The Girl Booker

The Girl Booker

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Tale From This City

More Tales of the City by Amistead Maupin is one of those books that feel like I have already read, and loved. There was a TV series made a few years ago based on the first couple of books in the series, which I loved, so I just assumed that I also loved the books, even though I never actually got around to (ahem) reading any of them.

I did finally read a volume, and it was odd - I found it hilarious and witty and sharp, but kept forgetting that I was enjoying it when I wasn't actually in the act of reading it. Finding out that it was originally a newspaper serial subsequently made into a series of books helped this to make sense. And the idea of different writing styles for different formats was really illuminated for me. It doesn't make a bad book, but I can see that it would be far more memorable as something read in snippets, with forced waiting for each installment.

I feel like I have probably read enough for now, although if I were stuck in a holiday house somewhere with rain pissing down outside and nothing else to do, I would be very excited to find one of these books on the shelf to read. Or if I were stuck in bed with a cold.

Oddly, it isn't merely funny fluff, but it is written in such a way that it feels as though it is. There is really great stuff about relationships, gay rights, city life and human emotions and I suppose that is what makes it such an engaging read - the possibilities for connection with the reader are great, yet it is also possible to just have a little giggle and forget about it.

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