

2-0 out of 5 stars not quite worth the read
the first two books in the series were very good and i was looking forward to more of the same with further tales of the city but instead was left very much dissapointed in how weak the plots were.
also leaves a gap from where the 2nd ended. somee ques i have are what happened with mona? and hhow did brian end up with mary ann? what happened to jon?
i dk why but after reading this, all in all just left me cold and unsatisfied.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the first two but still worth reading
The third book in Armistead Maupin's City books.Here it seems Mouse and Jon have broken up--and Mouse is looking for love and not finding it.DeDe Halcyon Day has escaped from Guyana before the Jim Jones tragedy--but is she really free?Mary Ann Singleton is now introducing movies on afternoon TV...but she wants to report news.DeDe just might give her that chance.Mary Ann is also involved with Brian Hawkins.She wants commitment but he doesn't.Prue Giroux falls for a mysterious homeless man in Golden Gate Park.Add to this a wedding, murder, a trip to Alaska, a gay rodeo and a closeted Hollywood star (read Rock Hudson) and you have another fast-paced and fun book.However it's not as good as the first two.The gay rodeo is stupid and dreary, the gay Hollywood star adds nothing to the story and Jim Jones is a troubling addition to any story! Also there's the suggestion that two adorable kids are in serious danger.That makes the story more unpleasant than anything else.Still it's worth reading if you liked the first two.

5-0 out of 5 stars More bizarre action for the residents of Barbary Lane
Further tales of the City jumps forward a few years from More Tales of the City, but most of our favourite characters are still there; the residents of 28 Barbary Lane; Anna Madrigal's children. The improbable events and unlikely coincidences continue with unabated abandon, but this is part of the charm of the stories. But what holds the book together is the skilful way that Maupin involves all the regular characters in the main plot; and main plot there certainly is (with a Jonestown connection), a plot which keeps one guessing to the end.
It's every bit as good as and possibly even funnier than its predecessors; highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars I want to move to 28 Barbery Lane!
Oh those gay 70's days in San Francisco when "cherez la femme" ruled the original Pink Village. Armistead Maupin revealed a zany twist of relationships in the most liberal city during its most liberal times long before the late 90's tech boom. Tales of the City depicted just how much ahead of the times San Francisco has always been. ... Read more

8. Tales of the City: A Novel (P.S.)
by Armistead Maupin
Paperback: 400 Pages (2007-06-01)
list price: US$13.99 -- used & new: US$6.64
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0061358304
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

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.

Amazon.com Review
Since 1976, Maupin's Tales of the City has etcheditself upon the hearts and minds of its readers, both straight andgay. From a groundbreaking newspaper serial in the San FranciscoChronicle to a bestselling novel to a critically acclaimed PBSseries, Tales (all six of them) contains the universe--if notin a grain of sand, then in one apartment house. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (118)

4-0 out of 5 stars Remember the '70s?
In simple, direct language, Armistead Maupin invites the reader into the lives of the residents of Barbary Lane -- a place where in San Francisco in the 1970s, a new resident is welcomed to "the family" by a joint taped to her door.

Maupin brings their stories to life with ample description, plenty of of-the-era dialogue, and more product placement than I have ever encountered. The chapter titled "Coming clean in the Marina" includes People magazine, Downy, Cheer, Charlie, Care-free Sugarless gum, Paris Match, Armstrong linoleum, and United. Actual advertising is also referenced: "You are fresh, you know that?" "April fresh, I hope." If you were a child of the '70s, then these iconic images make each scene even more real. You can practically smell the Charlie and picture Shelley Hack in a TV commercial in the next room. "Kinda free, kinda WOW" indeed.

The characters are fun, too, and I'm sure I will wend my way through every installment of their lives. It's just the kind of fluffy summer reading that chicks dig.

4-0 out of 5 stars Fun, 'marshmallow fluff' of a satire of late 1970's San Francisco...
This is RE-read for me now after first reading the series 30 years ago! A wonderfully nostalgic and humorous look at life in straight and gay San Francisco c. late 1970's and the intermeshing foibles of some of its more interesting fictional citizens. A great beach or bedtime book as the chapters are only 1-1/2 pages long.

5-0 out of 5 stars Welcome to 28 Barbary Lane
As the story (and series) begins it is the mid 1970's and a naive young woman from Cleveland is announcing her intention to not return from her vacation as planned but to stay in San Francisco.Her parents are appalled but fail in their attempts to 'talk some sense' into their foolish child and get her to return home.It seems that their little girl, Mary Ann has discovered that she is 'home' already, and that home is San Francisco, not Cleveland.As Mary Ann begins her new life we meet an ever expanding cast of characters, Connie, who had fled Cleveland some time before and now offers to show Mary Ann the real City.As she begins to settle into her new life Mary Ann acquires a job, an apartment, a lover and an eclectic group of friends who introduce her to things she had only her rumors about back in Cleveland. We discover that Mary Ann and her new circle of friends have secrets and lives that are entwined in the most amazing ways that will surprise and delight.

