“Maupin writes with warmth, acuity and tremendous with about ordinary people learning to live with themselves and one another. Read him.”
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
More Tales of the City is the second book in Armistead Maupin’s acclaimed series, and like the first book it was initially serialised in a newspaper column before later being published in novel form. For this reason, the chapters are yet again relatively short – making the book easy to pick up and put down whenever you have time to read – and each chapter successfully captures the audience in a way that compels them to keep reading the novel or in the case of its serialisation, makes them wanting more and anticipating the next instalment in the newspaper.
Picking up right where the first book, Tales of the City, left off the story returns to the lives of some of our much-loved characters including Michael Toliver, Mona Ramsey, Mary Ann Singleton, and their landlady Anna Madrigal, as well as introducing a few new faces. Old dilemmas catch up with the cast of characters while news and intriguing mysteries begin to unfold as Michael pursues his favourite gynaecologist, Mona finds roots in a desert whorehouse, and Mary Ann finds love on a Mexican cruise with a man suffering from amnesia with a confusing and blurry past.
The back and forth chapters that flit from one colourful character to the next builds the suspense throughout the tale, drawing the reader deep into the cast’s lives and complexities.
Maupin perfectly chronicles the fictional lives with the moral, political, sexual and social fluidity of the world as it was in the late 70s as well as reflecting much of what we experience today. A book filled with humour, warmth and Maupin’s usual, clever weaving of plotlines, the conclusion will only make you want to read the next novel in this series.
Catherine Muxworthy, Booksbirdblog
Added 27th October 2021