Mark's Reviews > Further Tales of the City

Further Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin
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's review
Mar 26, 2011

really liked it
Read in March, 2011

Oh dear! Has the shine worn off? Again, I loved this book when I first read it, but found it a tad disappointing this time round. It is the final "Tales" book to have been made into a TV series and I think it is this that it suffers from. Armistead Maupin wrote the screenplays for the adaptations of the first three "Tales" books and was very hands-on in the production. That meant that, in the TV version, he got to improve on the bits that he hadn't got quite right. It is beautiful to see how the characters have developed; they are now in their thirties and no longer the naive twenty-somethings of the first two books. Like all the best dramas that take place over a span of time, Maupin manages to change the characters without losing their essence, which keeps the experience fresh for the reader but rings true and increases the sense of belonging that we feel with these people, as we are growing up with them.
What was disappointing with the book, as opposed to the TV series, was the whole "Bambi in the basement" plotline. In the TV series, Maupin introduced a whole new plotline with Mother Mucca, Mrs Madrigal's mother, which introduced another bittersweet element to the plot, but also provided a whooly satisfying conclusion to the "Bambi" situation. This never really seems to be resolved satisfactorily in the book and whereas the TV series draws to a sentimental, yet satisfactory close, with hints of the sadness to come, the end of the book seems a little rushed and pat. Still, I love Maupin's style of writing and the episodic nature means that I can dip in to it each night and not lose the thread. I really care about the characters and Mrs Madrigal still rocks! I am searching online for kimonos, ready for my metamorphosis into the landlady now that I am nearing her age bracket. (The postman's going to get a shock!)

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Mark Thanks, Peter.

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