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Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City (BBC Radio 4 Drama)

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City (BBC Radio 4 Drama).pdf | Language: ENGLISH
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Kate Harper and Lydia Wilson star in this BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of Armistead Maupin's classic, groundbreaking novel Tales of the City. Set in 1976 in San Francisco, Tales of the City is the first of a sequence of novels about the unconventional tenants of 28 Barbary Lane, the domain of the eccentric, marijuana-growing landlady Anna Madrigal. Mary Ann Singleton, a naive young woman newly-arrived from Cleveland, Ohio, moves into an apartment there and soon becomes friends with other tenants of the building: the hippyish bisexual Mona Ramsey; the strange Norman Neal Williams; and Michael Tolliver, a sweet and personable gay man known to his friends as Mouse. Beyond the house, lovers and friends guide Mary Ann through her San Franciscan adventures...Dramatised by Barbara Lavery, this is both a sparkling comedy of manners and a portrait of a free and easy era, with the drug and sex counter-culture in full swing.

"A consummate entertainer... It is Maupin's Dickensian gift to be able to render love convincingly" (Edmund White The Times Literary Supplement)"Maupin is a richly gifted comic author" (Observer)"San Francisco is fortunate in having a chronicler as witty and likeable as Armistead Maupin" (Independent)"Like those of Dickens and Wilkie Collins, Armistead Maupin's novels have all appeared originally as serials... it is the strength of this approach, with its fantastic adventures and astonishingly contrived coincidences, that makes these novels charming and compelling" (Literary Review) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Review Text

  • By J-Ro on 3 May 2013

    Great AM fan - have been for a long time. This BBC Radio Four dramatisation is a lovely way to reminisce, and a great intro to the San Fran gang for those who are just becoming acquainted with the wonderful, insightful work of Armistead Maupin!

  • By Guest on 19 July 2017

    Read all 8 of them, some of them better than others but being a series you just go through them all.

  • By Katey on 2 December 2015

    A few months ago I put out a request for books set in San Francisco, and one book (or series of books) got mentioned over and over again. Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City had somehow passed me by - I'm really not sure how. But as soon as I started reading this first instalment, I knew I was going to be hooked.The 'tales' belong to a wide and diverse cast. Mary Ann is new to San Francisco, moving into lodgings at 28 Barbary Lane. She's quiet and uncontroversial, very different to the other tennants living in the house. Mona seems unsure of what she wants from life and relies on sedatives to get through the day, Michael is gay, skint and looking for a good man (I loved him, especially in the scene with the jockey shorts in the bar), Brian sleeps with any woman he can find and landlady Anna Madrigal grows marijuana in the garden... plus there's an array of supporting characters each with their own secrets. Their lives are carefully and cleverly interwoven to create one world from what is essentially a series of short stories.I liked how the scenes were snappy - most just a few pages long - and there was a lot of dialogue which added to the already fast pace. The dry humour and cutting remarks reminded me of a soap opera and have retained relevance 37 years after they were first written. Maupin lived in the San Francisco he was writing about and it shows, there's a realism in even the most outlandish of situations and that made me care about the characters and their plight.This book is older than I am, and I imagine it was shocking when originally published (and probably still would be now to some readers!) Race, sexuality, drugs and infidelity are key to the plot and talked about openly, nothing is off limits. It was refreshing to read a book where every character is going through their own problems yet isn't overwhelmingly depressing. Somehow there's an uplifting air to Tales of the City despite the unfulfilled lives of the majority of the cast and to me that's conveyed through the genuinely touching where the characters reach out to each other.The only negatives for me were that it took a while to get my head around so many different stories and I had to google some of the seventies American references to fully understand the story. But despite that I found myself so drawn to this wonderful world that I went straight onto the next book in the series. I need to know what happens next!I've not read anything quite like this before. And I loved it.

  • By Robert G Fray on 4 April 2013

    Oh, dear, what a pity. All the sparkle of the first 'City' book has disappeared in this dramatisation. Mary Ann sounds like she's on helium, and Michael, who everybody remembers and loves the most in the story, is reduced to a sideline. The only character who hits the note is Mrs Madrigal.I bought this, and the follow-up More Tales Of The City with high hopes. Alas, they drowned in The Bay.

  • By J.E.T on 7 June 2013

    I first heard a few parts of this when it was played out on Radio 4, so was delighted when I saw that the audio CD had been released. Tales of the City is a great little drama that depicts it's time really well and has interesting plots interwoven. I will say that I feel the adaptation may be slightly lacking, as some of the characters don't seem to have time to develop or some (such as Mary Ann) are questioning themselves one minute and then seem to be very decisive about their decision the next, a process that may well have had more substance in the book, so we understand why she chooses what she does. What this audio book has done is make me want to read the books. There is some very enjoyable content as we see Mary Ann move to San Francisco, away from her parents, and set up home in a building owned by the wonderful Anna Madrigal and alongside some other interesting tenants. We see plots tie together and how each person in the city has their own private dilemmas and wonderful stories, behind the scenes.This is a nice audio book for a mid distance drive. It is only two CDs long, so not the longest of tales, but it is interesting and enthralling and has led to me wanting to listen to the second volume that is also out, and read the books too. It is clear where each chapter was divided up for the radio, but this doesn't take away from the listening experience at all, and there is also some nice music to add to the overall feel of the tales.A nice listen, but perhaps not for you if you started with the books, as they seem to have been condensed quite a lot and may have lost a fair few intricacies along the way.


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