Saturday, September 25, 2010

Tales of the City: San Francisco life

Tales of the City (Tales of the City, # 1) Tales of the City
by Armistead Maupin

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read this in preparation for a recent trip to San Francisco, and I had not quite finished it when it was time to leave. Instead of taking a book I was 3/4 of the way finished with, I took another one instead. But my sense of order was disturbed...I simply had to finish Tales of the City before I could really sink my teeth into The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

So on our first day in San Francisco, we were browsing in the City Lights book store in North Beach, and I found a copy there and sat down and finished it while my husband enjoyed his wandering.

Tales of the City, originally written as a serial, is a bunch of interwoven short stories about people who live in San Francisco, one of whom is a naive, overwhelmed, recent transplant from the midwest.

The majority of the characters are bisexual or gay/lesbian, and finding sexual partners is a major hobby for many of the characters. It's clear this first book was written well before the age of AIDS. Maupin has continued with the series, and a new book is expected to be published this November. I'll be curious to continue reading the series to see how Maupin deals with the changes in the San Francisco lifestyle over the decades. It gave me a great feel for the history and vibe of San Francisco in the 1970s.

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