Mary Ann in Autumn: Tales of the City 8 (Tales of the City Series)
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Soon, with the help of Facebook and a few old friends, she begins to re-engage with life, only to confront fresh terrors when her speckled past comes back to haunt her in a way she could never have imagined. Other books in this series. Add to basket. Babycakes Armistead Maupin. Sure Of You Armistead Maupin. Significant Others Armistead Maupin.
Michael Tolliver Lives Armistead Maupin. Mary Ann in Autumn Armistead Maupin. Further Tales of the City Armistead Maupin. Sure of You Armistead Maupin. Review Text "Old friends, good times and a powerful conclusion: Maupin feels the love and shares it with his readers" show more. Maupin's back, with an eighth instalment of his lovely Tales of the City series Three television miniseries starring Olympia Dukakis and Laura Linney were made from the first three Tales novels.
Maupin lives in San Francisco with his husband, Christopher Turner. For more information on Armistead Maupin and his books, see his website at www. Rating details. Book ratings by Goodreads. Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book.
Mary Ann in Autumn
View all 3 comments. Jan 29, Alex rated it really liked it. Michael Tolliver lives! A three year gap is significantly less than eighteen years. On top of that, this is the first Tales of the City book that I have read contemporaneously. I think that Tales of the City books work best as capsules of their time, which of course means, except for Sure of You , they improve with age Michael Tolliver lives! I think that Tales of the City books work best as capsules of their time, which of course means, except for Sure of You , they improve with age.
That Maupin now speaks of Twitter and Facebook with varying degrees of understanding feels strange to me. All this is not to say that Mary Ann in Autumn is a bad book or disappointing. For me, at least, it is essential for its service in returning Mary Ann to her figuratively ancestral home. Mary Ann is not absolved of her sins, but it seems she may well be redeemed.
Mary Ann comes to San Francisco seeking cancer treatment and escape from her Republican husband. She further reconnects with Michael, and … kind of ignores everyone else. Her estranged daughter Shawna becomes fascianted by a homeless woman, and nothing else specific happens but, in a return to classic Tales form, the threads of coincidence ridiculously intertwine into a somewhat cohesive whole. Mary Ann in Autumn is deliberately more sprawling than Michael Tolliver Lives and consequently significantly less personal. In fact, I think that may have made an overall more satisfying work here, but it would also have meant sacrificing the plot threads.
Would they have been sorely missed? On reflection, definitely, but they are not without their own flaws. There is subtlety and nuance to Shawna, but Maupin wants to bury it underneath her cool facade. He acknowledges this much, and that sparkle of honesty towards the end carries a character that had come dangerously close to caricature over the line. Away from the prism of Michael, Jake is given room to breathe. The matter of fact narration leaves no room for worry or questioning. She has felt her age differently to Michael, in part because she threw away almost twenty years of her life.
For Mary Ann, a return to San Francisco is a return to a dreamlike state where only important things matter and nothing hurts. Escapism seems that much more heavy when you have something that you need to escape, and she certainly does. That Maupin has made me blur the lines between the way that the character is written and the way that the character is tells me that he has done an excellent job over the last 33 years even if I only read all of the books last year.
The other thing is that Armistead Maupin is now legitimately older himself, if not simply old. This reflects in his cluelessness as to the cluelessness of younger people. Everyone knows who Betty Page is, for some reason. Still, Mary Ann in Autumn is welcome: the prodigal daughter has truly returned after too many years in the wilderness, and she has not been found wanting. View all 4 comments. Mar 10, Richard Derus rated it really liked it. The catch is, Mouse is now happily married to thirtysomething bear-daddy fancier Ben, who is less than enthralled with Mrs. Considering the dual crises buffeting Mary Ann, she feels entitled to come on in and set a spell anyway, and thus the plot starts moving.
Mary Ann's crises, one real and the other simply her drama queen self coming to the fore, cause some tensions in San Francisco; she doesn't have to deal with her ex-husband, but pretty much all the other Barbary Lane survivors show up and interact with her, though less so with each other.
A bomb from the past shows up. A BIG bomb. The resolution of that dangling storyline from book 2 More Tales of the City , I believe, is as messy as the original ending was tidy A fitting end to this book, though, clearing the decks for Mary Ann to return to the fold. And so set us up for another book. My Review: Maupin's trademark suds; if you like it and I do , you'll like this latest entry in the "Tales" saga.
I missed it a few times, but at the door it stayed.
New Tales Of The City trailer highlights Mary Ann’s return to Barbary Lane
I'm growing older. I find that fact reasonably agreeable most of the time, except that every once in a way I feel left out of the storytelling that makes younger people sit up and take notice. Usually it's because I've been there and done that and even have the copyright book to prove that this NEW! But even the Bible is new to someone who's never read it before.