This is a touching and often times hilarious novel. Maupin has managed to create characters that remind us of ourselves or at least someone we have met.He then places them in situations that at least begin on familiar ground before they are carried to absurdity.All too soon the final page is turned but the reader can take comfort in the knowledge that this is only the beginning.

1-0 out of 5 stars quick read that got boring after a few chapters
quick read that got boring after a few chapters.would not buy any of the sequals.

5-0 out of 5 stars A true classic
A book that captures what it was like in San Francisco in the late 1970s.Young, naive Mary Ann Singleton has just moved there from Cleveland.She quickly gets caught up in the swinging, carefree life and interacts with a cast of very interesting characters: Michael Tolliver, a gay romantic man; Mona a cynical woman who's unsure of wat she wants; Brian Hawkins a straight ladies man; Edgar Halcyon, a rich man; his unsatisified daughter DeDe; her cheating husband Beauchamp and Mrs. Madrigal who is connected in some way to them all.The chapters are VERY short (I believe the longest is 3 pages) and the book moves at breakneck speed.The dialogue is witty and the large cast of characters endlessly amusing.I only gave pause to the large amount of casual drug (ab)use in the book but that WAS a sign of the times.Never a dull moment with this one.Highly recommended. ... Read more

9. Michael Tolliver Lives (P.S.)
by Armistead Maupin
Paperback: 320 Pages (2008-06-01)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$3.68
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060761369
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

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 fifty-five-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.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

4-0 out of 5 stars Michael Tolliver Lives
Clever follow up sequel to the successful "Tales Of the City" series from the 1980's.Find out what your favorite characters have been up to and how they've aged into the 21st Century!

5-0 out of 5 stars Like catching up with old friends!
I know it's cliche; but I laughed, I cried, I finished this book within 24 hours (if not for work, I would have read this in one setting.)There are some truly magical reasons for living in SF, and Mr. Maupin not only embodies these ideas, but he's able to write, share, and remind us what they are.He's able to remind us what family really means, how we all have to take the good with bad, and evolve.Thank you Mr. Maupin!

5-0 out of 5 stars Like seeing an old friend...
Every moment while reading this novel was filled with that feeling I get when I meet a long lost friend on a subway platform -- Unexpected, unplanned, but the best moment of the week. Michael has aged like all of us, and is happy -- or as happy as Michael, or any of us can be. Finally a novel that doesn't revolve around HIV, while touching respectfully on it. What a pleasure to get back in touch with Michael, Anna, Marianne, Brian, and a whole new generation of characters, while catching up on all the others. Anyone who enjoyed the others for that sense of reading them and seeing old friends will love this novel.

5-0 out of 5 stars Michael Tolliver Lives
This was a real romp down memory lane, and I really enjoyed it.Having lived in San Francisco when "Tales of the City" was being written, I have always enjoyed the series.However, after the first couple of books the plot line became too far fetched for me.Reading "Michael Tolliver Lives", brought back so many places and events that I hadn't thought about in years. As I continued reading, I felt like I was back in 'The City' catching up with old friends.

4-0 out of 5 stars Aging,but still vital!
"Michael Tolliver Lives" is essentially about a miracle. That HIV-inflicted Michael is still alive after twenty years, not to mention being happy and productive, is reason enough to celebrate. I've always admired Maupin's literate humor and crisp characterizations, and even with his newly elegiac tone, the novel is upbeat and daring. Anna Madrigal is still lovingly depicted as the engaging, eccentric "logical" mother, and we're sad when she begins her inevitable decline. Though very much of another era, the old "Tales of the City" gang unites with its eye on the future. This is done with deceptive ease. A new era is previewed while not quite slamming the door on the old one. Michael Tolliver lives, and so do his cohorts. That bodes well for Maupin devotees as well! ... Read more

10. The Complete Tales of the City: Tales of the City/More Tales of the City/Further Tales of the City/Babycakes/Significant Others/Sure of You
by Armistead Maupin
 Hardcover: Pages (1990-01)

Isbn: 0060164336
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars My beat read of 1996
I started reading this series in Syndey Australia with TOTC,MTOTC & FTOTC, and read the rest while in SanFrancisco which certainly added to the images Armistead Maupin conjured up in my mind.

All the characters will soon become members of the family, and you will be laughing & crying along with them.

If you feel a six book series would be too much of the same thing, don't worry after the first book you will soon be wishing the series went way past six.

