My oldest sister Laurie, who was involved in the theater scene, used to rave about this series. When my book club selected Tales of the City, I finally had the opportunity to see what the fuss was about.
The story focuses on the interweaving lives of the residents of a San Francisco apartment complex in the 1970's. Groovy, man. Though the cultural references are obviously dated, I found this novel to be hilarious! I'm going to highlight some of the passages that had me giggling. I'm not sure if you'll find them funny too, but I think the author has a real gift for humor.
"She was wearing orange slacks that could have protected a road crew at night. Her Mao Tse-tung T-shirt was stretched so tightly across her chest that the Chairman was grinning broadly." (p. 87)
"Actually, there were lots of murky legends like that among gay people in San Francisco.
There was the Doodler, a sinister black man who sat at the bar and sketched your face . . . before taking you home to murder you.
Not to mention the Man in the White Van, a faceless fiend whose unwitting passengers never found their way home again.
And the Dempster Dumpster Killer, whose S & M fantasies knew no limit.
It was almost enough to make you want to stick with Mary Tyler Moore." (p. 112)
"He had met his Old Lady when he was a house painter and she was a waitress in an organic pizzeria called The Karmic Anchovy." (p. 175)
Bwa ha ha! The Karmic Anchovy? Then Vincent talks more about his zealot girlfriend, how she fell apart when Vietnam ended because she no longer had a cause to embrace.
"It was the biggest thing in her life, Mary Ann, and nothing after that quite fulfilled her. She tried Indians for a while, then oil spills and PG&E, but it wasn't the same. It just wasn't the same." (p. 175).
Mr. Maupin's observations about gay life slayed me:
"Decorators, hairdressers, and selected sheriff's deputies were expected to be gay in San Francisco.
But who wanted a gay gynecologist?
Most women expected their gynecologist to be detached in dealing with their most intimate specifics. They did not, however, expect detachment to come easy. In their heart of hearts lurked the tiniest hope that they were driving the poor devil mad.
Gay was not Good in OB/GYN" (p. 313).
Hee hee hee. A really fun novel!