And the fact is, sometimes old familiar faces are more fun to spend time with. So novelty palls, failing to be novel anymore. Reading this book, I'm soothed to realize I'm not the only one who hasn't stopped groping and seeking A worhty take-away from this warm, cozy fireplace read of a book. View 2 comments. Jan 17, Mark rated it it was amazing. Still with the deftly interwoven plots of the other "Tales" books, but with a bitter-sweet quality. Just like in life, some of the well-loved characters are dead, some moved away and all are growing older, without the newer characters really integrating to form a new cohesion.
Once Anna Madrigal shuffles off this mortal coil, the "Tales" books will probably inevitably die with her. After re-reading this book, consecutively with all the other "Tales" books, I have had to revise my rating to 5 star Still with the deftly interwoven plots of the other "Tales" books, but with a bitter-sweet quality.
After re-reading this book, consecutively with all the other "Tales" books, I have had to revise my rating to 5 stars. Although I knew what the big reveal was towards the end of the book, I had worked out the smaller reveal before it was made, the first time round, the book actually benefitted from knowing what was coming. This time around, I wasn't concentrating on the plotline as before, trying to work out what was going to happen. Instead, I could concentrate on what Maupin does so well; the characterisation.
It is wonderful to read the innermost thoughts of the characters, as they form and shift opinions and we also see how their desire not to hurt can conflict with their real feelings. Haven't we all, like Ben, known someone like "Cliff" who we really don't want to speak to, but do for fear of causing offence? It is also nice to see the redemption of Mary Ann, after we were led to believe she was a Queen Bitch with a capital 'B' in 'Sure of You'.
On re-reading, the new characters do seem more integrated and perhaps there would be room for a world without Anna Madrigal - after all, doesn't it happen to us all? Aug 18, Melody rated it really liked it. There is almost no way to talk about this without spoilers, so I am going to be as vague as vague can be. But oh, my dear Mr.
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Maupin, what a lovely present you have given us, all tied up with neat little bows- all of those dangling ends from the original series, so pretty! Where Michael Tolliver Lives was a benediction, a book I couldn't read three pages of without weeping, this is a hearkening back to the bad old days of the Chronicle serial, with odd, unbelievable plot twists that make a person There is almost no way to talk about this without spoilers, so I am going to be as vague as vague can be. Where Michael Tolliver Lives was a benediction, a book I couldn't read three pages of without weeping, this is a hearkening back to the bad old days of the Chronicle serial, with odd, unbelievable plot twists that make a person whoop with laughter.
A delight, an unmitigated delight. Apr 15, Amanda Bynum rated it it was ok. Part of the magic of the Tales of the City series is how timeless the distance can be; reading the books now is sort of like taking part in a time travel vacation, where you're going to a new place AND a different time. Is it magical? But does it feel like a gift, getting an answer to how everybody's doing all these years later? May 20, Paul Jr. After walking all the way from Market and Powell, getting lost, and going up and down Russian Hill at the grand old age of 46, I found myself, winded and sweating, standing on the steps of Macondray Lane—the real life inspiration for the house that has been etched into my psyche for so long—hoping to capture a little bit of the magic of that literary world.
With a wistfulness and longing, the 57 year-old stares through the locked gate of the property, similarly trying to recapture the magic that had been her past life, one she abandoned so many years ago along with her husband and adoptive daughter. With that scene, Maupin perfectly sets the tone for Mary Ann in Autumn, a sweet and solid entry in the Tales of the City mythos that is part nostalgia for both the readers and the character of Mary Ann , and a deceptively simple exploration of the desire for one person to discover who they truly are after pursuing who they thought they wanted to be.
Mary Ann has returned to San Francisco after some shocking revelations in her personal life, and the first person she contacts is her old friend, Mouse, now happily married to the younger Ben. From the moment Maupin brings the two together, their voices are as if they have never been apart, easily falling into the playful and sometimes serious banter that made them an endearing couple of friends in the original works.
And here is where the novel succeeds best: the rekindling of that relationship and the literary rehabilitation of Mary Ann. Her journey as she discovered who she was and how she reacts to a city as free as s San Francisco was funny, charming, mysterious and a little bit sad. But starting in the 4th book in the series, Babycakes, Mary Ann found herself in search of a career and she became a not-so-likable person, one who seemed willing to turn her back on family and friends. It was disheartening for me as a reader to see Mary Ann transformed such.
It was spot on. I wanted her to always stay Mary Ann. And that, alone, is a testament to Maupin and the character he created. I never wanted her to change. In Mary Ann in Autumn, though, we find a character who is, again, at a turning point. As she approaches the autumn of her life, she has obviously been taking stock, looking closely at her past choices, the repercussions of some not-so-great actions. In trying to find a way forward, she is looking back at the people she has left behind, one of whom happens to be herself.
