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The Days of Anna Madrigal (Tales of the City #9)

3.99  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,414 Ratings  ·  671 Reviews
Suspenseful, comic, and touching, the ninth and final novel in Armistead Maupin's bestselling Tales of the City series follows one of modern literature's most unforgettable and enduring characters—Anna Madrigal, the legendary transgender landlady of 28 Barbary Lane—on a road trip that will take her deep in her past.

Now a fragile ninety-two years old and committed to the no
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Hardcover, 270 pages
Published January 21st 2014 by Harper (first published January 1st 2014)
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Shannon Yarbrough
Dec 16, 2013 Shannon Yarbrough rated it liked it
Having read all of the Tales series, I was very excited to dive into what is to be the last book in the series, which as the title suggests, catches us up on the beloved Anna Madrigal. We find Anna in her 90s, aging gracefully and still with all her wit and charm. Her storyline shines here through flashbacks to when she was "Andy" and living at the Blue Moon, a whorehouse run by his mother. We see Andy's interest in a local town boy named Lasko, and a horrible misunderstanding that Anna regrets ...more
Lisa
Jan 25, 2014 Lisa rated it it was ok
I have loved this series, and have read many of the books multiple times. While the writing is fairly average, the CHARACTERS created and developed over the past few decades (since 1976) have been warm and endearing and real. When walking around SF, it feels like they have truly walked there before me. I’ve gone in search of some spots immortalized in the novels and mini series, climbed the steps at Macondray (aka Barbary) Lane, and an Irish Coffee at the Buena Vista immediately after moving her ...more
Dan
Apr 13, 2016 Dan rated it really liked it
I feel like a broken record: I loved this book and I'm sad to see the series end. Seems like I've been saying that about a lot of these books. Maupin keeps moving the goal post on us. But, you know what? Who cares! I'm happy to spend as much time with these zany people as possible.

In The Days of Anna Madrigal, Maupin redeems the series in expert fashion. The last couple of books were the weakest of the bunch, but they did introduce a device that is used to great effect here: They were more or le
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Richard Derus
Jul 31, 2014 Richard Derus rated it it was amazing
Rating: 4.8* of five

The Publisher Says: Suspenseful, comic, and touching, the ninth and final novel in Armistead Maupin's bestselling Tales of the City series follows one of modern literature's most unforgettable and enduring characters—Anna Madrigal, the legendary transgender landlady of 28 Barbary Lane—on a road trip that will take her deep in her past.

Now a fragile ninety-two years old and committed to the notion of "leaving like a lady," Anna Madrigal has seemingly found peace in the bosom o
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Doc Kinne
Jan 22, 2014 Doc Kinne rated it it was amazing
Stories, in the end, are personal, and because of that reviews tend to be bullshit.

The Tales of the City Saga helped me Come Out 25 years ago. It taught me the meaning of family - real family - although I constantly struggle in effectively communicating that today. Nearly 18 years later, the series would teach me how to begin growing old, and, in a way that I find eerie to this day, I would find myself living a part of the Tales Saga through my last great relationship. You cannot review somethin
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David Jablonowski
Feb 02, 2014 David Jablonowski rated it it was amazing
Mostly really good. The Michael character is the only one who feels a little less like his old character and more like the author himself (which, yes I know, he was since the beginning). Or perhaps it is because we now know Armistead Maupin and his life more than we did before. Of course I loved it because it is a series that was so important to me from day one of my coming out, and I think it was a lovely, sweet, sad, appropriate end to the series. It's easy to wish that there was more of one o ...more
Ivan
Oct 27, 2013 Ivan rated it it was amazing
It’s funny how things work out. I share a place with my sister (we are the proverbial Baldwin sisters, she a widow, me a spinster). She flew to the left coast for a reunion with friends and I stayed home only to be reunited with my Barbary Lane friends. I am not a quick reader, I tend to savour, doubly true in this instance. I don’t look at these books as independent volumes, but rather additional chapters in the same story. Maupin has said this is the last in the series. I hope not. Sinatra ann ...more
Jenne
Nov 18, 2013 Jenne rated it liked it
so...Burning Man. Mr. Maupin, you're lucky I love you.
Melody
Jan 24, 2015 Melody rated it it was amazing
"You cannot be loved by someone who doesn't want to know you."

The ninth book in a series, the final book in a series, is often phoned in. So many times the reader is as weary as the author, and the partnership is somehow a collusion of two people pretending to still care. This, on the other hand, is a benediction. A definite farewell, a summation, a wrapping up with bawdy wrapping paper and EL ribbons. Things come together in the same magical fashion that one remembers from the earliest moments
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Kyle
This is a book awash with nostalgia. Many, many former characters, living and dead, notable and not notable, are brought back and remembered for one last time, because this is, as Maupin has widely stated, the final book in the series.