5-0 out of 5 stars The most fun I've had reading in a long time.
A fun, fun read. The characters become your
friends. Like friends, they make you laugh,
they make you cry, they make you wonder, they
make you dream. If I had to be stranded on a
desert island somewhere this is the series
that I would bring along.
Get ready to smile.
... Read more

11. More Tales of the City
by Armistead Maupin
Paperback: 352 Pages (1998-06-01)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$5.58
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B001O9CF22
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
"An extended love letter to a magical San Francisco."
--New York Times Book Review

The internationally beloved classic comes to life in a Showtime miniseries.

Few works of fiction have blazed a trail through popular culture like Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City series. Since its publication as a daily newspaper serial in 1976, Maupin's incisive comedy of manners has expanded into six bestselling novels, the first of which became a highly acclaimed television miniseries starring Oscar-winner Olympia Dukakis as the irrepressible Anna Madgrigal, doyenne of 28 Barbary Lane.

Now More Tales of the City is becoming a Showtime miniseries, once again starring Olympia Dukakis, Laura Linney, and Thomas Gibson, as well as exciting new cast members, including Swoosie Kurtz and Ed Asner. It will be broadcast in June 1998.

The tenants of 28 Barbary Lane have fled their cozy nest for adventures for afield. Mary Ann Singleton finds love at sea with a forgetful stranger, Mona Ramsey discovers her doppleganger in a desert whore-house, and Michael Tolliver bumps into a certain gynecologist in a seedy Mexican Bar. Meanwhile, their venerable landlady takes the biggest journey of all'without ever leaving home. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (28)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Family at Barbary Lane
Two years have passed since last we spent some time with Mary Ann and the rest of Anna Madrigal's 'children' on Barbary Lane.Far from giving up and returning to Cleveland Mary Ann has made a home for herself in San Francisco.Her best friend Mouse has helped her through her period of adjustment, including a particularly ill fated romance and now they and the other residents of Barbary Lane have settled into comfortable, if unconventional lives.Soon though the winds of change would blow through the Lane, bringing in new relationships and changes in old ones.

Mary Ann and Mouse set off on a grand adventure, a cruise to Mexico and each brought home an interesting souvenir.Mona set off on her own adventure, one that lead her back to her past.There are other subplots throughout this novel that seem to go off into random directions.Maupin brings them all together though in the end when the unifying theme of family emerges.We see how families endure or dissolves based on how the various members cope with change.

Maupin's characters are charmingly flawed individuals, the sort of people one hopes would move in next door.The coincidences that occur in the stories are worthy of a sitcom but Maupin manages to keep the story just grounded enough to keep the novel from descending into farce.The reader is drawn to these characters, continuing to turn pages to find out what will happen next.

This is the second in the Tales of the City series.For maximum enjoyment they should be read in order.

5-0 out of 5 stars Just as good, if not better, than the first!
Sequel to the great "Tales of the City".It takes place in 1977 San Francisco.We see the further adventures of Mary Ann Singleton and her new boyfriend, Burke, who has total amnesia about his past life; gay Michael Tolliver is reunited with Jon--but can they be happy?; the mysteries of Anna Madrigal's past come out (in more ways then one); Mona makes quite a few discoveries about her own life; DeDe is pregnant--but her husband Beauchamp is NOT the father; Brian Hawkins is still searching for the right woman and ex-model D'orothea pops up.Some of the coincidences and meetings in this are highly unlikely but Armistead Maupin is such a good writer with wonderful, believable characters and hilarious dialogue that this can be easily overlooked.A treat from start to finish.This book (more or less) ties up all the loose ends...but (luckily) Maupin didn't stop and went on to write four more (so far) books following the characters.Well worth reading but you have to read "Tales..." first or you might be lost.

5-0 out of 5 stars Maupin inspired this author
If you liked "Tales of the City," you will not be disappointed by this book. The author continues the stories of the lives of his characters and he will enchant you with humorous and surprising scenarios that will make you want to keep turning the pages until you are done.

I have read every book in the series at least three times. Every time I have gone through the series has been a delight. The author has an uncanny knack for making his characters feel as if they were your best friends.

As a gay man, I especially appreciated the affirming gay characters within this book. The beauty is that, gay or not, you will be able to relate to the endearing folks on Barbary Lane. You will also want to keep buying the other books in the series. My only regret has been that the series ever had to come to an end. I want more!

Armistead Maupin has had a significant impact upon my new career as an author. I have developed my own series of comedic books which have a strong gay theme. [...] He has inspired me to come up with similarly endearing characters who get involved in the most outrageous situations. I am very grateful to the author for his inspiration.