And she finds that little bit of herself, again. Through him—someone without the shared history—we get to learn this new Mary Ann. Maupin is in excellent form here, capturing everything we readers have loved about Tales, but never once relying on our nostalgia for the series. His San Francisco is just as vibrant and alive as his San Francisco of the 70s and 80s.
It has simply grown and changed, morphed into something different, no less charming or infections as its previous incarnation. She fixates on an old homeless woman named Leia, and stumbles onto a mystery that she must solve, a mystery that gives us readers a genuine aha!
Now I tend to pride myself on figuring out twists and turns, but Maupin honestly got me on these. Perhaps I was just naive, but I was genuinely taken by surprise by the twists. In the character department, Mrs. But I never felt their absence in this novel because Maupin has expertly woven their spirits into the work. Mona is there…a large part of her spirit embodied in Shawna…and Brian is present as well, aspects of his personality richly resonant in two of the new characters.
One might even spot a younger version of Mouse or, perhaps, a successor to Mrs. He shows us that you can indeed go home again, though that home will have changed and grown just as we have. Most importantly, he shows us that while 28 Barbary Lane may have become a single-family dwelling, its spirit is still strong. Highly recommended. Feb 12, Laura rated it liked it Shelves: audio-books , read , american-fiction , contemporary-fiction , glbt. Jake meets a new man at Pier Encouraged by Mrs Madrigal, Jake takes a chance on Jonah.
Jake makes a big decision. Episode Five Mary Ann has an unwelcome encounter with a presence from her past. Shawna is upset by Michael's revelation. Dramatised by Lin Coghlan Producer Susan Roberts Director Charlotte Riches For more than three decades, Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City series has blazed a trail through popular culture-from ground-breaking newspaper serial to classic novel.
Radio 4 are dramatising the full series of the Tales novels for the very first time. Dec 26, Erik rated it liked it. The last two books set in this first decade of the twenty-first century. Even better: Might I suggest Maupin stick with his self-contained novels — like Maybe the Moon and The Night Listener — as they have show Maupin at his narrative best, with their tightly woven plots and brilliant characterization.
Dec 03, Ed rated it really liked it Shelves: , 4-stars , part-of-a-series , read-on-kindle , lgbtq. I have such affection and nostalgia for the Tales of the City books and the subsequent mini-series so much so that when I was in NYC this fall, it was a no-brainer that I would see Laura Linney in a play just to see "Mary Ann" in-person. So when I opened the book well, okay clicked onto the screen and saw that Armistead Maupin had dedicated this volume to Linney, he pretty was going to have to do something abominable to make me not love this book.
The book quickly took me back into the lives o I have such affection and nostalgia for the Tales of the City books and the subsequent mini-series so much so that when I was in NYC this fall, it was a no-brainer that I would see Laura Linney in a play just to see "Mary Ann" in-person.
The book quickly took me back into the lives of these characters and their beloved city of San Francisco, it was like meeting up with old friends and not missing a beat. Alas, we have all aged since the original books and while the characters are a wee bit older than myself, there was still a lot that I could personally relate to and there are a sprinkling of new characters to keep it fresh, though some Michael's biz partner Jake and non-biz partner Ben were first introduced in Maupin's first dip back into the Tales waters in Michael Tolliver Lives.
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I am sure even some fans may feel like Maupin should have quit while he was ahead, but for me as long as he wants to write about these characters, I'll be reading. Jun 03, Missyjack rated it it was ok. As an ardent fan of the Tales series since they appeared, this was a book I wish I hadn't bothered to read. While Michael Tolliver Lives got by on that feel of a "reunion special", and gave the reader a chance to reflect on what was different and what was the same about queer life two decades apart, Mary Ann in Autumn has nothing similar to offer.
What made the earlier books so wonderful was Maupin's ability to combine over the top melodrama with relationships that had a real emotional resonance As an ardent fan of the Tales series since they appeared, this was a book I wish I hadn't bothered to read. What made the earlier books so wonderful was Maupin's ability to combine over the top melodrama with relationships that had a real emotional resonance, and that is missing here. There's no insight into how aging has affected these characters beyond the most superficial observations. Every time it seems like some dramatic tension may be building, it's passed over.
It feels more like the outline of a book, than a real story.
Instead of reading this, go back and reread the early books. Aug 28, Jackie rated it it was amazing Shelves: massive-yet-awesome-series , generally-gay-not-strictly-straight , an-ideal-dining-companion. I went into this book with so many expectations and was not disappointed.
