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Sure of You

(Tales of the City #6)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  7,933 ratings  ·  282 reviews
Inspiration for the Netflix Limited Series, Tales of the City

The sixth novel in the beloved Tales of the City series, Armistead Maupin’s best-selling San Francisco saga.

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. Caught in the middle is their longtime friend, a gay man whose own
...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published May 29th 2007 by Harper Perennial (first published 1989)
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Average rating 4.05  · 
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 ·  7,933 ratings  ·  282 reviews


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Fabian
Mar 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dan
Jun 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Richard Derus
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,
...more
Laura Grable
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mark
Jun 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Julia Putnam
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. ...more
Ruby Grad
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. ...more
Bonnie
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
James
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
...more
Rory
May 16, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Thomas Inskeep
Jul 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The final “proper” book of the TOTC series is a splendid finalé, mercifully without the big, soapy whodunit plotlines of which Maupin is often fond, focusing on the characters about whom we’ve always cared: Michael, Brian, Mary Ann, Mona, and of course Anna Madrigal. In many ways this may be my favorite of the 6 books. God bless Armistead Maupin for inventing these people and bringing them into our lives.
Miles Oliver
Jun 01, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Matt
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
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
audrey
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
...more
cassady
May 16, 2022 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: queer, fiction
Going to finish the series soon.... I recommend Tales of the City to everyone as always....

Probably the least exciting book of the series so far, not too much happens, aside from Mary Ann becoming more unbearable, playing victim and neglecting her family. But the characters are still so real and ever maturing; Michael's HIV status plays a big role in this new depth of character, but it also reveals peoples' naivety and paranoia and inability to handle the present. it's a very difficult and true
...more
Paul
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Eve Kay
Sep 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Dennis Holland
Dec 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don’t really remember what I thought of this originally planned finale to the Tales series when I first read it. Perhaps it was just too long ago or perhaps as a soap watcher all my life I just understood that they always come back and that there would always be more. What I do know is that I am still in love with these folks and very excited that more books exist now in the series that I never read before and that I can go back to Barbary Lane, 90210 for the first time all over again.
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
Ayla
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.
Earl
May 25, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
...more
Steven
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
Selina
Jan 19, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Writerlibrarian
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
Alex
Jan 18, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Julie
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.
John
Nov 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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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
...more

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)

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13 likes · 3 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 …”
“Absolutely.”
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“Life goes on, sport.” 0 likes
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