Davis Aujourd'hui, author of "The Misadventures of Sister Mary Olga Fortitude

4-0 out of 5 stars Coming out of the Closet
The chapter "Letter to Mama" is a must read for anyone grappling with gay/lesbian issues. I am reading Saturday Night Crisis Lines by Robert Harrison which discusses these issues in detail and in real life circumstances on the crisis hotlines of a big city suicide and crisis center, an easy read but hard to put down once I started reading this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Worthy follow up
This is the second of Maupin's 'Tales of the City' books. It's like a soap opera, in that the book is a continuation into the trials and tribulations in the lives of the residents at 28 Barbary Lane.

This book delves into the American psyche of the late 1970's. Maupin does a great job of interweaving social issues into the characters' lives without getting preachy. For example, he has Michael's parents becoming anti-gay crusaders. I understand that Maupin became less subtle about his political agendas in later books, but in this one he does a good job of it.

Maupin does a masterful job in making all of the characters believable and sympathetic (with the exception of Beauchamp Day). They are all people that you and I know. The dialogue is a little snappier than most normal people can manage, but is still engaging and witty.

Then, there are the inevitable surprise twists that Maupin puts in that make these books such fun to read. I won't give any of them away, but they are good.

This is a fine second effort for Maupin. ... Read more

12. Omnibus: "Tales of the City", "More Tales of the City" and "Further Tales of the City" No. 1
by Armistead Maupin
Hardcover: 768 Pages (1989)

Isbn: 0701134291
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic Stories - Together in One Great Package
I was late to the magic of Armistead Maupin, but I'm a devoted follower now.The stories from Barbary Lane are utterly addictive - I've grown to truly care about Mary Ann, Mona, Mrs. Madrigal, Michael and all the others.Maupin writes evocatively about a time (and he wrote AT a time) in San Francisco when things were changing in a fascinating, exciting way.I'm not sure if a young person could still step off the bus from Cleveland and begin a new life there, as Mary Ann does in the first book, but I'd like to think that life could still be that fresh and interesting.

My favorite character throughout the three books in the series that I've read thusfar is Mrs. Madrigal.Her imperfections are amusing and she makes an excellent mother hen for her errant chicks at Barbary Lane.Nothing seems to surprise her and nothing makes her happier than seeing that everyone is safe in the haven she's created.

By the end of the 750 plus pages in the omnibus, the Tales were no longer just stories.Armistead Maupin has created a world that I enjoyed visiting, and I look forward to finding out what happens next. ... Read more

13. 28 Barbary Lane: A "Tales of the City" Omnibus
by Armistead Maupin
Hardcover: 768 Pages (1990-09-01)
list price: US$34.95 -- used & new: US$74.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060164662
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
"These novels are as difficult to put down as a dish of pistachios. The reader starts playing the old childhood game of 'Just one more chapter and I'll turn out the lights,' only to look up and discover it's after midnight."
-- Charles Solomon, Los Angeles Times Book Review

Armistead Maupin's uproarious and moving Tales of the City novels--the first three of which are collected in the is omnibus edition--have earned a unique niche in American literature, not only as matchless entertainment, but as indelible documents of cultural change in the seventies and eighties.

When originally serialized in the San Francisco Chronicle, Tales of the City (1978), More Tales of the City (1980) and Futher Tales of the City (1982) afforded a mainstream audience of millions its first exposure to straight and gay characters experiencing on equal terms the follies of urban life.

Among the cast of this groundbreaking saga are the lovelorn residents of 28 Barbary Lane: the bewildered but aspiring Mary Ann Singleton, the libidinous Brain 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.

Hurdling barriers both social and sexual, Maupin leads them through heartbreak and triumph, through mail-biting terrors and gleeful coincidences. The result is a glittering and addictive comedy of manners that continues to beguile new generations of readers.

With a foreword by the author. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (40)

5-0 out of 5 stars 754Pages of Absolute Reading Bliss!
I read the "Tales of the City", "More Tales of the City", and "Further Tales of the City" when they were originally published. After receiving this omnibus as a gift it sat on my shelf for several years as I had no interest because I had already read them. I recently read an article on Armistead Maupin where it stated that there is a new novel on the market that brings us up to date on Michael (probably one of my favorite characters) and how he is doing these days. At that point I thought, I am going to revisit the original three novels. What a treat! They were even better this time around. Maupin has developed such rich characters in this series, re-reading them was like one terrific long visit with some old friends. Everything about the characters, the situations (for the most part) are so true to life. Michael, Mary Ann, Mrs. Madrigal, Brian, Jon, Mona, D'Or and the list goes on and on are probably some of the best characters ever written. I have never watched the movie versions of these stories, but why would you want to when the words of the book jump off the page and it is so marvelously well written. If you haven't read the books before, don't miss out ~ if you have read them in the past, take some time to revisit some wonderful friends... I am sure you'll be as glad to see them as I was.