It was nice to be back in the third person, roving perspectives, multiple story lines land that I loved so much about the rest of the series. I missed Brian quite a bit, but I can understand why Maupin had him off driving from National Park to National Park for the duration of the novel not dead, thank goodness, but alive in an RV ; he did tend to steal focus from Mary Ann, and this is firmly her book. She's also complete I went into this book with so many expectations and was not disappointed. She's also completely redeemed, and not in a reversal-of-all-past-plot-lines way--her past, the good and the bad, went toward making her the woman she is--but in a way that felt very real.
We all have friends like this. I could go on and on. I won't. Instead, here's a list of five things off the top of my head: 1 I actually like Ben now. After my mom read Michael Tolliver Lives she and I had a very interesting conversation about revised expectations as you get older she liked Ben from the get-go; I didn't, longing for the days of activist Thack or hottie Jon Fielding , which I didn't entirely buy.
He's cool. I hope I don't have to explain why this is amazing. Seriously, there are like twenty mentions of Snuggies in this book. And they're mostly in praise of Snuggies. This is perhaps the best thing ever. And her status? Oh man. That read like the plot-line Michael would have had if he were still Jake's age. But it was also the most heartfelt part of the book, I thought. Two thumbs up. I'm just gonna say that I saw that coming from a mile away--most of it anyway--and that was fine by me. DeDe is and always will be amazing. I need to go back to the first two books and catalog her amazingness, because I caught on to this fairly late in the game and I need to take all the enjoyment out of it I can.
Repeat after me: DeDe is amazing. Also, this isn't a five-star book of the caliber of the other five-star books I have listed here, but it felt wrong giving anything that put such a wide smile on my face anything less than five stars. If this is the last Tales book ever I'll be sad, but it's a good ending, it came full circle, and it left me with a warm feeling. It was good seeing you again, guys. Don't party too hard. Dec 11, Nicolas Chinardet rated it liked it. This lastest instalment of the series feels like a return to the original formula of Tales of the City.
After a slight departure from this with Michael Tolliver Lives, Maupin has again used one of his slightly unbelievable thriller-type plots to give a stage to the characters we love. The mystery part of the book is very predictable but that's not really the reason why we read those books. Possibly not the best of the series. Dec 10, Laurel-Rain rated it it was amazing. Mary Ann Singleton is back in San Francisco from Connecticut after two personal calamities have knocked her off course.
She had fled the city twenty years before, to escape a bad marriage; she left her adopted daughter behind as well. Now she is staying with two old friends, Michael Tolliver and his partner Ben, hoping to sort out the mess of her life in the nurturing comfort provided by friendship. The story reveals an intriguing cast of characters that includes Michael and his business partner Mary Ann Singleton is back in San Francisco from Connecticut after two personal calamities have knocked her off course. The story reveals an intriguing cast of characters that includes Michael and his business partner Jake, who is undergoing transgender surgeries, officially changing from female to male.
Then there is Ben, who spends time every day in the dog park, where he meets unusual people, including a man named Cliff. And finally, there is also Anna Madrigal, who is an elderly woman who has been like a touchstone for these friends, both in the past and in the present. While traversing the city, Shawna connects with a homeless woman to whom she feels strangely connected. Since "Mary Ann in Autumn: A Tales of the City Novel" is part of a series called Tales of the City, all of these characters have a history chronicled in previous tomes; this one felt like a brief glimpse of a life at a particular moment in time, but with several threads from the past finally coming together in the end.
Surprisingly, the connections mesh quickly in this rather short book of pages, but even with just this brief look into the lives of these characters, I felt as though I had come to know them. Now I want to read the other books in the series. Five stars. Jan 15, Bev rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites. I have been a fan of Maupin's "Tales of the City" series since the very first tale was serialized in the San Francisco Chronicle a bazillion years ago.
I was thrilled when "Tales" was first published in book form and have followed each subsequent book as it has been published I think I read three of them in serialized version in the Chronicle. This latest book does not disappoint. All the major characters are back, all older now. Mary Ann is pushing 60 and has returned from New York to be with I have been a fan of Maupin's "Tales of the City" series since the very first tale was serialized in the San Francisco Chronicle a bazillion years ago.
Mary Ann is pushing 60 and has returned from New York to be with her best friend Michael Mouse as she deals with a major life crisis. Madrigal has sold the place on Barbary Lane, and is now living in an old house, with a roommate new character. She's older, slower, but still rolling those funny cigarettes and giving sage advice. Mouse is happily married to Ben, whom he married before it was outlawed in California again. Mostly it's familiar characters having talks like old times and I have to admit that part of the way through it, though I was enjoying it, I was wondering what the point of it all was, as the chapters rolled by.
But then Something Happened that brought all the seemingly disparate pieces together and that reminded me of why I enjoy Maupin's writings so much. I also love Maupin because he mentions places I know intimately and tosses out lines like "Was it fun Johnny O? If you've been a fan of Maupin's books before, you'll enjoy this one too.