Book Review: Maupin Has Lots Of Tales To Tell

Tales of the City: A Novel (P.S.)

Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin first came to life as a newspaper serial and was then released as a novel in 1978. It takes place in San Francisco and introduces the readers to the denizens of 28 Barbary Lane. The first major character we meet is a young woman from Cleveland who arrived in San Francisco as a tourist and decided to stay. She meets many of her neighbors in the apartment complex run by Anne Madrigal. There are lots of intersecting stories going on here. There are a lot of threads to follow in this volume. It’s a twisted path to read this thing sometimes.

Now, this is not really my genre of preference, but I can see why this got so popular. It seems to have been some kind of precursor to the 90’s drama Melrose Place.

It’s a fairly easy read with very short chapters for the most part. I suspect that my reticence about this is more due to my literary tastes not quite aligning to this sort of fiction. I also didn’t really feel drawn to any of the characters. There were some interesting and sometimes shocking moments, especially toward the end. For the most part, I just felt like I was just plodding through this thing trying to remember all of the various storylines and what happened when I last saw this person or that.

Still, it wasn’t like it was an awful reading experience. Maupin is an interesting writer, but I just tend to like following one person trying to resolve one or two problems in my fiction reading. For those with more agile imaginations, I would still recommend giving Maupin a try.

I will be returning to my more familiar literary preferences but with an author I have yet to read. Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett was first introduced in Open Season by C.J. Box and has since appeared in several more mysteries. I will start from the beginning and see how this goes.

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