Friday, 20 June 2014

Tales of the City - Armistead Maupin | Book Review

I chose this as my book to give away for World Book Night 2014 (see Instagram here for photos of the special edition copies) because it had had many greta reviews and was considered an acclaimed series. This is the first installment of the series.  Originally published in 1978, the book follows Mary Ann Singleton who has just moved to San Francisco. Although not fully explained, it would appear that Mary Ann wishes to escape the less interesting and more routine-based life of her parents house and realises a sudden need for her to be independent and try and make it on her own.
The story follows through various different perspectives of friends Mary has and makes, her neighbours, her dubious landlord Mrs.Madrigal. Considering the book was published in the late 70s, it covers numerous topics which would have seemed controversial at the time including homosexuality and a variety of alternative lifestyles. Due to these different styles of living portrayed in the book, the characters are a complete array of mismatched personas resulting in a very colourful depiction of San Franciscan life. There is not an exact, straight storyline, so much as Maupin just fumbles along with the characters as they attempt to find happiness and freedom. Drugs and sexuality and farily prominent within the book and Maupin writes with a tone which is not so often seen in modern day novels which makes for a very different read to what seems more readibly available!

I gave a copy of this to my Nan and at the time I had not read it. She, I am pretty sure it can be said, is not quite a fan... I definitely feel that this book is suited to more older readers, such as from young adult and above.
I reallu enjoyed the book; it was a ncie and easy read which really transported you back those 40 odd years to a time when people's lives were very different. Maupin has filled the book with mystery, relationships, life and death, all mixed in with a strange ability to really relate to all of the characters, especially Mary Ann Singleton.

Next Up: Little Women - Louise May Alcott

Would you read this series?