Tales of the City (Tales of the City Series #1)

Tales of the City (Tales of the City Series #1)

by Armistead Maupin


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Thursday, May 30

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Tales of the City 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 88 reviews.
haolewrites More than 1 year ago
This novel brilliantly withstands the test of time...as amazing and as engaging as the first time I read it lo those many years ago. This ebook version, however, is riddled with a massive number of typos. It looks as if someone at Harper Collins simply scanned a past edition with OCR and did not proof-read a single page to catch when the OCR couldn't figure out the characters. Some pages can have 5 or 6 typos and nearly every other page has a typo (even the chapter headers). Maupin's classic deserves better treatment.
Guest More than 1 year ago
They're beautiful, they're sexy, the're fun, and they're taking the sexual revolution farther than ever. In the middle of the hippest city in America (San Francisco), the wild residents of 28 Barbary Lane are living the Frisco hi-life to the fullest! Here you'll find the bohemian best: men and women, lovers and strangers, gays and straights, all of them ready to help each other out of a jam with a quick laugh and some good (though not always legal) advice. Now their hands are REALLY full. The carefree chaos revoves around the funky old apartment house at 28 Barbary Lane when landlady Anna Madrigal welcomes tenants by taping homegrown joints to their doors and presides over their lives with an almost maternal affection. Armistead Maupin's first bestseller (of a six part series of novels). Others include 'More Tales of the City', 'Further tales of the city' 'Babycakes', 'Significant others', 'Sure of you', 'Only the moon' and the final chapter 'Night Listner'. I caught on to this writer, while watching the Showtime based miniseries on it. What I like about this book (and from what I've seen on his other books) is the story line and the way the book is written. The chapters are brief, basicly telling a short story. So those with A.D.D as I, can appreciate it more. Mary Anne Singleton, is the reader's point of entry. You go in with her, seeing through her eyes the crazy and at times chaotic 'world' that was San Fransisco in the 70's. Topics such as Vietnam,Whorehouses,Drugs,Religon and Sexual freedom are all covered. It may seem trashy, but in the end it was a section of a time where everyone was a bit lost. Anne Madrigal, the Slum Lord (she calls her self a Slum Lady) is indeed the best charachter i've seen yet. Motherly, yet a rebel. She has a very...um earthy garden! Can't say alot more than that in case you may want to read it. In fact, if you have time pick it up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My brother who lives in Australia sent me the comlete series of the saga. As i started to read the first book, i found that i couldn't put the book down and quickly read the rest of the books. I found that i was almost living the lives of each character in the book. I would recomend this series of books to anyone, it really is good reading. Another good book to read is Maybe The Moon.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very entertaining reading, esp for anyone who may have nostalgia for the 70s and San Francisco in the 70s in particular. I was a child in the 70s so most of the pop-culture references were beyond me, but the stories were still fascinating and fun to read--probably because Mary Ann is an outsider too. Thank goodness. These were originally serialized in a newspaper, which explains why the tales never seem to get anywhere. As a book, it doesn't conclude; I guess one just has to keep reading the whole Tales of the City series...
Guest More than 1 year ago
This first book in the series of six introduces the reader to an eclectic cast of characters. What follows from there takes you on a rollercoaster ride of exciting adventures, and emotional experiences. Maupin has an incredible talent for sucking the reader into the lives of the tenants of 28 Barbary Lane and keeping them there. Everyone that I have suggested this book to has devoured the entire six novels. I strongly recommend the entire Tales of the City series to anyone who loves to get caught up in the lives of a quirky bunch of people, and then be surprised where they end up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Did the author really need to damn God every few sentances? Are readers supposed to be impressed with cursing? This is a fun, lively little book, but would have been much better without the attempt to 'wow' readers with profanity. It took away from the truly delightful talent the author has for developing humor in endearing characters. Too bad.
Nathan_Dunbar More than 1 year ago
I'm not usually one for serial drama, but this story quite surprised me with how much I enjoyed it. Maupin showed us the pulse of the late 70s through his vivid character development and intertwining story lines. The best part? We came to know Mary Ann, Michael, Anna and the gang not through chapters full of background, but by listening to them weave their own tales for us.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was fun to read and made me laugh. It's also a bit of a mystery story which kept me reading. Ready to order more from this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best fiction i have read in ages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story is very dated, celebrity and pop culture references fall flat if the seventies wasn't your time. Other than that, it just really didn't capture my interest, the characters were too predictable, and the story line was weak.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i'm about halfway through this book and i already don't like it. i don't even really think of it as a novel; it seems more like a play. there's constant inane dialogue between insipid and unlikable characters. and a lot of the time the characters are cut-off in mid-sentence by another character and you're left thinking, 'what were they going to say?' the storyline itself seems schizophrenic. the chapters are at most 2 pages long, so once you've gotten into 1 storyline, you're switched to another one, and then another after a possible 2 more pages. it all seems very confusing and soap-opera(ish). also, you don't get any insight into what the characters are thinking; just what they are saying. they seem very 2-dimensional: self-centered, shallow, conceited, etc. and as of yet, there's no backstory/exposition into these characters' pasts. this might have made a good mini-series, but it makes a boring book.
