Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Sure of You (Tales of the City, #6)” as Want to Read:
Sure of You (Tales of the City, #6)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Sure of You

(Tales of the City #6)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  7,308 ratings  ·  251 reviews
In this, the sixth and final self-contained volume of Armistead Maupin's epic chronicle of modern life, a fiercely ambitious TV talk show host finds she must choose between national stardom in New York and a husband and child in San Francisco. Wistful and compassionate yet subversively funny, Sure of You is a triumphant finale to one of the most addictively entertaining se ...more
Paperback, 284 pages
Published 1991 by Black Swan (first published 1989)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Sure of You, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Sure of You

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,308 ratings  ·  251 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Sure of You (Tales of the City, #6)
Mar 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
It's testament to the writer's insatiable wit that the last volume in the Tales of the City Chronicles ends with the main protagonists (Mary Ann, Mona, Ana Madrigal, Brian and Michael) at the forefront, no new characters added (Michael's boyfriend was added in the previous, and less successful of the novels, "Significant Others"; plus a returning character from book II stirs up the p(l)ot). We get to down to the basic blocks, the glue that has kept all these characters in each other's company in ...more
Jun 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my favorite one, so far. It's also the shortest, but Maupin packs in a lot of pathos. There's a new level of poignancy and maturity here. It's still a funny and fun read, but this is decidedly a political novel, embodied by Michael's lover Thack. Sure of You definitely moved me. I was tearing up when Michael thought he'd developed KS - don't worry, that's not a spoiler, especially considering the title of the next book in the series.

I was glad to see Mona played a sizable role here. For
Laura Grable
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Here is where Maupin starts to get all sentimental on us - and I just love it! We also get what the "Tales" books have never had before - a villian that we can boo and hiss at. And what do you know? It's Mary Ann! The book is a wonderful study in how relationships change and how we all develop over time. The Mary Ann in this book seems a million miles away from the young ingenue that we met in "Tales 1" and yet she IS one and the same. Michael really comes into his own in this book too; no longe ...more
Julia Putnam
Mar 31, 2012 rated it it was ok
I cannot stress enough how much I hate Mary Ann. There were several times when I had to put the book down because I was so mad at her. I guess that means the writings good? I just question making the supposed lead character unbearable . Michael is still amazing and makes me cry. I like Brian too and I hate that he loves Mary Ann despite what a b***h she is. Not my favorite for sure. Hopefully we won't have to deal with her in the next book.
Apr 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another entertaining installment of Tales of the City. This one includes humor, pathos, heart break, temptation, love, and the characters I've come to know and love. I would have liked a bit more about Mrs. Madrigal, but we did get more of Mona and a strong focus on Michael. We see sides of Mary Ann that we'd hoped weren't there. I'll be getting #7 as soon as I can. I really do love this series.
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Am enjoying this series so much. I love the characters and the story is weird enough to be true. Love everything about it.
John Turner
Aug 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
There’s a lot of tension and angst in this book #6 in the Tales if the City serial, making it, in my opinion, the best of the series so far. Conflict between Mary and Brian; Michael’s escalating health issues, under control, but getting more tenuous; Anna (mother) and Mona (daughter) take a trip to Greece, disapprove of each other’s life-style; Mary Ann’s old beau and past resurface; a wealthy philanthropist and his stunning wife waltz through, creating conflict. Just a slice of life episode.
Jun 08, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Armistead Maupin published the first Tales novel in 1978, and the sixth was published in 1989. Of course, he has written a few in the last couple of years, but I am going to hold off on reading them for now (although I own them).

Overall, I am glad I read these novels. I had been meaning to read them for years, and I'm thankful Fenella picked the first one for our book club. They made for quick, entertaining stories. I grew to know and care about the core characters in these six novels, and it sa
May 16, 2007 rated it really liked it
The final book in original cannon has grown on me sine I first read it years ago. Each of the many characters in the series gets a cameo in the story--with the exception of about three--from Connie to Prue and it gives a sense of who and what might been down the road.

Rereading the series and this book gave me a greater sense of how and why Maupin did what he did with the story. Even though I still wihs for better happy ending for the characters, part of the theme of the book is growing up and le
Miles Oliver
Jun 01, 2012 rated it did not like it
Easily the most depressing of all the books (so far). To think that this was considered the end to the series for so many years is something of a let-down. Although I didn't care for Babycakes nearly as much as the others, at least the first five novels were filled with quirky storylines and inventive plot devices. Sure of You is almost too realistic for the general tone of Maupin's work. The biggest let-down was the total decompensation of Mary Ann into the antithesis of the heroinne that she w ...more
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
In its sixth volume, Tales of the City is more insular and cynical than ever—and that’s only a good thing about half the time.

