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I read Tales of the City as a naive, small town boy in Wales in the late Nineties. Now, as I reach my late 30s I still return to the books every year whenever I need a pick me up. So it’s no surprise perhaps that I adored this account of how and where the story began. Written in Maupin’s trademark whimsical style it’s a veritable flutter through the past 40 years, detailing his early days, Tales days and post Tales life. ‘Detailing’ is possibly the wrong word however, as the book races by in series of short vignettes - much like his masterwork. For my part, it could have been double the length and a lot more in-depth but then that’s not AM’s style. Bring on book two I say!
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This autobiography is hardly a ‘warts and all’ tell all tale but does offer a fascinating glimpse of the man behind the epic ‘Tales of the City’ saga. Maupin narrates his own life. But glimpses are all that are on offer here. Then again, how to do full justice to a literary career - and life - that has spanned so many decades and both mirrored and been a part of such significant social change.
Recommended for fans of the ‘Tales’ series and those interested in gay history alike.
At a time when my country finally joined the 21st century to recognise the 28 year relationship between my husband & I, this book was such a source of joy & comfort. The characters of TOTC, the story of their genesis & the inspiring life of Armistead Maupin have uplifted my spirits when my relationship with my own biological family was tested. Thankfully I have a wonderful logical family and I see bits of Mouse, MaryAnn & Anna in them all. Forever grateful xx