And it's because of this nostalgia, I think, that the book somehow misses it's mark. By moving the setting from San Francisco to Burning Man, Maupin tries to evoke a place similar to San Francisco in the 70's (I think, I wasn't alive then), where anything goes and
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Janet Gardner
Jan 27, 2014 Janet Gardner rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this, probably more than it deserved. I’m a huge fan of the entire series, and I was so happy to have a new installment that I pretty much gobbled it up. I’m particularly fond of what I call the “old guard” but my husband insists are the “classic characters”: Michael, Mary Ann, Brian, and of course Anna. (Does anyone else still miss Mona?) They were all there (though Mary Ann’s part seemed rather superficial), but a lot of pages--too many pages, in my opinion--were given over to the “n ...more
Cynthia
Feb 06, 2014 Cynthia rated it really liked it
An Ending

“The Days of Anna Madrigal” is the story of matriarch Anna’s last days. As you’ll remember Anna is the feisty transvestite and proprietor/house mother of San Francisco’s Barbary Lane from Maupin’s earlier books. She’s now 93 and all her extended family are gathering around her hoping to make her remaining days or years pleasant. To achieve this Brian and his new love take Anna on a trip down memory lane, a trip through her childhood. Maupin is great at intertwining the stories of many i
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Richard
Aug 11, 2014 Richard rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-13
If this really is the end (Say it ain't so!), it is a perfect last chapter. Much less frustrating than Sure of You, the first "final" book... even though I liked that ending more than most people did...

This is probably my second favorite book in the entire series (after the second installment, More Tales, which is my favorite book ever). It takes a minute to get rolling - although there is a delightful surprise early on - and it isn't as driven by suspense and mystery as many of the earlier nove
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Rick
Apr 04, 2014 Rick rated it it was amazing
I have been a fan of this series since I began reading it back in the early 1980s. It just gets sweeter, more profound, funnier, and more poignant as it goes along.
David Mckinnon
Feb 04, 2014 David Mckinnon rated it it was amazing
I was reluctant to begin this latest "Tales Of The City" adventure. I have read and and loved all of the volumes leading up to this, the ninth. My reluctance came only because I knew that this was to be the last of the series, and I did not want to see it end. I did not want to say goodbye to Mrs. Madrigal, to Michael, to Mary Ann, to Brian and Jon, to all of those who peopled the world that is San Francisco.

But, like me, the characters have aged. Anna Madrigal is in her nineties, Mouse and Mary
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Sian Lile-Pastore
Jan 16, 2014 Sian Lile-Pastore rated it it was amazing
I was utterly charmed by this book. There is something so wonderful about meeting these characters again after many years, it feels like you are catching up with people you know and it's bittersweet too as they have all aged and anna madrigal is 92 and getting frail.

All the guys are here - anna, brian, michael and mary ann along with new characters too, and there is also quite a lot about anna's childhood at the whorehouse which I really enjoyed.

Has cute contemporary references too about etsy
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Phil Williams
Feb 20, 2014 Phil Williams rated it it was amazing
I was 22 years old when I read the first of the Tales of the City novels. I was hanging out in coffee shops at the time, reading entire books while downing cup after cup of overpriced, bad coffee while chatting (okay, I was cruising) the customers. Men would see what I was reading and remark how they had loved Maupin's books when they had read them on their initial release ten years before. By reading these books, I had become a member of the Tales of the City club, an unorganized group of men a ...more
Susy
Feb 08, 2014 Susy rated it liked it
I have loved the Tales of the City books and I did truly cry at the end. Somehow this went out with a whimper for me though. It felt a little forced. It it drove me crazy that Maupin spelled Emeryville - EMORYville. Been away that long???
Ed

This 5-star rating is pure emotion, sentimentality, and the capping off a 20-year reading experience. You just can't jump into this book and think it's any good or special or get any of the characters or history. And even if you do, there's nothing overtly extraordinary here too, just Armistead Maupin's magic and the emotional weight of it being the end of the road for the Tales of the City.

Near the start of the novel, a smile crossed my face with my thought being "They are still out there, afte
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Naomi Young
Maupin has said this will be the last of the Tales books. I suppose that's likely, although there are stories here to be woven into something new if he changes his mind or is haunted by the muse. But if he doesn't, as this book closes, you can draw out your own endings for them here... mostly happy endings, with one notably jarring exception.

