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Michael Tolliver Lives Hardcover – 18 Jun 2007


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Hardcover, 18 Jun 2007
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; Dust Jacket has Light Shelfwear edition (18 Jun 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385612400
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385612401
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.7 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 555,609 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

The long-awaited new novel in the internationally bestselling Tales of the City sequence.

From the Inside Flap

Michael Tolliver, the sweet-spirited Southerner in Armistead Maupin’s classic Tales of the City series, is arguably the most beloved gay character in fiction. Now, almost twenty years after ending his groundbreaking saga of San Francisco life, Maupin revisits his all-too-human hero, letting the 55-year-old gardener tell his story in his own voice. Having survived the plague that took so many of his friends and lovers, Michael has learned to embrace the random pleasures of life, the tender alliances that sustain him in the hardest of times. Michael Tolliver Lives follows its protagonist as he finds love with a younger man, attends to his dying fundamentalist mother in Florida, and finally reaffirms his allegiance to a wise octogenarian who was once his landlady. While Maupin insists that this book is not, strictly speaking, a continuation of Tales of the City, a reassuring number of familiar faces appear along the way. As usual, the author’s mordant wit and ear for pitch-perfect dialogue serve every aspect of the story – from the bawdy to the bittersweet. Michael Tolliver Lives is a novel about the art of growing older joyfully and the everyday miracles that somehow make that possible.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By E. Goodman on 16 July 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book gets three stars - mainly because it takes us back to San Francisco, to familar faces and lets us catch up with old friends. I think that's how this book shoudl be viewed, and nothing more. On it's own, it is not a masterpiece, there is no earth shattering storyline, but it throws you enough nice surprises to keep TOTC fans happy. My problem with the book is simple - it is obsessed by the fact that Michael and Ben have an age gap. I don't really care - Armistead Maupin (who has a real life younger husband) obviously does. Finally, the sex scene is uncecessary, the first six books did not need graphic sex scenes so why does this one? I do look forward to more, as I enjoyed catching up with my old friends, but I hope they are not all written from Michael's point of view, as you get the impression you are hearing Maupin's views, thoughts and ideas rather than those of one of the series' most beloved characters.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. K. A. Wheatley TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 26 Oct 2007
Format: Hardcover
Tales of the City are my favourite series of books ever, in the whole world. Maupin takes an excruciatingly long time to write novels and this is only his third since he 'ended' the Tales of The City series all those years ago. Luckily for us, he felt the need to update us on the doings of Michael Tolliver, or Mouse as he is affectionately known in the books. It is no good starting this book if you've never read the others, as the story and characters are as comfortable as an old pair of slippers and you really need to know the back plot to make sense of it. In the first few books, the plot line was often enough to carry you through not being familiar with the characters, but here we are just catching up with old friends and tying up some loose ends. Despite this if you like, 'lack of action', Maupin still has all the characteristics that make him such an excellent writer, compassion, love and tolerance, along with the ability to create wonderful characters and a thoroughly believeable world. It was worth the wait.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mr. T. S. Guy on 22 Sep 2007
Format: Hardcover
The other reviewers are right - this definitely is not a Tales of the City book. In terms of structure it is much, much closer to Maupin's later works "Maybe The Moon" and "The Night Listener".

I say this because unlike the other Tales books there is a single narrative, instead of a collection of sub-stories going on all at once. Personally, I enjoyed this book, but then I also enjoyed the two books mentioned above. Yes, I missed the excitement of following several intertwining stories that I so enjoyed in the earlier Tales books, but it does a pretty good job of holding its own.

There are some downsides to it - about three quarters of the way through you get a lot of rushed, un-necessary run-downs on what the old characters are up to now, which just seems shallow and detrimental to the novel as a whole, as well-loved characters from earlier titles are just brought up without adding to the story in the slightest. Maupin also repeated the unthinkable and killed off a much-loved character "off-screen", just like he did between Further Tales and Babycakes. I won't say who or how as that would take away from reading it, but it bothers me that he can be so blasé in killing off characters we all liked without even chronicling it properly in one of the stories.

Other than these shortcomings, it's still a good read and Maupin still has a great way with words. The story has plenty of Anna Madrigal in it which is never a bad thing, and Michael's biological family are portrayed well and have a good storyline. There are some likeable new characters such as Ben and Jake who the reader could easily warm to just as much as we did with the old characters if Maupin decides to continue the series in the future.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin TOP 500 REVIEWER on 20 Feb 2011
Format: Hardcover
Michael Toliver, the adorable young man from Maupin's Tales of the City, has survived what seemed to be his inevitable doom from the gay plague some twenty years ago and has reached 55 years of age, is fit and living well. Now he speaks for himself, and tells of his life today and reminisces about the past.

He has found a much younger man with whom to share his life, Ben, someone who delights in the older man, someone who was happy to marry him. Michael takes us through his day to day life, his concerns for his ailing mother, and we find his life still populated with many of the characters from Tales of the City. We are also updated on many of the events that have befallen these characters since we last encountered them.

What shines through this novel, apart from the delightful Michael, is the quality of the writing, Maupin has a way with words that makes you believe, Michael comes across as a real person, not a fictional character. This in no way diminishes the humour, the wit, but certainly adds to the tenderness, the touching quality, the love.

Michael Toliver Lives is one of Maupin's best, a gem of a story that can make you laugh out loud as easily as it can move you to tears, an absolutely delightful, positive tale.
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By viciousidol on 5 Jun 2009
Format: Hardcover
Like most people, I loved Tales of the City but, for some reason, I missed this book when it first came out a couple of years ago. I stumbled across it a few days ago and I'm glad I did.

The first person narrative makes the book feel like a conversation with an old friend. I smiled through most of the pages, enjoying "catching up" with Michael.

As mentioned by other reviewers, it is a bit over the top in some ways but, if you love Tales of the City, you'll probably love this book. It's not perfect but it's a nice, easy read. Take it to the beach or read it on the plane.
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