From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Maupin denies that this is a seventh volume of his beloved Tales of the City, but—happily—that's exactly what it is, with style and invention galore. When we left the residents of 28 Barbary Lane, it was 1989, and Michael "Mouse" Tolliver was coping with the supposed death sentence of HIV. Now, improved drug cocktails have given him a new life, while regular shots of testosterone and doses of Viagra allow him a rich and inventive sex life with a new boyfriend, Ben, "twenty-one years younger than I am—an entire adult younger, if you must insist on looking at it that way." Number 28 Barbary Lane itself is no more, but its former tenants are doing well, for the most part, in diaspora. Michael's best friend, ladies' man Brian Hawkins, is back, and unprepared for his grown daughter, Shawna, a pansexual it-girl journalist à la Michelle Tea, to leave for a New York career. Mrs. Madrigal, the transsexual landlady, is still radiant and mysterious at age 85. Maupin introduces a dazzling variety of real-life reference points, but the story belongs to Mouse, whose chartings of the transgressive, multigendered sex trends of San Francisco are every bit as lovable as Mouse's original wet jockey shorts contest in the very first Tales, back in 1978. (June)
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Armistead Maupin and his popular Tales of the City series evolved from a mid-1970s column in the San Francisco Chronicle and, over the next decade, attracted a loyal following. Those readers, as well as newcomers to Maupin's fiction, are in for a treat with Michael Tolliver Lives. These loosely connected vignettes benefit from Maupin's engaging voice, though the pacing is a bit uneven in places and plot takes a back seat to well-drawn, likeable characters. Critics inevitable compare the novel to Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones books or Sex and the City, though Maupin generally does it better. First-timers should find the new installment engaging enough to go back to the early volumes.
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