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More Tales of the City Paperback – April 18, 1998
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From the Back Cover
The tenants of 28 Barbary Lane have fled their cozy nest for adventures far afield. Mary Ann Singleton finds love at sea with a forgetful stranger, Mona Ramsey discovers her doppelgänger in a desert whorehouse, and Michael Tolliver bumps into his favorite gynecologist in a Mexican bar. Meanwhile, their venerable landlady takes the biggest journey of all—without ever leaving home.
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The second book in the Tales of the City series is just as good as the first as the characters show you San Francisco as it was in the 70s and 80s when the city was affordable and populated with eccentric people lured there from other less open and accepting places.
Clearly it was, since this is the 2nd book in the series. It's very hard to put this book into categories. It's definitely fiction.
Maupin's people in this world (San Francisco in, if I remember correctly, the 1970's? Late '70s?) weave throughout their own plotlines and those of the other characters in the book. The core group live in an unusual boarding house, run by an eccentric woman "of a certain age," who takes her boarders into her "family." Naturally, these family members also have family and friends (and other types of associates) from their lives outside of the house. Sometimes some of them move in (with or without an established boarder) or out, depending upon the circumstances of their unique and quite interesting lives.
San Francisco has long been known as a haven for eccentrics, artists, people of various sexual identities and old, wealthy society. Maupin's characters travel across these societal, sexual, gender and career lines freely and often. There are frightening villains, but they always receive their comeuppance in appropriate (sometimes humorous, sometimes graphic) ways.
I strongly recommend you give this book a try. My description of Maupin's writing style is sadly deficient. Let's just say it's a sort of New Age soap opera, romance, social commentary and comedy wrapped up in several continuing delicious packages.
This book is also notable because it continues the story of Michael and Jon, featuring a touching scene in which Michael finally outs himself to his family. Also, since Michael spends much of the book coping with a case of temporary paralysis (which I still don't quite understand), there are all sorts of new jokes the howlingly funny, sarcastic character gets to make.
As for Mary Ann, she opens up a bit more, which is welcome, and deals with a rather twisted mystery. And DeDe evolves into a far more interesting individual with the help of D'or, of all people.
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(You don't have to be gay to enjoy the stories)