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The Days of Anna Madrigal: Tales of the City 9 Paperback – 30 Jan 2014

4.5 out of 5 stars 144 customer reviews

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Paperback, 30 Jan 2014
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday (30 Jan. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857521292
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857521293
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2.1 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (144 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 484,060 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"One of the most acclaimed sagas of our time…A celebration of life in all its craziness…As good as anything Maupin has offered us" (John Sutherland The Times)

"The brilliance of Maupin is his mingling of high camp with tragedy and deep feeling – all with a miraculously light touch" (Daily Mail Wendy Holden)

"A proper Maupin-esque swansong – moving, funny and obscene. We expect nothing less" (Isabel Berwick Financial Times)

"Christopher Isherwood was absolutely correct when he declared Maupin to be the Dickens of the modern world" (Chuck Palahniuk)

Book Description

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

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The latest (ninth) and, reportedly, last in the wonderful 'Tales of The City' series, 'Days of Anna Madrigal' sees the benevolent and quirky former landlady of 28 Barbary Lane now aged 92, frail in body, but still alert in mind. The cast of surviving friends are here - Michael Tolliver, Brian Hawkins, Mary Ann Singleton - all older but still ready for an adventure. They join 60,000 revellers who build a city to last just a week in the desert.

For Anna though, she has reached a point in her life when it's time to revisit her past, left behind 75 years earlier when, as a troubled and confused boy, something devastating happened which made her run away from the whorehouse run by her mother.

Armistead Maupin's writing is, as always, sublime - with witty, quirky dialogue and scenes that make you laugh, or even cry. Meeting up with the characters again is like welcoming old friends back, and when I turned the final page, it was with a lump in my throat.

Thoroughly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
as preparation for this final book in the series i reread the two most recent books and was surprised how much more i adored them this time around, if you are new to the books, then you have to start at the beginning to fully get into this wonderful saga of Annas logical family.
The latest book is a fittingly perfect way to end the series although lets hope Mr Maupin decides to add more very soon, as the newer characters are just as great as the old originals. Its wonderful to catch up with them and their lives and in this book some names from the past reappear, and we finally get to find out about Anna's childhood growing up at the Blue Moon Lodge as she confronts the secrets she ran away from.
The book had me laughing and crying and i couldnt put it down until it was finished, highly recommended (in fact essential reading for fans) its beautifully written, uplifting and charming, and about people who utterly understand giving and receiving love.
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I'm not going to pretend that this is a work of literary genius but if - like me - you were addicted to the Tales of the City series back in the late 80s/early 90s, and if you're sufficiently loyal to have read the other two follow-up books - Michael Tolliver Lives and Mary Ann in Autumn - and if you even have the DVDs of the terrible TV series, then you really will HAVE to read The Days of Anna Madrigal in order to complete the cycle.

This is supposed to be the final volume, the end of the line, and the book that finally answers questions that Maupin lovers have had for decades: why did Anna choose her name, what really happened out in the desert at the Blue Moon whorehouse and how did she become who she became?

Looking back to the Tales of the City series, the comparisons with the three later books are clear. Maupin has grown up, lived through the highs and lows of growing older and he's evolved. No more the short snappy chapters and the extreme focus on shock value, not so much of the sometimes over-played wit of the early books. These days you get proper chapters, deeper insight and writing that has matured along with the characters.

This book follows a road trip - or rather two. Brian and his new wife take off in the Winnebago with Anna Madgrigal to visit Winnemucca, home of the Blue Moon in search of answers for Brian and closure for Anna. Meanwhile, Michael (Mouse) and his husband Ben head off to the Burning Man with Brian's daughter Shawna. Mary Ann will even put in a brief appearance.

There's still plenty of controversial stuff, it's still not the type of book to pass to the church jumble sale and the easily shocked will still be just that...easily shocked.
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Over 35 years Armistead Maupin has followed the lives of the people we first met in San Francisco in 1978. This alone is an achievement. This, the ninth and maybe the final instalment, is set at the Burning Man festival, which has grown and developed as the LBGT community has emerged, like a butterfly from a chrysalis. The LBGT community may not yet be mainstream America, but has a stronger place than when he began writing. We can see that in Cam and Mitchell in Modern Family. Perhaps this sequence of novels has contributed.
I cannot say whether Days is better or worse than any of the other 8 volumes. The author continues to combine scenes of explicit physical sexuality with intense emotion. His characters confront the same heartaches and highs as are elsewhere portrayed in conventional sexual relationships. Is the readership now wider than LBGT or has the presence, confidence and numbers of non-straight people increased. Probably both.
Earlier books seemed - in my memory - to look askance at some of the fringe fashions and behaviours portrayed. Now I no longer detect anything other than enthusiasm as evidenced by his description of the Burning Man festival, "life itself but now bigger and slicker".
However, I do feel that the characters and the author are somewhat cocooned in their sexuality and in their sexual lives. Princess Diana is namechecked, but Barack Obama is not mentioned. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are barely noticed. The battle for wider healthcare provision is not signified - despite the ills and illnesses of his aging cast. Money never seems to be a problem - the global financial crisis seems not to impact. This is more Jane Austen than Charles Dickens.
The cast seem generally to be "good people" - there have been few dark characters.
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