5-0 out of 5 stars Why many of our hearts are left in San Francisco
Tales of the City fans will LOVE this Omnibus ... and the collected memories that chroncile the lives of the bubbly Barbery Lane residents. A very much "made in San Francisco" collage of characters, plot line, situations, and comedic twists of a freer time.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Look Back
Armistead Maupin wasn't the only gay writer active in the 70's, but his "Tales of the City" books were among the most popular reads. Beginning as a newspaper column, Maupin had the idea to allow reads to direct the story to a certain extent. They would write in to tell him how the story should go, and he would decide which idea he liked best. So I've heard, at least.

These books are filled with rich characters. Mr. Maupin was excellent at drawing readers into his stories by making sure that the people one found in them were people one would want to know. They seemed not only real in that they were multi-faceted personalities of their own, but real in that they were surrounded by the events and culture of the 70's, which were beautifully captured.

Someone reading the books now, when stumbling across a reference to LeCar or Jim Jones, will be transported back in time. Readers not old enough to remember the 70s will get a good glimpse of what gay culture was like then... or a part of it, at least.

Maupin's characters experience situations that just about everyone can relate to. There are also situations that are extraordinary, but it's the day to day that make Mouse, Anna Madrigal and the rest seem like the folks who live next door. The "28 Barbary Lane" volume includes the first three books in the series. It's a wonderfully rich read. Not complicated or highbrow, perhaps, but not all stories should be. This is one of those "curl up next to the fire" books and I can't imagine my collection being without it.

5-0 out of 5 stars I wanna live at 28 Barbary Lane.
Having the first three books in the "Tales of the City" series all in one place is a huge convenience as I am continually reading them.There is an absurd joy I get whenever I read these stories.Please understand, I realize these characters are fictional, but I so want to be friends with them and take part in their bizarre adventures.Maupin has a very minimalist writing style.The chapters are rarely more than three pages long, and in some cases almost entirely dialogue; yet somehow Maupin is able to create a world so real I feel I know these character intimately.

What makes this collection so wonderful is that it does not contain the final three books in the series.It helps to maintain my delusion that the last three book simply don't exist and the action stops at the end of book three.I highly recommend this collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars oooooh, the 70's
As a young kid, I ate these books up.I so wanted to go live in San Francisco and meet the wonderful, wild, funny and crazy people that populated these books.For all of the sex and "perversion", there's a wonderful innocence to these stories- the good guys prevail and the baddies get their just desserts.It also helps that, in addition to being a master of plot, Armistead Maupin writes excellent dialogue.

By the end of these three novels, you will really care about the main characters.It's a big letdown that, in the next three books, the real-life 80's have to intrude on the frothy 70's fun, much like it did in our lives.

Truly one of the must-reads of this century (and yes, I know exactly what I am saying), this six-book series will make you laugh, have you on the edge of your seat, and finally, make you weep. ... Read more

14. Back to Barbary Lane: The Final Tales of the City Omnibus
by Armistead Maupin
Hardcover: 720 Pages (1991-11-06)
list price: US$34.95 -- used & new: US$59.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060166495
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
"An old fashioned pleasure... there's been nothing like it since the heyday of the serial novel 100 years ago... Tearing through [the tales] one after the other, as I did, allows instant gratification; it also lets you appreciate how masterfully they're constructed. No matter what Maupin writes next, he can look back on the rare achievement of having built a little world and made it run."
--Walter Kendrick, Village Voice Literary Supplement

By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Armistead Maupin's bestselling Tales of the City series stands as an incomparable blend of great storytelling and incisive social commentary. These six classic comedies, some of which originally appeared as serials in San Francisco newspapers, have won Maupin critical acclaim around the world and enthralled legions of devoted fans.

Back to Barbary Lane comprises the second trilogy of the series--Babycakes (1984), Significant Others (1987), and Sure of You (1989) -- concluding the saga of the tenants, past and present, of Mrs. Madrigal's beloved apartment house on Russian Hill. While the first trilogy celebrated the carefree excesses of the seventies, this volume tracks its hapless, all-to-human cast across a decade troubled by plague, deceit and overweening ambition.

Like its companion volume, 28 Barbary Lane, Back to Barbary Lane is distinguished by what The Guardian of London has called "some of the sharpest and most speakable dialogue you are ever likely to read." It promises hours of literate entertainment for readers old and new.

With a foreword by the author. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars Big Fan
Excellent book purchased from Amazon - I love armisted Maupin - Suggestion: start at the beginning of the series and work your way to bliss through the Tales of the City Chronicals

4-0 out of 5 stars Another Outstanding Read from Armistead!
I previously reviewed the first omnibus of Tales of the City (see my reviews). I had already read the first three novels and read the first omnibus as a re-visitation. I had not read the three novels that are a part of this compilation previously but I really wanted to take the time to do so as I am anxious to read Mr. Maupin's new installment "Michael Tolliver Lives". "Back To Barbary Lane" wasn't as pleasing to me as "28 Barbary Lane" but by no means was it not enjoyable. I loved the continuation of the lives of the characters from the first three installments as they progressed through these novels. I look forward to reading the new intallment as I am anxious to see what new turns Michael's life takes. The Tales of The City novels are a wonderful read and I recommend them very highly.