lahochstetler on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Reading this book is a bit like a history lesson. Set in San Francisco in the late-1970s, this book was remarkable for presenting homosexuality as part of mainstream popular culture. In 2011 this is hardly shocking, but thirty-five years ago it was. This is important to recognize before going into the book. With the stage set, I felt like this book read like a sitcom. The characters engage in crazy antics. They get involved in humorous love triangles. The series began in the newspaper, and I can see how that shapes the book. The book is comprised of short chapters and small vignettes. It is humorous and easy reading, a bit of mind candy. By the end I was left with some unanswered questions. What was the issue with the landlady? As this is the first book in a series, I'm going to assume that Maupin is setting up for the next book. I'll be reading it to find out.
Othemts on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The classic San Francisco novel introduces a family of characters who live in Mrs. Madrigal's rooming house on Barbary Lane. The book is so full of dialogue that it reads like a script. Very funny, quirky, mind-opening, and heart-warming.
bookworm12 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The books is a collection of fictional stories about twenty-somethings in San Francisco in the '70s. A conservative young woman, Mary Ann Singleton moves to San Fran from Ohio and becomes friends with a diverse group of people including her pot-smoking landlord, Anna, bohemian neighbor Mona and a sweet gay man, Michael. The stories read more like a TV show than a book. Lovers are interchangeable and lives overlap as the characters deal with relationships, roommates, jobs and the AIDS epidemic. The writing isn't bad, there was just too much soap-opera style drama for me. Some of the characters are likable, but I found myself not caring too much about any of them.
cindysprocket on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Just thoroughly enjoyed the book. Looking forward to the rest of the series.
R_JasonBennion on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Maupin introduces us to a large ensemble cast of quirky, complex, and lovable (well, mostly) characters from all walks of life, building what feels like a very realistic microcosm of San Francisco in the mid-1970s. The story is a bit choppy due to extremely short chapter lengths -- this work was originally published as a newspaper serial -- but that same issue also becomes something of a strength, since it forces the author to be economical with his words. Description is minimal but precise, and characterization is accomplished mostly through sharp, often funny and just as frequently heartbreaking dialogue. Some of the coincidental meetings and frankly bizarre plot developments are a little far-fetched, but the breezy tone keeps you turning the pages. I love these characters, who are as real in my mind as any I've ever encountered.
klarusu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I can't really believe it's taken me this long to find these gems, but sometimes it's the ones that lie undiscovered under your nose that prove the most surprising. These books detail the lives of a motley band of individuals who live in San Francisco on Barbary Lane under the watchful eye of the matriarchal Anna Madrigal. The pluses and minuses of these stories all stem from the fact that they were initially serialisations in a regular newspaper column. It makes them an addictive doddle to read - each book is divided into bite-sized chunks that have an element of self-containment mixed with a splattering suspense that leaves you wanting more. The characters are skilfully drawn and quickly come to life and become much-loved friend - a testament to Maupin's skill as a writer. They are each a little window onto life in San Francisco at the time - an interesting documentation of society there.I guess, should you choose to, you could level the criticism that the interlinking storylines are all-to-convenient and readily wrapped up .... but I didn't find it problematic. It is an inherent quality of the original media they were published in and you have to allow for that format. I'm just glad to see them put together as a book so that they can be enjoyed by everyone. I think that if you cannot overcome objections to plot and structure, then these books were probably never meant for you. Personally, once I found them, I couldn't put them down and I'll certainly be looking forward to the next batch.
quzy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Tales of the City is based on Maupin's 1970's newspaper serial in the San Francisco Chronicle. Between the pages we meet a group of unforgettable characters AND we get to remember what it was like to live in the 70's. Drugs, Sex and secrets are what make up Tales of the City. The story opens with Mary Ann Singleton a small town girl from the Midwest who falls in love with San Francisco while on vacation and decides to move there. The adventures start as soon as she makes this decision and it's as if we move right into the Barbary Lane apartment with her. The story unfolds in soap opera fashion as we meet Mouse ( who's gay), Mona ( the ad exec), Mrs. Madrigal (The landlady who grows pot), and Brian ( the womanizer) . The story is written in short snippets that at first seem a bit disjointed. The story jumps around from one set of characters to another. But as the story unfolds we see how it all fits together like a jigsaw puzzle and how everyone is connected in some way. And Maupin knows how to write a good story so you'll be hooked soon enough. This is the first of 7 books.
kawgirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great story, great backdrop, great characters. Definitely read this book.
citygirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It captures a moment in time. Reading it is like eating candy. I'll take another box.
AlexTheHunn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Maupin's delightful and fascinating characters find their way through San Francisco in the heady 70s.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fabulous , Fun San Francisco in the 60's
kimikimi More than 1 year ago
Brilliantly serialized for television (Olympia Dukakis ROCKS!), you simply have to read the entire series that follows.  While I believe Maupin could have written as brilliantly about anything he chose, he followed the prime directive... write what you know.  I have not read the eBook version and I'm sorry to hear that it has  been so badly handled compared to the original hard copy books but, nonetheless, I can't believe that the addictive, brilliant and insightful look at these characters not all of whom are LGBT (just for the prejudiced among you), will not shine through.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
still an enjoyable book, and wonderful character development. wound up wondering what happens to them, so i bought the next in the series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Respond to james if interested