Where previous books in the series move their plot forward by bringing new characters to Barbary Lane, Sure of You does so by returning to the roots of the series, deepening the relationships of the characters we’ve come to care about over the course of a few hundred pages.

Everyone’s moved away from 28 Barbary Lane in the three years since the last volume: Brian and Mary
Robin Reynolds
I have loved all of the books in this series so far, until now. In the previous book, I was disappointed in the person Mary Ann had become. Being a local celebrity had gone to her head. And it's stayed there. I did not like her at all in this book. The blurb on the back of the book says she “must choose between national stardom in New York and a husband and child in San Francisco.” She didn't have to choose. The choice was made the minute a chance at stardom in New York was offered to her. She c ...more
I know I'm in the minority in liking this book more than many others in the series, but hear me out. The events in this book feel like they're the natural progression of character arcs that have been built since the very beginning. Michael, Brian and Mary Ann are exactly who you could see them becoming over the course of the previous five books. The Things They Eventually Do, while in some cases cruel, are exactly what I'd been expecting from the very beginning.

And that is delicious storytellin
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-read
I am late to discovering this series, but each installment has been a quick, enjoyable read. It's also been fun to encounter one the earlier mainstream representations of gay and lesbian individuals and ponder how relevant the characters' stories are still today. I also appreciate the cultural references and descriptions of life in San Francisco and the sometimes thinly veiled characters based on real-life personalities.
Eve Kay
Sep 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, gayness
What a great way of ending the series.
I liked the book so much, I'm gonna leave it at this and not read any more.
I didn't like how things ended for Mrs. Madrigal, I have no idea why Maupin made Mary Ann the way he did and D'Orothea and Dede being main characters in the previous book were invisible in this one again.
But, Michael and Brian, their stories went how they should have and in the end I was left with a little bit of a sad feeling now that their stories are finished for me. Mona was broug
Adam Carson
Much darker than the Tales books that came before - very much reflecting the time. Same familiar chracters but left me feeling slightly anxious throughout. That said, Maupin is a master at capturing real relationships - and real loss
Dec 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio-books
This sixth volume of Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City was originally the final one in the series after he revived it about two decades later. It didn’t feel like it ended at all. There’s no problem with ambiguous endings so we can imagine the characters continue living their lives after we close the books but this one felt it needed a few more chapters.

I liked that the problems in this one was more grounded and less scandalous. It gave us a chance to focus on how the characters have changed.
Aug 22, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was originally intended to be the last of the "Tales of the City" series until Armistead Maupin had a change of heart and, after a lapse of 18 years, wrote three more books beginning with "Michael Tolliver Lives." "Sure of You" has the feeling of a finale, but it is perhaps the least satisfying and bleakest book of the six I have read. Reflective of the time in which it was written -- the end of the 1980s -- it embodies the anxiety, depression, and exhaustion of the gay community over HIV/A ...more
Jan 19, 2012 rated it liked it
I'd read every book of this series from tales of the city right through to the latest, Mary Ann in Autumn, except for THIS one and heard that many fans of the series were disappointed or horrified at the turn of events - it all seemed to happen in this book, where Mary Ann turned into a complete b*tch, leaving her husband and adopted daughter behind to pursue fame and fortune in New York City.

This installment doesn't really have enough going for it to stand on it's own as a book apart from the
This was the last book in the original Tale of the City series. Published in 1990, it ends the series on a depressing note. It's good that I have now Michael Toliver Lives to look forward to because if the series had really ended with this one. I would be a little pissed. Nothing is really resolved for anyone. Mary Ann and Brian's marriage explodes, their kid is a brat, Michael and Thack are happy together but with the AIDS sword over their heads with a false or not alarm that Michael has develo ...more
Jan 18, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: gay
Marginally better than I remembered it, mainly because I know that Maupin didn't manage to ruin his series with his premature plan to kill it off: a miserable Michael making the most of what he has, even as treatment for HIV is improving and becoming marginally more affordable, but with the subtext of impending death; a completely unsympathetic and ridiculous character assassination of Mary Ann; an unlikely retconning of Brian that ignores his developments of books three and four and doesn't tak ...more
Mike Ryan
Aug 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is the second time I've read this book. I've read all of Armistead Maupin's books already. After watching the recent Netflix mini-series, I decided to go back and re-read the entire Tales of the City series. Now that I'm done with the first two trilogies, I'm really glad I've re-read them.