5-0 out of 5 stars I'm sorry I have never read "Tales of the City"
It's true.I have never read "Tales of the City," I am ashammed to say.I saw the PBS mini-series the very first time it was on the air in 1993 or 94.After it was over, I rush out and bought both Omnibus editions of "Tales" and started with "More Tales of the City."I love all the books I have read and even the one I have not.I know it has been said many times before, but the central characters in these books become like family and you care about what happens to them.The characters grow and mature.And just like family, not always in the way you would like them to.
I am preparing to start reading the books again, and to read "Tales" for the first time in preparation for the release of "Michael Tolliver Lives."And this may sound silly, but I am a little nervous about the new book. It is that same nervous anticipation you have when you are about to see an old friend for the first time in 20 years.What are they like now?How have they changed?Are they still the same person I remember?June 12, 2007 can not get here soon enough for me, so that I can find out.Michael Tolliver Lives

3-0 out of 5 stars Stop at "Further Tales of the City."
What Armistead Maupin spent three books building up, he spends three books knocking down. I was made to care so much for these characters that reading the final three books in the series is like listening to someone bad mouth your family. Everything that I loved about the first three books (the absurdity, the strange innocence, the surrogate family the characters have created for themselves) is gone. In all honesty, my main problem is that the story and the characters simply don't do what I want them to do. The characters simply don't seem to like each other anymore. I realize Maupin was in a very different place in his life when he wrote the final books, but I just didn't enjoy reading them. It's remarkably childish, but in my mind the series ends with book three.

The first three novels get five stars from me, straight across the board. The final three novels with this collection, get about a three. "Babycakes" is pretty good, "Significant Others" is just okay, "Sure of You" is quite bad.

2-0 out of 5 stars Loved the first one...
I read "Tales of the City" the way a dog reads a bone.I devoured the book in a single sitting and then began a frantic search for my car keys so I could buy the next installment.I love the first three, like the fourth, tolerated the fifth, hated the sixth.The final book seems intent on destroying the magic the earlier books created.Partly it's because the story and characters didn't do what I wanted them to do, but mostly because Maupin seems to have developed a hatred for some of these characters.It's like listening to someone bad mouth your family.I re-read the first three all the time.I'll never read the sixth one again. ... Read more

15. Maybe the Moon
by Armistead Maupin
Kindle Edition: 320 Pages (2007-06-26)
list price: US$10.99
Asin: B000SCHBRK
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Maybe the Moon, Armistead Maupin's first novel since ending his bestselling Tales of the City series, is the audaciously original chronicle of Cadence Roth -- Hollywood actress, singer, iconoclast and former Guiness Book record holder as the world's shortest woman.

All of 31 inches tall, Cady is a true survivor in a town where -- as she says -- "you can die of encouragement." Her early starring role as a lovable elf in an immensely popular American film proved a major disappointment, since moviegoers never saw the face behind the stifling rubber suit she was required to wear. Now, after a decade of hollow promises from the Industry, she is reduced to performing at birthday parties and bat mitzvahs as she waits for the miracle that will finally make her a star.

In a series of mordantly funny journal entries, Maupin tracks his spunky heroine across the saffron-hazed wasteland of Los Angeles -- from her all-too-infrequent meetings with agents and studio moguls to her regular harrowing encounters with small children, large dogs and human ignorance. Then one day a lanky piano player saunters into Cady's life, unleashing heady new emotions, and she finds herself going for broke, shooting the moon with a scheme so harebrained and daring that it just might succeed. Her accomplice in the venture is her best friend, Jeff, a gay waiter who sees Cady's struggle for visibility as a natural extension of his own war against the Hollywood Closet.

As clear-eyed as it is charming, Maybe the Moon is a modern parable about the mythology of the movies and the toll it exacts from it participants on both sides of the screen. It is a work that speaks to the resilience of the human spirit from a perspective rarely found in literature. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (26)

5-0 out of 5 stars Love to be Surprised
I was given this book by my mother who knows I love Maupin's writing.What I don't think either of us knew is that once I starting turning the pages on this great book, I could not put it down and I stayed up all night reading about this character that touched my heart.

I was so pleasantly surprised by this story.It actually has made a lasting impression on me.I was truly impacted in a positive way.Enjoy it.Make sure to have a free day or two to enjoy it fully.Highly recommended!

