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4.7 out of 5 stars23
4.7 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 4 April 2006
It's hard to judge these books individually, infact it's somewhat impossible. I have read this series many times over the last ten years and each time they have a different meaning, whether it's a new discovery or a shift in sympathy for a different character.
This book marks a significant change in the lives of the characters and also in Maupin's style. The humour and satire are present as always but a very obvious maturity is seen both in the residents of Barbary Lane and the political climate, with the advent of HIV/AIDS in the early 80's under American Rebublic rule.
Despite the significant change in the characters, they remain as friendly. heartwarming and delightfuly familiar as always.
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on 5 March 2001
if you love armistead maupin you will love this one - i read all the set of books within 5 weeks - once you get started you can not stop and you will want to save these books to come back to year after year ...... it is almost like the characters are part of your family he really makes them come alive off the page....praise for armistead and lets hope there are many more to come yet.....
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Armistead may be a gay writer, but if that would normally put you off, don't let it. The whole of humanity is in these books, they are deeply affecting, beautiful, life affirming books. I would take them on a desert island. I would take them anywhere and recommend them to anyone.
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on 26 June 2012
I have all of the 'Tales of the City' books in paper form (either hardback or paperback) and have read most several times. I ordered all of the Kindle editions very shortly after they were issued so I could dip into any of them whilst travelling. Have just finished reading Baby Cakes, Kindle edition, and must say it was indistinguishable from the paper version - it is really nice not to have to worry about cluttering up my luggage with paper books.

Having said this, I usually take at least one paperback with me when travelling, as airlines usually insist all 'electronic devices' are disabled during take-off and landing whilst the seat-belt sign is switched on. Apart from that minor inconvenience I find the Kindle very practical in use - and the Maupin books are a happy addition to my Kindle library. Baby Cakes is one of the better books in the 'City' series, in my view - I'm now on the next in the series 'Sure of You' in the Kindle version as I moved my paper copies to my other house a few years ago - seems fine, too.
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on 26 March 2010
I adored the first three books in the Tales of the City series. I fell in love with Mary Ann, Mouse, Mona, Mrs Madrigal and the other inhabitants of 28 Barbary Lane the minute I opened Armistead Maupin's wonderful original chronical of San Francisco life. And I remained gripped throughout the outrageous plot lines and twists of More and Further Tales of the City.

Then I read Babycakes, and sadly, I have the say, the cracks are beginning to show. I just didn't feel the same excitement reading it as I did the others. Maybe it's because the depiction of London isn't nearly as evocative as the earlier ones of San Francisco. Maybe it's because the story is weaker and lacks the central mysteries that kept me enthralled in the earlier books. For some reason, the unbelievable coincidences that seemed so much fun before now just seemed silly.

I never thought I'd say this, but I began to feel bored towards the end, whereas I couldn't wait to open Tales, More Tales and Further Tales to discover where I was being led.

I hope that this is a blip and the series will pick up again, but I have a feeling that Babycakes may be the turning point, where the previously wonderful Tales lost its magic.
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on 22 August 2014
I have read most of the Tales of the City series and enjoyed them. I had not heard of this one until it was serialised on Radio 4. It is a bit of a pot-boiler, but still an enjoyable read. It is becoming an historical document being 30 years old, and written when HIV seemed a sentence of death!
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on 18 November 1998
Never has such a series of books connected with so many different people for so many different reason. Reflection of what a great story teller Maupin is. His characters make you laugh, cry, wonder why and ask how can this be? But all the way along you will not want to stop reading.
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on 24 March 2013
More fabulous mischief and wit from Armistead Maupin, his characters are like old friends by this book. I spent a lot of time in San Francisco and sometimes reading this book I forget I am not there while I read. Finishing a Maupin book is always satisfying, always sad
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 1 September 2010
I think this is the best yet of Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City. In addition to favourite characters Michael alias Mouse, Mary-Ann and Brian, Mona and Mrs Madrigal, we have a handsome young English sailor who jumps ship (the Britannia no less), a gay English lord, and a delightful young aborigine Londoner. If you haven't guessed some of the action takes place in England.

I read this some time after reading the preceding Tales of the City books, but very quickly picked up with the familiar characters. Full of unlikely coincidences, Babycakes is not just as funny, possibly even the funniest so far, but is also especially heart-warming with so many endearing individuals, Michael really wins our hearts as does his mischievous young aborigine friend.
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on 11 March 2014
I am still trying to get up the enthusiasm for finishing this. I cannot really connect with the characters and because it jumps from one to another I lose the thread. I don't think I will read another from the series
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