Book 72: More Tales of the City – Armistead Maupin

More Tales of the City picks up where Tales of the City ends and is just as entertaining and difficult to put down!

As the story opens, we find that Mary Ann has inherited money from her former boss Edgar Halcyon (Dede’s father) and she decides to take herself and Michael on a cruise to Mexico. While on the cruise, Mary Ann meets a lovely young man (Burke) and they hit it off. Michael meanwhile meets a former lover and they fall madly back in love.

While Mary Ann and Michael are out cruising, yes that is a double entendre, Brian becomes obsessed with a phantom of love, Mrs. Madrigal and Mona both find family in each other after Mona runs away and discovers her past, and Dede and Beauchamp continue to struggle in their marriage with their impeding children and their marriage.

Although the twist in the last novel, is nowhere near as dark (or gruesome) as one of the twists in this novel, it has lingering affects and Maupin ties it up nicely. This novels main dark twist revolves around Burke, the man Mary Ann met on her cruise, and his amnesia when it comes to his last few months in San Francisco.

My favorite story-line from this novel is the full story of Mrs. Madrigal and the anagram mentioned in Tales of the City. Mrs. Madrigal as we discover, has a convoluted history which is even more convoluted by the introduction of her mother and her ex-wife. We learn that Anna Madrigal was once Andy Ramsey and that her name is an anagram for A Man and a Girl.

Although there are hints Mrs. Madrigal’s gender reassignment, they were not as overt as my professor said they were in the first novel. There are a few hints and the investigator I didn’t mention in the last post pretty much lets you know something is up, but you never make the full connection until this novel.

Again Maupin uses the serialization of this novel to incorporate contemporary events, such as the rise of Anita Bryant and the anti-homosexuality agenda in Florida. However, it is not until the next book (hopefully posted tomorrow) that Maupin truly shows his mastery of this intertwining of historical events as they happen and fictional characters. He hints at it in the final pages of this novel…

Recommendation: READ THEM!!!!! 


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