5-0 out of 5 stars One of my all-time favorite books
My title says it all. I'm not going to write a long, involved review. Suffice to say, I read a lot. A LOT. And this one is definitely in my top 5.

I noticed below under "tag suggestions" that it has "gay fiction" and "gay classic" (I assume because the author is gay), and I want to point out that (from what I remember) there is no homosexuality in this book. (Not that there's anything wrong with homosexuality, yada, yada, yada...)

It's funny and touching. I've read it several times over the years, and it's always stayed with me.

His "Tales of the City" books are great too, but this one just stood out for me as an all-time great.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not Maupin's best work
I did not care for this work about the drarf although I imagine she like so many people who are different had a very difficult time in life the suibject matter was not my cup of tea as to reading material. It's a well written piece of work if you're into dwarfs' life stories.

5-0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly fantastic
Received this book out of the blue from a seller on Amazon who bundled this with an order I placed.Tossed it aside for half a year before I sat down to read it last night and did NOT put it down until the last page -- then went back to the beginning once more.Touching, warm, creative, full of personality.At worst, it's entertaining.Do read it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
This is one of the best fiction books I have read.As an average sized person, I found this extraordinarily enlightening as to the difficulties and prejudices that little people go through each and every day.It was one of the most unique love stories ever and it really, truly made me feel the full gamut of emotions.If you buy one fiction book in your life, this is the one. ... Read more

16. Armistead Maupin
by Patrick Gale
Paperback: 152 Pages (2000-01)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$9.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 189979137X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Armistead Maupin is one of Britain''s leading writers of gay fiction. This biography reveals the journey that took Maupin from a middle class upbringing in North Carolina, to serve in the US Marines Vietnam to the writer of a series of novels.' ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars The teller of the tales
I loved this biography, found it to be a fascinating read which gave me insights into the story behind Tales Of The City. Armistead Maupin comes across as a likeable guy. I particularly enjoyed reading about his early years, brought up in an old Southern family with its traditions.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Good Book about a Great Author
THis book seems to be an ode from one of Maupin's serious fans.It was great insight on Maupins, his life, and who he is.I suggest reading Maupins novels before looking into this.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book !
I highly recommend this book.Enjoyed reading it.The book was funny.Touching.Very real.Gives great insights to the books that Armisted Maupin has written; makes your appreciate them more.Very well writtenbook.I strongly agree with the points of views expressed.

Eagerlyawaiting the next Armisted Maupin book coming out soon.

5-0 out of 5 stars You hate to finish this, as you do any of Armistead's work
If you are a Tales of The City fan, an Armistead Maupin fan, you will love this book. I couldn't put the book down.It gives more detail than "Armistead Maupin Is A Man I Made Up" (movie), but in a similarfashion, with much input from Armistead himself.

It is a little fix whilewaiting for the Night Listener to be published (which I am, anxiously) ... Read more

17. 28Barbary Lane: The Tales of the City Omnibus Volume I
by Armistead Maupin
 Hardcover: Pages (1990)
-- used & new: US$75.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000LA2U8Y
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18. Dogs We Love: With Jane Smiley, Armistead Maupin, Ann Beattie, Edward Albee, and 14 Other Dog People
Hardcover: 176 Pages (2008-04-01)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$3.48
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1579653588
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
What we love about our dogs.

Some of us just "feel incomplete without the company of a dog or two," as Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright Edward Albee puts it in this timeless collection of great writing about dogs. In fact, millions of us wouldn't dream of living without dogs, none more so than the renowned dog-devoted authors of Dogs We Love. From Ann Beattie debating whether to upgrade from "occasional dog sitter" to full-time dog owner to Bob Shacochis fretting over how to welcome a second dog into a one-dog household, these 18 tributes convey with wit, insight, and passion the love that makes the bond between dogs and dog-people so powerful. Accompanied by the humorous, endearing photographs of Robin Schwartz, Dogs We Love gives image and voice to the enduring, undiluted emotions that our canine companions inspire. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting collection of dog stories
I enjoyed these essays. It is a book you can pick up, read a short essay and put down. I kept it on my night table for night time reading.Just enough for bedtime.
Amusing stories.

5-0 out of 5 stars Charming--a collection of essays by good writers about their dogs
This small book contains essays as well as heart melting pictures of dogs. Mind you, these are real dogs, the kind who relentlesslycontinue to hunt for slippers and chew them to bits and bits, dogs who have problems like blindness and still--still--make us smile and love them.

As Cynthia Heimel reports "Let me see if I can say this without being a nasty booger-head. Some people are morbidly warped and don't like dogs at all. We shall not even discuss such deviants. Some people love only their own dogs...These people are dog-impaired...And then there are the dog-besotted, the dog-goofy, those lunatics who worship at the Holy Church of Canine" (p 95).

