Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Published by Harper Collins
Bought @ Kindle store, Amazon.in
Mary Ann Singleton comes to San Francisco for a vacation and never leaves. She rents an apartment in 28 Barbary Lane. Now, this is no ordinary house. This set of apartments has a sweet landlady, Anna Madrigal, who grows marijuana for personal consumption. She is generous in doling out weed for her beloved 'family' of tenants as well.
Apart from Mary Ann, there is Mona Ramsey, Micheal Mouse, Brian Hawkins and the secretive Norman Neal Williams. These are all the part of Anna's family at 28 Barbary Lane. Apart from this, there is Edgar Halcyon who employs Mary Ann and Mona. He is connected to Anna in a mysterious way.
Mary Ann has some trouble settling in, when she finds herself at odds with people around her. She does not like her co-tenants much at first. She finds them weird and is un-used to their ways. How she finds her feet in San Francisco is the central theme of the novel.
The characters are all eccentric yet charming. The things that happen to them are unusual. The realistic, matter of fact narration of these events makes it seem quite commonplace.
Armistead Maupin gives us a glimpse of how San Francisco was in the '70s, with its hippies, its citizens very open about their sexuality, the happy lower classes, the unhappy rich people.
The episodic way in which the book progresses can be attributed to the fact that it was originally a series that were published in San Francisco Chronicles. The series has nine books in all, I expect I shall read them all, in time.
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