Sarah's Reviews > Michael Tolliver Lives

Michael Tolliver Lives by Armistead Maupin
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's review
Feb 25, 2010

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Read from February 25 to 26, 2010

My best friend and I read the Tales of the City series back in 8th and 9th grade (early '90s) and the books were just the perfect mix of shocking and charming for a pair of small-town Midwestern girls who considered ourselves a notch more sophisticated and open-minded than our peers. I remember giggling over how much we loved "Mouse," aka Michael Tolliver, who appears once again, in this 20-years-later follow-up to the Tales of the City chronicles.

Though in parts it reads as nothing more than an afterward to the original series, in which we learn the fates of our beloved, quirky characters, and in parts reads like a gay porn novel (not that I would know), I found this book to be exactly what I was looking for as a TotC devotee, and a little bit more. Sweet, insightful, a bit lame and awkward, but mostly due to Michael's first person aging-awkward-guy narration. Life, death, illness, aging, love, family both "biological" and "logical," all the usual topics, but presented simply and sweetly and from the perspective of a man who once had every reason to believe he would die an early, tragic death (of AIDS) and now unexpectedly faces the equally troubling prospect of living out the course of his natural life, while watching those he loves die and the world change underneath him.

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