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Sure of You (Tales of the City Series) Paperback – Bargain Price, January 7, 1994

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Sure of You (Tales of the City Series) + Significant Others (Tales of the City, Book 5) + Babycakes (Tales of the City Series, V. 4)
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Product Details

  • Series: Tales of the City Series (Book 6)
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (January 7, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060924845
  • ASIN: B001O9CEBY
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #951,192 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The author's six-novel chronicle of gay, straight, single and married life in San Francisco, which began with Tales of the City , comes to a clever, wistful conclusion here. PW praised Maupin's "unerring ability to capture the exact tone of smart urban conversation."
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This sixth, and final, volume of the Tales of the City series finds the now-former residents of 28 Barbary Lane dealing with the late '80s. Michael, after finally finding love with Thack, now must cope with being HIV-positive. Mary Ann's success as a talk-show host puts a fatal strain upon her marriage to Brian. Mona, with Mrs. Madrigal, vacations on the island of Lesbos searching for spiritual roots. Just as the characters have grown and matured over the course of the series, so, too, has Maupin's writing, producing a work that both serves as an appropriate ending for a terrific series and stands on its own as a novel. The publisher will repackage and re-issue the rest of the series upon the publication of this book. Recommended. Quality Paperback Book Club alternate. -- James E. Cook, Dayton & Montgomery Cty. P.L., Ohio
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

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 briefly as a reporter for a newspaper in Charleston, South Carolina, before being assigned to the San Francisco bureau of the Associated Press in 1971. The climate of freedom and tolerance he found in his adopted city inspired him to come out publicly as homosexual in 1974. Two years later, he launched his "Tales of the City" serial in the San Francisco Chronicle, the first fiction to appear in an American daily for decades.

Maupin is the author of nine novels, including the six-volume Tales of the City series, Maybe the Moon, The Night Listener and, most recently, Michael Tolliver Lives. Three miniseries starring Olympia Dukakis and Laura Linney were made from the first three novels in the Tales series. The Night Listener became a feature film starring Robin Williams and Toni Collette.

He lives in Santa Fe with his husband, the photographer Christopher Turner.

Customer Reviews

Like I can remember times like this..
Allen Jeroy
I would put down one book and then quickly pick the next book in the series up and voraciously read it from cover to cover!
david head
Such great fun and interesting twists and turns.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Brian Devinney on August 29, 2001
Format: Paperback
Okay...I adored Mary Ann. I adored her for years. When I moved to NYC, I was given all six Tales of the City books as a present. I would read them and immediately recognize myself as sort of the little lost lamb. For five books, I loved her. Now I hate her. How could you make me hate her?!?!? But I am so glad you did...made me take another look at her and what she is supposed to be made of. However, I think the most enduring person is Anna Madrigal. Finally finding love in Greece (she predicted it in an earlier book) and Mona coming back after being gone for so long.'s not the best of the bunch but the door is left opento pick up for a seventh installment...just to see if Mary Ann gets her comeuppance.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Ged Mack on June 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
The residents of 28 Barbary Lane first came into my life in 1991 and they've remained firmly amongst my favourite literary characters of all time. Having read several reviews of "Sure of You" expressing feelings of disappointment and betrayal, I felt I had to chip in with my "twopenny" worth.