His writing is so fluid, so casual that he makes it look easy. Characters, locales and certain times in history are portrayed excellently.

In this book, we really see harsh reality set in. Mary Ann and Bri
Mar 23, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Finally, we are approaching the last installment of the Tales of the City/Back to Barbary Lane series. How many books was this? Six? Eight? Maupin is witty, entertaining, caustic and talented. If you love the irreverence and eccentricity of San Francisco and its inhabitants, Maupin is your man. His characters are memorable and grow on you. Each successive entry charts their progress (or decline). The spectre of AIDS (a topic Maupin was intimately familiar with) looms in the background. But his c ...more
Jul 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, lgbt
The familiar Barbary Lane's characters are back, a little older. Reading this book feels like a high school re-union, where familiar faces trigger powerful memories, and we are faced with the realization that those time are gone, and time flew by. Michael moved to the Castro with his partner, living what would be a great life if not for the HIV virus in his blood. Mrs Madrigal and her daughter Mona travel to the Greek islands, and Mary Ann is given a great work opportunity that may strain her re ...more
Andrew Chidzey
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a joy to return to Barbary Lane and pick up with these characters - it really is like a family! In this latest version we follow Michael who is battling his diagnosis with HIV and the unknown as to if and when the virus may develop into AIDS that has taken so many of his friends. Mrs Madrigal journeys to Greece to find her daughter and encounters love along the way and Mary-Ann and Brian face an unexpected hurdle. Reading these novels is like a hug from a parent - comfortable, familiar and ...more
Sean Kennedy
What was then the final part of the Tales city ends on a downer as Maupin totally destroys one character so that Michael Tolliver becomes the 'heart' of the series. The downfall of Mary Ann Singleton never comes across as realistic or believable to me - she seems to jump from likable to raging arsehole between books. Once again, the author leaves it to the reader to fill in the blanks, as it were.

In the end, this book seems rather bitter. It's not that I mind characters developing and changing -
David Jay
Aug 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite book of the series thus far & the perfect ending, which it was when I read it 20 something years ago. I reread the first six books of the series so I would be prepared, reminded of things, as I read book 7 and eight, & I must confess, I have very mixed feelings. The first six books are so perfect together, and so complete. What more is there to say?

The five star rating is really for this series as a whole.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Great America...: Sure of You - Buddy Read 4 16 Aug 29, 2020 06:29AM  
Armistead Maupin ...: Sure of You 1 1 Oct 03, 2017 11:31AM  
Armistead Maupin ...: Sure of You 1 2 Oct 27, 2014 06:12PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Queer Theory: An Introduction
  • The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk
  • Blue Heaven
  • A Midwinter Prince (A Midwinter Prince #1)
  • The Lost Prince (A Midwinter Prince #2)
  • Last Summer
  • A Saint from Texas
  • The Times I Knew I Was Gay
  • The Prettiest Star
  • Talk to the Snail: Ten Commandments for Understanding the French
  • The Lizard King: The Essential Jim Morrison
  • Tallulah!: The Life and Times of a Leading Lady
  • Tallulah: My Autobiography
  • Never Trump: The Revolt of the Conservative Elites
  • De gelukkige huisvrouw
  • The Price of Salt: A Norton Critical Edition
  • The Secret of Hanging Rock
  • The Salem Witch Trials: A Day-By-Day Chronicle of a Community Under Siege
See similar books…
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

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 (Tales of the City, #5)
  • Michael Tolliver Lives (Tales of the City, #7)
  • Mary Ann in Autumn (Tales of the City, #8)
  • The Days of Anna Madrigal (Tales of the City, #9)

News & Interviews

You’d think that with, well, everything this year has had in store for us, readers would flock to sweet stories with happy endings. But as...
189 likes · 70 comments
“Thack seemed to sort something out for a moment.
“Sometimes I watch him when he’s playing with Harry or digging in the yard. And I think: This is it, this is the guy I’ve waited for all my life. Then this other voice tells me not to get used to it, that it’ll only hurt more later. It’s funny. You’re feeling this enormous good fortune and waiting for it to be over at the same time.”
“You seem happy,” Brian ventured.
“I am.”
“Well … that’s a lot. I envy you that.”
Thack shrugged. “All we’ve got is now, I guess. But that’s all anybody gets. If we wasted that time being scared …”
“Life goes on, sport.” 0 likes
More quotes…