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The Days of Anna Madrigal

(Tales of the City #9)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  5,445 ratings  ·  838 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
Hardcover, 270 pages
Published January 21st 2014 by Harper
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Laci I read this without realizing it was part of a series, and I loved it. While I'm sure I'll have more to appreciate when I re-read it after reading the…moreI read this without realizing it was part of a series, and I loved it. While I'm sure I'll have more to appreciate when I re-read it after reading the rest of the series, I felt that the characters and plot in this book stood just fine on their own. (Obviously too late to answer this for the OP; throwing this out for anyone else who picked this up without realizing there were 8 books before it.)(less)

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Shannon Yarbrough
Dec 10, 2013 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
Doc Kinne
Jan 08, 2014 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
Richard Derus
Jul 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: quiltbag
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
Jan 20, 2014 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
Jun 12, 2013 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
David Jablonowski
Feb 02, 2014 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
Oct 20, 2013 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
Jan 31, 2014 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
Nov 09, 2013 rated it liked it
so...Burning Man. Mr. Maupin, you're lucky I love you. ...more
Aug 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
The ninth entry in the series, we really begin to say goodbye.

But that we read of these radically independent souls, so seldomly now it seems, is a crime!

We enjoy a story from the Matriarch of Russian Hill--when she was a kid and her sex was biological and... wrong! And that the octogenerian makes it back to Nevada, or that the kids make it happen, is what the spirit of Tales is all about: revere the past, embrace the present, change the future.
Janet Gardner
Jan 26, 2014 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
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
Feb 06, 2014 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
Dec 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-13, queer
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
David Mckinnon
Jan 26, 2014 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
From BBC Radio 4:

Episode 1/2:
Anna Madrigal is now 92, but key ghosts in her past are troubling her. Is she prepared to confront them?

Episode 2/2:
The legendary landlady of 28 Barbary Lane embarks on a road trip that will take her deep into her past.

Stars Kate Harper.
Mark Hiser
May 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtq
It is with sadness that I write about The Days of Anna Madrigal. I often reread the Tales of the City series when life feels dark since it leaves me feeling optimistic and hopeful. However, when I get to Book Nine, I know my time with the logical family from 28 Barbary Lane is over; this is is the last book of the series. So, when I close the book, I feel like I have lost dear friends even though the series ends on a beautiful and hopeful note. I grieve.

This plot of this final book of the series
Feb 08, 2014 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???
Apr 04, 2014 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.
Jun 02, 2021 rated it liked it
Well, that was not the best ending I was expecting to a series I absolutely loved
Apr 28, 2014 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
Sian Lile-Pastore
Jan 13, 2014 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
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtq, owned
“It took so long to find you [...] I want it all set in amber. I want us and nobody else in the most selfish way you can possibly imagine.”
After fifteen years since the first book I read, the Tales saga comes to an end, and it couldn’t be in a better way.
A way of remembering without regret or remorse, a way of living the present with a smile, a way of enjoying what life gives us, a way of having hope for the future, near or far, to come.
Anna Madrigal unveils the last details of her own life to
Jun 04, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Felt more like a conclusion for Anna specifically than the end of a 9 book series.

I still really liked it but there were things I'd change, like the fact that the main cast was split into different groups for majority of the book and how Mary Ann, the first character we meet in the whole series and (arguably) the main character of majority of the series was only in 3 scenes and didn't even talk to Anna or Brian throughout the whole thing.

Still really good and my favorite series, I was just a lit

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
Phil Williams
Feb 20, 2014 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
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
Bob H
Dec 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbt, fiction
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
Feb 07, 2014 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
Jan 30, 2014 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
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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

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)
  • 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.” 9 likes
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