The evolution of all of the main characters (guided by Maupin's prodigiously talented hand) is achingly believable and, I for one think that, as an epilogue, "Sure of You" hits exactly the right notes. The many Mary Ann fans out there who felt particularly let down are maybe in need of a reality check. Look at what has happened to these people in the 12 tumultuous years from 1976 to 1988. How can we realistically expect the warm, cosy, fun-loving and uncomplicated world of the "20somethings" in "Tales" to be untouched by the passage of time as they approach middle age. Mary Ann, in spite of flashes of good, was always an essentially selfish character (very early on she dropped the flaky, but undeniably good-hearted, Connie like a hot potato once she had no more use for her and her apartment). She only really began to warm to Brian once she found out he was an ex-lawyer giving a very early indication that social standing meant a great deal to her. By book three she was well on her way up the greasy pole and woe be-tide anyone who crossed her. The lusty, heart on his sleeve, happy-go-lucky Brian seemed always pre-destined to be left behind in her wake. None of these observations are to her credit but nor do they make her a monster, just a believable human being of the "ambitious, go-getting type" - a type, incidentally, often highly prized by a Society where people who don't achieve materially seem to be routinely referred to as "losers.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Edward Aycock on June 6, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is a toughie. This is Maupin's most beautifully written entry in the "Tales" series (owing partly to the fact that it was not originally written as a serial), but it's also the most disappointing. To this day, I'm still a bit confused as to why Maupin made Mary Ann turn out the way she did. Over the years, the more people I've talked to, the more I realized I wasn't alone. Some said Mary Ann was never quite the character we perceived her to be from the start but if that's so, why did so many feel so let down by her? Maybe Maupin's ideas of her and the reader's perception never matched from Book 1. Perhaps things would be different had Maupin not had Mary Ann be the first character introduced. We see San Francisco through her eyes, and we identify with her. What's that say about us when she ends up cold and unfeeling?

Time hasn't helped the case for the book either. Once the miniseries came out and Laura Linney became THE Mary Ann, it's even harder to read this final book. In the end, the fact that this book's still has people talking 18 years after it's release shows how much we grew to love these characters. This book is full of sadness, but also hope. Michael has AIDS and San Francisco is a different place than it was only a decade earlier, but we get glimmers of the new activism that rose out of the AIDS crisis, and would eventually help fuel the "gay 90s."

I am glad that Maupin will have a new book out soon that, while not officially a Tales book with its multi-character stories, will feature some of the old gang; it's been much too long. "Sure of You" may have been the end of the series but it's a classy, sad, depressing, troubling, frustrating and great finale.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Eva Sophia on May 8, 2006
Format: Paperback
Mary Ann Singleton first saw San Francisco at 25, everyone fell in love with the midwest transplant, but then when fame and ambition made her betray those closest to her ... she ran to New York and away from it all. It was characteristic of the ultimate lesson of the 80's. While the Tales of the City characters galavanted around in adventure during the 1970's ... the 80's greed and ambition transformed TV star Mary Ann into a cruel yuppie. Ending the saga ... culiminating in the 1989 San Francisco earthquake and Mary Ann abandoning all those who supported her throughout the years. Tales began and ended with Mary Ann ... and it was all just bittersweet.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Brown on October 20, 2007
Format: Paperback
The Tales of The City series comes to a bittersweet, and for some devoted fans of the series, startling conclusion with Sure Of You. Maupin does have his characters and the readers who have grown to love them face some hard truths. Dramatic changes occur and old bonds are broken, but after all the upheaval, new possibilities emerge and what had seemed to be a sobering conclusion transforms into a promising new beginning.

Some cynics have claimed this is the book that turns the likeable and ambitious character of Mary Ann Singleton into a driven and cold-hearted monster. These cynical readers are wrong and have missed the nuances of Maupin's story. Admittedly, Maupin is particularly kind in his portrayal of Mary Ann; however, he is not entirely unforgiving and we can sympathize to some degree with her choices and the desires that drive them. Mary Ann does make some decisions which deeply wound those she loves and her behavior is sometimes selfish; however, there is never callousness in her actions nor does she lack regret. Furthermore, the choices she makes are driven by a desire to change a life that has fallen into a dark and unhappy rut, which she believes she can only escape by taking a new direction she hopes will finally lead to true happiness for herself, and eventually for Brian. At the end of the novel, while nothing will be the same, new bonds have been forged, some old bonds have been renewed and strengthened, and where some bonds have been severed, there remains the promise of reconciliation between two old friends.
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