If you don't already know the Tales of the City series, I can't explain, and if you do, I don't need to. This book focuses mainly on Anna Madrigal, the Bar
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Bob H
Jan 14, 2015 Bob H rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, lgbt
As someone who has followed this series from its beginning, this, the ninth (and most likely last) is a good resolution of the lives that Mr. Maupin has given us. It centers on, arguably, the most beloved character, Mrs. Madrigal, but it also brings along other well-told characters, all of whom are now coping with aging, complicated family lives, and their pasts. The story follows several threads among them as they go to the Burning Man festival, and mingles it with flashbacks to Mrs. Madrigal's ...more
Emilie
Mar 22, 2014 Emilie rated it really liked it
I discovered Tales of the City completely randomly when I was a young 15-year-old in South Carolina. 1970's San Francisco might as well have been another world. I've said many times since then that Michael Tolliver was my first gay friend; I'm convinced that reading about him at a young age affected me deeply, and forever. I love him like an old friend, and I love the other characters in these books despite their fictional status. They are a family to each other and to the readers who have been ...more
Neil Plakcy
Jun 03, 2015 Neil Plakcy rated it really liked it
It took me a little while to get back to these characters, who I loved so much when I was younger, but once I did I was drawn back in by Maupin's talent at creating real people, juggling together multiple story lines, and writing funny lines.
J.D.
Feb 18, 2014 J.D. rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
I loved this book but the Burning Man segments kept it from getting 5 stars. Like many other reviews I read, I finished the book thinking, "they didn't all get together? Not even for one evening around the fire?" Michael passed out, Anna had a vision she needed to go to him because he was alone and then he left before she got there only to miss her "leaving"??? I was so happy to be reading another "City" book I read it quickly. Perhaps I need to go back and digest it slowly and see if I missed s ...more
Mark Field
Mar 29, 2014 Mark Field rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rainbow-reading, 2014
5 stars out of sentimentality really! The early Tales of the City novels had a huge impact on my life and coming out, I had a crush on Michael Tolliver (who didn't...?) I had a friend just like Mary Ann Singleton, but all I needed was an Anna Madrigal! I wore out the VCR watching repeats of Tales of The City television series, and I so loved Olympia Dukakis portrayal of Anna Madrigal. I did thoroughly enjoy this instalment, the first I have read in years, but was pleased to see all the old faces ...more
Kerry
Apr 28, 2014 Kerry rated it it was ok
I loved this series, and realized before reading this last book that there was no way it could end that would make me feel like the ending had done justice to the series. The more involved we got with ancillary characters, and the further in time and distance we got from Barbary Lane, the more I just wanted Mary Ann and Mouse and Mona and Anna back. Delving into backstory and the whole burning man thing -- it lost me. So I will say that I love ANY time I get to spend with these characters, but I ...more
Lorraine
Feb 27, 2015 Lorraine rated it liked it
The Days of Anna Madrigal is the ninth and final novel in Maupin’s Tales of the City series. The first three volumes were made into TV miniseries starring Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis. I am certain that if you’ve never read the previous novels, then this one would not be a good place to start. I went out on a limb and decided to read it anyway, because I went to the author’s reading at a local book store and was fascinated with his storytelling ability, and the number of people in the audien ...more
Alasdair Hepburn
May 10, 2014 Alasdair Hepburn rated it it was amazing
For those who've read any of Armistead Maupin's "Tales of the City" series, this is the latest (maybe the last) in the series, full of some funny moments, some sad bits but overall, a sense of the whole "interconnectedness of things" that links all the other books, and a sense that, even if it is the last, the next episode, like all the best books, happens in the reader's imagination. The "what if..." next chapter.

For those who haven't, then fret not - there are enough hooks that, if you didn't
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Miguel
Dec 22, 2015 Miguel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: queer
O reencontro com as personagens da série Tales Of The City, é também a despedida: da série, e do mais carismático dos seus protagonistas. Com as qualidades e o humor que conhecemos desde o primeiro livro, este é um dos melhores livros das TOTC.
Jason Mock
Jan 20, 2014 Jason Mock rated it it was amazing
Maupin revisits old friends and brings together loose ends of almost forty years of storytelling
in his own unique manner. A perfect capstone to the saga of the former residents of 28 Barbary Lane and their family.
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Armistead Maupin was born in Washington, D.C., in 1944 but grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. A graduate of the University of North Carolina, he served as a naval officer in the Mediterranean and with the River Patrol Force in Vietnam.

Maupin worked as a reporter for a newspaper in Charleston, South Carolina, before being assigned to the San Francisco bureau of the Associated Press in 1971. In 19
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More about Armistead Maupin...

Other Books in the Series

Tales of the City (9 books)
  • Tales of the City (Tales of the City, #1)
  • More Tales of the City (Tales of the City, #2)
  • Further Tales of the City (Tales of the City, #3)
  • Babycakes (Tales of the City, #4)
  • Significant Others
  • Sure of You (Tales of the City, #6)
  • Michael Tolliver Lives (Tales of the City, #7)
  • Mary Ann in Autumn (Tales of the City, #8)

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“It took so long to find you...and now I don't want it to change. I want it all set in amber. I want us and nobody else in the most selfish way you can imagine. I can't help it--I'm old-fashioned. I believe marriage is between a man and a man.” 6 likes
“Michael’s generation—its history of fighting disease and bigotry—sometimes made him grumpier than Ben would like him to be, but he knew what he’d found in Michael: a gift for intimacy like none Ben had ever known.” 2 likes
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