Each essay discusses some new and entertaining aspect of dogs and dog ownership. The yellow stains on the carpet. The drool. The big eyes that gaze into your with love.

A book to savor.

5-0 out of 5 stars what could be better? GREAT writers, "training" their sights on their own dogs
This is a chunky, endearing, handsome book that's just confirms everything we most love about dogs. But these are MASTERS of prose here, as well as being "masters" of their family dogs. So just imagine the novelists and short story writers you love sharing stories of their own canine companions. Jane Smiley on her golden's insatiable fetching, Armistead Maupin on his dog's uncanny ability to interfere with anything romantic, Merrill Markoe on her small dog's undeniable love affair with her slipper. There's Danny Shanahanwriting and illustrating a short guide on how to read your dog's behaviors. There's--well, there are sheep dogs, mixed bred wonders, Labs, bull dogs, unruly dogs, cockers, spaniels...and a pack of other dogs photographed in black and white by Robin Schwartz that make this book the perfect gift to give or keep. Plus the book's profits are part of Rosen's ongoing efforts to support animal welfare agencies. ... Read more

19. Significant Others
by Armistead Maupin
Paperback: 322 Pages (1987)
-- used & new: US$5.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0012ZAS18
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20. Michael Tolliver Lives CD
by Armistead Maupin
Audio CD: 544 Pages (2007-06-12)
list price: US$34.95 -- used & new: US$5.44
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0061256412
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

Michael Tolliver, the sweet-spirited Southerner in Armistead Maupin's classic Tales of the City series, is arguably one of the most widely loved characters in contemporary fiction. Now, almost twenty years after ending his groundbreaking saga of San Francisco life, Maupin revisits his all-too-human hero, letting the 55-year-old gardener tell his story in his own voice.

Having survived the plague that took so many of his friends and lovers, Michael has learned to embrace the random pleasures of life, the tender alliances that sustain him in the hardest of times. Michael Tolliver Lives follows its protagonist as he finds love with a younger man, attends to his dying fundamentalist mother in Florida, and finally reaffirms his allegiance to a wise octogenarian who was once his landlady.

While Michael Tolliver Lives is a stand alone novel, accessible to old and new readers alike, a reassuring number of familiar faces appear along the way. As usual, the author's mordant wit and ear for pitch-perfect dialogue serve every aspect of the story—from the bawdy to the bittersweet. Michael Tolliver Lives is a novel about the act of growing older joyfully and the everyday miracles that somehow make that possible.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Tollivers Lives Through Maupin
I didn't buy the CD, but instead downloaded the audio book from [...].I was very excited to learn that the author reads the story, and has actually recorded all of his books on audio.Hearing Michael's first person voice read in the voice of his very own creator really helped relate to the story and gave it a certain perspective that listeners would probably miss out on had anyone else read it.

As in all of his books, Maupin doesn't offer up much description.Instead, he pushes the story forward with longs intervals of dialogue, and the dialogue is often as few words as possible.But it works.It did in his earlier Tales of the City books, and it also works here. And yes, I even laughed out loud at times and am still remembering some of the sassy one liners."You bought her a Thomas Kinkade.You must love her!"

In this part of the series, Michael is in his 50s and has lucked out with a young lover named Ben.Tolliver is also HIV positive, although the story does not center around that issue.Instead, it's Michael's family and Anna Madrigal that take center stage.Michael's mother is dying, and Anna is also reaching the end.

My biggest disappointment had to be the end.We spend such a long time (over 6 hours) getting there only to have it quickly "wrapped up" in the end and we aren't left with much closure or with the inevitable that the reader suspects will happen.It's like Maupin shut down and decided to save that for another novel.If so, let's hope that's the case.If not, you may be left with the taste of desire on your tongue.

After listening to this though, I will definitely be revisiting the early books on audio just to hear them from the man himself.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Absolute Treasure
This book on CD is a delight and a treasure--I was so sorry to have it end.Read by the author, there is a tenderness and warmth seldom equalled.I have yet to be disappointed with anything Armistead Maupin has done, and this book certainly lives up to the high standard he's set for himself.

5-0 out of 5 stars MT Lives lives up to expectations
One would think that after so many years, one might lose enthusiasm for a set of characters who were created in the late 70s and faded in and out through the 80s and early 90s. If one thought this, one would be wrong. Armistead Maupin once again allows us into the lives of his beloved Tales of the City characters. As a huge fan of the entire series, I was thrilled when this was released. What added the frosting on the cake was his wonderful narration. Armistead Maupin became Michael Tolliver and told a wonderful story that reintroduced us to long lost friends. This best part of this is if you have never been exposed to Tales of the City, this book stands alone in all its neuroses and angst and love. ... Read more

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