I have become seriously addicted to Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City (I’m a little late to the party, the first volume was published in 1978). For some reason I started in the middle of the series with Babycakes and it took me a while to get into the book. I kept losing track of the characters and what was going on, plus the writing set my teeth on edge. If you’ve ever been a student of mine you know how snarky I can be about adverbs and adjectives – well, Maupin’s characters ‘sip warily’ and eyes ‘glaze nostalgically’, they ‘nod triumphantly’ and they don’t just say something, they squeal or beam or groan. It’s all over the top. And once into it I loved it! I love the odd ball community at 28 Barbary Lane and Mrs. Madrigal. I love all the yearning and searching and wariness and triumphing and groaning and squealing of the characters. Plus it’s a love letter to the city of San Francisco.
When I finished Babycakes I went back to the first volume of the series, Tales of the City, and then feeling like an addict ordered More Tales of the City on Prime Amazon with two day delivery, and now have Further Tales of the City ready to go in my Amazon cart. (I know, I know, but this is what addiction can do to you, drive you back to Amazon.) I was tempted to just mainline the whole series into my Kindle, but there’s something even more special when it arrives one by one in book form.
It’s the perfect series to read when you’re hanging around the house and want a quick fix. And quick fixes have be in short supply lately at our house. But I’m so happy to report that R. is on the road to recovery. Day by day he’s getting stronger and the effects of radiation grow less painful. Profound thanks to all of you who have left comments or emailed or sent cards. Your thoughtfulness has been so much appreciated by both of us.